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Tarkanian Running for 4th Congressional Seat-Part I - Video

[Editor's note: This is the first of a four-part series that highlights an interview the Mesquite Citizen Journal recently conducted with Danny Tarkanian, candidate in the 2012 Republican primary for the Nevada 4th District Congressional race.]

Campaigning in his most recent run for national political office, Danny Tarkanian (R) says what made him decide to enter the primary race for Nevada's 4th Congressional District is that "the very fabric that made our country great is being torn apart piece by piece."

In a wide-ranging interview with the Mesquite Citizen Journal, Tarkanian lamented that "we won't even recognize the U.S. Constitution any more with what's happening."

Calling himself a fighter and competitor with the resiliency to take a punch and keep coming back, Tarkanian hopes his time has come to win elected office representing the largest geographic congressional district in the state. Tarkanian ran and lost in the 2010 Republican primary race for a chance to upset Democratic Senator Harry Reid.

He thinks that federally-appointed czars and regulatory committees are trying to usurp the power of Congress. "A perfect example is what the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is trying to do in regulating the 'cap-and-trade' legislation that could not pass through Congress. That's completely wrong."

Explaining that because Congress didn't pass the law several years ago, the Obama Administration is "trying to go around Congress's denial and implement it through the EPA. I would be a strong voice against that and would try to fight hard to stop that from happening," he said.

"Every time we pass an additional regulation, you're increasing the cost to businesses and you're increasing the time it takes to get [a business] started," Tarkanian explained.

Agreeing that some government regulations are necessary for "reasonable protections of our environment and workers, we've gone overboard." He explained how excessive regulations for fire safety in his sports academy increased construction costs to build the facility by $50,000. Tarkanian owns and operates the Tarkanian Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, NV and is a real estate developer.

He also described a situation in Tonapah with two mines that are ready to be developed. "We could hire new workers and create some revenue for the state. But the mines are located on BLM land. It takes seven years minimum to get permitted on BLM land after going through OSHA, EPA, and all the tests. However, if that was privately held land, it would have gone through just the State government [review]. It would only take two years doing the same exact tests. Those are the things that stop us from creating jobs in Nevada."

Tarkanian discussed the sheer geographic size of the new 4th Congressional District that includes a part of Lyon County, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye, and White Pines counties. It also runs from Mesquite down into a part of North Las Vegas. He said it was the first time in the State's history that part of rural Nevada is included with Clark County.

He also talked about the diversity of the constituents in such a large district saying that he understood the needs of those people living in the more urban areas because he grew up there. "But I also have spent a lot of time traveling through the rural part of Nevada. I have a broad understanding of both sides of the issues. I believe I can represent both constituencies much better than the other candidates."

Tarkanian used the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility as an example of where urban and rural interests may clash. "I'm a big believer in State's rights. I think the State should determine, subject to reasonable regulations and environment, if they want to have a particular project in their state. If the people in Alaska want to drill for oil, they should be allowed to do so.

"If the people of Nevada want to have Yucca Mountain, whether it's for a repository or a reprocessing facility, or some other purpose, we should be able to have that."

He added that "we have spent $12 billion dollars in developing the infrastructure of that facility. Some people, especially in Clark County, don't want it as a storage facility. If they don't, after they are fully educated, then let's find another alternative. I proposed turning it into a reprocessing facility for nuclear-spent fuel. You don't store it there. You bring it in, reprocess it, and transfer the new energy out to other places in the country.

That would have brought in a billion-plus dollars a year in new revenue. It would have created thousands of new jobs in Nevada. It would have turned UNLV and UNR into leading research institutions in the whole world. I thought it was a great idea.

He said the arguments against the proposal focused on potential accidents while shipping nuclear waste products to the site. "The problem with that argument is that every single day for over three decades, we have transported nuclear spent fuel on our highways throughout the U.S. and we haven't had one accident yet." He added that Nevada Senator Harry Reid had pushed through a bill in Congress that allowed nuclear spent fuels to travel through Nevada "on its way to New Mexico. If there really was a risk, you would think that wouldn't have been done. But I think people [in the State] should decide that."

Tarkanian suggested other uses for Yucca Mountain site such as a military training facility or a data storage facility. "The worse thing we could do is not utilize that as another way to create jobs and revenue for the State."

Coming up, Tarkanian discusses his views on President Obama's Healthcare plan, the Afghanistan war, immigration, education, and the Federal government budget deficits.