Monday, June 7, 2010
NV-LtGov: The BIG Stonewall Debate!
So after I helped Joyce Woodhouse take Henderson & Southeast Vegas on Saturday, it was time for me to head to Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas for Stonewall's big event of primary season! Yes, my dears, three of the four Democrats running for Lieutenant Governor (Jessica Sferrazza had a scheduling conflict) stopped by to discuss the issues with us one more time before the final day of primary voting tomorrow.
But instead of boring you with repeats of everything that's already been discussed here, we'll go through the issues here and point out some things that haven't been talked about yet.
- All three candidates expressed their full support for the LGBTQ community (including transgender inclusive anti-discrimination legislation), but the three differed on how best to recruit good companies who will be good for the community. Paul Murad said he has already been making connections to our community, and he can recruit more LGBTQ-friendly companies and major LGBTQ conventions, events, and parties to come to Nevada. Robert Randazzo said he will work with all the companies he recruits here to treat all their workers equally and be responsive to Nevada's LGBTQ community. Bob Goodman, meanwhile, pledged to listen to the community and bring jobs back for everyone in Nevada.
- A couple questions were asked about Arizona and SB 1070, and the candidates seemed to agree at first in all opposing the law... But then, they diverged. Paul Murad said he's already been working on recruiting a Latino film festival to come here (obviously, they no longer feel welcome in Arizona), and described how his lessons as an immigrant himself remind him why SB 1070 is immoral. Bob Goodman said he talks with "Mexicans" in the "Latin community" and opposes SB 1070, but also said Nevada needs to stay out of the Arizona fight by not trying to use SB 1070 to snatch companies away from Arizona. Robert Randazzo then said Nevada shouldn't overtly make an anti-SB 1070 case to Arizona companies lest that fuel the flames for anti-immigrant forces to do something similar here, but he also said he's work his hardest to make sure nothing like that would happen here next year.
- I was actually able to get a question in on train service from Las Vegas to Southern California, and making sure a new Vegas high-speed rail line connects to the California High Speed Rail line. Paul Murad said he'd support whichever train(s) work(s) best, regardless of who's been politicking the most or least, to move people between Vegas and SoCal and work with California leaders to make it happen, as well as eventually put together a more comprehensive high-speed rail network connecting Las Vegas and Reno to Northern California, Southern California, and Arizona. Bob Goodman says he's worked with California before on a number of transportation issues, and he's ready again to go to bat for DesertXpress. Robert Randazzo also said DesertXpress is the most promising, as it's already secured private funding, but did add that it must go all the way from Downtown Las Vegas to Downtown Los Angeles to actually succeed (otherwise, no one will want to ride from somewhere ridiculously off-Strip to Victorville).
- And toward the end, we had had quite the discussion on education! Everyone got into it, and we started taking questions and comments from the audience. Paul Murad said his college education abroad best prepared him for the Lt. Gov. job, but Robert Randazzo explained how his own experience in the airline industry prepared him... And then, the audience started breaking out with all sorts of comments! Bob Goodman said the Lt. Gov. job doesn't have to do with state education policy, but then an audience member objected and said economic development is directly tied to education. Murad then tried to take that idea further, but it ended up being a back and forth with numerous audience members that kept me on the edge of my seat!
All in all, this wasn't exactly the debate I had expected. And you know what? That was a good thing! We heard some interesting questions, and even more interesting answers! You can check my Twitter for even more from Saturday night. And again, it was great to see so many great progressive Democrats light up that patio at The Arts Factory! Whoever wins the primary, I'm feeling pretty good about our chances to get one of them elected in November. :-)