His Town Hall meeting at the Caliente Elementary School was not heavily attended, but it was also a noontime meeting on Friday, when many were still at work.
Hardy, a former Nevada state legislator from Mesquite, toppled first term Congressman Steven Horsford in the November election by a 48.5 percent to 45.8 percent margin. Horsford was one in a cluster of Democrats who lost in a wave that enabled Republicans to increase their majority in the House and capture control of the U.S. Senate.
Hardy told those in Caliente what he wanted to do most certainly was to make sure he continued to have close contact with his rural constituents in Lincoln County.
And he intends to set up a communications director in his Las Vegas office who can pass on the concerns, as well as suggested answers for issues they might be facing. He has hired Sonya Joya, staff member of former Senator Jon Ensign to be that person, “and to have my case workers come out as often as you need them,” he said.
“I work for you, I want to be your servant. I desire to do what you want me to do,” Hardy said. “But don’t leave me with the ideas and answers to come up with myself. I expect the people to get involved, especially if we really want to do what needs be done to take the country back from the growing dominance of federal government. We can’t afford to just sit back, we all have to be involved.”
He said he is a state’s rights guy, “and we have let the federal government, even going back to the Carter Administration, have way too much control. The first 10 Amendments were perfect at the time, and they are still perfect today.”
Hardy said he wanted to be able to visit the 4th District quite often while in office, spending time with local people and hearing what they have to say.
He knows much of his attention will be on Las Vegas, as 84 percent of the 4th District voters live in Las Vegas, but he also wants to keep in touch with the rural areas, and intends to make his visits advertized a week or two in advance.
Hardy made the tour with his newly hired chief of staff, long time Washington insider, Allen Tennille.
He spoke a little about the problems with the Veterans Administration and Social Security, and said the fault with the national education system is because the federal government wants to take care of everyone “from cradle to grave, and have taken parents out of it.”
Hardy said he thinks the present administration in the White House is a blessing. “Because over the past 50 years, including now, we have been losing hold of the Constitutional values and liberties, little by little. And in the past six years, people woke up and recognized it. We’ve been losing fast.”
Some discussion was held on the cattle, horse, sheep, sage grouse problems, and the SNWA pipeline Lincoln County is facing. Hardy was told who some of the best locally informed people in the district are to contact to discuss those issues.
One of the key issues he mentioned is helping Nevada and other western states, get most of their land back from the federal government, as was promised as far back as 1828 under President Jackson. He applauded the efforts being taken by the state of Utah. “Why are we (Nevada) one of the most underfunded education systems in the nation,” he asked? “Because 87 percent of our land is in federal hands. You have to have property development to be able to tax for education.” He thinks the Payment in Lieu of Taxes plan “is a joke. We are subservient to that dollar every year, instead of being laboratories of industry.”
On the water pipeline issue, Hardy said the scientists can’t prove the pumping will really draw down the groundwater to near nothing, “but they can’t prove it won’t either.”
Commission chair Ed Higbee, who attended the meeting, said he was of the opinion SNWA believes they have a 30-year mandate to pump the aquifers of rural Nevada as they want, while they try to think of something else to do.
Hardy will officially take office when he is sworn into the House of Representatives Jan. 6, 2015 and have seats on the Transportation and Natural Resources committees.