Fourth Congressional District candidate Danny Tarkanian addresses the Mesquite Tea Party Aug. 6. Photo by Barbara Ellestad.
Republican candidate for Nevada's 4th Congressional District, Danny Tarkanian, addressed the Mesquite Tea Party Monday evening, Aug. 6, giving his reasons why he should be elected to the new seat in November.
"When they drew this District up, they figured it would be a safe seat for (State) Senator Horsford. It includes his State Senate District, it has a high proportion of African-Americans, and has about 10 percent more Democrats than Republicans," Tarkanian began the hour long address.
Horsford is the Democratic candidate in the race for a district that was formed in the 2011 state redistricting effort. It encompasses much of North Las Vegas, Mesquite, Overton and the Moapa Valley. It also includes a part of Lyon County, and all of Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye, and White Pines counties.
Tarkanian said, "a good strong candidate on the Republican ticket can win this District. I won rural Nevada by 70 percent in the primary."
"We all understand Horsford is going to win Clark County. The question is how much is he going to win it by. If I can keep the race close enough and do real well in rural Nevada, including Mesquite and Moapa Valley, I can win this race," he added.
He encouraged the group to talk to "soft Democrats and independents and get them out to vote. It will make the difference. We can overcome the voter registration that's out there in urban Nevada."
"I don't think this race will be determined by minute differences between the candidates," Tarkanian said. "Steven Horsford's was President Obama's 2008 campaign chairman in Nevada. He's supported every bill that's been voted on and passed by Obama's administration. If you like where Obama has taken the country then you can vote for him."
"I believe the Federal government was created for a few limited purposes," Tarkanian said. "We should do those things as best we can and get out of everything else. We have a Constitution that delineates what we're supposed to do. Instead of doing those things great, we're trying to solve all the social ills. The latest example is the health care bill that was passed. Health, education, and welfare should be left up to the States. That's why we're in the mess we're in."
"I believe in a limited, smaller government. I believe in a lower tax base than what we're facing right now. I believe in less government spending. I believe in protecting our personal freedoms and liberties that were guaranteed to us by the Constitution."
"Horsford will take the opposite position on virtually every one of those points. There's a clear distinction (between us). The question is who will get the voters out to the polls enough to win in a district that was drawn up for a Democrat," Tarkanian explained.
He went on to say that he believes the Fourth District is "ground zero for the whole country. We are facing a crises in our country on which way we're going to go. Obama's socialistic policies or Governor Romney's free market principles."
Tarkanian took questions from the audience of about 30 people addressing a wide variety of issues and declaring his stance on them.
"I've been attacked by Steven Horsford for going too far against immigration," Tarkanian replied to the first question about illegal immigration. "But I've never wavered on it at all. We need to secure our borders for national security purposes and also for immigration purposes. We have laws about how people can come into the country legally and they should be enforced. If they come into the country illegally, they're not entitled to taxpayer benefits. I don't believe employers should be allowed to hire people who are here illegally. But we need to make it easier and quicker for people who want to come in legally to file the right paperwork and come in for jobs."
He also believes the State should enforce 'e-verify' procedures set up for employers to determine if workers applying for jobs are legal residents. "We need to make it more efficient so there are less mistakes."
He thinks the country needs to work on free-market economic principles. "One of the things we can do, and I don't see how anyone can be against it, is to become energy independent. I believe every state should have the opportunity to explore, produce and sell whatever energy product they have. I don't think we should force upon the states things they don't want."
He used North Dakota with its booming oil industry as an example of encouraging states to pursue various energy sources. He said there's enough natural gas resources to supply the country with 200 years of energy, including motorized vehicles. "While we continue to use those resources, we need to develop green energies. But we don't want to put the cart before the horse like Obama has done. We're trying to force green energies down our throats even though it's eight times more expensive to an economy that can't afford it."
He criticized government regulators like the Environmental Protection Agency that stifles energy independence through regulations. "We've always been a country that swings on pendulums. At one time we were all for business and not for protecting the environment. Instead of coming to a nice equilibrium, where we would protect employers and the environment at the same time, we've swung the other way to taking care of the environment and put a stranglehold on businesses."
Tarkanian addressed the Federal budget problems and offered ideas on several areas in which spending could be reduced. "I can tell you how we can cut $60 billion a year without anyone disagreeing. First cut $18 billion in pork projects. Cut $13 billion in foreign aid that we give to countries who are adversarial to us. Then you can save $32 billion by taking the appropriations budget back to 2010 levels. Our budget has grown so exponentially. We can get it back under control by doing some simple things."
He added that more could be cut from the budget by reducing the Federal Department of Education "except for a supervisory role. Give that money to the States. We can save $4.5 billion just in administration costs."
Tarkanian remarked that the eligibility age for drawing Social Security needs to be raised. He explained that when the Social Security program was first created the life expectancy of recipients was 19 years less than now. He wants a grace period for people nearing retirement but that it could be adjusted for younger workers.
He also said that subsidies given to farmers, oil companies, and others "that shouldn't be provided by our federal government" should be reduced or eliminated.
Tarkanian stated that he was against the idea of designating the Gold Butte area south of Bunkerville as a National Conservation Area with Wilderness. "Nevada already has millions of acres designated as Wilderness and Harry Reid is trying to get more and more."
That led him into a discussion of a proposed copper mine near Yerington, NV. "The area has an 18 percent unemployment rate. Add in underemployment and it nears 30 percent. It's the third worse area in the country. Nevada Copper Mine wants to put millions of dollars into the area that could provide jobs and revenues for the City and State. There are no environmental issues and no health concerns. It's a no-brainer. Harry Reid will not put the bill on the floor of the Senate because he wants the people in Yerington to agree to designating hundreds of thousands more acres as Wilderness for the sage grouse (bird). If they don't agree to that, he says he won't bring the bill up for a vote. Nevada Copper Mine won't be able to spend its money on the new mine."
He thinks the federal tax system is unfair, too complicated and lets too many people get special breaks. "I am in favor of a fair tax that would eliminate the IRS completely. With a national sales tax, there is a level where we can protect people who can't pay anything. Even a flat tax would be better."
"Everyone should pay their fair share and people who can influence politicians shouldn't be getting a break," he added.
He's strongly in favor of requiring elected officials to live under the same rules and laws, like health care and retirement rules, that governs the general populace.
He also would vote in favor of a term-limit bill restricting the number of years a politician could serve in the same elected position.
The line of questioning from the audience returned to the amount of money spent on social programs for illegal immigrants. "It's quite high. Only people that are here in this country legally should be entitled to benefits provided to U.S. citizens. I've been ridiculed and attacked by my opponent for making that statement. I think it's just common sense. If you're not here legally, you're not entitled to benefits provided to citizens of our country."
He also favors voter identification requirements that he says were first proposed by President Jimmy Carter. "He (Carter) said people should have to show proof of citizenship when they register to vote and go to the polls."
Part II will examine Tarkanian's views on other issues. He will also provide an explanation of his troubles with the National Rifle Association and why he couldn't get a good endorsement from the group. He also discusses his difficulties with a land development deal that went sour.