Friday, Oct. 17, 2008 | 2:07 a.m.
As Republican Jon Porter nears completion of his third term representing Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, he has done little to distinguish himself from the crowd.
The consummate backbencher, Porter has been a loyal foot soldier for the Bush administration, though he began to move away from some of its destructive policies this past term. Still, he voted 75 percent with fellow Republicans in 2007, according to the Congressional Quarterly.
If voters are seeking dynamic leadership to represent a district that cries out for someone who would fight on behalf of them instead of special interests, they would be much better served by sending Democratic challenger Dina Titus to Congress.
The longtime state Senate minority leader and UNLV political science professor is well known to Southern Nevadans. In the Nevada Legislature she supported programs that benefited children, seniors and the disabled.
Her legislation created the successful Nevada Check Up Program for uninsured children. Seniors can purchase less expensive drugs from Canada because of a bill she co-sponsored. Nevadans also have Titus to thank for a law that doubled the penalties for offenders who commit crimes against disabled individuals.
As an educator, she has been a tireless advocate of smaller classes and full-day kindergarten. Her environmental record is impeccable, including pushing Nevada toward greater development of renewable energy resources. An example was legislation she sponsored that required Nevada’s utility companies to acquire a certain percentage of renewable energy as part of the power they sell to consumers. She also played a key role in the preservation of Red Rock Canyon.
These are the types of legislative achievements voters can expect from Titus if they send her to Washington.
What have Southern Nevadans gained from having Porter in Congress? Not much. His list of accomplishments is as thin as a wafer. That explains why his TV advertising campaign has largely consisted of negative attacks on Titus that have been as nasty as they have been untrue.
With Southern Nevada’s housing market reeling from record foreclosure rates, Titus said she would work to get funding to the district to help residents save their homes.
Titus can be expected to take a lead role in the expansion of renewable energy production in this country and would seek legislation, modeled after the Nevada law she sponsored, to require other utilities to include such power in their portfolios.
She believes Medicare recipients deserve a break in the form of a fix of the “doughnut hole” that forces them to pay for many of their health care expenses.
Voters could count on Titus to fight Big Oil and work hard to stem the flow of American jobs overseas. She also advocates “pay as you go” budgeting for the federal government. And she would fully fund the No Child Left Behind law for public schools.
Titus supports a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and would use diplomacy in dealing with Iran. But she also would step up America’s military involvement in Afghanistan and encourage neighboring Pakistan to do its part.
“Everyone who blew us up on 9/11 was in Afghanistan,” Titus said. “We have to hunt down the terrorists, and we should still be committed to finding Osama bin Laden.”
What Titus offers is an intelligent, thoughtful perspective that would stick out in the halls of Congress but which is now missing from the 3rd Congressional District representative. The Sun endorses Dina Titus.