Wednesday, April 9, 2014

If It's Dirty, Why Not Clean It?

How many times have we confronted this? We've examined the shells. We've smelled the stinky juice. We've felt the shadows. We've even raced to catch up with the Speedway.

Yet through it all, we've become quite dizzy from all the rides on Nevada's notorious "Merry-go-round of Corruption". Sadly, we need to step back on that merry-go-round this morning to examine an aspect of Nevada politics that is often overlooked: our local judiciary.

We must give credit where it's due. "Newspaper" columnist Jane Ann Morrison (one of the few other reasons to even bother reading it) recently exposed the kind of bare knuckle political maneuvering that we typically don't expect on the judicial bench. There are now even accusations of what authorities in other states call bribery... But what we in Nevada just refer to as "politics as usual".

To be fair, there are a number of shady characters in this story. At this point, it's hard to figure out who's telling the complete truth (if anyone). However, what can't be denied at this point is that a number of judicial candidates are dependent upon well heeled contributors who also happen to visit the courtrooms they aspire to preside over. And that in and of itself is a problem.

One of the foundations of our judiciary is the guarantee of equal protection under the law. How are we supposed to expect that if we sense that those who can afford to "pay to play" happen to receive "more equal protection" than the rest of us? How are we supposed to trust our courts' ability to fairly interpret the law when they're under the influence of a few powerful & moneyed interests who expect a certain interpretation that happens to favor them?

We've said this many times before, but we must say it again today: If we want to end this dizzying feeling we sense when viewing the dirty reality of Nevada politics, we must stop the merry-go-round of corruption. And the only way to truly stop it is to end the seemingly endless flow of dirty money into all aspects of our political system... Even our judiciary.

We're again hearing debate over whether we should continue direct election of judges, or just allow the state to appoint them. And while fair arguments can be made for either side, we sense both sides are missing the point. After all, can we fully trust the Governor and legislators when they are also under the influence of numerous campaign donors?

For us, there's one clear solution to this problem: clean money. Why not simply level the playing field so we can all participate?

It's already working in other parts of the nation. Why not bring it here to Nevada? (And for that matter, why can't the entire nation have it?) Lordy knows we need a whole lot of disinfectant to clean up our system. So why not start cleaning it up already?

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