I read with interest the letter to the editor written by my opponent, Ron Knecht. The ad he refers to as a "hit ad" was designed to remind your readers that Mr. Knecht was fired from his position at the Public Utilities Commission for violating policies, including falsifying timesheets. The job dismissal was also investigated by the attorney general's office. The ad in question displays a portion of the widely published news articles that described the firing and subsequent investigation. I bear no animosity toward Mr. Knecht, and I don't know how such public information can be characterized by him as "false" or the ad as "vicious."
I do not consider the ad to be negative, but rather, informative. Candidates for a position like the University Board of Regents should be role models for both students and their communities. I do not believe the circumstances of Mr. Knecht's firing substantiate behavior as a role model.
You will find that my 28 years of service to WNC was unblemished and highly meritorious. Mr. Knecht finds fault with my having received donations from the former Chancellor of the University and Community College System, implying that the donations are part of a personal crusade against him. However, what Mr. Knecht does not realize is that I have worked productively for many years in the higher educational system, gaining the respect of the former chancellor and many others in colleges and universities throughout the state, including former UNR President, Joe Crowley, and former Regents Jill Derby and Joann Sheerin. My candidacy has also earned the endorsement of the Reno Gazette Journal, so why is he questioning financial support from those who believe in me?
I also stand by my actions as a leader on the Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects. My primary duty on that commission is to study issues surrounding the potential use of Yucca Mountain as a high-level nuclear waste repository and to report, with other commission members, to the governor and Legislature. I refer your readers to the fact that I was appointed and reappointed by four governors and that my book on Nevada's atomic history, "Bombast: Spinning Atoms in the Desert," is proof of how steady, dedicated, and intense I have been as a member of that commission. However, to further clarify, I was not a member of the commission between 2008 and 2012, when what Mr. Knecht calls a "major scandal" under "my watch" took place.
Mr. Knecht claims to "have led the successful fights to save all our community college campuses and Cooperative Extension." Were those fights, indeed, successful, I would not be in the race. I will seek no other office but the office of regent, and I was encouraged to run by those who felt that we need stronger leadership in order to save our rural community colleges and our Cooperative Extension services.
In any case, I encourage all of your readers to vote and vote wisely. The office of university regent has never been more important to the future of our community colleges and universities.