The Words of the Hickey Family
Assemblyman Pat Hickey attends an orientation session for freshman Nevada legislators on Dec. 7. Although the Reno Republican isn't an actual freshman -- he served in the Legislature 14 yeas ago -- he has a lot to catch up on.
Editor's Note: This is an occasional series about new lawmakers in the Legislature.
Job: owner of painting company
Assembly District: 25 in Washoe County
Family: Wife, Shin; four children, Johnmin, 27, Shinae, 25, Daemin, 25, and Hannah, 21
Education: bachelor's degree Regents College of New York, master's degree in journalism, University of Nevada, Reno.
Author: "Tahoe Boy: A Journey Back Home," his autobiography about growing up at Lake Tahoe and his experiences in the 1970s as a member of the Unification Church.
Quotable: "Some people have characterized me as a bleeding heart conservative. In some ways, that describes my temperament. I am a people-oriented person and I am a business person and a fiscal conservative who will listen and look for responsible solutions."
CARSON CITY -- Assemblyman Pat Hickey isn't a true freshman taking a seat for the first time at the 2011 Legislature.
But there is a world's difference between the Assembly in which the Reno Republican served in 1997 and the one he will enter on Feb. 7.
"I have been told it is far more partisan now," Hickey said. "I made the statement that lawmakers would do better to behave like the people they represent than the partisans they become here in Carson."
Hickey respects any person who is willing to take time away from a job and serve his or her constituents. He looks forward to finding Democratic legislation he can support and hopes Democrats will support his bills.
His 14-year break in legislative service is hardly a record. Assemblyman Warren Baldy, R-Carson City, served in the Legislature in 1914-16 and then returned 36 years later in 1952.
While respectful of those on the other side of the aisle, Hickey won't be voting for tax and spending increases as long as the recession continues. He operates a painting company whose business has dropped in half and laid off many workers.
"It's one of the reasons I am running for office. We are one of the fortunate companies in that our shingle is still hanging. I have a business perspective. This is not the time to raise taxes on Nevada businesses. I have seen firsthand the cuts and furloughs in the private sector."
He has drawn some important committee assignments. He will serve on the Ways and Means, Commerce and Labor and Legislative Affairs and Elections committees.
Hickey will sponsor several bills likely to draw some loud discussions.
He favors requiring all companies to use the federal E-Verify system to determine whether prospective employees are legal citizens.
If they don't and hire undocumented workers, then he proposes stiff fines and suspension of their business licenses. The amounts have not yet been determined.
Hickey also wants the state to collect a fee on wire transfers of money to other countries.
Often, he said, illegal residents who have been paid under the table in Nevada or other states wire money to relatives in Mexico or other counties. The Mexican government takes 35 percent of every dollar wired by Western Union to its residents, he said.
"This money is being sent by people not paying taxes, people who are contributing to our costs for education, health and human services and public safety," said Hickey, who said his bill was taken from laws in Kansas, Oklahoma and other states.
Another of his bills would move the primary election, now held in June, back to early September.
A Lake Tahoe native, Hickey has worked as a reporter and columnist. He also was a longtime member of the Unification Church who often traveled with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Moon even picked his wife.
The Hickeys are parents of four children, all college graduates.
Hickey wrote "Tahoe Boy: A Journey Back Home," a humorous autobiography about his experiences with the church and growing up while traveling around the world.
He points out that he was born and raised a Catholic and attends the same Catholic church in Reno as Gov. Brian Sandoval.
For fun, he likes to write, fish and spend time with his family in their cabin high in the Sierra Nevada in Mono County, Calif. This time of the year, snow is over the cabin's roof and you can get there only on a snowmobile.