I believe in being honest and have often preached; "if you tell the truth, you'll never forget what you said" and believe me I've learned this lesson the hard way. Being honest may sound trite in today's world but I think it is essential, especially in government to earn the peoples' trust and equally important is the willingness to take responsibility for one's actions.
I have what most would consider a "checkered past" and have paid the price several times over. I am a convicted white-collar offender (ex-felon) who spent fifteen months of a twenty-one month sentence at the minimum security Nellis Federal Prison Camp in North Las Vegas for security and tax violations that occurred in 1992.
Being convicted does not necessarily mean being guilty but long ago I decided I couldn't win this battle so I "productively" served my time. Looking back I can honestly say; "I believe this sentence was payback time for prior business practices that were not always above board." I believe some were due in part to my lack of knowledge of the law. This is a part of my life that I'm not proud of but it is a part of my past and believe me, I've learned a very costly lesson from it. To prevent others from making the same mistake, I intend to propose that basic law classes (both criminal and business) be taught in our public school system.
During that time I was a constant visitor to the law library and began to help other inmates with their legal issues. I soon realized that the system wasn't perfect but I had a special love for the law that came from reading many Supreme Court case opinions. AS I did my research I listened to other inmates who constantly complained about the system and after having heard their complaints, I would often say; "if you don't like the law change it, but it's the law".
As a young adult I attended several New York colleges before graduating in 1969 from the Columbia Institute of Chiropractic where I earned the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic. Soon afterwards, I was admitted to practice in both Arizona and California.
While at Nellis I promised myself that upon my release, I would return to school and earn a law degree. After two unsuccessful admission attempts to the Boyd School of Law, I decided to enroll at UNLV where this year I earned BA in Political Science and am currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Administration.
After taking my first political science class I realized how important politics is and how it effects our everyday life. I guess you might say; I began my political career in 2002 when I wrote and sponsored two Nevada Initiatives. The first would have provided more funds for K - 12 public education, while the second was to change a Nevada Statute to call for a presumption of shared parenting in issues of child custody.
For nearly forty years I've created and run all types of business's, from manufacturing to advertising and in January of '04 I began to resurrect a vision I had more then ten years ago. It was a dream of starting an airline that would have everyday low fares, high overall capacity with ala carte services. I learned a lesson from my previous attempt at starting this venture and hopefully next year "Family Airlines" will begin daily coast-to-coast service. As anyone can see I do not give up easily. However this time around, I do not intend to hold a managerial position with the new airline but instead will act as an independent marketing consultant with no formal authority.
My goal in life today is entirely different than it was a decade ago. I believe I was once before given a second chance in terms of the most important things in life. On my birthday in 1974 I buried my eighteen-month-old son Erick, who had been the victim of a swimming pool accident, a tragedy that I will never forget and one that eventually led to my divorce from my first wife.
In 1989 I remarried and was lucky enough to witness the birth of my two daughters, and although I was divorced in '98 I continue to play an active role in their everyday lives. For me life is about setting a positive example not only for them, but for others as well by teaching them they can do anything they set your mind too. Even believing you're qualified to run for the United States Congress and capable of winning the long political journey.
I know when I'm elected to Congress my overall business experience along with my ups and downs of life have given me the ability to think outside the box, which in turn will make a huge difference to the people of Nevada as well as the nation.
No doubt during this campaign both the press and other candidates will bring up my past, but I believe it's just that my past. The mistakes I made are of public record and I can't change them. Lucky for me my offense occurred in California, a state that automatically restores civil rights upon completion of one's sentence. For the last several years I've been both eligible to vote as well as run for any political office. If elected, I know full well I will be under close scrutiny and I welcome it. Thanks for your support!