I am Publisher of this newspaper, and Jen Anderson is the Editor. We both see ourselves as politically “middle of the road” but I am probably a little more liberal than Jen, who leans more right. As is probably the case with most of you reading this neither of us agree entirely with either the Republican or Democrat agendas. Recently we’ve received complaints, presumably from conservative readers, that too many of the cartoons in our newspaper make fun of President Trump. For the record, we got the same comments from liberals when Obama was president. They are cartoons, and they are only funny when there is an element of truth. 

In the upcoming midterm elections, I am for Rosen, Jen is for Heller. We’ve had good talks about it. We don’t threaten, make fun, or demean one another. They are just good talks about policy and we have honest differences of opinion. 

I’ve never met the man, but Heller seems like a pretty good guy. At the very least, he is not an embarrassment to the state. But I have higher expectations for the individuals who represent us as a United States Senator. Earlier this week on Fox News Heller was described by a conservative talking head as a “rubber stamp” for anything Trump. He was right. I don’t want a rubber stamp.  

I want someone who represents the people of Nevada, someone who is not bound by either party’s agenda, someone who votes in the best interest of Nevada. And someone who walks his talk—too often Heller is guilty of saying one thing in Nevada (what I think he really believes) and voting another way in Washington (after President Trump or Mitch McConnell have told him how to vote). 

From Heller’s website: “Heller will work to defend Nevada values in Congress”. But is this accurate? Here’s a sampling:

• Approximately 65% of Nevada residents are pro-choice. By almost 2 to 1 Nevada values are pro-choice but Heller votes yes on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion. 

• On the national debt: Heller spent 8 years blaming democrats for deficit spending, but then last year voted in favor of a tax cut that will likely increase the deficit by another trillion dollars. 

• Healthcare: Heller stood alongside popular Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and broke with congressional GOP leaders, announcing his opposition to the party’s effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act -- saying it would harm the 210,000 Nevadans who received coverage under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. But then lo and behold, Heller voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid expansion. 

Jen feels Rosen is not only out of touch with rural Nevada issues, but her record of accomplishments while in Congress is scant. Jen feels Rosen could be another Harry Reid: primarily concerned with passing policy and legislation that will largely benefit Washoe and Clark counties. Much of her ad campaign support has come from California. Meanwhile, Heller has helped pass over 100 pieces of legislation for veterans, small businesses and seniors. And, although he has stuck to party lines at times, he was ranked as the fifth most bipartisan Senator in the U.S. Senate. Heller understands and values issues that are important to rural communities that perhaps more urban areas in Nevada don’t understand. Ranching, mining, public land management and water rights are among the most important issues for rural voters. These issues are followed closely by access to healthcare, veteran’s health services, mental health support, small business policies and policies that affect education. Heller is the clear — and only — choice for Jen as she considers the impact of future policies and legislation in rural Nevada. 

Regardless of political leanings, both Jen and I recognize the importance of respectful, civil political discourse. Our individual beliefs, stances and values are reflected in the state’s voting population as a whole; Nevada is a purple state awash with conservatives, liberals, and all those in between. The most important thing is to remember that we are all valued people who deserve respect and honesty from one another regardless of whether we bleed blue, red, or purple. Keep it civil, and get out there and vote.

Peter Bernhard is the owner and publisher of Winnemucca Publishing. Jen Anderson is managing editor at Winnemucca Publishing.