Clash of the trite ones

November 19, 2020 6:00 am

Stavros Anthony and Ross Miller (campaign video screengrabs)

One last lingering 2020 election race that is yet to be decided pits two towering visionaries against each other in a battle of epic consequences, said no one anywhere.

In case you missed it, a) aren’t you lucky? and b) in the race for Clark County Commission District C, Democrat Ross Miller, a former Nevada Secretary of State, got ten more votes than Republican Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony, and now There Is Squabbling.

Will there be a special election? The county commission thinks so, or it did Monday, when it declined to certify the results that would have granted Miller his glorious victory. Miller has since said hey you should have granted me my glorious victory now I will sue and secure my glorious victory that way, or words to that effect.

Apart from the magnificent people of Georgia, to whom the entire nation owes gratitude and who will be deciding which party controls the U.S. Senate in January runoff elections, it is hard to imagine anyone anywhere wanting to be subjected to yet another election right this very minute.

And apart from full-on tribalistas who view every election-related event or procedure, no matter how small the potatoes, as an existential opportunity to slay the other side and drink mocha lattes from their hollowed out skulls, it is harder still to fathom anyone anywhere mustering much passion about what is really a run-of-the-mill close election for a down-ballot office.

But how else can one rouse election-weary voters to keep pulling their hair out other than tying this District C contest, wholly inconsequential to the overall power balance of the commission or the direction of county policy, to the … what are the kids calling it these days? … oh right … this Struggle For The Soul Of America.

Exhibit A: “Today we filed legal action to overturn the Trump cronies’ requests to strike all ballots and redo my election,” Miller tweeted.

As it happens, it  was six of the seven Democratic (a party to which Miller’s belongs, at least ostensibly) commissioners who said eek yeah ten votes let’s do a do-over, or words to that effect.

But yes, Trump told some lies, as is his custom, after the county declined to certify the results. So yes, Miller might as well invoke the election’s biggest loser so as to make an area kerfuffle look more important than it actually is.

And yes, that noise is tiresome.

And … yes! Ross Miller should totally sue to get his majestic/putative ten-vote victory certified. Although if he loses, then (as I said in the Daily Current newsletter the other day, which is free, and you should sign up for it if you haven’t already) instead of going ahead with another mind-numbing election, Miller and Anthony should give everyone a much-deserved break and agree to settle the matter by cutting cards. It’ll give the national media something folksy to have some fun with.

It’s not really about them

Multiple problems demand urgent attention from local governments, especially since Republicans may retain control of the U.S. Senate and severely limit the effectiveness of the federal government, and the next session of the Nevada Legislature promises to be horrifically non-productive.

The Las Vegas City Council, where Anthony has been a peripheral figure in the Michele Fiore-Carolyn Goodman axis of pointlessness, is a policy wasteland, largely irrelevant, and should probably just be abolished.

That’s not to say the the Clark County Commission has been some energetic force working feverishly to make this little corner of the world a better place. From a duct-tape and bailing wire homelessness policy, to canoodling with/deferring to law enforcement while a community pleas for an end to racial injustice, to perennially underfunded public health and social services, to business-centric economics that truly are the cutting edge policies of 1995, the commission needs to rethink a lot of stuff. Especially now.

Anthony is the kind of guy who thought it was a good idea to agree to be a headliner at a rally to preserve and protect systemic racism organized by right-wing grifter, Las Vegas massacre conspiracy theorist and birther Wayne Allyn Root.

Miller, whose father was a governor in the 20th century so whoop-de-doo, is a one-time (still?) bff of full-on Trumpeteer Dana White and a mixed martial arts enthusiast who even won an amateur bout on a WFC card once (perhaps Miller fancies himself the thinking man’s Dan Rodimer). More importantly, Miller also seems to think the most pressing issue facing the working people of Clark County in these our corona times is, as it says on his campaign website, “to protect our neighborhoods — and our property values.”

There is nothing about either of these guys to indicate they grasp the scope and scale of work that needs to be done to remove barriers making life harder than it needs to be for working Southern Nevadans. Both of them will hinder, not advocate, enlightened confrontation of systemic injustices.

Inasmuch as either of them personify promise, it’s limited to the commission’s traditional and time-honored mission: privately doing the bidding of and currying favor (and favors) from assorted juiced-up components of powerful industries, while publicly telling constituents about that one time they got a pothole fixed so s’all good.

Fortunately, whoever ends up representing District C will be only one of seven commissioners, and with any luck neither Anthony nor Miller will be too successful in making life harder for people on the bottom while sucking up to those at the top.

This is not one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate races. What’s at stake is little more than the professional aspirations of two men who want only to be career politicians. Seriously, they should just cut cards and leave everyone alone.

Correction: This column was revised to reflect Democratic County Commissioner Justin Jones voted against the motion to consider a special election when the commission meets Dec. 1.

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Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.