Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two Nevada Democrats and Their Differing Views on the Fox Debate

After the publisher of Nevada Today (and the 2004 Democratic nominee against Rep. Jon Porter (R)), Tom Gallagher, published his rant against the blogs under the headline "Netroots or nutroots - it's not the medium, it's the message, stupid" on Monday, we find a counter argument today by Michael Zahara, a Clark County member of the Nevada State Democratic Party's Executive Board. Let's just say that he ain't happy:

It is relatively rare that I am in complete agreement with the liberal wing of my own party, but on this matter they, not we, are absolutely correct.

In the case of the decision to include FOX News in our partisan pre-caucus debate this August, apparently those who made this decision forgot who and what FOX News is and who and what our opponents are. This was not a NV Dems decision, this was a unilateral move without the consultation of the Executive Board of the Democratic Party of the State of Nevada, nor the executive boards of the other sponsor states.


And:

We got 'out-foxed' by FOX News and the RNC. I've known for a few decades that there are many wings to our party, but until this ill-conceived decision, I had no idea there was also a masochist wing.

We don't grow our voter base by including highly partisan FOX News in our own partisan pre-caucus debate mix. We grow it by actually working the Western states for the first time in decades and our candidates have all pledged to do just that.

There's more where that is coming from. I can only urge you to read the whole thing.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Union Leaders Think Fox News Debate is a Good Idea

The Nevada Scandalmonger over at Vote Gibbons Out has gotten on the Union's e-mailing list and what a gem they send him:

Nevada Labor Leaders Speak Out on Fox Debate:
Labor Leaders Support Reaching Out to Nevada’s Diverse Voters

Las Vegas, Nevada (February 26, 2007) - Today, Nevada labor leaders called on local and national organizations that have been critical of the August Democratic Presidential candidate debate to be aired on Fox News. The labor leaders pointed out that Nevada was awarded an early caucus because of its diverse population and that reaching out to this population will require a wide range of voices and messages.

Danny Thompson, leader of the Nevada State AFL-CIO, noted, “When the DNC approved Nevada’s new position, we were chosen because we would be a state that would highlight populations and issues not given fair representation in the previous nominating calendar. We are excited that issues Nevada and the West face will be highlighted and want as broad an audience as possible to receive this message. We think it will be refreshing to have FOX News have to broadcast a discussion of the characteristics that distinguish Nevada, including a growing labor movement.”

D. Taylor, Secretary–Treasurer of the 60,000-member Culinary Union called on those who have focused on Fox to look at the larger political picture. “Nevada was chosen as an early caucus state because of its diversity. Our members are diverse, the State’s voters are diverse. There is no purity in newscasts. We can all find flaws with each channel. What we know is that FOX is the most-watched newscast and that it will be a positive thing for the people who watch FOX’s newscast to have exposure to the issues and voices that will be participating in the Nevada presidential caucus. When we limit ourselves to only those that we agree with, everybody loses.”

Rusty McAllister, president of the Professional Firefighters of Nevada, noted that, “Many of us who will be participating in the presidential caucus process represent constituencies with a wide range of beliefs. We want all of our members to receive information about the candidates and their platforms. It is a step forward for Nevada if we have all networks, including FOX, addressing the issues that make our State unique.”


What do you say? I mean, what could you? I'll give you the Scandalmonger's response first before I weigh in:

Woah. When Harry calls out the big guns, he really calls them out. And they read the talking points pretty good, don't they? Same ones I've been reading over and over the last few days. Except for this one: No channels are pure. Sure, but some are really much more impure when it comes to bashing progressives and unions. Guys, you better hope that the deal Collins presumably worked out with Fox doesn't turn into a Bash the Democrats muckfest. Otherwise, we'll know who to blame if the Democrats lose another presidential run.

Sure do. Should this debate really take place and it will actually turn out like the last time in 2004 there are quite a few people who seem to be willing to share the blame.

But let's take a little closer look at this piece of work:

Nevada Labor Leaders Speak Out on Fox Debate:
Labor Leaders Support Reaching Out to Nevada’s Diverse Voters

Yeah, you do have to read that several times. It's that incredulous. There are several ways to actually take this "reasoning" apart:

  1. "Diverse Voters" - What exactly constitutes diverse voters? When Sen. Reid argued for adding the Nevada Caucus to the early primary states he did so on the basis that Nevada is not an all white state without much union representation like say New Hampshire or Iowa. He was pretty adament about the fact that Nevada had a large number of minorities, including roughly 20% Hispanics, 6% African American and 5% Asian American. Also, Nevada has a significant union representation, largely due to the Casino and tourism sectors. He argued this himself in an interview with Jonathan Singer on MyDD and this is what you could read from coast to coast in newspaper reports (LVRJ, Chicago Tribune).
  2. Diversity and Fox News - Could any channel be less diverse than Fox News? All the shows that Fox News is famous for are done by white guys (and a few women) and, no, Michelle Malkin does not make Fox News more diverse.
  3. Diversity on Fox News - Now, honest to God, since when do any of the talking heads on Fox News represent diverse views, diverse values or diverse voters for that matter? Tell me, please! I'd like to figure this one out.
  4. Fox News and the West - From all of the statements defending the Fox News debate I come away with a feeling that their is some idiotic bias at work. Westerners like their guns, many westerners live in the rurals, so westerners watch Fox News. If we want to reach those voters then we need to go on Fox News. Now, I've lived in the West and I know quite a few of those westerers. Thing is, it's not like they all watch Fox News. However, if they do, it's likely that they label Hillary a communist and will soon do the same with Obama if the framing taking place on Fox News (and the right wing radio talk shows) continues. What I absolutely do not get is why it is impossible to reach out to the local ABC, NBC or CBS affiliates in Reno and Las Vegas and let them host a debate? Cause after all most people still get their news from watching local stations. Reaching a new audience by going on Fox News is not the answer.
  5. Mr. Thompson, Mr. Taylor, Mr. McAllister: what good has been said on Fox News about unions and union interests? How many instances have there been when the unions have been shown in a good light on Fox News? Just wondering.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Del Papa to Head Hillary's Northern Nevada Campaign

Hillary Clinton has hired former State Attorney General and Secretary of State Frankie Sue Del Papa to head her campaign in Northern Nevada:

Former Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa, who passed up a bid to become the state's first woman governor, is joining Hillary Clinton's campaign to become the nation's first woman president.

The Clinton campaign said Monday that Del Papa, a popular Democrat with a lengthy public service career, will head its northern Nevada steering committee, overseeing strategy and serving as an adviser to the statewide campaign.

'Frankie Sue has a long history of breaking barriers and serving the people of Nevada,' Clinton said in a statement. 'I am honored that she will be heading up our campaign efforts in northern Nevada.'

DKos Massacre: Tom Collins Goes Out with a Bang!

One could say it was gutsy by Tom Collins to go on Daily Kos on Friday night. One could but then again one only has to look at the reaction and is only left to say: Ouch!

In his Daily Kos diary entitled Message from Nevada Party Chairman regarding Fox debate Collins defended the decision to have a presidential debate in August aired by Fox News. His diary received more than 500 comments and let's just say it wasn't a pretty picture though some were sympathetic to him. To get a sense of it all take a look at the six comments Tom Collins left on his diary and the reactions to them (one, two, three, four, five, six).

His diary also wasn't well received by the front page bloggers at MyDD and Daily Kos. Chris Bowers in an open letter to the leading Nevada Democrats:

We are not a bunch of idiots who can be placated simply by repeatedly stating the same talking point no matter what question we are asking you. How did that work out for you in your Dailykos diary yesterday, anyway? You may think we act like a bunch of snotty know-it-alls, but believe me when I write that during an episode like this, that feeling is absolutely mutual.

Kagro X over at Daily Kos meanwhile quoted Tom Collins and wondered whether Nevada might need a new party chairman come August being unaware of the fact that Collins has decided (prior to this whole debate) to not run again in March. Meanwhile former congressional candidate Jill Derby has decided to run to replace Collins.

If you think this has already gotten a little out of hand. Well, you haven't heard from the grand old Jon Ralston, yet, have you? Well, he has gotten with the spirit and has just called me a terrorist. Thanks for the honors!

I have a feeling this story won't go away all that soon. BTW, where's the almighty Harry? All silent on the Searchlight front?

Jimmy Carter Wants Al Gore to Run

Former President and recent Nevada regular Jimmy Carter on "This Week" yesterday (prior to Gore's Oscar win):



Wonder who Jack is going to endorse...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Vilsack Drops Out

I was gonna post on the redesign of Tom Vilsack's campaign website. But he beat me to it:

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack said Friday he is dropping out of the 2008 Democratic race for president.

Vilsack's campaign lasted 15 weeks.

"The reality is that this process has become ... about money, a lot of money," the former two-term governor told reporters.


Now, everyone is talking about who will gain from Vilsack's decision. In my opinion Bill Richardson will be the big winner of this decision as he is now the only Governor in the race and the only one with real executive experience combined with foreign affairs experience.

BTW: His last big public appearance was the forum in Carson City. So, Nevada has already made a little presidential campaign history.

Viedo and More From The AFSCME Forum

One would wish that every campaign were as professional as AFSCME. The union has everything relating to the presidential forum in Carson City on Wednesday up on their website. You can view watch video of the forum, read the entire transcript of the debate, and find links to news accounts of the forum. Great job!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pictures Say More Than a Thousand Words

With all the controversy about the scheduled debate (the official press release) of Democratic presidential candidates on Fox News this August sponsored by the Nevada Democratic Party and the Western Majority Project (which is so new it doesn't even seem to have a website) it's worths to take a look at some "evidence":



This video does say more than a thousand words.

For more go to Fox Attacks.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

AFSCME Forum - Roundup

I had some problems with the livestream at C-Span from time to time but other than that I must say that I was positively surprised by today's forum.

First of all, I really liked the format. I've seen my share of debates and most of them sucked. Even though there were 600 people in the audience the setting came across as quite intimate. 10-15 minutes for each candidate by himself was quite a good idea to get acquainted with all the candidates.

Generally, I was surprised by the quality of the field. We have a wide variety of qualified candidates. And even the ones that are not taken seriously are still interesting and have something to say. Two of the frontrunners, Edwards and Hillary, pretty much performed as expected though Edwards was better than Hillary.

Because of livestream problems at the beginning I didn't catch too much of Dodd but it seemed like he did really well and got a great response from the audience. Other than that I was quite impressed by Bill Richardson and also Joe Biden who came across as the most qualified candidates. Finally Kucinich and Gravel rounded things up and didn't disappoint. I don't know if either should be president but I'd definitely like to see more of them in politics.

All in all, it's gonna be a fun year - and a much better and more interesting primary campaign than 2004.

PS: Oh, yeah, Obama wasn't there. He chose to spend the day in Iowa. After watching the forum I must say that that was probably not the smartest move. Though he did get the endorsement of former Senate leader Tom Daschle today.

Gravel: "The oil there is not worth one more American death"

"I'm no cheerleader". And he ain't kidding. Says that everything Congress is trying to do right now about Iraq, is unconstitutional. Says Murtha is trying to play General. Gravel says Congress needs to introduce a law. "The oil there is not worth one more American death".

He just made George say "Okay" which is DC code for "you're nuts" when he said that Bush is lying to the American people just like Johnson did about Vietnam.

On education: why can Scandinavian countries take a child from Kindergarten to Ph.D. and have the government pay for it? Why can't the US? His answer: the military-industrial complex. Well, he's old enough to still remember Eisenhower.

Is now trying to sell his sales tax initiative. Audience seems to skeptical.

"I'm trying to opt in to public funding".

"I don't think it's a big deal whether I become President or not". He's funny, I like this guy.

He's actually more of a cheerleader than he claims to be. Looking forward to the first debate in which he gets to ask another candidate a question.

Kucinich: "It Must be Hard for Candidates To Admit They Were Misled by George Bush"

"Here's one who wasn't misled by George Bush." Kucinich talks about his leadership in the House against the Iraq war. He wants to get out of Iraq, close all bases. Calls for reparations to the Iraqi people, stop "stealing oil from the Iraqi people". Gets an audible response from the audience when he asks what the reason for the Iraq war was: "Oil!"

Calls the health care debate "one of the biggest frauds". Says his plans doesn't provide for a role for insurance companies. Says the other plans are not "legit". Says the Democratic Party shouldn't be the party of the insurance people.

Says NAFTA, WTO trade agreements were bad for worker rights everywhere, not just in America. He wants to go back to bi-lateral trade. The audience cheers.

This format was much better for Kucinich than the DNC meeting in Washington. Kucinich just bombed in DC but the audience liked and cheered him in Carson City. However, at the end he overdid it again with the "you need a President with no strings" part.

Biden: "Sign me up for the Pledge"

"Ask the next person who tells you, let's get out of Iraq: What next? What next?"

Biden puts a lot of emphasis on his plan to get out of Iraq and especially what happens after that. He sure knows his stuff, no arguing about that.

Question by an AFSCME member about No Child Left Behind. Biden talks about his wife, who's a teacher. Says the program is underfunded, calls for smaller classes, wants to get the best students out of college as teachers but "we gotta pay them". Talks about 400,000 kids who qualified to go to college last year and didn't get to go.

All in all, he exceeded my expectations. Maybe that is because a lot of people (bloggers and pundits) were talking him down.

Richardson Proposes a Pledge for Democratic Candidates not to Attack One Another

Richardson indirectly chides all the other candidates. He proposes a pledge that Democratic Candidates not attack one another.

Talks about what he has achieved as Governor of New Mexico. Interestingly, Vilsack didn't focus so much on his experience as Governor.

"A lot of candidates talk about these things. I've done it."

Richardson clearly plays the experience card like no other. He wants the congress to de-authorize the war since it was the one who authorized it. Wants to restore America's standing in the world.

Second reference to Kennedy (after Clinton), "man on the moon" effort - this time it's about energy.

Richardson says Obama should denounce Geffen's comments on Clinton. He says candidates should advance their own solutions, not engage in name calling. Gets a lot of cheers for his pledge.

"I would not increase taxes" - problem is eccessive costs, wants to focus on preventive health care. "Solution should not be spend more, tax more". Actually gets some light applause for this.

In talking about globalization, he wants to reward those who keep their jobs in America. "I want the Democratic Party to be the party of high tech, of science, of innovation". He wants to things in a "positive way".

Quotes President Clinton: "Bad guys like Richardson, so I'm sending him there" in reference to his international experience. He's the first one to talk about Darfur.

First to quote non-American, former Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin: "We don't make peace with our friends, we make peace with our enemies"

Edwards Indirectly Disses Hillary: "We need a leader who will take responsibility"

Edwards starts off with his minimum wage initiative and plays the organized labour "and I've been running a poverty center for the last couple of years" card. Edwards just looooves unions.

Now, he's quoting Martin Luther King, Jr. He wants to start putting universal health care into place the second he takes office. Edwards also challenges every candidate to say how they're gonna pay for universal health care. He wants to take back some of Bush's tax cuts.

Iraq: "we need a leader who tells the truth, who will take responsibility" referencing six years with Bush and his admission that he made a mistake when voting for the war. Wham, if that wasn't a clear slap in the face of Hillary Clinton.

George got it too. Edwards says it's not for him to judge her. It's "her conscience."

But is Edwards just always taking the popular stance, George asks. Edwards response that it's up to the voters to judge.

"We have to be smarter about the effects of globalization". Solutions: Better education, easier college access and a trade policy "that works". Not fair trade, not free trade but "smart trade". He calls for international labor standards.

Final words: small baby steps are not enough. We need to take big steps.

The Little Fellow

Vilsack starts off with a "I'm not going to talk about" and then goes straight ahead mentioning everyone anyhow. But he wants to talk about "a little fellow" he met, a five year old who asked him about Iraq and if more troops would help. The boy told him he was scared. Vilsack thinks children in America shouldn't be scared.

Therefore, troops should be withdrawn. He wants Congress to act, stop funding the war in Iraq. He wants the money going to Iraq being invested in America instead.

"You know folks, this is America!" Vilsack is now talking about health care. "Make health care a priority, not Iraq!"

After the questions he got a rather long, respectful applause.

Another child story. He clearly loves this one. And he sure doesn't forget to mention his orphanage background.

He's clearly taking the populist route. Wonder how ├╝ber populist Edwards is gonna beat that.

Hillary Getting Booed and Hackled

It may be that the livestream is sending out a weird sound but I thought I made out a few boos and at least one hackler in the audience when Hillary came on stage. There clearly are a several Hillary supporters as the cheering seemed to be at least equal to the booing.

Again, she refused to say her Iraq vote was a mistake. This wasn't too well received, though the reaction could clearly have been worse.

However, she does do her best to lighten things up by joking about her health care scars. Talking about health insurance is obviously one of her strong points.

Ooh, a Kennedy quote. And, oh my God, she just compared herself to Kennedy saying that she wants every person in America insured by the end of the (next? - I didn't quite get that one) decade.

Instead of answering whether or not Obama should denounce David Geffen, who had some choice words for the Clintons yesterday, she said she was happy to be in Carson City. Ouch!

Dodd did a Pretty Good Job

I'm still having a few difficulty problems. Somehow the feed ain't holding steady. Anyhow, from what I heard Sen. Dodd did a pretty good job. He got a lot of cheers and applause. And not only for being able to pronounce Nevada correctly. Especially, his stance on Iraq was well received. Being the candidate before Hillary he pointed out again that his vote for Iraq was a mistake. Hillary's up now.

George Just Got Booed

Man, and I thought getting out of Washington might help. Apparently not. Georgie boy just got booed by the audience for mispronouncing Nevada. Way to go! Thankfully Dodd knew what Georgie did wrong and corrected him.

This is Starting off Great

First, C-Span has trouble getting the feed, now John Mercurio of The Hotline hasn't figured out yet how to pronounce Nevada. This oughta be fun.

Bloggers vs. Nevada Democratic Party

The Nevada Democratic Party together with the new Western Majority Project PAC has decided to host a presidential candidate debate in Reno on August 14. So far, so good.

The problem?

They decided to let Fox News host it. Now all hell has broken lose.

First the Gleaner ("Nevada Dems getting outfoxed?") discovered it, than Matt Stoller on MyDD ("WTF?"), followed by Kos himself at Daily Kos ("Dimwit Nevada Democrats").

So, the Nevada Democratic Party had to defend itself. Myrna at Reno and its Discontent got a statement from party spokesperson Kirsten Searer:

“FOX News’ viewership in Western states and across the country does not always get to hear directly from Democrats in an unedited and uninterrupted fashion. The August debate in Reno will allow the Democratic Presidential candidates to speak to the Fox audience who may be hearing from them for the first time for ninety minutes unfiltered and directly.”

“The Nevada Democratic Party and the Western Majority Project believe it is critical for Democrats to engage people, especially those who have heard too little from Democrats in the past. We believe the more people hear from Democrats, the better chance a Democrat will win the White House in 2008.”


Apparently, this reaction didn't go over well with the big shot bloggers. The reaction ranged from calling it "lame" (Kos) to Chris Bowers at MyDD now going into "Action" mode and set up an email form at BlogPac. This follows an announcement by MoveOn.org to take action against the debate. Myrna has the lowdown on that:

I just spoke to Adam Green of Moveon.org which is planning a campaign against Fox News’s pose as a legitimate news agency. They see the upcoming Democratic debate sponsored by the Western Majority Project and the Nevada State Democratic Party is an opportunity to put pressure on the state party and other new organizations and are going to time it with a YouTube video by Robert Greenwald called “Fox Attacks Obama.”

In a rather shocking move, Green wants to include Nevada liberal bloggers in this campaign, or at least let us know what the plans are so that we can help as we see fit. I sure hope someone tfrom the state party is reading this…..you might want to brace yourself.

Well, that oughta be fun. So far I haven't heard anything, yet.

Interestingly, none of the big shots at Daily Kos and MyDD have called Harry Reid a "dimwit" or called on him to cancel the Fox News debate. They don't even seem to be able to find this prominent quote by Sen. Reid - who basically runs the Nevada Democratic Party - in the debate announcement press release:

In making the announcement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “This is more great news for Nevada. I'm happy FOX News will be a partner for the August presidential debate. Western issues will be a major focus of this debate in particular. With FOX News as our partner, candidates will have an opportunity to not only speak to Nevada voters, but voters across the West who will be instrumental to electing a Democratic president in 2008.”

This is the SECOND paragraph for crying out loud. Naturally, I have to agree with the Gleaner and Myrna that the person to go to is Harry Reid. So far, Kos and the guys at MyDD seem to be afraid of that.

UPDATE:

The action email by BlogPac does include the following paragraph at the end of the page:

By clicking submit for this campaign your message will be sent to Nevada Democratic Party Chair Todd Collins, Nevada Speaker of the Assembly Barbara Buckley, Nevada State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley, and U.S. Senator Harry Reid. Your name will also be added to the BlogPac email list. You can unsubscribe at any time.

So, there actually is a mention of Harry Reid and they are targeting him, though only as part of a group. And how the Representative from Las Vegas has more to say about a debate in Reno than the Senate Majority Leader who announced this deal just escapes me.

UPDATE 2:

Well, there seems to be a sudden turnaround in the non focus on Harry Reid. Kos just published a post headlined "Hey Harry, look at what Fox did the last time they hosted a debate":

MoveOn is joining the effort, while local blogger Myrna thinks Harry Reid should get pressure, as Nevada Dems won't do anything without his approval.

...

Good point. I'm on it.

Cheers to him!

Liveblogging the AFSCME Forum Today

I intend on liveblogging the AFSCME forum in Carson City later today. Fortunately, the forum will be broadcast live on C-Span and will also be available as a livestream on the websites of C-Span and ABC News. This way I'll actually be able to watch it from Germany.

The forum itself will take place at 12noon pacific in the following format:

Candidates confirmed to attend, as of publication, in order of appearance at the forum:
(as determined by lottery)
United States Senator Chris Dodd, D-CT
United States Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY
Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, D-IA
Former United States Senator John Edwards, D-NC
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, D-NM
United States Senator Joe Biden, D-DE
United States Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-OH
Former United States Senator Mike Gravel, D-AK

The forum layout and rules (as determined by AFSCME)

At 2:45 am EST all the candidates attending have been invited to attend a group photo and video on then the forum stage. Following the photo the forum will begin with remarks from United States Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), AFSCME president Gerald McEntee and Nevada State Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley.

After the introduction and welcome, each candidate will take the stage individually:
- The candidate will give 2:00 minute opening remarks
- The candidate will answer three questions. Two from George Stephanopoulos and one submitted by AFSCME the order of questions is up to the moderator.
- The candidate has no more than 3:00 minutes to answer each question.
- The candidate has 1:00 minute to make closing remarks
- There will be a count-down clock visible to both the guest and moderator during each segment.

According to UPI the Forum is Already Over

God, these people! Where do they get the nerve? Published by UPI today at 7.38am ET, more than seven hours before the forum is even set to begin:

CARSON CITY, Nev., Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Nevada's capital was bustling Wednesday as eight Democrats with U.S. presidential aspirations participated in a pre-caucus forum.

"If they want to be elected president ... they have to win the West now," U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told USA Today. "That's why the caucuses are here and the (Democratic Party) convention will be in Denver."

Nevada gained some clout by being slotted as the second Democratic caucus site next year on Jan. 19, after Iowa on Jan 14. The first primary is Jan. 22 in New Hampshire.

All of the Democratic prospects attended the forum with the exception of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who had a scheduling conflict but he had made time to campaign in the state last weekend, the newspaper said.

It's highly unlikely that UPI even has a reporter in Carson City as they seem to claim as UPI today has fewer than 50 employees. But what do you expect from a declining organization which is part of News World Communications owned by the Unification Church sect of Sun Myung Moon. Said company also owns the Washington Times. Nuff said.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Yucca Mountain and the Nevada Caucus

Apparently, it is possible to write a story about Nevada for a national audience which actually involves an important issue and totally ignores the usual stereotypes. Of course, that is not the story Kathleen Hennessey wrote yesterday.

Fortunately, there are reporters like Jean Chemnick of The Politico. In a story headlined "Nevada's New Political Wattage Alters Balance in Yucca Nuclear Fight" she actually manages to take an in depth look at an issue of importance to voters in Nevada and makes the connection as to how the Nevada Caucus will have an impact on this issue.

An excerpt:

Changes in Nevada's political clout and its congressional delegation's commitment to the issue have helped block Yucca over the years, Bryan said. In 1987, when Yucca was singled out as the sole site to be studied for a high-level nuclear repository, the state had a congressional delegation of four. In contrast, Washington and Texas, which also had sites on the final list, had big delegations and even bigger players: Tom Foley, D-Wash., the House majority leader at the time, and Jim Wright, D-Texas, the House speaker.

Times have changed. Nevada has three House members and stands to gain one other seat after 2010. More important, it has Harry Reid, the new Senate majority leader. He has said he will block any pro-Yucca legislation.

The state's new early Democratic presidential caucus also doesn't hurt its cause. Candidates -- especially Democrats -- who have campaigned in Nevada have always had to pass the Yucca test. Now with the state's new role in choosing the Democratic nominee, no Democrat can afford to be pro-Yucca. Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack have stated their total or conditional opposition to the project. Their Democratic rivals, all of whom are slated to visit Carson City this month, for Wednesday's Democratic candidate forum or individually, will find it difficult to do well in the state without taking a similar position.


I recommend you read the whole story here.

Biden: "I want to see Nevada blue"

Joe Biden started his three day campaign swing through Northern Nevada last night at a fundraiser for the Washoe County Democratic Party in Reno.

He made his case to the audience why they should for him in the Nevada Caucus next January and hit it off quite well:

"The president has criticized those of us who have led the effort against his escalation as saying we're emboldening the enemy," said Biden, 64 and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Well, let me tell you something, Mr. President, it is not the American people and Joe Biden and the United State Senate that are emboldening the enemy. It's your failed policies that are emboldening the enemy.

"It's the only mission this president has accomplished in Iraq -- to embolden the enemy."


Biden also reiterated why Nevada is important for the upcoming presidential election:

Biden said Nevada is going to be vital in determining the Democratic nominee for president.

"It's going to determine in large part who the nominee is going to be," he said. "You're one of four contests right up front, and I think the combination of those contests is going to determine the nominee.

"Secondly, Nevada is a winnable state (for Democrats), so you're going to see a lot of us."

Nevada went to Bush by narrow margins in 2000 and 2004.

"I want to see Nevada blue," he said to cheers from the crowd, referring to the Democratic color designation for states.


There was also a blogger among the audience. Chip at Nevada Dem writes:

At the end of the evening, I could imagine Joe Biden as President, a good President at that given the huge challenge the next President will have cleaning up the diplomatic mess left by our current President. But the more overwhelming sense was that Senator Biden will be perhaps the most helpful voice on foreign relations advising the next Democratic President. He already occupies the position from which he can best serve America.

Today, Joe Biden will be in Carson City and Reno:

Tuesday February 20th, 2007

9:45 AM

Sen. Biden will speak to the Carson City Democratic Party
Comma Coffee
312 South Carson Street
Carson City, NV

7:00 PM

Sen. Biden will speak to the Nevada Committee on Foreign Relations
Topic: Iraq’s Future and America’s Interest
Jot Travis Student Union Pine Lounge
University of Nevada-Reno
Reno, NV

Monday, February 19, 2007

When Journalists Are Asked About Nevada Stupidity Abounds

One of the first of surely numerous, inevitable "why bother about Nevada" stories has today been thrown to the hungry masses outside of the state ahead of the first nation-wide forum of Democratic presidential contenders to be held in Carson City this week.

"Nevada Dems working to lure candidates" is the headline of the AP's Kathleen Hennessey's story. And what do you think of reading that headline? Slot machines and hookers? Well, the media is sure doing its best to cultivate this image.

Ms. Hennessey hardly makes an effort to veil her disappointment about the Nevada Democratic Party's welcome package for candidates:

The 44-page document includes notes on the practical and historical: a list of union hotels in Las Vegas (42) and the drive time from the airport to downtown Reno (eight minutes), for example.

There's no mention of Bugsy Siegel or legalized prostitution in rural counties. The state's storied gambling history is dismissed in a single sentence.

And further down:

Reid argues that winning the state's caucus will be key to winning a handful of swing states in the region. He's repeatedly hailed the move as a victory for working families.

That is relatively new territory for a state whose working girls get far more media attention.

Nevada, particularly the southern part of the state, has made a killing by billing itself as risque, not representative. The state tolerates legalized prostitution in 10 counties, and embraces gambling in nearly every corner of all 17. Slot machines can be found in supermarkets and gas stations.

After reading this story would you know what Ms. Hennessey routinely writes about? Well, she is an AP staff writer who spends most (if not all) of her time focusing on Nevada issues. So, she could have chosen to write about issues of special importance to Nevada. Urban sprawl, water problems, heck, she could at least have mentioned Yucca Mountain (even Russert recently managed to ask John Edwards about that one). After all, this report will probably be published in numerous papers across the nation this week.

But, no, she manages to conclude this piece of work with a quote by a colleague of hers that clearly shows what's wrong with mainstream journalism:

"The television crews will say, 'How do we say in visual shorthand, I'm in Nevada?'" said Dayton Duncan, a New Hampshire writer who's written about that state's primary and the West.

"They show cornfields in Iowa because that's what people expect to see. ... My bet is when they want to say we're in Nevada ... you're going to see a lot of neon signs."

To think that these people actually get paid...

PS: Leslie W. Blitzer and his Late Edition crew actually managed to find another backdrop: a golf course in Henderson. Unwittingly, they actually got close to one of the top issues in Nevada: water.

More Obama Vegas Rally Photos

In a previous post I linked to a post by LV Pol Girl at DKos with a couple of photos from yesterday's Obama event in Las Vegas.

She just sent me the link to the rest of the photos (and two videos). Thanks! You can view them here.

Photos of Obama in Vegas

LV Pol Girl has posted her pictures of Obama's campaign rally in Las Vegas on Sunday over at Daily Kos. I especially like the pic of the kid with the Superman shirt and an Obama pic hanging around his neck. That's pretty funny. You can view the pics here.

Reports on Obama in Vegas

Barack Obama was in Las Vegas yesterday and apparently he made quite a splash. Somewhere between 1,000 (a blogger's count) and 3,500 (a reporter's count) people attended the rally. Unfortunately, he had so little time that he did not take any questions. Maybe next time around.

Read more about yesterday's rally:

Blogging the ObamaFest (Vote Gibbons Out)

Obama campaigns as the outsider in brief stop in Nevada (AP)

Barack the vote (Nevada Today)

Barack Obama will be the only candidate not taking part in Wednesday AFSCME forum in Carson City. There are some rumblings about it in the Nevada blogosphere as Obam will actually be in LA the night before the forum and could have stopped by the forum before going to Iowa. It remains to be seen how this will play out with caucus goers in Northern Nevada and whether anyone will still remember it in 11 months:

Obama's Nevada Flyover (Taylor Marsh)

Obama's Nevada Fly-over (Reno and Its Discontent)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chris Dodd Blog Links to Nevada Caucus 2008

Chris Dodd's blog is the first presidential campaign website to link to Nevada Caucus 2008. I appreciate it!

About the John Edwards Town Hall Meeting Yesterday

As I unfortunately live an ocean and nine time zones away from Nevada, I have to depend on eye witness reports from other people. Fortunately, some bloggers do get out of the house. One of them is Scandalmonger at Vote Gibbons Out. He was at the Edwards town hall meeting in Vegas yesterday which was attended by roughly 400 people (by the Scandalmonger's count) and Edwards was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus. You can read his full report here.

Carson City Forum to Be Broadcast on C-Span

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, the Carson City Forum will be broadcast on C-Span this Wednesday. The forum, which will include all Democratic presidential candidate except Barack Obama, will start at 12pm PST. I will post more info once it becomes available.

Meet Kucinich for Coffee

Carson City's Comma Coffee seems to be a popular place for Democratic presidential candidates. You can not only meet Joe Biden there on Tuesday but also Dennis Kucinich on Wednesday:

When?
Wednesday, Feb 21, 2007, 3:00 PM
Where?
Comma Coffee
312 S. Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89701-4706

More info here.

Reid Jr. Signs Up With Hillary

While Sen. Harry Reid doesn't intend to endorse anyone, one of his sons has gone a step further:

With Reid not committing, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) found the next-best thing -- signing his eldest son, Rory, as both the chair of her campaign in the Silver State and an adviser on Western issues.

Rory Reid currently serves as the chairman of the Clark County Commission -- that's Las Vegas's county -- and is a past chairman of the Nevada state party. He is the only one of Reid's four sons in elected office.

In landing him, Clinton strikes the first major blow of the Nevada caucus contest, newly added to the party's early nominating calendar by the Democratic National Committee last year. The caucus is set for Jan. 19, sandwiched between Iowa's Jan. 14 caucuses and New Hampshire's Jan. 22 primary.


Up until now, it seems like the establishment sticks to the establishment. Wonder when someone will deviate from this pattern.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Darth Vader Is Running For President

Darth Vader (not the one you're thinking of) unveiled his new campaign website. It's dark, it's dictatorial, it will make you afraid. The only message is fear, fear, fear.

Be courageous, be very courageous and click here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Obama to Take Part in 3/24 Nevada Debate

While Obama declined to take part in the AFSCME forum in Carson City next week due to scheduling conflicts, he seems to be trying to make up for it by announcing early his participation in the first real debate on March 24 (the forum is not a real debate). Hotline On Call:
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has agreed to attend the 3/24 debate in Nevada sponsored by the Service Employees International Union. He's not attending an earlier debate put on by AFSCME, a big union for public employees.

Before that Obama will be in Vegas this Sunday.

John Edwards Holds Town Hall Meeting in Vegas This Saturday

John Edwards will be in Las Vegas this Saturday to discuss his health care plan in a town hall meeting:

Town Hall Meeting

Las Vegas, Nev.
Feb 17, 2007 - 11:00AM

John Edwards will discuss his plan to provide health care for every American. This event is free and open to the public. We hope you will be able to join us.

The town hall meeting takes place at IBEW Local 357, 4322 E Bonanza Road in Las Vegas. To RSVP, email OneCorps@johnedwards.com

Biden to Spend Three Days in Nevada

Joe Biden will come two days before the forum to meet Nevada's caucus goers:

Monday February 19th, 2007

6:00 PM

Sen. Biden will keynote a Washoe County Democrats Dinner
The Garage Night Club at the Grand Sierra Resort
Reno, NV

Tuesday February 20th, 2007

9:45 AM

Sen. Biden will speak to the Carson City Democratic Party
Comma Coffee
312 South Carson Street
Carson City, NV

7:00 PM

Sen. Biden will speak to the Nevada Committee on Foreign Relations
Topic: Iraq’s Future and America’s Interest
Jot Travis Student Union Pine Lounge
University of Nevada-Reno
Reno, NV

Wednesday February 21st, 2007

12:00 PM

Senator Biden will participate in the AFSCME Candidates Forum
Carson City Community Center
851 E. Williams Street
Carson City, NV

Obama in Vegas on Sunday

Barack Obama will be in Las Vegas this Sunday. Here are the details:

WHEN: Sunday, February 18 -- Gates open at 12:00PM

WHERE: Clark County Government Center
500 South Grand Central Parkway
Las Vegas, NV

Addresses for ticket distribution:

AFL-CIO Headquarters 9am to 5pm
1701 whitney mesa drive
Henderson, NV 89014

Information Booth at UNLV 8am to 7pm
Student Center
4505 S. Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89154

Nevada Democratic Party Headquarters 9am to 5 p
1210 S. Valley View Road
Suite 114
Las Vegas, Nevada 89102

You can also RSVP online. Click here.

Obama Hires Schwartz and Cohen in Nevada

The candidates are starting to take Nevada seriously. After Bill Richardson, Barack Obama is the second candidate to hire a staff in Nevada.

And not just any staff. His campaign in Nevada will be run by former Nevada Democratic Party executive director Alyson Schwartz and former Jill Derby campaign manager David Cohen (AP).

In my opinion, this is a coup for Obama. Especially David Cohen will bring valuable insights to Obama's campaign having run one of the best campaigns in Nevada last year. He ran a smart and witty campaign for Jill Derby's run for Congress which was so successful that it drew national attention and almost cost the Republicans to lose one of their safest seats in the country.

This (yet very small) team is strong enough to not only help Obama win the caucus in Nevada but might be much more valuable should he win the Democratic nomination, as David Cohen knows how to win votes in the rural areas of Nevada. Should Obama be the nominee, Schwartz and Cohen will be an assett for winning the state in the general election.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Question for Chris Dodd

Chris Dodd blogging today

Today, Sen. Chris Dodd posted his first diary at the Booman Tribune to talk to bloggers. I found this to be pretty interesting since so far everyone has pretty much stuck to Daily Kos.

As was the case with Gov. Vilsack's diary at Daily Kos last week, I managed to get a question in early and was lucky enough to get an answer, too. While this one does not deal directly with Nevada, I thought it was significant enough to ask, especially on a personal basis for me:

Senator,

ten years ago I lived in the United States as a high school exchange student from Germany at Lake Tahoe, NV. It's become a second home.

The last couple of years were really hard as sentiment not only towards the Bush administration but to the US as a whole started to sour after the start of the Iraq war. This sentiment seemed to turn from an anti Bush sentiment into an anti American sentiment after Bush was reelected by the American people.

As the actions of the Bush administration have alienated many nations around the world, I wonder what you would do in order to restore America's international relations.

Thanks for being here!

Nevada Caucus 2008


Thank you for honesty of the question.

I am very concerned about this and I hear about it every single day from people who travel outside the US. I don't think the situation is irreversible, clearly there is a lot of disappointment and anger over present policies in international relations. But I believe a majority of people around the world would like to see the US doing the things we are best known for during a good part of the 20th century. Standing up for people, helping people get on their feet, willing to place their lives on the line so other people can be free from one form of dictatorship or another.

I was a peace corps volunteer in Latin America in the 60s. I still hold a very close relationship with the people in the neighborhood where I worked. I usually meet with peace corps volunteers in countries where I am traveling.

I find they give me a very unique and honest appraisal of how Americans are perceived and received. At a recent meeting with 20 retiring peace corps volunteers in Jordan (regrettably, one of only 2 Arab countries where we have a Peace Corps program), I was told by these fluent Arab speakers, many of whom were going on to graduate school in Arabic Studies, that while there were serious points of disagreement with US policies in the region, it had been their experience that the people in the villages and neighborhoods where they had worked for the previous 2 years, still wanted to see the US be a good leader in the world.

And to identify with the hopes and aspirations with millions around the globe. I'm old enough to remember a scene in 1959 when Richard Nixon's car was being stoned in Caracas, Venezuela because of anti-American feelings. Roughly 24 months later a new American president was elected who took us in a different direction, more than 45 years later this President's picture can still be found in huts and houses in Venezuela. I know these times are different. I know the challenges are different. But as your question to me indicates, there are many around the world who would still like to see the US back on its feet doing the right thing for itself and for others around the globe. I'm optimistic that leadership will emerge in the elections of 2008.

Chris Dodd Wants to Restore Habeas Corpus

Yesterday, Sen. Dodd has introduced a bill called "Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007" which aims to "restore the writ of habeas corpus for individuals in U.S. custody, prevent the use of evidence gained through torture in court, and limit the authority of the President to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Convention."

You can support his efforts by becoming a "citizen co-sponsor" of this bill here.

Watch Sen. Dodd explain what it's all about:

"Dina-Might"

Wow! I must say, I'm really baffled that neither friend nor foe of last year's Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dina Titus came up with this one. Thanks for the folks at the Politico!

As most Democratic officials in Nevada have declared not to endorse anyone for the Nevada Caucus for the greater good of Nevada (?), the Politico's Michael Squires thinks Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus's endorsement will be one of the big prizes in Nevada:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is Nevada's highest-ranking politician -- ever. But the veteran Democratic politician has vowed to remain neutral.

That has some believing the big endorsement "get" will be state Sen. Dina Titus, who narrowly lost a bid for governor last year. But her Team Titus grass-roots operation was impressive and continues to demonstrate its ability to put butts in the seats.

A recent appearance by former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack in southern Nevada drew 100 people, about half of whom were furnished by Titus operatives, the types of Democratic activists expected to turn out in droves and decide the outcome of the caucuses.

I wonder who's gonna get her endorsement. Is it gonna go to Vilsack or one of the other candidates who helped in her gubernatorial campaign. Two people who did not show up for Dina were Hillary Clinton (she had to cancel her rally due to some emergency business in New York) and Barack Obama who hasn't been to Nevada at all in the last election cycle. So, maybe Richardson and Edwards have a shot at getting it as well.

For more thoughts on the Nevada Caucus read Michael Squires's article.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Endorsements

So far, I haven't heard of any Nevada officials endorsing anyone. Most are in that weird Nevada Caucus push group started by Sen. Reid and have vowed not to endorse anyone.

Anyhow, that doesn't seem to be the case in Iowa as Barack Obama has received early endorsements by Attorney General Tom Miller and State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.

As for congressional endorsements, Hotline has put together a great overview which they promise to keep updated. Leading among Democrats is Hillary Clinton with 13, Obama with 8, and Dodd with 6. Edwards (2), Richardson (2), Biden (1) and Vilsack (1) are trailing behind. The complete list (pdf!).

As of right now, it seems Obama's Iowa endorsements are worth more than Hillary's congressional endorsements, especially since most of them are from New York. The endorsements for Obama seem even more important since former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack is also in the running.

Monday, February 12, 2007

AFL-CIO to Announce Endorsement After Las Vegas Meeting

This campaign season is getting weirder and weirder, in that Nevada seems to get more prominent. The Hotline On Call blog reports that the AFL-CIO will announce its endorsement earlier than usual, and apparently will make its decision in Las Vegas, hopefully not under the influence of gambling and drinking:

According to AFL-CIO spokesperson Steve Smith, they are "working out details right now" for their WH '08 endorsement and are likely to announce their decision in early March, following their first Executive Council Meeting since the Nov. '06 elections in Las Vegas, NV, March 6th - 8th.

Each of the 54 national and international labor unions within the AFL-CIO has their own respective endorsement processes and must be considered in forming the general AFL-CIO endorsement. The AFL-CIO endorsed Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) in Feb. '04, but Smith noted they "do not usually" make their endorsement decision as early as they plan to this cycle.

From the speculation that I've seen, both Hillary and Edwards are the favourites to get this endorsement. This early decision is obviously bad news for the underdogs.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stephanopoulos Will Host Carson City Forum

Alas, the Nevada Caucus seems to be taken seriously after all. Not only have all candidates, except for Obama, agreed to participate in the AFSCME forum in Carson City. This weekend it was announced that none other than George Stephanopoulos will moderate the forum:
The Nevada Democratic Party announced Friday that a Democratic presidential candidate forum planned in Carson City later this month will be moderated by newscaster George Stephanopoulos, a former senior advisor to President Bill Clinton.

The event is set to be the first such candidate forum of the 2008 presidential campaign. Organizers say the issues affecting working families will take center stage at the forum.

It'll be interesting to see how the press will spin Obama's absence and how, if at all, Obama will make up for it to Northern Nevadans and AFSCME.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Obama Announces

Today, Barack Obama announced his run for the White House. He staged in Springfield, Illinois, the site where President Abraham Lincoln, himself an inexperienced state politician from Illinois, announced his campaign for the Presidency that changed America.

You can watch the announcement speech on his website. After having to deal with his, let's say limited, exploratory website for a couple of weeks, I'm quite surprised by the website that they put up now. The idea of My.BarackObama.com is incredible. And it seems to be in high demand already. There are numerous groups. If you are an Obama supporter you might want to consider to join. It's interesting.

DISCLAIMER:

I run two blogs. Nevada Caucus 2008 is relatively new and strictly limited to news about the Nevada Caucus. My older blog Turn Tahoe Blue has been around for quite a while now and sometimes I can and will be quite opionated on TTB. This includes my support for Barack Obama. You can read more on that here.

On Nevada Caucus 2008 I try to remain as objective as humanly possible and will try to report on all candidates in an open-minded manner and will not give preferential treatment to Barack Obama. I will however criticize and praise the candidates when they deserve it, no matter my personal preference.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Biden to Speak at UNR

Senator Joe Biden is scheduled to speak at the University of Nevada in Reno on February 20th, a day before the candidate forum in Carson City. From the RGJ:

U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, is scheduled appear Feb. 20 at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Biden of Delaware and head of the Foreign Relations Committee, will discuss “Iraq’s Future and America’s Interests” at 7 p.m. in the Pine Lounge of the Jot Travis Student Union.
The presentation is free and open to the public.
The senator’s visit to the campus is being sponsored by the Nevada Committee on Foreign Relations.

Expect the other contenders to announce events before or after the forum as well.

Obama in Las Vegas Next Week, Passes on Carson City Forum

Barack Obama waited for Hillary and Edwards to commit to the Carson City AFSCME forum before he decided to pass on it, citing scheduling conflicts. However he will be in Las Vegas a couple of days before the forum. The AP:

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama won’t join Democratic presidential candidates at a Feb. 21 forum in Carson City later this month, although he plans to be in southern Nevada just before the event, his campaign said Thursday.

The Illinois senator will be campaigning in Iowa, and could not work in the Nevada forum, the first of five leading up to the state’s Jan. 19 caucus, into his schedule, campaign spokesman Dad Pfeiffer said.

“It was a difficult decision. He very much wants to spend time getting to know the people of Nevada, talking about how we move the country forward, but there are only so many days in the calendar,” Pfeiffer said. “He has a vigorous Senate schedule, it makes it very difficult to do all things he wants to do.”
Obama will be in Las Vegas on the 18th, though no details have emerged yet. Basically, we already know what the story of the Carson City forum will be: Obama's absence.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

... and they're coming to Nevada

The last post pointed out that the candidates better come to Nevada and they seem to be listening to the new Majority Leader. Anjeanette Damon reports via the Hotline blog that the current frontrunner, Senator Hillary Clinton, has announced her intention to take part in the first Nevada debate (the first nationwide?) on February 21 in Carson City.

Also taking part are Bill Richardson, Wes Clark, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Tom Vilsack and Mike Gravel. Still to announce their intentions are Barack Obama and John Edwards. Dennis Kucinich was ignored (forgotten?) by both.

Harry Reid: You Better Come to Nevada

John Singer of MyDD interviewed Nevada's senior Senator Harry Reid about current issues and most importantly about the Nevada Caucus. Here's what he had to say:
Jonathan Singer: Thanks for taking the time. Can you tell us a little bit about what it's going to take for someone to win the Nevada caucuses? It's kind of a new thing for us political watchers.

Harry Reid: Well it's a new thing for we Nevadans. It's a real challenge to make sure we organize well. I think it's so important to our country that we change the system. Iowa, a state with a nice population, but very little diversity. Wonderful people. They've done a good job with their caucuses. New Hampshire has no diversity and a very small population. It really seems unfair to me and most people, and that's why the DNC changed it - [that] those two states should determine who's President.

Why did they choose Nevada and South Carolina? They chose Nevada because of its diversity - 20 percent Hispanic, large African-American population, Asian-American population is 6-7 percent. That's big. We have 22 different tribal organizations. The state of Nevada has large union representation, 14 percent and going up rather than down, like a lot of other places in the country.

We have population centers. We have Las Vegas and Reno, two large centers, Las Vegas really big. We have all of the problems of any major metropolitan area. We have rural Nevada, which is representative certainly of rural America. Nevada is representative of the rest of the country.

And people who come there are going to have to be able to respond to Western questions. Water. In the East, we used to have too much. In the West, it's always not enough. We have problems in the West that are unique to the West. The military is different in the West than the East because it's spread out. For example, Las Vegas has the largest Air Force fighter training school in the world. Great ranges. Before you came here we had a map of all that. I wish I could have shown it to you. It's just huge.

Forty percent of the state of Nevada is restricted airspace, military. Eighty-seven percent of the state of Nevada is owned by the federal government. Only 13 percent is privately owned. So we have a lot of federal land issues in Nevada that you don't have in any other place, except you got some in Utah, Montana. But ours is exaggerated compared to them.

People are going to have to be aware of all of these Nevada issues, not the least of which is Yucca Mountain, storage of nuclear waste.

Singer: Do you have any recommendations for a candidate?

Reid: Come to Nevada. That's my first recommendation. You're not going to win running 30-second TV spots somewhere else.

Read the rest of the interview at MyDD.

Vilsack on Nevada

Gov. Tom Vilsack came over to Daily Kos this morning to write about his stance on the Iraq war and answer a few questions.

I had the chance to get my question in early and the governor actually answered it:

  • Nevada (3+ / 0-)

    Governor,

    thank you for being here. I write a blog called Nevada Caucus 2008 and was wondering what your thoughts on Nevada are and what you believe are the most important issues to voters in Nevada and how you would tackle them.

    Thank you.

    • * [new] RE: Nevada (3+ / 0-)

      The first 4 states: Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are extremely important in light of the condensed calendar with large states moving their primaries even earlier. It will enhance the importance of doing well in the first four states.

      The issues I believe Nevadans care about are the same as most Americans: the Iraq War, our continued dependence on foreign oil, a health care system that fails to provide affordable and accessible coverage for all of our country, and an education system that is not doing enough to prepare our young people for the extraordinary challenges they will face in the competitive global economy.

      But specific to Nevada -- Yucca Mountain, real immigration reform, and sustainable growth are other issues that we need to talk about.

      But, I want to hear from you as a Nevadan. What do you think the issues are?

      • * [new] Thanks for your answer (1+ / 0-)

        While I am not living in Nevada (I write my blog from Germany), I have just been to Nevada in January and it seems to me that two of the most pressing issue are universal health care (400,000 Nevadans are uninsured - one of the highest rates in the US) and, as you mentioned, sustainable growth. In this respect the water problem is especially critical.

        Again, thank you for your answer.


There was also a more specific question to Yucca Mountain by another commenter. Here's that exchange:

My Question (4+ / 0-)

is what do you think we should do with nuclear waste? what about Yucca mountain? where should it be housed Do you think more nuclear or more coal is better (if you can't choose alternatives...)

* [new] RE: My Question (8+ / 0-)

The science on Yucca Mountain is not sound and we should not move forward with any plans for the nuclear waste dump.

As President I will work with Senator Reid to make sure we have a safe, long term, and scientifically proven solution to deal with the nuclear waste in this country.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Edwards Releases Health Care Plan - 400,000 in Nevada Uninsured

John Edwards today announced his health care plan with the goal of insuring every American by 2012. Should he win the presidency this would be his ultimate re-election test. You can read the details of his plan here (pdf!).

Meanwhile, Nevada has one of the highest uninsured rates in the country with 400,000 uninsured Nevadans. This undoubtedly will play a major role in the debates ahead of the Nevada caucus. In the coming weeks, the Nevada Legislature will take a closer look at this issue as well.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Announcement Speeches

Below you'll find the announcement speeches by all the Democratic candidates who have declared thus far. The only exception is Mike Gravel. However, I did find part of another speech and included it below. Bill Richardson has two speeches, one in English and one in Spanish. Speeches are in alphabetical order.

Joe Biden:



Hillary Clinton:



Chris Dodd:



John Edwards:



Mike Gravel:



Dennis Kucinich:



Barack Obama:



Bill Richardson:





Tom Vilsack: