Questionnaire Responses

Edwin Lyngar

We reached out to just about every candidate that we ranked with a questionnaire specific to the office they are running for. Here are the answers Mr. Lyngar provided.

Mr. Lyngar is a Democrat. He's running to be the Commissioner for Washoe County Distrcit 5.

Tell us about your background. What are your qualifications for this position?

I served in the US Coast Guard for 7 years on active duty. Using the GI bill, I went back to graduate school while employed at the Nevada Department of Wildlife for 15 years. In 2017, I moved to teaching at the community college where I’ve worked for five years. Most important for libertarians, I suspect: Two years ago, I opened a small business in Reno. Mountain Pose Yoga on McCarran where I learned a lot about the rewards and challenges of owning a business.

I’m from Nevada. I grew up in Battle Mountain. I understand many parts of this unique state culture. Many Nevadans, left and right, have a libertarian bend – we all want to be left alone. I understand and live this part of our culture here.

I have experience in and around government. I think it should work for people.

Do you agree or disagree with the measures taken by state officials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? What do you think should have been done or done differently?

I am hesitant to go back with hindsight on the decisions we made to deal with this virus. The one mistake, I do think was how we treated children who were not seriously in danger of dying. We should have been more open to kids being together in groups, doing joint learning. There is a difference between people working and children going to school. It’s hard to demand people work when they are afraid of dying.

Overall, I respect the need for public health measures during a pandemic. They were sometimes wrong and occasionally unfair. I hope we learn from this to improve how we behave next time.

Many voters are unhappy with our public school system. What policies or actions would you prescribe to repair or replace the existing system? Do you support “school choice” policies such as educational savings accounts? Why or why not?

I support education savings accounts and tax breaks for regular people. I do NOT support piles of government money being given to religious schools. This is a mistake. School choice has been used to promote religious education, which violates the constitution. As a teacher, I support improving our schools in a variety of ways, including charter and magnet schools. There is a place for public education that brings our society together and promotes accountability. Too much of the question about private schools is a smokescreen for other issues. We can do better.

Please briefly describe your political philosophy. What are your guiding principles?

I believe in good government. I agree with capitalism, but not the crony capitalism that defines the business wing of the opposing party. Giving government money to corporations harms both government and private business. Sometimes the attacks on government backfire, chasing out good government employees and making administration worse. I do not believe we need partisanship at the local level, and I would push county government to be faster, more responsive to people, and eliminate barriers to getting things done. As a supporter of good government, I want it to work fast and efficiently. – Incidentally, I’d love the chance to talk to you more about why libertarians can and should get behind this idea.

On social issues, I believe as the libertarians do: we have a right to be left alone. So much of what ails this country could be resolved if we all minded our business. Social issues have no place in government debates. I am pro-choice, pro personal freedom, and I am for the decriminalization of almost all drugs. I adhere to libertarian notions of personal freedom and private property.

Many voters are concerned about inflation and its impact. What could be done at the state or national level to address the root causes of inflation or mitigate its impact on the public?

The fed has been slow to act here, but I do not know what we can do about it. At the local level, we can make it easier for people to do business. I think we need smart growth in our community, but we have thrown up artificial barriers for some development. This adds costs onto ordinary people. Where possible, I think governments should work toward being fast and responsive to avoid adding needless costs on regular people. At the county level, commissioners will have no chance to influence larger, monetary policy.

What are the biggest issues currently affecting Clark County? What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

Our biggest problem comes from out-of-control partisanship. We see this at the commission level. Much of this has been amped up by election denialism and dishonesty. After elections are decided, they must be over. The attacks on elections are tearing at our already fraying trust. Dishonest politicians exploit these division for money and donations, benefitting off the rage and anger in our society. Until we bring honesty back to government, we cannot have a functioning county or democracy.

Can you cite any instances in which you believe that Clark County Commissioners abused their power?

My opponent proposed National Guard Troops at polling stations and a 20-point plan to only use “paper ballots” during elections. If that isn’t an abuse of power, I don’t’ know what would qualify. We can disagree about the electoral system, but we should do so with honesty and a view toward improved access for everyone. One The 20-point plan would disenfranchise untold hundreds or thousands of voters and is based on a lie. There is no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen. Without honesty from elected officials, we cannot even begin to debate real issues.