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Donald Teel is the Founder and Editor of iVoteAmerica®. He has been an Arizona resident since 1960. He is a commercial real estate broker, private pilot, photographer and an avid reader of America's history.

Nevada is facing a number of crossroads. The state is in free-fall with a collapsing economy, political mistrust, and a dearth of conservative leadership. The “Silver State” needs fresh ideas and new leadership with a commitment to putting Nevadans first.

Healthcare, education, taxation, employment, and government are all in trouble. It would be easy but misleading for me to blame Nevada’s deep problems on the current COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s issues have been brewing for decades as Nevada has increasingly turned blue, adopting government as the dominant solution to issues, rather than the creativity, hard work, and self-sufficiency of its amazing citizens.

My time with April Becker renewed my faith in our ability to deliver political change in a growing climate of mistrust and despair. Ms. Becker is a senatorial candidate for District 6. She, like so many I interview, has stepped forward out of a sense of commitment to her community, state, and nation.

Her family has deep roots in Nevada. As a wife, mother, business owner, and a lawyer, April brings a unique collection of life and professional experiences that will help her solve Nevada’s growing set of problems.

iVoteNevada, in cooperation with iVoteAmerica, is pleased to announce that it has endorsed April Becker for Nevada Senate, representing District 6.

Unique among her qualities is her passionate commitment to putting the needs of citizens first with less government intrusion. She wants to diversify the economic base by attracting new businesses and high paying jobs to Nevada. She wants education improved, healthcare more competitive, and diverse employment opportunities brought to Nevada.

Here’s my interview with April Becker. April’s responses follow my questions.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: APRIL BECKER

DONALD:  I’m sure the voters in Nevada are going to want to know, so let me ask, who is April Becker?

I’m an attorney who has lived in Nevada for thirty years. Nevada is my home. I moved to Nevada at the age of twenty-one to go to college and for the job opportunities. Of course, I got married and my husband and I have three children. Later, I went back to college to finish my degree, and to pursue law school. Since I took a break from college to raise a family, I actually received my law degree at the age of forty.  It’s important for Nevada citizens to know that I’m a businesswoman who went into law because I didn’t necessarily like the way lawyers were handling my family’s business, so I decided to handle my own affairs.  That’s the way I feel about government. I don’t like the direction of the state of Nevada. Our leaders are out of touch, they don’t understand what’s good for the people of Nevada and for our business community. We’re becoming more like California every day with additional regulations, government agencies, and increased taxation of small businesses. I see so many of our businesses closing, with no plan to reopen. That’s who I am…a mother, a lawyer, a business owner, and most importantly, a concerned citizen.

DONALD:  How’s the Nevada economy doing at the moment?

The Nevada economy is bad, very bad. All of the casinos are closed. From what I understand and hear, people are moving, and they aren’t planning on coming back. People in the casino, hotel, services and tourism industries are keenly aware that they might not have a job in the near future. The rumor is, the casinos might start opening in July or August. Because of the situation, a lot of small businesses won’t even try to reopen.

DONALD: The casinos are the economic nucleus of the Nevada economy, generating huge revenue for the economy in spin-off industries…it seems like it’s approaching an insurmountable situation since the tax base has been pretty much vaporized…am I right?

Yes,  you are accurate. We’re known for having low property taxes, that’s likely to change with the special session that is being called.  I expect taxes will be raised because the state has to find a way to pay for everything. You are right, with the casinos closing I don’t see a quick and simple recovery.  I can’t explain what the state of Nevada is doing, It makes absolutely no sense to me. My family’s businesses are closed and there are all sorts of silly rules about how we have to operate without customers touching surfaces.

DONALD:  You’re running against a formidable opponent, tell me who that is and why you’re taking on the challenge?

I’m running against Nicole Cannizzaro, the Democrat Senate majority leader.  She is married to a lobbyist who represents unions, a fact that is not widely disclosed. I have gone through all the minutes from the last two sessions, and that relationship is not disclosed. In fact, she has actually advocated for his clients in session and has not disclosed that relationship. I attended law school with my opponent and her husband and when I read things that have happened it’s one of the reasons I have decided to run for office. Some of the things seem unethical to me and it infuriates me. My opponent is Assistant District Attorney, and she chairs the Judicial Committee. there are so many conflicts of interest, I don’t know where to start.  We have leaders running our state making decisions that come from Washington or lobbyists, who act as a ruling class. They don’t seem to care too much about Nevada and its citizens. When I examine what is happening, it’s disheartening. Government is a lot like the judicial/court system if it is run properly it works. But it requires a set of checks and balances.  Our system works when people are ethical…I don’t see that happening now. Transparency and disclosure is important to the integrity of government. People want and need to trust government to work for them.

DONALD:  For the sake of Nevada voters, can you summarize your view of government? What is your view of the role of government in the lives of the people of Nevada?

The people are the government. The people who go to Carson City should be representing what the people, the voters who elect them, want. Government is way out of control…way too big.  This whole Coronavirus thing is creating power-grabs. I see our constitution and everything our country stands for being walked on. The government is there for us and should be listening to us. I think the government believes it’s our boss. Our own governor is making ridiculous decision after ridiculous decision.

DONALD:  The driving force of Nevada’s economy is the gaming industry and all its tentacles…should Nevada be diversifying, and if so, what should it do?

In prior years, Nevada waw is known as one of the country’s most business-friendly states. Since 2019, the government of Nevada has created, I think, 29 new agencies with new programs. Once you have a government agency, it never goes away. Once you initiate a new tax, it never goes away. The way we could diversify is by encouraging different types of companies to come to Nevada. People and businesses won’t come here if we have high taxes and over-reaching regulations. They certainly aren’t going to relocate to Nevada for its education system. We’re ranked at or near the bottom in education. we need a business environment that makes it easy to start and maintain a business, and environment that offers good education, great healthcare, and a range of life issues that make things sustainable. If Nevada continues on the road it is currently on, it will be the last place a company will move to. I am excited to hear that Tesla has considered coming to Nevada. That’s what we should be chasing. I want to recruit outside Nevada and create not just a climate for recruiting businesses but a specific agenda for doing so. This would give Nevada citizens choices for employment.

DONALD:  What is your approach to improve Nevada’s healthcare system?

We need to attract good doctors, that’s at the top of my lists of healthcare needs. Medicare has doctors working in an environment not unlike pro-bono work. Insurance companies want to pay doctors the lowest fee possible and they want to only pay the same rate Medicare is paying. This means the physicians have to see a huge number of patients in order to drive revenue. When people asked me about healthcare, I did not understand how much of it is being controlled by the state. There’s a joke in Nevada healthcare. If someone is asks where should I go to the doctor, the answer is “the airport.”  Nevada is not known for great healthcare but it should be and it can be. I want to address healthcare when I am elected.

DONALD:  Your website lists education as one of your priorities…why is it Nevada has a failing education system and what’s your answer to it?

Nevada does have a failing education system. Our approach has been to dump more money into the system and to remove the accountability structure.  If a business lacks accountability, has poor customer service it will eventually fail, but that’s not true with education. Education can fail and we keep funding it and empowering it to fail even more. There is very little accountability in the Nevada education system, it can continue to fail without recourse. Parents should be able to take their tax dollars and use it to educate their children wherever they desire. I am a candidate that supports education choice because choice creates accountability at every level.

DONALD: Where do most of your beliefs, convictions, and life priorities come from?

Well, I am from Texas!  My father was a missionary, a minister. I’ve been a conservative all my life…although I had some rebellion in my youth. What our country once stood for is dying. Freedom isn’t free, it comes with a price. I’m not sure some of our young people realize that people died for this country’s freedom. My convictions come from my inner core, and to be honest, it’s just common sense. I love my country, I love Nevada.

DONALD:  You’ve called the recent Nevada tax increase scheme illegal…explain your position to Nevada Voters?

In Nevada, the legislature can’t increase taxes without a super-majority vote, but they did it anyway…it’s illegal. The Republicans have filed suit on the basis that the legislature violated the law.

DONALD:  Tell Nevada voters the first things you will tackle after being sworn in.

[Laugher] Where do I start? One of my top priorities is to see us increase our Republican seats. We are not going to have a majority until possible 2022. We have a Democrat-controlled government. I would like to see more GOP candidates. If not, we could lose the state forever. I’m going to work on education and improving it.  Rolling back the taxes on small businesses. Making the creation of businesses and jobs easier by rolling back regulations.  When I go to Carson City, I want to find ways to deal with this economic meltdown that has been created by the shutdown.

DONALD:  What is the most difficult issue you’re facing in the campaign at the moment?

Raising money…it’s difficult to compete without money, and the control of the money is itself political. I wish the average Nevada voter knew where to see who was giving what to who and why…it’s all out there but not easily discovered.

DONALD:  What is the one thing you will never, ever compromise?

I will do what’s right, even if it hurts me. I will always follow the law and do the right thing, ethically. If a Republican is doing something wrong, I will still say and do the same thing, because I have a high ethical compass. It’s the same way I have always handled my legal cases. I’m disgusted when I see judges and attorneys not doing the right thing.

DONALD:  How are you and your husband educating your children?

I’m on the Board of Trustees on the Meadow School, one of the better schools on the west coast. All three of my children went there. I find it unfortunate that every parent can have the choice of school option. I sent my kids to a private school because Nevada has a poor education system. I want every parent to have school choice.

DONALD:  Did the Nevada GOP ask you not to run?

No. I have unanimous support from everyone. I have no doubt they will endorse me.

DONALD: Why should NV voters pick you over Nicole Cannizzaro?

Because I will be their voice; the voice they don’t have.

DONALD: Do you think America is a virtuous nation, does virtue even matter?

We were. Because of some of the leadership we have had and the decisions we’ve made we have lost our way.  I believe we were founded on principles of virtue. America is the greatest country on earth because of a set of ideals that make it different. We are a great country for a reason.

LIGHTNING ROUND QUESTIONS

DONALD: Your favorite movie?

Gone with the Wind, and Jurassic Park

DONALD: Do you eat Sushi?

California rolls (laughter), does that count?

DONALD: Your first car?

El Camino

DONALD: Self-improvement goal?

I need to sleep more. Is that self-improvement (laughing)?

DONALD: What time do you wake up in the morning?

6 am.

DONALD: Do you have a favorite spiritual concept?

My favorite saying is “If there is not a way, we will make one.”

DONALD: What’s your favorite color?

Red

DONALD: What food do you constantly crave, but shouldn’t eat?

Chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, and gravy.

DONALD:  Who is your favorite President of all time?

Ronald Reagan

DONALD:  What was your first job?

In high school I worked in a grocery store as a checker.

DONALD: Do you have any pets, if so, what are they?

Yellow lab, a pug, and a ragdoll cat.

RESOURCES

April Becker’s Campaign Website

DONATE to April Becker’s campaign

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