Letters for Oct. 25, 2018
Jones has the experience
We need a judge who is capable of handling every type of case that comes before the Justice of the Peace. The Justice Court handles a wide variety of cases – yes, it handles criminal cases, but it also handles small claims, evictions, and domestic violence restraining orders. Only one candidate has experience in all of these areas. Cassandra Jones started out handling criminal and civil litigation before spending six years at the District Court as its staff attorney handling felony level cases. She’s gone on to establish her own law practice, where she has handled civil matters as well as heated family matters. She is the only candidate that has actually represented victims in court as their attorney, getting them the protection and recovery they are entitled to.
But her experience goes beyond the courtroom. Cassandra has proven herself to be a public servant. She has volunteered her time as an attorney on a pro bono basis, helped establish the Special Advocates for the Elderly (SAFE), continues to offer pro bono legal services to the elderly through SAFE and other local programs, serves on the board at Austin’s House (for six years), and has spent the last four years serving on the Town Board of Gardnerville.
Cassandra has committed over 15 years to serving Douglas County, and she is prepared to continue to serve our community as our next Justice of the Peace. We support her because of her proven track record in the law and in serving our community.
Bob and Jerri Bolinger
Levin went to bat for us
We have been Dougals County residents since 1978. We met Erik Levin informally through my folks who had rented him a home more then 10 years ago. We had no idea that he was a prosecutor with Douglas County. He was and is very friendly and talked freely with all of us even though we were making repairs to the rental home that had inconvenienced him. Years later our son got in some legal trouble and Erik apologized that he had to recuse himself because we had known him prior and it was a conflict of interest we were sort of shocked and hadn’t even thought of this, he’s a real straight shooter.
Again some more years later l was in a near fatal car accident but by an act God l survived and again l crossed paths with Erik Levin this time he really went to bat for me and my family. This time when it was not a conflict of interest he was a hundred percent on our side carefully taking me aside and reviewing our legal options. The young man that hit me had just returned from military duty in Afghanistan and was driving under the influence due to PTSD l believe. We met with Erik and the young man before the court hearing at which time he apologized to me and said what a difficult time he was having upon returning to the United States.
Erik Levin has our families votes he’ll be a great judge for Douglas County’s future.
Nick and Julie Rauber
Jones best candidate for JP
Douglas County has an opportunity to elect a well-qualified, experienced, balanced and honest candidate to the office of Justice of the Peace, Cassandra Jones. She graduated in the top 10% of her law class in 2002. Her experience includes civil litigation and family and elder law practices. She has criminal law experience as a staff attorney for the Honorable Michael B. Gibbons as well as Associate Attorney from Brooke & Shaw..
This is a nonpartisan office. Cassandra has the ability to reach out to both parties and to hand down decisions based on what’s right or legal, not what is politically correct. Cassandra and I may not be in the same party, but I gladly support her for Justice of the Peace.
Why vote no on Question 1
We should note that Question 1 is very similar to a ballot measure known as Marcy’s Law that California voters approved as an amendment to the California Constitution in 2008. Mindful that these California voters have repeatedly voted for Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown, and Sanctuary Cities, I immediately became compelled to investigate the provisions. Though there are some differences between the California law and what this Nevada ballot measure provides for, the fact remains that Question 1 undermines rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, including the rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, to effective counsel, to confront one’s accusers and to a speedy trial. By allowing alleged victims to prevent disclosure of certain information or to refuse to participate in depositions, those accused of crimes may be denied access to information proving their innocence. Under present law the State, not the victim is tasked with prosecuting and punishing crimes and that is as it should be. With Feinstein’s deplorable antics fresh in our minds, we should be cautious of any measure that threatens what Senator Collins of Maine opined so bravely regarding the presumption of innocence. But there is more to it than that. Question 1 removes Nevada’s current constitutional and statutory framework that gives the Legislature the flexibility to balance victim’s rights with the efficient and effective functioning of the justice system; it will mandate an inflexible framework that cannot be fixed unless the Nevada Constitution is amended yet again and that may take more than three years. Question 1 contains vague and confusing language that will make it more difficult to ensure that justice is served. We should not approve this poorly-written and unnecessary constitutional amendment that does nothing to improve anyone’s rights under the law. The Douglas County Republican Central Committee has got it wrong. We should all vote no on Question 1.
Eldon DeVere Henderson, PhD
Tax Cuts, Deficits and Healthcare
Despite all the promises by Trump, McConnell and Ryan about their tax cuts, the majority of Americans have not seen a significant increase in their wages and the tax cuts have not paid for themselves. What the tax cuts did accomplish was the explosion of our deficit and an excuse for Republicans to go after Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid again.
Right on cue McConnell is stating that our growing deficit was not caused by their tax cuts but by entitlement programs (Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security) and McConnell stated we need to reform these programs to reduce our deficits. McConnell also stated that if they retain control of both houses of Congress he will again go after Obamacare (ACA).
Amodei voted for GOP House budgets that included privatizing Medicare/Medicaid and Heller, as a member of the House, voted for GOP House budgets that included privatizing both Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. Both Amodei and Heller voted for Trump’s tax cuts.
Amodei and Heller both voted for the repeal of the ACA which would have taken away healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions. They voted to repeal the ACA with no plan on what they would replace it with.
Heller and Amodei have track records of voting to reform/cut/privatize Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, cut healthcare for Nevadans and tax cuts for the wealthy that have not/will not make life better for the majority of Nevadans.
It should also be noted that the Trump Administration has joined in a lawsuit brought by Republican controlled states to repeal the ACA.
Douglas incumbents a no-show at League Forum
Last week, I attended an election forum presented by the League of Women Voters in partnership with several other organizations. This was one of the only non-partisan forums for local races being held this election season. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear directly from our candidates for office in a civil, non-partisan, structured format, and I would like to extend a huge “Thank you” to all the organizations involved. We learned a lot about the candidates’ positions last evening and were able to identify clear differences and choices.
Disappointingly, our current representatives to the state legislature – James Settelmeyer (State Senate, District 17) and Jim Wheeler (State Assembly, District 39) did not attend. Mr. Settelmeyer never responded to the invitation, and Mr. Wheeler was a no-show for his accepted invitation. It seemed to be a thumbing of their noses at those of us who went to the forum hoping to hear from all of the candidates. We can only surmise that they feel so secure in their elected positions that they do not feel the need to speak to anyone but their immediate supporters/benefactors. Or, that they lack the courage to face a challenger, or that they have no solutions to offer to the issues raised by their constituents in the areas of health care, education, taxes, housing costs, and so on.
For those of us who feel as though we have no voice in our legislature, this snub reinforced our feeling. For those of us who feel that our democracy is in need of a reset, the need to vote became even more apparent. When you go to the polls this election season remember the names of those candidates who care enough about representing you to show up – Patricia Ackerman (Assembly District 39) and Curtis Cannon (Senate District 17).
Vote carefully on Question 3
A major reason for our system of regulated electric utility has long been “System Reliability” – the power is always on except when damaged by severe weather conditions or minor local events creating or other localize shorts.
Recently, we saw a deliberate power cuts in the Napa Valley region where the utility after being faced with culpability in the destruction of thousands of houses decided to cut the power off for a severe wind event, but leave it off long enough for many businesses and residents to risk spoilage of their refrigerated and frozen foods.
One might think PG&E was sending a message to the damage communities suggesting they have the power to make their situation worse if the lawsuits persist.
Arcing power line in severe wind event are a function of physics and could have been mostly prevented by installing insulating line stabilizer to separate the lines on the long transmission line spans. It is known inexpensive technology used in many places.
In a competitive market, customers subjected to this abuse would find an alternative supplier soon and those suppliers would pressure the power delivery companies to toughen their systems.
Would NV Energy stoop so low if Question 3 passes and they loose their monopoly power? No one knows, but we do have ample evidence they lacked integrity in this process. Perhaps not spending one dime is the same to them as $30-plus million. We know if they build the solar plants they proposed, power rates will rise as those are included in their power rates. Think about your vote.
Great job with Aviation Roundup
On the afternoon of Oct. 13 we were volunteers at the Aviation Roundup. Our job was to help get the people on shuttle buses to take them back to the various parking lots. Unfortunately, there were some long delays getting people on the shuttle buses due to heavy traffic in the area. We estimated that at one time there were 1,200 people in line waiting for the shuttle buses. We did our best to keep people informed about what was causing the delay. The line for the shuttle buses started at 3:00 pm and the last bus was finally loaded at approximately 6:00 PM. After the last bus left the airport parking lot we both commented on how well our citizens dealt with the long delay. They were patient, pleasant, understanding and most even had a sense of humor about the situation. Thank you to our excellent DART shuttle bus drivers. We commented to each other about how wonderful our citizens were in dealing with a difficult situation. What a great tribute to the fine people of our community. Lastly, thank you for making our job easier.
John Alexander and Tom Martel
Supporting Laxalt for governor
I have been a small business owner here in Douglas County for 32 years. I provide a great income and a bright future to more than 25 employees.
Because I care about the future of my company here in Nevada, and even more about the future of my loyal employees, my children and grandchildren, I support the proven values represented by Adam Laxalt. Adam understands what drives an economy. Adam understands that business – left unmolested by government control and over-taxation – thrives in our free country.
Jobs are not created by government. Jobs are created by successful businesses. A business thrives when it can invest what it earns. It can’t invest what is taken from it – its money in the form of taxes, its time consumed by bureaucratic regulations. Adam has a defined plan to reinforce the economic engine of Nevada.
I urge all Nevadans to join me and elect Adam Laxalt as governor and to keep Nevada thriving.
Supporting Jones for next East Fork Justice of the peace.
I have known Ms. Jones since about 2004 – just after she stopped clerking for Judge Adams in Washoe District Court. I knew her when she went into private practice with what was then the largest firm in Douglas County, Brook, Shaw, Zumpft. I knew her when she became the long-time staff-attorney for Judge Gibbons. For many years she worked side-by-side with two of Nevada’s most respected former District Court Judges, Judge Brent Adams and Judge Michael Gibbons. She learned from the best. That experience leaves her well positioned to seamlessly transition to serving as fair and impartial judge.
The old expression is don’t worker harder, work smarter. Cassandra Jones ignores the first part of that admonition, but not the second. She is extremely hard-working, conscientious, and is always well prepared for whatever task she is given. Cassandra had a leading role in updating the local rules of practice when serving with Judge Gibbons. She championed simple changes to rules that have saved my clients time and attorney’s fees. I know she will continue to make improvements to the administration of justice if given the chance.
The Judiciary should reflect the community — so isn’t it about time we had a woman serving in a judicial role here in Douglas County?
I have seen Ms. Jones work up-close as she served as a mediator in one of my cases. In that role she demonstrated the judgment, knowledge and compassion necessary to be a fine judge. Cassandra is in private practice and is therefore beholden to no one. She is the best candidate to continue the Douglas County, and American tradition, of an independent judiciary. Please join me in voting for Cassandra Jones for East Fork Justice of the Peace.
Gene M. Kaufmann
Attorney at Law
Levin’s courtroom experience is necessary
We are writing in support of Mr. Erik Levin for Justice of the Peace.
We have two good candidates running, however we feel strongly that actual courtroom experience, especially criminal courtroom experience is a major factor in the selection of a justice of the peace. Mr. Levin has that experience.
Keeping our community safe is a serious component of the responsibility of the Justice of the Peace. With the endorsement of both the retiring Douglas County Sheriff, and the incoming Douglas County Sheriff, and the Sheriff’s Protective Association, the law enforcement community is making it very clear that Mr. Levin is the candidate that will keep our community safe.
In addition, we have had personal experience with Mr. Levin. In a civil matter, Erik was the prosecutor handling our case. He diligently pursued the perpetrator and we ended up recovering our loss.
It should also be remembered that over the last 40-plus years since we have been here, all the justice court judges have come from the local law enforcement community and for the most part that have been competent, fair and tough on crime.
We are encouraging you to vote for Erik Levin for Justice of the Peace.
John and Linda Hamer
Backing Cassandra Jones
I was at the recent Town Hall debate between Candidates for East Fork Justice Court Judge Erik Levin and Cassandra Jones. During the debate, Mr. Levin invited voters to review his record of service, as summarized in The Record-Courier. I have and I find it downright alarming.
This summer, Mr. Levin plea bargained down a case. The article states, “Levin said he originally charged the crime as a felony, but the videos couldn’t be recovered from the phone.” (“Recording teen girl’s shower results in jail term,” published August 28, 2018). There’s no question there was a wrong doing here, but that does not excuse the prosecutor – Mr. Levin – from charging without enough evidence for a conviction.
Earlier this year, Mr. Levin’s case for felony elder abuse was dismissed by Judge Perkins who stated, “There’s no evidence, no slight evidence, no marginal evidence, no credible evidence, under any circumstances, that this is criminal conduct.” Perkins said there was “no theory of this evidence that would support a finding that there is probably cause to believe a crime was committed.” It is even more disturbing that Judge Perkins warned Mr. Levin not to file further charges. The article quotes Judge Perkins telling Mr. Levin, “You’ll have to provide them with notice and give her a chance to be heard without going through the process of being locked up again.” (“Judge clears nurse in elder abuse” published Jan. 30, 2018).
Then there is the case where an infant girl was killed. After a three week jury trial, the defendant was acquitted of the only charge (first degree murder) in mere hours. In the article, it is clear that the defendant admitted to dropping his daughter seriously injuring her. But the article also confirmed that the child received 10 times the medication by the doctor than what was appropriate for her size. The article states, “Jury instructions called for a finding of guilt or innocence on the first-degree murder charge, instead of a lesser included offense.” (“Jury finds Trent Getty innocent in death of daughter” published June 1, 2016). This is such a tragic, horrific case, but the jury had no option to even consider other lesser included charges because the prosecutor, Mr. Levin, didn’t ask for those. The defendant should have been punished, but because of Mr. Levin’s mishandling of justice the defendant is walking free today.
All of this reflects that Mr. Levin has a pattern of over-charging without stopping to really evaluate the evidence he has available to him. I want a judge who is careful and discerning about the evidence. If he can’t make these discerning decisions now, what makes us think he’ll do any better when he’s on the other side of the bench? For that reason, I will not be voting for Mr. Levin.