In the wake of Mitt Romney’s victory in the Florida Republican primary, the four remaining presidential candidates lost no time getting to Nevada in anticipation of Saturday’s “First in the West” caucus. We have seen a few television ads in the past week, mainly from Romney and Ron Paul. Now we get the full impact, with more ads and personal visits.
Rick Santorum was the first candidate to arrive in Nevada on Tuesday, but is spending today (Wednesday) in Colorado. Dr. Paul arrived later Tuesday and held a rally in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson. Last I heard, Gingrich will be the first to visit here in northern Nevada, with stops planned for Reno and Carson City today. Romney spent this morning making the rounds of various national television talk shows and holding a rally in Minnesota. He will finally arrive in Nevada for an appearance tonight. Paul has a rally planned for Elko – in the heart of gold mining country – Thursday afternoon. He is the only candidate scheduled to court voters in a rural area.
[Update 11:16 p.m. – KOLO TV news reports that they just received information that Santorum will visit Fallon, NV, known for Hearts of Gold cantaloup and being the new home of the Navy’s Top Gun flight school.]
Nevada had the highest unemployment rate in the nation last week. We have had the highest foreclosure rate for the past five years. So it’s no surprise that President Obama tried to take attention from the Republicans by revealing details today of a plan announced during the State of the Union speech last week. This latest plan to help homeowners would allow those with private loans to roll-over and refinance into a FHA backed loan if they are current on their payments and have a credit score of at least 580.
This provides little help to the many Nevadans who have not been able to make payments and face foreclosure right now. Far better is Ron Paul’s proposal. It allows homeowners to take funds from their 401K without penalties to pay their mortgage or, if they suffer a foreclosure, to deduct the loss on their taxes. The US cannot afford the cost of ailing out everyone who gets behind on their mortgage (regardless of the reason). Paul’s plan would help homeowners who want to make a last-ditch effort to save their home, or assist those who lose a home to get back on their feet.
Praise needs to be given to the Republican Party in southern Nevada for scheduling evening caucus sessions for Jewish Republicans who cannot go to regular sessions during their Sabbath. The Las Vegas tourism industry is 24/7, so others may also benefit from this. Too bad other parts of the state are not providing the same opportunity. The northeastern Nevada mining industry is also a round-the-clock enterprise.
Extra note: Happy 55th Anniversary to Dr. & Mrs. Ron Paul. It is getting harder to find marriages lasting so many years. What a great example!