Carson City – Clint Koble is the Democratic nominee for Nevada’s vast second congressional district. Mr. Koble recently stopped by the KNVC studios in Carson City and recorded the following interview …
Perhaps more than policy, the most salient and important election year difference between Clint Koble and Mark Amodei is campaign support, especially from for-profit corporations, and so it has ever been in Nevada’s CD 2. The Democrat running for CD2 has, with a tiny number of exceptions, never attracted national or international scale corporate support, whereas the Republican candidates for the nation’s third largest congressional district by land area have perennially garnered the support of the nation’s largest, most influential corporations, and the tradition continues in 2018.
Scroll through the Federal election Commission list of contributors, and Koble’s ledger of funding sources is devoid of corporate money. Not one national or international scale corporation has given to the Koble campaign. Noted Nevada Democrats Chris Giunchiliani and Frankie Sue Del Papa contributed to Mr. Koble’s effort, and a few county Democratic parties have supported him, but Clint Koble himself is possibly the largest single contributor to his campaign.
Corporate support for the Democratic candidate for Nevada’s CD2 has been in steady decline since 2006, and if we were to judge by the data represented in the following graphs, the 2010 Citizens United US Supreme Court decision has not resulted in an increase in the amount of corporate money in the race for Nevada’s CD 2.
There was an election held in 2012 between Mark Amodei and Democrat Samuel Koepnick, but there is no data available for Mr. Koepnick’s FEC filings of contributions and expenses in the archive. Koepnick lost to Amodei 58 to 36 percent.
Democrat Clint Koble said in a recent interview with Brian Bahouth that he understands the challenge of winning Nevada’s CD 2.
“First of all, it is a challenge,” Koble said without hesitation. “It’s one, a very large district. It’s one of the largest districts in the country, so you have that challenge just to get out to all the areas in the district, and yes it hasn’t been won by a Democrat since it started 37 years ago, fully aware of that, but there are a number of indicators that leave a lot of possibilities.”
There are nearly 100,000 registered Nonpartisan voters in CD2, and Koble is working to appeal not only to his Democratic base but Nonpartisans and Republicans too.
“In the district now, there’s approximately 80 to 90 thousand Nonpartisans and Independents, and that’s a great group to appeal to, and we are really trying to attract those Nonpartisans and Independents, and so that makes the race competitive,” Koble said.
“There are more Republicans in the district than Democrats, to be quite frank, but there’s that large number sitting off to the side that is the game changer,” Koble said when referring to the growing number of Nonpartisan voters in the district. “That’s one of the reasons I got in the race is because of those demographics.”
Koble added that more than swaying Nonpartisans, he believes the time is right for his message.
“I feel that I’m the right candidate at the right time in the right place. I feel that I’m in tune with the issues. Issues that are important to Nevadans all over the district,” Koble said. “Our access to affordable healthcare, a women’s right to choose, keeping our standards up on clean air, clean water, public lands, and then what I call shared economic prosperity where business, labor and environment can all survive and thrive together if you just have the political will, and with immigration, those are a lot of the issues that are in tune with a lot of voters across the state, and that’s who I am trying to appeal to.”
In 1992 Democrat Pete Sferrazza came the closest of any Democrat of winning Nevada’s CD 2, and Sferrazza did it with a similar funding disparity between the major candidates as exists in the 2018 race. Mr. Koble is cognizant of Sferrazza’s success and is working to mount a similarly competitive campaign.
We asked Koble if he sees President Trump as an asset or liability for Amodei.
“He (President Trump) still has a strong base in Nevada,” Koble said. “He has played to his base, but I think there is a lot of people who a re somewhat taken by the President and his manner and approach to things. I think they feel a little taken aback by his name-calling and other things that just don’t led to respect and civility, and IU think that’s not only motivated Democrats but a lot of Independents and Nonpartisans.”
In renegotiating international trade relationships, Donald Trump has in some markets ended the large-scale sale of many agricultural products to foreign nations and unnerved agricultural communities across the nation.
“There’s been a few things that the President has raised, like the tariffs which have hurt not so much in Nevada yet, but for farmers across the nation, the tariffs have really hurt the agricultural communities, so there is a concern already in some of the rural areas if we continue with some of these tariff wars, if we cancel some trade agreements that farmers and ranchers are going to be in trouble, and we depend on exports because we a re so darned efficient.”
Koble said both major parties need to be concerned with voter disaffection with party politics and the resulting growing number of Nonpartisan voters.
“My message is, I try to be appealing to the issues, and I’m hoping those issues will draw people not only from the Democratic Party but for Independents and Nonpartisans and maybe a few Republicans,” Koble said.
Koble said his stance on gun owner rights is a good example.
“I was born and raised on a farm in North Dakota, and my parents were poor. We either raised our food or we had to hunt for it, so I grew up in the gun culture” Koble said. “I’ve also been a gun owner all my life. I own a gun and I do defend the 2nd Amendment. I’m not here to take everybody’s guns away any more than I want them to take my gun away, si I have some common ground and can talk to people all across the district. Yes, I am against assault weapons and bump stocks and silencers, high capacity magazines, and I do want to see background checks on all gun sales but for the most part I do support the 2nd Amendment and letting people have guns. It is the assault weapons that I am opposed to.”
Koble added that his appeal to non-Democratic voters in rural Nevada is a matter of empathy and a shared perspective.
“I was born and raised on a farm, and then for seven and a half years I was the state director under President Obama. He appointed me as a presidential appointee for the USDA here in Nevada, so my job was to implement the Farm Bill every five years, annual congressional budgets, and my job was to help farmers and ranchers and Native Americans through the good times and the bad,” Koble said. “Whether it was payments for natural disasters or offering low interest loans to eligible producers and conservation programs, so yes, I have a very strong background in agriculture.
“I tell people I am just an old farm kid from North Dakota,” Koble continued. “I’m very comfortable when I get out into Pershing County and other counties across the district because I grew up in the country and identify with a lot of cultural values. For a lot of rural communities, sometimes they feel that they’re being penalized by people who live in urban areas who because of the numbers they make the laws, and yet they feel it’s different out here. We shouldn’t have to live with those (laws). I understand that mentality and I understand why, so I empathize with them,” Koble said.
For much more from Clint Koble, listen to the audio interview embedded above …