This is Part Two of The Nevada Globe’s interview with Sheriff Joe Lombardo. Part One can be found here.
The Globe: Due to Sisolak’s shut downs in response to the pandemic, Nevada’s unemployment rate hit double-digits and is still at 5%, the third highest in the country. Our state relies heavily on the hospitality industry for revenue. With the worst education system in the country, how can we diversify the economy in order to bring in new revenue sources from new businesses or grow existing industries in Nevada?
I have talked about this on the campaign trail. We have always relied on gambling to support us–to rise all tides, and we are start to see the ills to have all our eggs in one basket. Many states are jumping into gambling to solve their budget problems. And, what does that do to us in Nevada? It diminishes our tourism and we are starting to see the errs of that thought process. So, the Governor has to provide some vision and correction to fix that. And my vision is to diversify the economy through a stable tax environment.
I am running on a ‘no new tax’ platform to include education and workforce development to occupy those jobs that we want to bring in. To diversify the economy means manufacturing and IT. We have to expand on those disciplines. We have a robust system in the logistics space. We have to expand to other avenues. We rely constantly on mining in the state of Nevada to support our economy, but that is not large enough to support a state economy—neither is agriculture or livestock, so we have to look at other ways to of doing business. And, we have to include incentives to get them to come here, right? They are looking at crime rates, our education system and the labor force. It’s basically a trilogy and we have to work on all three at the same time. Some of the incentives could be abatements similar to what they did in the Reno area with Switch, Panasonic and Tesla. But those abatements have to have built-in clawbacks. In other words, they have to have performance measures as far as wages and number of employees that they bring into the system. And, they have to have penalties for companies who fail to meet the criteria and with timelines that are limiting. In other words, they have expirations to where they, the companies, continue to support the economy in the traditional ways other companies do.
The Globe: Politics can get ugly. Your opponents have been quick to label you as a moderate or as a RINO. How do you respond or what have you done in order to either warrant or disprove these accusations?
Shoot. That would be a question I would ask you, Megan! It surprises me when I hear those labels, you know? It’s false rhetoric. It’s politics, as you describe. People are looking to spin the actual truths to their own personal benefit. Examples I will give you, Megan, is that people say I created a sanctuary jurisdiction, so that means I am soft on immigration, so that would give me that RINO label. But, I am failing to see what my opponents have done with anything to do with immigration–specifically one particular individual who used to be a Senator in that space.
For me, the proof is in the pudding. As the Sheriff 0f Clark County, I have been directly influential or have been part of the process in removing individuals who have committed crimes in Clark County by presenting these individuals to ICE for removal to the tune of several thousand. There isn’t any previous experience by any of my opponents in this space.
It has also been brought up that I am soft on the Second Amendment. There is a perception because I support background checks–our regular old back ground checks. I don’t support universal back ground checks. People think I am a RINO or I am soft on the second amendment. No, I have been in law enforcement for 34 years and I know the ills associated with a bad person having a gun. So if we could put in a system that is 1% beneficial to society that prevents a bad person from getting a gun, I will support it.
Another piece is constitutional carry. My opponents think everybody should have a gun without any thought or foresight, background checks or training, or responsibility provided with the carry of a gun, and I don’t agree with that. I think training should be associated with carrying a concealed weapons permit so those RINO labels come from people who don’t understand the nuances of good policy, public safety or quality of life and they are just looking for a crack to take advantage of.
I have been a life-long conservative Republican. I haven’t just recently decided to become a Republican.
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