Candidates Trumpet Tesla, Economic Development
L-R Mark Hutchison, Barbara Cegavske, and Joe Hardy
By JULIE FAIRMAN
LAUGHLIN — The Laughlin Economic Development Corporation’s series of political forums continued last Thursday with the appearance of Barbara Cegavske, candidate for Nevada secretary of state; Mark Hutchison, who is running for the office of lieutenant governor; and State Sen. Joe Hardy, who is running unopposed.
Hardy opened the forum by speaking to the recent decision by Tesla Motors to build a lithium battery plant in Storey County, and the state Legislature’s quick action to allow it to happen.
“Storey County by ordinance did a preparation for what would happen if somebody came in with a big building and wanted to create a business. So they were poised for when and if something should happen,” he said and then referred to “other” counties in Nevada that are not so prepared. It took six months for permitting compared to three and a half years, said Hardy.
“I say Tesla but what we passed was something that applies to every single business that wants to come.... The county or the city can make their charters and ordinances match with an opportunity such as this.
“This is a huge wake-up call for all the municipalities and all the counties to get serious about the permitting process.... Time matters,” he said.
When asked if he would be sponsoring a bill to permit another incorporation vote in Laughlin, Hardy said, “We in Clark County are finding that it’s not easy being competitive simply because of the time. So what if the citizens of Laughlin decided what they wanted to do and they said ‘We’re going to do something.’
“If the citizens of Laughlin want to have that, I am more than willing to carry a bill again.”
The primary job of the secretary of state is to ensure elections are conducted with integrity, said Cegavske, who declared her support for a voter identification law.
“I always show my ID when I vote,” she said. “I have not found anybody that is suppressed from voting or says they haven’t been able to vote because of the lack of an identification card.... And I’m opposed to same-day registration, same-day voting.”
Another function of the secretary of state’s office is to maintain a registry of businesses within the state and to attract new businesses to Nevada. “We want to make sure what we do here attracts people to come. We want to make sure that those companies that are here want to stay. We don’t want them shopping someplace else and saying ‘I can get a better deal.’”
The cost of a registering a limited liability corporation is Nevada is $400. “In New Mexico, it’s $100 and in Colorado it’s $50,” said Cegavske. “I would rather bring in more businesses and have more businesses paying a (smaller) fee than charging businesses more and more to get that money into the state.”
Cegavske said the Margins Tax, Question 3 on the November ballot, is scary. She said she knows of businesses looking to move to Nevada that will wait until after the election to make their final decision. “It will be devastating to the business community,” she declared.
There are a lot of challenges facing folks today, said Hutchison, but most of those problems can be solved by three things: A good job, strong family ties, and a quality education.
“If we focus on that as a state government and we give people an opportunity to have good jobs, if we give people the opportunity to have strong families — in whatever fashion that they want to have those strong families — and then if we provide a good educational opportunity..., then that’s a good day in state government,” he said. “That’s what I’m running on, that’s what I want to do as lieutenant governor.”
One of the primary duties of the lieutenant governor is economic development. Hutchison spoke of the “new” Nevada economy and said, “We’re right on the cusp of being a leader in this country for high technology, for cutting edge manufacturing, for alternative energy, for data processing and storage.”
The lieutenant governor also serves as president of the State Senate. As a state senator, Hutchison said he fashioned relationships and worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. “I think people are very tired of Washington, D.C. politics,” he said. “They’re very tired of the bickering and the fighting....”
He then said he doubts that the deal the state struck with Tesla could have been accomplished anywhere else in the United States.
“From the day the governor struck the hand of Elon Musk so to speak and cut a deal with Tesla until the day he had on his desk signed four bills..., you know how long that was? Nine days,” he said. “You tell me where else that could have happened.
“If Nevada was a stock, I’d be buying it.”
Robert P. Bilbray, Chairman Leadership Speakers Forum
Read the article: Laughlin Times