‘You don’t have to be there every minute’

Not so many decades ago, party “insiders” chose their nominees for various public offices in conventions.

Some people complained this led to “cronyism.” Sometimes it did. But while the “party bosses” in those “smoke-filled rooms” might place loyalty to them and their party’s political philosophy (sometimes boiling down to little more than “more jobs for our guys”) over brilliance and innovation, at least they knew the nominee had to be able to handle the basic requirements of the office, that total weirdness or incompetence was bound to reflect back on their gang and its continued viability.

Today, individual voters casting ballots in “anyone can file” primaries have more say. On the other hand, they seldom know much more about down-ballot nominees than who has the prettiest yard signs. The “party nomination” that once at least told us the nominee had been “vetted” — served an apprenticeship, interviewed face-to-face by SOMEONE — is essentially gone.

This fall, many voters are kicking themselves that they were duped into believing Barack Obama’s “post-racial, post-partisan” rhetoric. What they got was a windbag campaigner who travels overseas to promote Islam and apologize all over himself for America’s supposed misdeeds, a political neophyte with about as much sophistication about what makes an economy work, what leads entrepreneurs to go out and create jobs, as an enthusiastic college freshman coached by his Marxist college professor to wax ecstatic over Herbert Marcuse, Franz Fanon, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

In short, a guy you wouldn’t trust to run an ice cream parlor without adult supervision.

Those voters are going to march to the polls and throw the Democrats out. Which is fine by me.

When it comes to sinking beneath the waves in company with their Federal Reserve/Goldman-Sachs “financial advisers” rather than give up their death grip on the same “Washington-on-the-Moskva” Keynesian “stimulus” economics that extended the Great Depression from 1930 to the mid 1940s, I think today’s Democrats are at least 40 percent worse than the George Bush/McCain Republicans, who were already well on their way to turning the once esteemed U.S. dollar into worthless wallpaper.

Except for the fact that, for some reason, Nevada’s office of Clark County treasurer is a partisan one. And our incumbent treasurer, Laura Fitzpatrick, who’s done such a competent job that she drew no “name opposition,” is a Democrat — an “incumbent Democrat,” no less.

So a certain number of voters will go to the polls this November and vote for the fellow who spotted an empty slot on the ballot and filed to be her GOP challenger, one Mike “Doc” Javornicky.

There’s one every year, but this candidate truly takes the cake.

Two members of the Review-Journal editorial board chatted with Mr. Javornicky over the phone on Sept. 3. Asked for his qualifications, he described a wide-ranging career, working on oil rigs in the ’60s and ’70s, then on a GM assembly line. He even had his own carpet company in Ohio, before moving here to launch a similar venture, which seems to have gone by the boards.

All perfectly respectable forms of employment, though none would seem particularly targeted at qualifying one to handle, disburse and account for millions and millions of dollars in county tax receipts.

“Why are you running for this particular office?” I asked Mr. Javornicky.

“It’s not too demanding,” he replied. “It’s not a tough one, you don’t have to be there every minute.”

“So you’re looking at this basically as a retirement job?”

“I don’t know if I’d put it that way. But as long as you’ve got a good deputy, you don’t have to be there all the time.”

We asked whether the challenger is unhappy with the way the office is being handled at present. He replied with a hard-to-characterize stream of consciousness discussion of mandatory auto insurance. I got the clear impression Mr. Javornicky believes the county treasurer is responsible for requiring all Nevadans to carry auto insurance — in fact a state legislative mandate. My notes show he asserted “If I was county treasurer you would not have to buy auto insurance.”

Now, I can’t find any constitutional justification for the state to require anyone to buy insurance, either. The state mandate that one buy “coverage” for every vehicle is particularly absurd, since it’s the driver who’s actually insured, no matter what vehicle he drives — something the car rental companies hate for you to know.

I’m not even sure operating one’s own motor vehicle on the tax-funded roads — as opposed to hauling passengers or freight for hire — is an activity subject to any legitimate “licensing” authority.

But these still aren’t things the county treasurer can change. So there was some head-shaking and a few puzzled frowns on our end of the line, by this time.

“And why should voters believe you would be a better choice for the job than the incumbent, Laura Fitzpatrick?” I asked.

“Oh,” Mr. Javornicky replied, “only the tradition going back for centuries, that it’s a job that ought to be done by a man. Traditionally your county treasurer was a man with a whip and a mustache who would kick down the door and make them pay up.”

Pause.

“And as you travel around on the campaign trail, you’re bringing that up — that it’s not a woman’s job?” I asked.

“Oh sure,” Mr. Javornicky replied. “And more than 50 percent of the women agree with me!”

If the voters choose to examine Mr. Javornicky’s credentials and elect him in place of their current incumbent — a competent professional financial officer untouched by any scandal — that’s their right. I guess.

Throw some bums out, by all means. But if you were planning to “vote a straight Republican ticket,” I need you to practice this statement:

Clark County and all its far-flung associated jurisdictions collect and spend somewhere on the order of 4.6 to 6.5 billion dollars per year — ‘billion’ with a ‘b’ — some of it from me. And I can sleep soundly at night knowing this money will be safe under the supervision and control of newly elected County Treasurer Mike ‘Doc’ Javornicky, who at least promises ‘not to be there all the time.’

4 Comments to “‘You don’t have to be there every minute’”

  1. Robert S. Bingham Says:

    Dear Bob,

    Thank you, and the RJ for bring this important information to the public’s attention. For the office Clark County Treasurer, I will be voting for a DEMOCRAT, the incumbent Laura Fitzpatrick. And I will be encouraging as many others to vote for Laura Fitzpatrick too!!

    With Kindest Regards,
    -RSB

  2. Bruce D Says:

    Maybe it’s a trend. I think we could all do with politicians putting in less time in the office. In fact, why give them an office, or even bother electing the boneheads. I think it’s time for a ballot that says “send these idiots home and let me live my life”.

  3. marc Says:

    There is no accounting for taste. Anybodies. However, you have found something rarer than a competent government employee: an honest politician. If only all our rulers where content to take the money and do nothing. How much better off might we be with more “Doc’s” and fewer We-know-betters who want to force us to be cleaner, safer, healthier, smarter, and more socially responsible?

    If Ms. Fitzpatrick is as competent as you say I am sure she will find work. Hopefully in some productive capacity that does not involve living off taxpayer money while shoveling out more taxpayer money. Javornicky is probably right that a good supervisor probably has good deputies. But competently administering the waste of billions is no virtue. It is not like we were going to get the money back or that any treasurer is going to insure that all of it is spent wisely.

    The only hope of smaller government I have is that the current bloated regime will collapse of its own weight and stupidity.

  4. Jerry A. Pipes Says:

    Further evidence of the flaw of democracy. It’s bad enough that this guy is allowed to vote, much less run for treasurer. He’s certainly no more incompetent than others who have spent their entire lives in public service, it’s just unusual to be afforded a glimpse of this incompetence before they ever enter the office.

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average candidate, with apologies to Winston Churchill.

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