Original article by on April 15, 2014
ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 38 – ROBIN TITUS
These interviews are posted on Nevada News & Views (www.nevadanewsandviews.com) and/or NewsDesk by Nancy Dallas (www.ndbynd.com) . Reposting of any interview by interested parties must include the disclaimer the interview was originally posted in the above publications. Only those Republican races with a Primary contest are being addressed. Questions or comments may be directed to Nancy Dallas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-847-0129.
Assembly District 38 includes all of Churchill County and portions of Lyon County – east of Dayton, north to Fernley and south to Smith Valley. This is an open seat and there are two candidates in this Primary race, Robin Titus and Norm Frey. Both responded to this interview.
1. Give a brief summation of your professional and political background.
I graduated with my MD in 1981 after a Residency in Family Practice . I returned to my home town of Smith Valley in 1984, where I have practiced since that time. I have been the Lyon County Health Officer for about 30 years, our EMS director, current Chief of Staff at South Lyon Medical Center, Assistant Clinical Professor for the University of Nevada School of Medicine. I have served on the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners and Past Chair of the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians.
I am a founding member and current President of the Smith Valley Historical Society.
I am a life-long Republican. I am an active member of the Lyon County Republican Central Committee and its immediate Past Chairwoman. I attended the Leadership Institute’s program in Washington DC. Through the years I have been very active with the LCRCC as well as the NV GOP Central Committee. I have hosted many candidate fundraisers and Meet and Greets for Federal, State, and local positions.
2. Define your district – geographic boundaries, demographic makeup, and political balance.
District 38 starts at the East edge of Dayton at Six Mile Canyon , heads east to a very rural and isolated setting. Its Southern border is Smith Valley a beautiful farming community and Northern border is the town of Fernley. Included is all of Churchill County, made up of historic farming and ranching properties as well as a large Navy Base which houses TOP GUN. In addition to the traditional farming and ranching, we have many diverse businesses in the district, including distribution centers, warehouses, mining and some manufacturing.
Our political base has been solid conservative in nature, with about a 2:1 ratio of R to D. The Tea Party has remained active in Fallon.
3. If this is your first time running for office (or this position), why are you running for this position? If you are an incumbent, what have been your top accomplishments as a legislator?
This is the first time I have run for Assembly District 38. I have intended to run for this seat for about 6 years. I respect Tom Grady, who is a patient and a friend and did not want to run against him. At this time he is term limited.
I was one of the plethora of candidates that attempted to unseat Senator Reid but withdrew from the race when it became apparent that I would not be able to generate enough funds to be a viable candidate. I wanted to be part of the solution, not one of the problems. I subsequently hosted Meet and Greets for the remaining candidates.
I am running because I feel I bring unique qualifications to the office and a fresh perspective. I have an undying passion for Nevada and want to contribute directly to our future.
4. What makes you more qualified to serve in this position than your opponent?
I have the ability to get things done. My energy and passion for Nevada is beyond compare. I have great leadership skills . One of my biggest attributes is my ability to listen, then solve problems. I understand water issues and farming. I have been a small business owner and understand what is like to try to make payroll .
I feel strongly that our legislatures are making decisions that affect our health and health care without understanding the ramifications of those decisions. I bring extensive knowledge to the table. My marriage to the Lyon County Sheriff gives me insight into crime, punishment, the 2nd Amendment and defense of the United States Constitution from a law enforcement perspective.
5. There is a well-publicized, on-going philosophical split among many in the Republican Party. Describe your political philosophy in relation to this ‘moderate’ conservative versus ‘tea party’ conservative divide.
I wish it was as simple as just a single split. I would doubt that there are any two Republicans that agree on all the issues. I think of myself as a member of the common sense party. I am a firm believer in limited Government. I feel there are too many layers of Bureaucracy. I hold everyone accountable for their actions and I do not turn to government to solve problems.
6. What do you see as the three most important issues related to your district?
a. Unemployment and the need for more job opportunities.
b. The over reach of the Federal Government onto our public lands and into our Constitutional Rights.
c. The ever-present lack of water.
7. As a legislator, you are allowed to present a specific number of bills during the legislative session. Do you have any specific bills in mind?
Last legislative session there were almost 2,000 bills introduced. Thank goodness most of them did not make it to a vote. Mark Twain is quoted as saying, ”No citizen is safe while congress is in session.” As a legislator my first goal will not be to introduce a bill.
My first duty is to listen. I want to be wise at any bills I will consider. Many seem good at first glance but the ramifications and cost of implementation are often overlooked. I am interested in continual efforts at TORT reform. I would also be in favor of bills that protect our Second Amendment rights, not limit them. I am also interested in protecting the water rights in my district from outside interests.
8. What is your position in regards to the taxes imposed in 2009 that were to ‘sunset’ in 2011, but were re-approved by the 2011 and 2013 legislature?
I believe the “sunset “ taxes should NOT have been re-approved.
9. How would you address improving the performance of Nevada’s public schools.
We cannot solve the problems of our schools by throwing more money into them. I am concerned that we spend too much time testing and not enough time teaching. My grandmother graduated from UNR in 1912 and taught in the same one room school house that she was a student in. She believed as do I, that each student learns differently. Our dropout rate is one of the highest in the nation. I believe this is because we do no offer enough options to our youth to keep them engaged in the benefit of learning and knowledge.We need to keep the Federal Government out of our schools.
10. To what degree should the State support Charter Schools and those students opting to attend a school outside their district? Do you support universal school vouchers, providing the money goes to the student/parent and not to any particular school?
I do support vouchers and charter schools. I believe that local school districts should be in the best position to know and supply the educational needs of their community. Unfortunately not all school districts have that vision.
11. The State Legislature has found innovative ways to circumvent the state law banning the passing down of unfunded mandates to local governing entities. What is your position in regards to using such actions to fund state needs?
Health Care has been exceptionally hit by unfunded mandates. I know the pain of those actions. I do not believe in circumventing the law. What the state needs is a matter of debate. Local governments have been hit extremely hard by unfunded mandates and the State’s “sweeping” of funds. The direct effects on citizens is unacceptable.
12. What is your position in regards to increasing Nevada’s minimum wage?
I am not a proponent of increasing the minimum wage. I am a proponent of decreasing the tax burden on employers so they can pay better wages.
13. Do you believe the gaming and mining industries pay ‘their fair share’ in contributing to the state’s economy? Explain.
There are many sides to this particular question. The numbers and economic value of each industry changes depending on who you talk to. They certainly are our biggest employers in the private sector. I believe the true economic burden is unfairly on the back of all businesses and land owners.
14. With annual approval by Congress required, the Federal government pays state and local governments for the public lands (exempt from local taxation) within their jurisdiction (P.I.L.T.). Approximately 87-percent of Nevada is owned by Federal entities. Define your position in regards to states taking control of (Federal government relinquishing ownership to) all or a portion of these lands.
First and foremost, I believe the people own the land, NOT the Federal Government. The Federal Government is charged with managing our public lands. P.I.L.T. funds are still coming from Tax Payers.
15. In 1979 Nevada passed a bill legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. It was repealed eight years later (1987). What is your position in regards to Nevada once again legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes? Legalizing the sale of marijuana, period?
As a physician I have recommended Marijuana for a few of my patients that have suffered from various cancers and illnesses. It does have a purpose. Unfortunately, it also tends to create many issues. I have significant concerns regarding the Drug Cartels and crime that has been attributed to it. If it is to be legalized, whether for medical or recreational use, there will be costs – both economic and social. I do not see it as the economic boon to our State coffers that proponents tout it as being.
16. It appears that millions of acres of Nevada lands are destined to have the sage grouse (among other species) listed as a protected species. What is your position in regards to this issue? Explain.
There is no doubt our sage grouse population is not as great as it was when I was a kid growing up. The explanation that our Government is giving us for this is not accurate. I believe that loss of habitat due to wild fires and misguided predator control (or lack thereof) are the main reasons for their decrease. Not grazing.
I disagree with putting them on protected species list.
17. Define your position on fracking and other means of oil exploration in Nevada. Do you support coal fired plants?
I believe we need to be good stewards of our land for our future generations to enjoy. At the same time I support efforts that remove our dependency on foreign oil. Improvement in design and efficiency of our local coal fired plants has been on going. Local generation of power is important.
18. In efforts to bring new businesses to Nevada, the Catalyst Fund was established. This is funded by state tax dollars. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development receives and then votes on applications from businesses and, through local governmental entities, subsidizes those selected. What is your position in regards to the Catalyst Fund? Do you have other ideas to encourage new businesses to locate in Nevada?
I am not in favor of the Catalyst Fund. Remember the fund is based on TAX DOLLARS. The citizens are subsidizing those selected, NOT the Government. Too many times a business will receive the Funds, then once the tax breaks are done, they move on. A better business climate can be created by limiting the overall tax burden on all businesses.
19. Do you support “campus carry” legislation allowing licensed CCW permit holders over the age of 21 to carry their weapons on Nevada college and university campuses? Would you extend the same right to secondary school campuses?
I am a proud CCW permit holder and an unconditional supporter of the 2ndAmendment. I would and do support campus carry. TO my knowledge, none of the well-publicized school shootings, whether on a college campus, secondary school or in a theatre were done by legal CCW permit holders.
20. If there is any issue that you are concerned about that has not been addressed in this interview, this is your opportunity to address it:
Thank you for taking the time to ask the questions and help inform the voters.