I have been a Businessman all my adult life.
After college in 1978, I worked in my father’s convenience store business in Florida. I didn’t start off as CEO. I started out as a clerk.
I learned the business and took on more and more responsibility as I progressed. By the time I left the family business in 1984, I was supervising all of the stores in our small chain.
So like most of you, I wasn’t born on third base and thought I’d hit a triple. Like you, I know what it’s like to start at the bottom and work my way up.
In 1984, I decided to pursue the dream that many Americans have…to own my own business.
I started a computer software company that served customers all across the country.
It was through this experience that I learned first-hand the challenges of not only meeting a payroll, but complying with all of the government’s taxes, regulations and red tape.
In 1994 I started one of the nation’s first Internet Service Provider companies (ISP), and subsequently founded and served as President of the nation’s only Internet Service Providers Association, which formulated and lobbied for many of the cyber laws that exist today.
I didn’t invent the Internet. But I did help craft legal protections for Internet users that are in effect today.
For example, I successfully lobbied against Internet taxation in the 1996 Florida legislative session, which got substantial national press coverage on television, talk-radio, newspapers and magazines.
My efforts regarding Internet taxation were instrumental in setting a national precedent against taxing Internet access and set the example for most if not all other state legislatures and the US Congress which passed bills to block taxes on your Internet bill. Because of this, almost nobody pays sales tax to access the Internet.
In addition, I successfully lobbied state utility commissions and the FCC to prevent the Internet from being classified as a utility keeping the Internet open and free from government regulatory control.
In 1999 Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Legislature appointed me to serve on the Florida Information Service Technology Development Task Force (I think it’s a government requirement that all government boards must have very long and important-sounding names) as chairman of the E-Laws and Regulatory Committee.
So not only do I have experience as both an employee and employer, but, also in the world of Internet communications, working with the media and moving around the legislative process.
Throughout my entire business career, I was forced to adhere to sound business practices to be successful. This type of experience is desperately needed in our Government today.
I am now semi-retired and have lived in Las Vegas since 2005.
In 2016 I ran for and won the Nevada State Assembly seat representing District 37 in Las Vegas. I served on the Commerce and Labor, Energy, Taxation and Government Affairs Committees. Having served in the Legislature and being an outspoken Conservative in the Nevada Assembly, I have been recognized as a leader in Nevada politics.