Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools? Las Vegas' Mayoral Race Devolves to Silly Season (& My Last Minute Endorsement)

Face, meet palm...

Several of the leading candidates for Las Vegas mayor have come under fire this week for their surprising lack of knowledge about basic current events.

First, at a debate Wednesday night hosted by Si Se Puede, a Democratic Hispanic group, City Councilman Steve Ross was left speechless by a question asking whether he supports the DREAM Act, which would create a path to citizenship for qualifying undocumented young people who were brought to this country as children.

"I don't know enough about that to answer one way or the other," Ross said.

The DREAM Act has dominated headlines for years and is of particular interest in Nevada because of its support and advocacy by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Las Vegas students have protested to advance the measure, and supporters and opponents have written dozens of editorials on the topic.

And if that wasn't bad enough, try to follow the (lack of) logic of Carolyn Goodman's stance on domestic partnerships and marriage equality as Steve Friess tried to get a coherent answer out of her this week.

A crystallized commentary on that for me is difficult because you know I am about the rights of the human being but I’m also about legal rights. I’m certainly accepting of anybody and anybody’s rights to determine for themselves their own lifestyle as long as it’s not causing problems for anybody else and it’s legal. One of the things I remember asking years ago of my uncle who is a very astute lawyer because I didn’t understand, I had many friends and I’ve had friends all my life who are gay. I said I don’t understand why a legal contract wuldn’t suffice to bind two people together. You and I would have a legal contract, same sex let’s say, and I would agree that everything that’s mine it’s 50-50. If I die you would get everything, split down the middle. All I would say is why a legal binding contract wouldn’t work for a couple.

To be fair, Goodman's campaign manager, Bradley Mayer, later texted Friess to clarify that she SUPPORTS SB 283 and would not favor any effort to repeal domestic partnerships. Still, I'm baffled as to why she couldn't just spit that out to Friess when she had a chance to.

And what's with none of these candidates (save for Chris Giunchigliani, clearly the ONLY serious and qualified candidate running!) knowing anything on The DREAM Act? Don't any of them remember anything from last year's campaign?

Or are Larry Brown and Steve Ross joining Victor Chaltiel in courting the Sharrontology vote?

Carolyn Goodman really needs to brush up on her facts if she's serious about being Las Vegas' next Mayor, and both Steve Ross and Larry Brown should be ashamed of themselves for stooping down to such base homophobia and xenophobia just to court the "Christian Taliban" teabaggers who will never vote for either of them anyway. It's embarrassing that Las Vegas' mayoral candidates are mostly rich with embarrassments, and it's frustrating that all the rest of us who live outside the city have to see our issues get eclipsed by media frenzy over "teh stupid, it hurts".

Apparently, Chris Giunchigliani is the only candidate willing to take this job seriously and do her homework. Oh, and it also helps that she's always been pro-equality and she doesn't change her answers just to pander to xenophobes.

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