“Old time” elections; “old time” government

By Perly Viasmensky
This past Monday several government offices were plagued with different swearings in, from the Nevada Supreme Court with two new justices and one new chief justice, one at the State Capitol with a new governor taking the oath of office and at the County level, where two new county commissioners and one chair were also sworn in.
Hopefully all those elected public officials will be able to carry out their campaign promises and make those Nevadans who voted for them proud of their choices because I believe that we Nevadans are running short of patience when looking at the overall poor performance of the people who go in with a promise of high performance and as soon as they are sworn into office they become different people thinking that they own their office.
Luckily for us here in Nevada we enjoy a term limit for all the offices, except for the office of the Sheriff who enjoys the freedom of taking possession of that office indefinitely; it is very difficult to unseat an incumbent because in a two-year term, thinking of a “reelection beat,” they built their own “support team.” If that is the case with a two-year term, I could not imagine what would happen in a four-year term.
I remember when it used to be fun to be part of political campaigns; I was part of many of them, including the race of Brian McKay for Attorney General; and even if it was a race, all parties respected each other and most of the political attacks were done with a certain level of respect and decency.
It is almost like the wars; in the old days wars were fought with rifles and in some cases, with a few grenades; but now wars are fought with missiles and other sophisticated tools. Elections were once conducted with decency and even with respect and integrity.
In the old days candidates had campaign headquarters and the constituents were able to walk in, get some campaign literature and even shake hands with the candidate; regardless of the position of the candidate, or if the candidate was a newcomer looking to be known or an incumbent hoping to be reelected, the candidates were always available to meet with the constituents and discuss issues, ideas, or maybe even become part of the campaign team.
Today the campaigns are run in secret, with no headquarters, no campaign literature, and most definitely no contact with the voters; public opinions are no longer important in the eyes of the campaign managers. I think that is a serious problem. Why is it a problem?
Because the public is not able to see the candidate’s demeanor and the public does not have the opportunity to exchange some words and “feel out” the candidate’s honesty and sincerity. Elections are becoming like everything else: computerized and cold.
Nowadays when you call to make a doctor’s appointment, you reach a call center in Nebraska and if you ask to speak to someone or to a supervisor, you assume that the supervisor is sitting in the same room a few feet away. Well think again, my dear; the call is transferred to a supervisor, yes, but the Supervisor is in Dallas, Texas.
There is no personal service any more; you call your cable company and the call is answered somewhere in the Philippines, in Guadalajara or the Dominican Republic; the business licenses are paid for in Los Angeles and the traffic and parking tickets are paid for in Phoenix, Arizona, because — as this newspaper has stated many times before — there are no intelligent, efficient, honest people in Nevada to handle those services and offices within our borders.
What is the chance of bringing all those services back to Nevada? Slim to none. Why? Because we keep electing the same people over and over and moving the same people back and forth; former Henderson Mayor is now County Commissioner; our former State Senator has also joined the County Commission; a former County Commissioner is now the Governor; a former State Senator is now the Attorney General; and who knows how many others escape my mind now in the perennial political game of musical chairs?
Welcome to Nevada!!!!
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky,
email her at pviasmensky@lasvegas tribune.com.

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