Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Profiles in Courage"

What do you think of when the words "Profile in Courage" come to mind? And who do you think of? Probably not Senator Dean Heller (R)?

There are many things we can say about Senator Dean Heller. "Profile in Courage" likely isn't one of them. And it's certainly not something a certain prominent media pundit would say about the Senator.

And speaking of Jon Ralston, he's had some beef with Senator Heller over his refusal to indicate whether he was comped into a NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He eventually told a reporter (from the "newspaper") that he paid for his own ticket, but that was only after Ralston revealed that Las Vegas Motor Speedway offers comps to lawmakers every year in return for ensuring it won't get taxed. And that was only after three State Senators were shamed into reimbursing the Speedway owners once news broke that they (along with even more elected officials) were comped into the NASCAR race.

In reality, we may never really know the full truth of what happened at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Why's that? Current Nevada law allows politicians to "accept gifts under $200" without reporting them as campaign contributions. Outgoing Secretary of State (& current Attorney General candidate) Ross Miller (D) attempted to close this and other campaign finance loopholes last year. And while he did ultimately succeed iin getting the Nevada Legislature to pass a modest campaign finance reform package, that was only after the "Gaming-mining-lobbying Industrial Complex" succeeded in watering it down so it wouldn't be too threatening to the choke hold it has on Carson City.

That's why Senator Heller and a bunch of state legislators figured it would be "no big deal" if they accepted Las Vegas Motor Speedway's generous invitation to a special NASCAR celebration in their honor. And as long as they they keep giving the "Gaming-mining-lobbying Industrial Complex" the "Black Card" treatment, they'll always get the red carpet treatment where they want it most.

Meanwhile, "We the People" keep getting the shaft. Why? As long as the game is continually rigged in favor of those can afford to "pay to play", we'll always be left out in the cold.

And that's why we always come back to this key point: If we don't like the "Black Card/Red Carpet/Pay-to-play" games being played in Carson City & DC, then we must change the game. And the only way we can effectively change the game to level the playing field for everyone is if we properly address the root of this problem.

Fortunately, solutions are available. And fortunately for Senator Heller, one of those solutions is within his reach. S 2023 would put us on the path to a fairer & cleaner election system by leveling the playing field so that big money interests can't simply buy their way to a complete political monopoly. It would allow "We the People" back into the game. And it would make elected officials more accountable to those who elected them into office in the first place.

What, you didn't think we'd take another opportunity to use another corruption scandal to direct your attention back to campaign finance reform? Come on! Of course, we had to do this. Unlike certain politicians who never seem to aspire to become actual "Profiles in Courage", we're not afraid to address the root of this problem. We're just wondering when enough of them will finally muster the courage to solve this problem once & for all.

No comments:

Post a Comment