CONNIE FOUST – Candidate Assembly District 19
District 19 is in southern Nevada, running from the Arizona border near Mesquite to Boulder City.
Two Republicans are the only filed candidates in this race. Connie Faust replied to this interview. Her opponent, Incumbent Christopher Edwards did not. With no other candidates in District 19, the winner of the Primary will be placed on the General Election ballot unopposed.
1. Give a brief summation of your political and professional background.
I am retired and live in Mesquite NV. My background in politics started in my 20’s, when I wrote and had a legislator introduce a bill to benefit the handicapped in Montana. I later testified on the issue and need for the legislation and got it passed out of committee. This bill went on to be passed and is still on the books in Montana. From that endeavor I was appointed by Governor Thomas Judge to a newly formed board for Developmental Disabilities. I have always been an activist and ran for school board in the early 1980’s in Campbell County WY. I lost that election by 12 votes, but made policy changes in the district for handicapped children.
I worked in many fields over the years. I was an owner/operator of a private employment agency; I was the Director of Volunteers for St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula Mt; and, I also worked for the Missoula County Sheriff’s Dept. and Missoula City Police Dept. At the SO I was in charge of a $14 million dollar budget to administer. I was able to save the taxpayers’ money, which was then placed in a rainy day fund in the event of a disaster that would require over-time wages to be paid.
I was the National Director of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and worked on four southern border states. My concern is homeland security and the draining of resources from states that harbor illegal immigrants.
2. Define your district – general geographic boundaries, demographic make-up and political balance.
My district is very large and very diverse. I live in Mesquite and the district starts here at the AZ border and continues to Boulder City, very narrow and snakelike in how it runs. Because of this, I have rural and city concerns and have to be concerned with land issues as well as issues with areas like North Las Vegas. Nellis is also in the district, so part of the district is conservative and parts of the district are concerned with military issues etc.
3. Why are you running for this position? What makes you more qualified than your Republican opponent to serve in this position?
I am running because our current Assemblyman, who I actively campaigned for, voted to increase taxes and fees on 26 of 32 votes. We are in a primary race and there is no Democrat running so this race will decide who will serve in the state assembly. I believe monies allocated via taxes and fees directly impact every citizen and I believe we have a bloated government in Nevada. I want the opportunity to respect my voters’ wishes of smaller government, lower taxes, and states’ rights from over-reach of the federal government.
4. There is a well noted and ongoing split among many in the Nevada Republican Party. Define your philosophy in regards to this ‘moderate conservative’ versus ‘tea party divisiveness.
I am the former president of the Virgin Valley Tea Party. The rise of the Tea Party is a direct result of politicians not listening to the people. The people want an environment that they can flourish in and they do not want higher taxes. In Nevada many people have truly suffered from low paying wages in the state, some are still stuck in homes that lost value years ago. I also believe regulations stop growth and Federal over reach has hurt the state of Nevada. Moderates are, as we have seen in national elections, not what the people want. We need change and a recognition that the money spent by government is their money, not the states. The tea party movement is a movement of conservatism. Many of us are Reagan Republicans and others within the Tea Party are anywhere from Libertarians to Independent American Party. We in our group also have some moderates who have a vested interest in one issue, perhaps an example is trade policy. We are open to all who support smaller government, less taxes and liberty.
5. What are the three most important issues relating to your district and/or the state? How will you legislatively address them?
Schools: I hope to really get some work done in this area. I oppose Common Core. I believe we need to get back to basics in school and do less social engineering. We are dead last in ranking in the United States and yet we are near the top in spending per pupil. This must be looked at seriously and we have a responsibility to educate our children.
Jobs: We in AD19 have an issue with jobs that pay real wages. Many have to work two jobs to support their family. We need to attract healthy businesses to AD19 that are not subsidized by Nevada. If for instance Faraday Futures fails, and that is possible, the taxpayers in North Las Vegas will be on the hook for $315 million dollars. It would have been better to have built the infrastructure over time and then attract business. As it is we have no real idea how this project will affect our water supply. It is a complex issue that needed more discussion and time before the legislature passed the funding for this subsidy. If it works, then jobs will be created, but that is a big if.
6. What is your position in regards to the current initiatives? (Question 1 addresses firearms and would require that an unlicensed person who wishes to sell or transfer a firearm to another person conduct the transfer through a licensed gun dealer who runs a background check. Question 2 addresses marijuana. If approved by voters, the measure would legalize the drug for adults and put the tax revenue from the sale of the drug toward education funding.)
Question 1: I am a member of the NRA and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Former Mayor Bloomberg of NYC is behind the funding on this initiative and I am personally appalled that he is financing policy for NV. With that said I am opposed to this initiative.
Question 2: I am opposed to the legalization for marijuana. I worked in law enforcement and have seen personally the tragedy brought on by all forms of drug abuse. Also, with Medical Marijuana the state of Nevada has managed to build yet another bureaucracy to monitor the quality of marijuana etc. It is now priced higher than street value, so it will not, if legalized, stop the sales of marijuana on the street. The state of Colorado will attest to this.
7. What is your position in regards to increasing the minimum wage in Nevada?
The current minimum wage is too low; however, I am not on the $15.00 an hour bandwagon. Small business cannot survive with this type of increase. Entry level jobs are just that, entry level. Fast food for example is a great training ground for young people. Many have moved on through companies to management and ownership of franchises. I am a free market capitalist and believe in the American people. I want them to flourish, but so many of these jobs are filled by people who do not have a legal right to be here, in many cases they cannot even get entry level jobs. I am a supporter of the E-Verify system.
8. Define your position on fracking and other means of oil exploration in Nevada. Do you support coal fired energy plants?
I am in favor of all forms of energy. I have a family member who has been involved in fracking and whose opinion I value as he is a geologist. He states the fracking issue of earthquakes are nothing more than propaganda by the progressive left. I support coal fired energy plants.
9. If there is any issue that you are concerned about that has not been addressed in this interview, this is your opportunity to address it:
I am concerned for the first time in many years. In the last election we elected a “red” assembly and the people spoke. The Commerce Tax is the highest tax ever passed out of the Assembly in Nevada’s history. My opponent voted against the Commerce Tax, but played a political game and voted for Amendment 1039 that put the Commerce Tax into SB483. The people and I are tired of political games and watching the integrity of system being manipulated for political gain. I will represent the people in AD19. I will communicate with them on a regular basis and I will listen to their ideas and concerns. I have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and will not raise taxes. It is my duty to find better ways to fund programs. I hope to work with all in the Assembly and find that common ground that creates an honest environment for great legislation that benefits all of the people in Nevada.
EDITOR: This is one in a series of online interviews with Republican candidates. All Republican candidates with Primary races were contacted – US Senate, US Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, Carson City Mayor and Lyon County Commissioner. The responses are posted as the candidates presented them to me – no editing. These interviews will be posted in no particular order and, obviously, all races are not of interest in everyone’s particular district; however, NewsDesk readership (www.ndbynd.com) is spread throughout the state so all responses will be posted. You are welcome to repost any of the interviews as long as proper credit is given to NewsDesk.
Primary election day is Tuesday, June 14, 2016. If the candidates in a particular Primary all belong to the same party, the winner will be determined in the Primary and go to the General Election ballot unopposed.
Dates to remember:
- May 14 – Last day to register to vote by mail
- May 24 – Last day to register to vote in the Primary
- May 28-June 19 – Early voting
- June 14 – Primary Election