Scott has progressed in path to state governorship
August 23, 2002
Gardnerville resident Barbara Scott is hoping to be taken a bit more seriously in her second bid to become Nevada’s governor.
But her Democratic opponent for the seat doesn’t seem to even want to acknowledge her presence.
Scott said this weekend, she is planning to show up at the door of state Sen. Joe Neal, (D-North Las Vegas) D the only other announced Democratic candidate for the seat DEand challenge him to a debate.
“If he acknowledges me, I’m there,” she said. “He can turn his back and close his eyes, but I am not going away.”
Neal won’t be home, though. He is planning on attending a meeting of local Democrats at the Overland Restaurant Sunday from 3-6 p.m.
When contacted, Neal said, “Why would I want to debate her? I don’t know her. I’ve only read about her being a topless dancer.”
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Neal said Scott’s barbs don’t sting much.
“I’ve been in public office 30 years,” he said. “I recognize the ploy of trying to elevate yourself by putting the others down.”
Scott is hoping by canvassing neighborhoods throughout the state and talking to working class people, she is dispelling any illusions she is “a blonde bimbo.”
A retired topless dancer, who funded her 1998 bid to be governor by performing, Scott said people are digging deeper and getting past the fact she was an exotic entertainer.
“I am a lot more serious now,” she said. “I am the only viable candidate who will work for the people.
“I provide real solutions for real people.”
Scott takes issue with the way Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn has been running things.
“Obviously the state is spiraling downward,” she said. “People need to wake up and get out and vote.”
She cites the service monopolies of on electricity, phone and gas, respectively, to residents as one example. Scott said she would find ways for alternative energy such as solar and geothermal systems.
“There is just no encouragement for competition,” said Scott.
“I want to make Nevada attractive to other service companies and manufacturing (firms), so we have alternative jobs to keep our children in the state.”
In addition, Scott said Guinn’s Millennium Scholarship program is not working. The program offers scholarships to high school graduates with a “B” average as an incentive to attend college here and stay to join the work force.
“It’s not working,” said Scott. “The kids are moving out.”
Scott said she has raised less than $10,000 to finance her campaign and said most contributions come from gaming establishment owners.
Sen. Neal’s platform proposes an increase from 6 1/4 percent to 10 percent for casino taxes.
“It’s just too drastic,” said Scott. “Neal’s a good talker, but he can’t back up what he says.”
Instead, Scott believes a state lottery will ensure “stability.”
She also takes offense to Guinn’s cutbacks in Medicaid.
She says the state gets matching federal funds for the program, but cites that in the state nearly 5,000 children are uninsured.
“Two-thirds of people under Medicaid are children, and only 31 percent of the money goes to them,” said Scott. “There are cracks in the system and I want to follow through.”
Scott also cites Guinn dipping into the “rainy day fund” to finance casinos who blame the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks for the drop in state tourism.
“God forbid, if anything happens DEan earthquake, flood,” she said. “That rainy day fund should never have been touched.”
Scott also said federal legislation easing mining regulations has made Nevada the “number one producer of toxic substances,” and said Guinn did nothing to stop it.
“I would be right there on it,” she said. “Guinn does not think for himself. Somebody else is pulling the strings.”
Because of that, Scott is calling for an independent, out-of-state audit of the governor’s budgets.
She said half of of the state’s general fund, one-quarter of the entire state budget supposedly goes toward education, but “it is not getting to the children.
“Not when teachers still are buying their own supplies,” she said.
Scott said she has already started acting as a governor by going to different communities and getting the pulse of the people.
“All areas of Nevada need attention – not just Las Vegas. Everything and everyone else are forgotten.”
She said the fact that Carson City is not a “hub with business growing around” it, is a prime example.
“There is nothing wrong with leaving Las Vegas as the entertainment capital and have the real capital be the hub of industry,” said Scott.
She said she is aware of employment and growth issues in this area, and supports the communities’ efforts to keep the area a greenbelt.
“Every community has its own problems, and they are so varied,” she said. “I can’t say three things to fix everything, but I have listened and gotten my feet wet.
“And I know people, especially those who have called me from Carson Valley, aren’t happy with the way things have been going.”
n Regina Purcell can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org