State agencies were told Wednesday they should plan flat budgets for the next biennium and to recommend spending reductions of 5 percent below that.

money blackholeState agencies were told Wednesday they should plan flat budgets for the next biennium and to recommend spending reductions of 5 percent below that.

The announcement came during the Sandoval administration’s first presentation on the next budget cycle and to veteran agency heads it must have felt a lot like deja vu — the same thing they were told during the depths of the recession.

“There is no intent to cut the agencies,” said Finance Department Director Jim Wells.

But he said revenues are coming in at or a hair less than projected and the state must be prepared to make reductions if necessary. He told a crowd of agency officials at the briefing it’s up to them to decide what programs would be reduced and, if necessary, by how much. He said preparing those decisions in advance would make things a lot easier and better than at the last minute if the Economic Forum tells the administration the money hoped for won’t be there.

He said hopefully no cuts will be needed but the administration doesn’t want a repeat of what happened when the economy collapsed in the fall of 2007, leaving the state almost no time to react.

Wells said the current General Fund budget of $7.3 billion will probably grow to $7.5 or $7.6 billion, but that doesn’t mean there will be room for enhancements.

“Any increase in revenues would be eaten up by the roll-ups,” he said referring to cost increases such as in medical services that are beyond state control. One big category in which there’s a projected decrease is the percentage of Medicaid the federal government pays. Even a fraction of a percent reduction there costs the state millions since Medicaid is the state’s largest single budget at $5.3 billion.

In addition, there are the ongoing costs built into the current budget that have to be paid next cycle including the employee raises and the 100 added officers at state prisons among others.

So Wells and Sandoval’s Chief of Staff Mike Willden said proposed budgets for the 2018-2019 cycle can be no more than twice the amount budgeted for fiscal 2017.

Wells emphasized his office doesn’t want across the board cuts but prioritized reductions targeting low priority programs.

Willden said the 2015 session was about fixing Nevada’s revenue system.

“2017 is going to be about cost controls, efficient government, those kind of things,” he said. “We’re looking for better ways to manage your resources.”

There are, however, exceptions to that limit including caseload growth, agency specific inflation, federal and court ordered increases and any enhancements authorized by the governor’s office. Generally, the caps apply to state General Fund and Highway Fund spending, not to federal and other revenue sources.

The budget plan also laid out a list of new and tighter deadlines for submitting budget plans and bill draft requests, most placed in statute by the 2015 Legislature.

The first of those deadlines is April 15 when agencies have to submit legislative summaries to the governor’s office. Non-budget bill draft requests are due August 1 at the Legislative Counsel Bureau and budget bills are due at the budget office September 1.

Also this time, LCB won’t accept “placeholder” bill draft requests — a blank request that doesn’t specify what would eventually be in the proposed legislation. He said BDRs must contain enough information to tell what the bill is going to be about.

Wells said since the governor only has 110 BDRs next time, they have to keep a tight rein on the requests for statutory changes.

The governor is also clamping down tighter on the portion of the budget cycle known as the “Agency Request” budget. The agency request budget came in at about $8 billion at the start of this current cycle, which Sandoval tried initially to keep from becoming public — and even from the legislative fiscal staff.

This time, he has set strict rules requiring agencies to get permission before including any enhancement above two-times-current-spending in their proposed budgets.

That will frustrate advocacy groups and government watchers for a long list of agencies who see the agency request budget as a view into what the agency believes it needs as opposed to what the governor’s office thinks.

Willden described the change as “formalizing the enhancement process.” He said the governor’s office would be providing “some pretty firm directions” as to the kinds of enhancements it intends to include in the budget.

Suppose, for example, that Trump nominated Brian Sandoval to replace Justice Scalia.

American ThinkerIf Donald Trump is a true conservative, then there is no danger at all in electing him to be president.  Trump might, in fact, introduce a new and dynamic electoral element to conservatism, as he noted when observing that he might carry New York and other traditionally leftist states in the northeast part of our nation.  If Trump is a true conservative, then he could be the best thing that happened to conservatives in America since Reagan.

Brian Sandoval with his bong

Brian Sandoval with his bong

His dealing-making prowess, his willingness to tweak the delicate noses of political correctness, his willingness to take on the Republican Establishment – all these are great advantages that Trump would have over most Republican nominees or Republican presidents…if Trump is a true conservative.  We all ought to hope that Donald Trump is just that – a conservative who cherishes the values of conservatives and wants to restore the moral greatness of America (the other so-called “greatness” of wealth and power don’t really matter).

What, though, if Donald Trump is not just a RINO, but a CINO – a “conservative in name only”?  What if Trump really does see the problems of politics today that we do not negotiate tough enough deals or that we do not manage government well enough?  What if Trump believes that he can save America by producing business growth (without also constraining federal courts, reducing presidential power, and re-asserting the only true greatness of our nation: its moral greatness)?brian sandoval proclamation

This does not mean Trump is insincere or phony, but just that he honestly believes that muscle and money make everything right.  What is the danger to that?  If Trump is President Trump, he is also the leader of the Republican Party, and Congress will have no real chance of stopping much of what he proposes.

Suppose, for example, that Trump nominated Brian Sandoval to replace Justice Scalia.  Sandoval is a “moderate” who would sometimes rule with the leftist side of the court.  What if Trump then appointed Chris Christie to the next vacancy?  The Supreme Court would move sharply left without any true leftist being appointed, and Senate Republicans could do nothing about it.

What if Trump, anxious to “get things done,” decided that the vast arrogation of executive power by Obama, while wrong in theory, was just what he needed to implement his agenda?  If Trump is “results oriented” instead of “rights oriented,” then, like leftists, Trump might take the attitude that the ends justify the means, and what, exactly, could Republicans in Congress do about that?

Furthermore, what if Trump intended to reform health care “sensibly” but still embrace a single-payer plan?  He might construct something better than Obamacare, but the underlying principle of keeping government out of health care would be lost, perhaps forever, in American politics.  In one sense, an Obamacare that is wildly unpopular is better, in the long run, than a Trumpcare favorably received.

This assumes, of course, that Trump really does fancy himself a conservative who joined the Republican Party recently as the best way of implementing his particular conservative program.  What if Trump is really more of a moderate who is trying to temper the conservative movement, even as he kicks out an incompetent and corrupt Democrat administration?

Talk of “bringing Americans together” is always scary stuff – very much the glop of true RINOs.  We need, instead, to split America apart and produce victory for conservatives over leftists and their tapioca moderate friends.  While trying to do the right thing, Trump may so divide conservatives and so splinter Republicans in Congress that we can do nothing, except what Trump feels is good policy, for at least four years.

Conservatives are always weakest with a Republican president like Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Bush, or Bush as the titular head of the only reservoir of conservative political power.  Except for Nixon, the other four of those Republican presidents were honorable and decent men.  But all were disasters for conservative policies in America.

Indeed, most of the awful programs since World War Two were brought to us with RINO presidents whipping conservatives in Congress into supporting their “reforms.”  The opportunity for good things if Trump is a true conservative are great, but the dangers to conservatives if he is not truly conservative are monumental.


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Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said Thursday he is not interested in being considered for the U.S. Supreme Court at this time, and he has told the White House.

brian sandoval

By Michelle Rindels, AP

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said Thursday he is not interested in being considered for the U.S. Supreme Court at this time, and he has told the White House.

The Republican governor issued a statement the day after the Washington Post reported the White House was considering him as a potential replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Senate Republicans have said they will not consider a nominee from President Obama during an election year.

“Earlier today, I notified the White House that I do not wish to be considered at this time for possible nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States,” Sandoval wrote. “The notion of being considered for a seat on the highest court in the land is beyond humbling, and I am incredibly grateful to have been mentioned.”

He offered no reason for his decision but said he also expressed his position to senators Harry Reid, Dean Heller and Mitch McConnell.

The Senate’s vetting process for any nominee is expected to be viciously political, if hearings take place at all. Sandoval’s mention was thought to be a way around Republican senators’ resistance to considering an Obama nominee.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada last week suggested the next justice could be a Nevadan. He said Thursday he hopes Sandoval’s name will come up again later.

“As a friend and former colleague of Governor Sandoval’s, I believe he is eminently qualified for this position,” Heller said. “But, I support his decision to withdraw his name from consideration for the Supreme Court vacancy. I hope the next president will consider him in the future.”

Sandoval, 52, is a former federal judge and popular second-term governor.


Harry Reid suggested a Republican, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, as a potential nominee.

brian-sandoval-bongPresident Barack Obama said Wednesday it would be “difficult” for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to explain his decision not to consider a Supreme Court nominee without looking like he’s motivated by politics.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid suggested a Republican, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, as a potential nominee. A source confirmed to CNN that the White House is vetting Sandoval.

Obama’s pointed remarks and Reid’s unconventional suggestion come amid a bitter standoff between Senate Republicans and the White House over naming a Supreme Court replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, whose death this month launched an epic election-year fight over constitutional powers and precedent.

“I recognize the politics are hard for them because the easier thing to do is to give in to the most extreme voices within their party and stand pat and do nothing,” Obama said. “But that’s not our job. Our job is to fulfill our constitutional duties.”

Claiming he felt sympathy for Republican lawmakers making “sheepish” arguments for blocking his court choice, Obama insisted he would “nominate somebody and let the American people decide as to whether that person is qualified.”

In a blog post early Wednesday, Obama reiterated again the broad outlines of what he’s looking for in a candidate to replace Scalia, despite hardening resistance among Senate Republicans toward considering his eventual Supreme Court nominee.

Writing on the SCOTUSBlog website, Obama repeated his desire for a candidate who could bring life experience to the bench, along with an unassailable job history.

“A sterling record. A deep respect for the judiciary’s role. An understanding of the way the world really works. That’s what I’m considering as I fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court,” Obama wrote. “And as senators prepare to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to consider the person I appoint, I hope they’ll move quickly to debate and then confirm this nominee so that the Court can continue to serve the American people at full strength.”

Obama’s entreaty to lawmakers came a day after Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee vowed in a letter to forgo hearings on the White House’s selection, a move unprecedented in Supreme Court nomination history. McConnell showed little sign he would retreat from his position that Obama’s successor should select Scalia’s replacement on the high court.

“I don’t know how many times we need to keep saying this: The Judiciary Committee has unanimously recommended to me that there be no hearing. I’ve said repeatedly and I’m now confident that my conference agrees that this decision ought to be made by the next president, whoever is elected,” McConnell said Tuesday, adding later he was unlikely to even meet with Obama’s nominee.

The chairman of the Judiciary panel, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, spoke with Obama about the selection process last week, but has so far declined invitations to meet with Obama in person, a White House official said late Tuesday.

Speaking in the Oval Office Wednesday, Obama said none of the country’s founding fathers believed a president should stop doing his job in his final year in office. And he argued that Republicans risked damaging the ability of any president to appoint judges if they proceed with blocking his Supreme Court pick.

“If, in fact, the Republicans in the Senate take a posture that defies the Constitution, defies logic, is not supported by tradition simply because of politics, then invariably what you’re going to see is a further deterioration in the ability of any president to make any judicial appointments,” Obama said.

“Appointments to the Supreme Court as well as the federal bench suddenly become a complete extension of our polarized politics,” he added.

And he sought to dispel any damage from archival video showing Vice President Joe Biden, then a senator, arguing against approving a Supreme Court nominee during the 1992 election year.

“They’ve suggested there have been times that Democrats have said it would be wise for a president not to nominate someone,” Obama said. “We know senators say stuff all the time.”

Obama revealed little about his process in selecting a nominee, either during his remarks or in his online posting. He repeated the broad criteria for a candidate that he cited during his past two Supreme Court nomination opportunities.

“Needless to say, this isn’t something I take lightly,” Obama wrote. “It’s a decision to which I devote considerable time, deep reflection, careful deliberation, and serious consultation with legal experts, members of both political parties, and people across the political spectrum.”

Obama’s aides said he spent last weekend delving into detailed packets about potential candidates. He was seen carrying a large black binder, divided into nine sections, as he returned to his residence Friday evening.

In his post, Obama made no indication of what ideology he was seeking in a Supreme Court nominee, and the White House insists he remains open to a spectrum of candidates.

But in recent days his allies have suggested Obama select a moderate who has gained support in the past from Republicans, even as it appears increasingly unlikely that any nominee will gain traction among GOP lawmakers.

Vice President Joe Biden suggested in interviews last week Obama pick a “consensus candidate” and not the most “liberal jurist” he could muster. Without naming specific judges, he said there were plenty of names on the federal bench who had enjoyed broad support from Republicans during their confirmation processes.

Many of those names currently serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, one of the nation’s most important panels since it hears challenges to certain federal agencies.

While the court is sometimes regarded as a stepping-stone for judges to eventually serve on the Supreme Court, a former top adviser to Obama suggested Tuesday the President may avoid picking a name from that lower panel.

“Because those cases are critical cases and there are several of them before them right now, I think he’ll look elsewhere for a nominee,” David Axelrod, now a CNN senior political commentator, said on “The Situation Room.”

Meet Brian Sandoval, Nevada’s Party Pooper He may be the most popular Republican in the country. So why does it feel like every GOP candidate is running in the other direction?

brian-sandoval-bongLast June, on a school playground in Las Vegas, a Republican governor plopped into a chair before a folding metal table, applied a gray pen to a slip of paper, and broke into a jaunty grin while a throng of elementary students clapped politely. With that signature, Brian Sandoval passed part of an education package derived from an enormous tax increase well north of a billion dollars, the largest tax hike in the 151-year history of Nevada.
Since then, Sandoval has found himself somewhat lonely on the Republican stage—which is ironic, perhaps, for a handsome, hugely popular Latino star in a party eager to showcase its Hispanic credentials, a man who has been leading a state that has been thoroughly combed for months by Republican presidential candidates ahead of the Nevada caucuses on Tuesday. Only a week ago in South Carolina, the endorsement of another high-wattage GOP star, Nikki Haley, was huge news and may well have turned the tide of the race—or at least driven Jeb Bush out when Haley crushed his hopes by endorsing his rival Marco Rubio.
But the courting of Sandoval, if you can call it that, has been a far more subtle affair for the GOP presidential candidates. He is in the unenviable position of being seen as an ideological apostate who simultaneously boasts approval ratings in the high-to-mid 60s. When the general election comes, Sandoval’s endorsement will be desperately needed; Democrats privately fear he could be a potent weapon to drive Latino and Hispanic turnout. But in an unpredictable and highly partisan GOP caucus, with many conservative Republicans alleging betrayal by Sandoval over his historic tax hike and threatening revolt, the endorsement of the Nevada governor is seen as more of a headache than a helpmate. And no one is quite sure what to do about him.
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Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval gets floated as a possible Supreme Court nominee

brian-sandoval-bongFollowing Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on Saturday, there’s been debate over whether President Barack Obama should nominate a replacement, and if the Republican-controlled Senate should block any and all nominations until the president’s final term runs out.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement that Scalia’s seat on the bench should not be filled by the Obama administration, arguing that “the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.”

But in a post to The Fix titled “5 possible Supreme Court picks that could make Republicans squirm,” The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips says Obama could still move ahead with finding someone to put before the Senate.

“Outside the Beltway, there’s one name that could really make things awkward for Republicans mostly because he’s such a qualified candidate,” she writes about Sandoval.

She lists the facts that he’s Republican, Hispanic, a former federal judge and moderate on certain issues like abortion, immigration and same-sex marriage.

“The governor is such a consensus-building candidate that, by picking him, Obama would be extending an olive branch that Republicans could look foolish in batting away,” Phillips says.

Governor Brian Sandoval State of CORRUPTION

Governor Brian Sandoval State of CORRUPTION

But she also says that stance on abortion could be a non-starter with Senate Republicans.

us supreme court

U.S. Supreme Court

“It would be difficult to near-impossible to imagine 14 Senate Republicans voting to the highest court someone who opposes this most basic conservative principle,” Phillips writes. “And it’s likely that some Senate Democrats would balk at a guy who is pretty conservative on many other issues.”

The Washington Post isn’t the only outlet suggesting the governor as a possibility.

The Morning Consult also put forth Sandoval as a candidate for the nomination, saying the governor could be a legacy choice for Obama.

“He might consider a popular Republican from a swing state, one whose ideology would be acceptable to Democrats and whose stature would be impossible for Senate Republicans to ignore one who has won unanimous Senate confirmation to a judicial post in the past, and who is said to yearn for a return to the judiciary,” Reid Wilson writes.

Sen. Dean Heller also might have hinted at Sandoval as a possibility. Heller said in a statement released Wednesday:

The chances of approving a new nominee are slim, but Nevadans should have a voice in the process. That’s why I encourage the President to use this opportunity to put the will of the people ahead of advancing a liberal agenda on the nation’s highest court. But should he decide to nominate someone to the Supreme Court, who knows, maybe it’ll be a Nevadan.

A spokesman for Heller later told the Associated Press the senator believes the nomination should wait for the next president. The AP also acknowledged that Brian Sandoval is among the names political activists have discussed as a possibility, though an unlikely one.


Gov. Brian Sandoval has thrown down the gauntlet in the battle over hardrock mining’s future in Nevada, taking the bold step of calling out Sally Jewell over management of agencies she oversees as Secretary of the Interior.

brian-sandoval-bongGov. Brian Sandoval has thrown down the gauntlet in the battle over hardrock mining’s future in Nevada, taking the bold step of calling out Sally Jewell over management of agencies she oversees as Secretary of the Interior.

Their response will reveal whether the proposed mineral withdrawal is more about helping the sage grouse or harming the state’s mining industry.

The Bureau of Land Management’s comment period closed three weeks ago, and Nevadans could learn by the end of the month whether the current two-year ban will be extended to 20 years. If it is, there will be no exploration along the northern edge of our state, nor in much of Idaho and southeastern Oregon.

Sandoval submitted the state’s official comments by the Jan. 15 deadline, including a revision that followed his talks with Jewell in early December. “Secretary Jewell committed to robust collaboration on the mineral withdrawal process,” he announced at the time. “The Secretary understands the national security and economic development importance of the mineral potential in Nevada.”

The deal outlined by our governor would preserve mining exploration on most of the proposed withdrawal area, while protecting critical sage grouse habitat in other areas. But it may be in jeopardy, because on Jan. 28 Sandoval issued a press release putting Jewell on the spot.

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Two Rooftop Solar Companies Leaving Nevada due to Nevada’s coulture of corruption


Two rooftop solar system companies, Sunrun Inc. and SolarCity®, announced this week that they are ceasing operations in Nevada. Both said new rules adopted by Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Public Utilities Commission drove their decisions, although Sunrun also cited “actions taken by NV Energy and Nevada politicians” in its announcement. Both Las Vegas daily newspapers reported that the state PUC was still considering the new rules Jan. 7.

Sunrun and SolarCity said ceasing their operations in the state will eliminate hundreds of jobs, including jobs at local solar panel installation companies; Sunrun, which claims to be the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States, reported that it hopes to transition its Nevada-based employees to other positions within the company where possible or to place them with other local organizations.

The rule adopted Jan. 1, 2016, by the PUC “are more adverse to solar customers than those publicly proposed by NV Energy,” according to Sunrun. “The new rules will block thousands of homeowners from choosing clean, affordable electricity, ending the only chance Nevadans had at enjoying choice and competition in electric energy. The rules also undermine the investments of the approximately 16,000 existing solar customers in the state. The reduction or outright elimination of savings for these existing customers was proposed by Commission Staff, who said in testimony that they neither conducted analysis of the retroactive impact on existing customers nor analyzed the impact it would have on future investment in Nevada. Given that Commission Staff conducted no analysis of these impacts, Sunrun called on the PUC commissioners to reconsider their decision. “Commissioners Thomsen, Noble, and Burtenshaw’s decision forces Sunrun to displace our Nevada employees, inflicting enormous pain on hard-working Nevada families,” said Bryan Miller, senior vice president of public policy & power markets at Sunrun. “Nevada passed incentives to attract residents to go solar. But after baiting homeowners with incentives, the state switched the rules, penalizing solar homeowners to deliver additional profit to NV Energy. This bait and switch hurts Nevada families, many of whom are retirees on fixed incomes, and who use solar savings to meet their monthly budgets.”

SolarCity’s announcement said its departure from Nevada and closure of a training center it had opened in West Las Vegas about a month ago will eliminate more than 550 jobs in the state, and that the company will try to relocate those workers “to business-friendly states.”

“I contacted Governor Sandoval multiple times after the ruling because I am convinced that he and the PUC didn’t fully understand the consequences of this decision, not only on the thousands of local jobs distributed solar has created, but on the 17,000 Nevadans that installed solar with the state’s encouragement,” said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s CEO. “I’m still waiting to speak to the governor, but I am convinced that once he and the commissioners understand the real impact, that they will do the right thing.”

Nevada counties cry foul over Sandoval-Jewell sage grouse deal

Sandoval calls for halt to Syrian refugees in Nevada

By Megan Messerly (contact)


Gov. Brian Sandoval joined at least 23 other Republican governors in opposing Syrian refugees resettlement in their states.

In a letter to President Barack Obama released late Monday night, Sandoval asked the White House to review its refugee resettlement process and asked that no additional Syrian refugees be admitted for resettlement in Nevada until that review had been completed.

“I am specifically concerned about the background checks performed for Syrian refugees sent to Nevada for resettlement, and would appreciate further guidance on the benefits eligibility of such persons while they reside here,” Sandoval wrote.

Earlier Monday, Sandoval said in a statement that he was committed to the safety of all Nevadans, but did not specifically mention Syrian refugees, implying that he believed the matter was more appropriately handled by the federal government.

“We must balance our nation’s role as an international leader with the safety and security of our citizens and visitors,” Sandoval said in a statement.

Throughout Monday, pressure mounted from Republican leaders in the state — including Sen. Dean Heller, GOP Chairman Michael McDonald and state Assemblyman John Moore — who called for Sandoval to deny Syrian refugees entry.

“While I recognize the merits of assisting refugees during a time of crisis, I also need assurances that the safety of Nevadans will not be compromised as a result of accepting refugees,” Heller wrote in his letter. “Unfortunately, at this time, there are too many unanswered questions about the effectiveness of the program and ultimately the number of Syrian refugees who may come to our state after being resettled elsewhere in the U.S.”

Democratic candidate for Senate Catherine Cortez Masto voiced concerns this evening, saying that law enforcement and the intelligence agencies needed to review the intake process for Syrian refugees. “In light of ISIS’ despicable exploitation of the refugee crisis to target the West, we must ensure that our vetting process for accepting Syrian refugees is as thorough as possible,” she said in a statement.

Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, the agency responsible for resettling refugees across the state, reported last month that it had resettled nine Syrian refugees in Nevada this year.

The governors of at least 24 states have announced that they would not accept Syrian refugees, according to CNN. Of those, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is the only Democrat.

The governors raised security concerns about the refugees after a Syrian passport was found near one of the suicide bombers in Paris. Greek officials have said that the passport was used to enter the country on the island of Leros — one of the points of entry to Greece for Syrian refugees — in October.

The governors’ announcements clash with President Barack Obama’s plan for the United States to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year. The State Department affirmed its commitment today to take in that same number of refugees.

Rep. Joe Heck signed a letter today urging Obama to halt the admissions of all Syrian refugees into the country. “Our first priority must be to protect our own citizens from harm,” the letter reads. “We urge your immediate action to suspend these admissions until effective vetting and monitoring processes are established that ensures the safety of the American people.”

A group of anti-tax protesters led by Chuck Muth on Monday filed their petition to force the tax package — lawmakers and Gov. Brian Sandoval passed to balance the state budget — before the voters next year.

money-greedy1A group of anti-tax protesters led by Chuck Muth on Monday filed their petition to force the tax package — lawmakers and Gov. Brian Sandoval passed to balance the state budget — before the voters next year.

The petition contains the entire text of Senate Bill 483, the omnibus bill that imposed a series of tax changes and increases including the controversial commerce tax on business. It seeks to have the voters repeal the entire measure.

“During the 2014 election campaign, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval never proposed raising over a billion dollars worth of taxes on the people, businesses and tourists of Nevada,” the cover letter attached to the petition states.

The letter, complains that the commerce tax is nothing more than a revamped version of the “margins tax” that voters defeated in the 2014 election and that, in addition, lawmakers and Sandoval increased a laundry list of other taxes in the 108-page bill.

Calling themselves the “we decide coalition,” the proponents charge that the voters of Nevada should have the right to approve or disapprove the tax package.

Officials at the Secretary of State’s office say opponents have until Aug. 31 to file challenges to the petition. The most likely challenge would be that it violates the requirement that initiative and referendum petitions deal with a single subject. The legislation in question contains numerous tax changes.

It imposes a “commerce tax” on gross revenue of any Nevada business that exceeds $4 million with that rate set according to each entity’s business classification.

It also raises the Modified Business Tax the cigarette tax, extends or eliminates sunsets on increased the Local School Support Tax and other levies. Altogether, the law balances the governor’s $7.29 billion General Fund budget by generating nearly $1.3 billion.

If the referendum survives the expected court battles, organizers of the effort will have until next June to raise the necessary signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

They will need 55,234 valid signatures including at least 13,809 in each of Nevada’s four petition districts — the congressional districts in the state.

Nevada receives $11.2 million Homeland Security grant

Joker-billionaire-burning-moneyThe state of Nevada has been awarded $11.2 million from the federal Department of Homeland Security, it’s annual fiscal year funding for emergency management and homeland security projects.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said the money provides the resources to protect Nevada communities — especially urban areas that are considered high-threat areas. The Las Vegas Strip is one of the 26 such areas nationwide.

The portion of the funding dedicated to the Las Vegas area this year is some $3 million, a 200 percent increase over 2014.

About $3.7 million of the money is dedicated to supporting the National Preparedness System to help pay for training, equipment and other matters to prevent, respond to and recover from any acts of terrorism or other catastrophic events.

The grant also includes funds dedicated to cyber security, intelligence and information sharing, public information and warnings, operational coordination and mass care services in the event of a major incident.

Gov. Brian Sandoval departs for European trade mission

brian-sandoval-bongCARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval will be adding new stamps to his passport after departing this week for a trade mission to five European countries.
The official business of the trip kicks off this weekend and runs through Aug. 6. State economic development officials said it’s aimed at educating foreign business, education and political leaders about opportunities in Nevada.

About 60-70 people are going, including higher education and business representatives from Nevada. The itinerary includes talks with water researchers in Ireland, workforce development officials in Germany, Polish companies hoping to expand into the U.S. and Italian gambling company GTECH.

First lady Kathleen Sandoval will be doing official business on her issues of interest, including food security and homelessness. Sandoval’s three children will be going on the governor’s personal dime.

LVRJ LETTERS: Sandoval’s big budget fails smell test

To the editor:

The analysis of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s 2015 budget is the only article I’ve yet read which cites the state’s actual revenue projections (“Dig a little deeper starting July 1,” June 7 Review-Journal). Thank you. But does the budget pass the smell test? Not so much.

Gov. Sandoval says, “We’ve structured a new revenue policy and budget that should stand the test of time.” I remember the last time someone said that: Gov. Kenny Guinn, when he and the Legislature raised Nevada taxes by some $760 million just 12 years ago. Gov. Sandoval’s biennial budget increased taxes by $1.1 billion — in a state of about 3 million people. New taxes add $754 million, which means that without any new taxes, we’d have a $346 million increase to spend on 385,000 public school students. Was that not enough?

Instead, we get things such as the commerce tax ($229 million), which, according to the article, will be levied on “giants such as Wal-Mart, car manufacturers, pharmaceutical and telecom companies,” based on their Nevada-generated revenues. But I wonder, does “car manufacturers” include Tesla? I’m betting that it doesn’t, because Gov. Sandoval granted Elon Musk $1.3 billion in tax incentives just last year.

And forgive another presumption, but I’m betting that government-sanctioned monopolies such as Cox Communications and NV Energy (a Berkshire Hathaway company) will find a way to skate, as well.

The second-largest arrow in Gov. Sandoval’s quiver is on cigarettes, raising the tax from 80 cents to $1.80 per pack ($192.3 million, plus $15.5 million in additional sales tax). This is the perfect exercise in political cynicism — and never mind that the left usually hates regressive taxes. First, select an unpopular minority; second, double their taxes (pre-Gov. Guinn, the Nevada tax was 38 cents); and third, justify it as “populist.” Huey Long would applaud.

The modified business tax ($190.4 million) and the business license increase ($81.4 million) also fail the test. And curiously, the expansion of the live entertainment tax doesn’t kick in until Oct. 1 — after the Burning Man Festival and the Electric Daisy Carnival have left. One wonders if a 9 percent dip on their gross receipts this year might have created a debate in the 2015 Legislature. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I guess we’ll never know.

As a musician for the past 25 years, I’ve regularly left Strip hotels at 3 a.m. On the way to the parking garage, my back-door exits have led me past Dumpsters reeking of bad fish, spoiled vegetables and what civilized America throws away. Gov. Sandoval’s budget reminds me, vividly, of those smells.



Confederate controversy

To the editor:

Regarding the article on UNLV’s nickname (“Reid calls on regents to revisit ‘Rebels’ as UNLV’s nickname,” June 24 Review-Journal): Sen. Harry Reid proudly authored legislation that created Great Basin National Park near Ely in 1986. According to the senator’s website, he claims to have consistently passed legislation to “protect and enhance Great Basin National Park and the surrounding communities in White Pine County.”

This legislative protection and enhancement would logically extend to one of the mountain peaks located within Great Basin National Park, curiously named after Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America.

If Sen. Reid can express moral outrage with the name “Rebels” within days of the recent Confederate flag controversy, why has he not expressed the same moral outrage during the past 29 years for a Nevada mountain peak named after Jefferson Davis, located within a national park that he takes credit for creating?



Reporting winnings

To the editor:

The editorial concerning the IRS proposal to reduce the threshold for reporting gambling winnings from $1,200 to $600 was right on (“Rewards scarred,” June 17 Review-Journal). Another important aspect that wasn’t mentioned is that although you can deduct gambling losses to the extent of winnings, winnings do increase your adjusted gross income. That’s especially important to seniors.

Higher adjusted gross income can cause an increase in Medicare, prescription and Medicare supplemental coverage costs. Also, it can increase the taxes paid on Social Security income, the deductions allowed for medical expenses and other itemized deductions.



Papal politics

To the editor:

Regarding Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical (“Pope demands ‘decisive action’ on climate,” June 19 Review-Journal), not since Pope Paul V and the inquisitional ruling regarding a heliocentric solar system supported by Galileo’s work has a pope demonstrated so clearly why the church should leave science to the scientists and politics to the politicians.

Pope Francis has returned the church to a foolish path with his stumbling opinions on economic systems used by various countries around the world by clearly advocating for a socialistic course. His position regarding global warming is equally as wrong-minded and scientifically asinine.

Pope Francis is taking the church down a historically and scientifically labeled dead-end street with his positions on both issues.



– See more at:

Today, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law National Rifle Association (NRA) backed legislation that dramatically improves Nevada’s gun laws by ensuring consistency across the state.

Today, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law National Rifle Association (NRA) backed legislation that dramatically improves Nevada’s gun laws by ensuring consistency across the state. This historic legislation ends the antiquated “blue card” system in Clark County, expands recognition of out-of-state permits, improves self-defense laws by expanding the Castle Doctrine to vehicles and provides civil liability protection when justified force is used.

CORRUPT Gov. Sandoval: Decision About Political Future Coming ‘Very Soon’

brian-sandoval-bongNevada Gov. Brian Sandoval says he plans to decide “very soon” on the next step in his political career.

The widely corrupt Republican has been saying he was laser-focused on getting a $1.1 billion tax plan and major education initiatives past state lawmakers. He scored a major victory when the Republican-dominated Legislature approved a tax hike and budget before closing down their 120-day session on Monday.

Sandoval’s name has been discussed as a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Harry Reid, or as a vice presidential candidate.

The governor told reporters on Tuesday that he’s been ignoring outside political interests asking about his career prospects, but said an announcement will come in the near future.   (AP)

Assembly passes Sandoval’s $1.1 billion tax scam

money blackholeCARSON CITY  (AP) — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s $1.1 billion tax plan cleared a massive hurdle Sunday night after passing the Assembly, putting it one step away from a governor who’s expected to sign into law the state’s largest one-time tax increase and fund ambitious initiatives to improve K-12 education.

Assembly members voted 30-10 to approve an amended version of SB483 with less than two days left in the legislative session. The bill combines expanded business taxes with a cigarette tax hike and permanently extended several expiring “sunset” taxes.

“It’s time that we put the status quo in the rearview mirror,” said Republican Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson, one of the architects of the plan.brian-sandoval-bong

Senators are expected to vote Monday morning to give the bill final approval, which would send the measure to the governor’s desk.

The vote is a major victory for the Republican governor, who needed to convince two-thirds of the Republican-dominated Assembly to back a plan that funds a significant chunk of his proposed $7.4 billion, two-year budget.

“I am incredibly proud of the men and women of the Assembly who today affirmed that Nevada is ready to lead,” Sandoval said in a statement. “This vote moves us one step closer to cementing the legacy of improving public education by both raising accountability as well as increasing investment in order to suit the needs of generations to come.”

The taxes are part of Sandoval’s effort to put millions of dollars into education initiatives targeting English language learners, children in poverty and other at-risk groups. Lawmakers have already approved a large percentage of the state’s budget, including a massive expansion of K-12 education programs that Sandoval touts as necessary to improving the state’s consistently low education rankings.

The plan faced resistance from a vocal bloc of anti-tax conservatives, concerned that voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot question seeking to create a similar business tax.

“Eighty percent of the voters said no,” said Republican Assemblyman Ira Hansen, “and we’re going to sit here and we’re going to say we’re smarter than you, we’re going to reject what you did in that election cycle, we’re going to ramrod down your throats this new, so-called commerce tax? This is disgraceful.”

But heavy-hitting business groups lined up behind the plan, and several Republicans who were on the fence announced their support shortly before the vote.

“I was uninformed. I made a mistake. I sat and spouted the party line: ‘No new taxes, no matter what,'” Assemblyman Erv Nelson said in a floor speech, explaining his change of heart and ultimate support. “I’ve thought about this, I’ve fasted. I’ve prayed, and I think this is the right thing to do.”

Elements of the plan include:

—A hike in the business license fee. The fee for corporations would rise from the existing $200 a year to $500, while the fee for the rest of the business entities would remain at $200.

—A hike in the payroll tax. Sandoval’s plan raises the state’s existing modified business tax from 1.17 percent to 1.475 percent of wages beyond the first $200,000 a company pays out each year, and 2 percent of those wages for the mining industry and financial institutions. Companies would still get to deduct health care premiums for employees from the calculation.

—A “Commerce Tax” on gross revenue. Industry-specific tax rates will apply to businesses with more than $4 million in Nevada revenue each year. Businesses can count 50 percent of their commerce tax bill as a credit against their modified business tax bill — a provision that’s intended as a perk to those who employ people. The commerce tax aims to capture more money from capital-intensive businesses such as mines and those that do business in Nevada but aren’t based here.

— A flexible payroll tax rate. The plan allows the state to lower the modified business tax rate if revenues from the new commerce tax and MBT rate bring in more revenue than projected.

— An extension of “sunset taxes.” About $600 million of the plan comes from making a set of expiring payroll and sales taxes permanent. It also raises a tax on cigarette packs by $1.

Gov. Sandoval Signs 189 Pieces of Legislation Into Law

brian-sandoval-bongFrom the Office of Governor Brian Sandoval:

Governor Brian Sandoval announced today he has signed 189 individual pieces of legislation into law this session.

“It was an honor to join so many members of the Nevada legislature today in support of good, meaningful, public policy. I am proud of members of the legislature and hundreds of community leaders and stakeholders who worked tirelessly to see these bills through to final passage,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “We have a lot of work to do in the final days ahead, but I remain confident that we will pass a budget that invests in our students and prepares our state to meet the challenges and opportunities brought forth by the New Nevada economy.”

Among the bills signed this week include:

Assembly Bill 4: This measure removes geographic restrictions on winemaking in Nevada and allows counties with populations greater than 100,000 to make commercial wine. This bill also requires that at least 25% of the wine be produced, blended, or aged using fruit grown in Nevada or be subject to limits on distribution.

Assembly Bill 54: This legislation revises the procedures and regulations governing a local municipality that is experiencing a “Severe Financial Emergency,” and expands the services the Nevada Department of Taxation can offer to struggling local governments. AB 54 will add new requirements for the Department which will include negotiating and approving government employment contracts; opening, negotiating, and renegotiating collective bargaining agreements; and meeting and negotiating in good faith with creditors.

Assembly Bill 62: Assembly Bill 62 was originally sponsored by the Office of the Governor. Among other issues related to Nevada Veterans, this bill establishes “Veterans Day at the Legislature” as a day of observance and allows the Governor to name state buildings, parks, highways, or other property after fallen Nevada service members.

Assembly Bill 108: Unanimously approved in the Senate and Assembly, this measure amends current human trafficking laws in Nevada and allows a district court to grant a motion to vacate a judgment of conviction for the crimes of trespassing, loitering, solicitation, and prostitution, when the defendant was also the victim of the crime of human trafficking or involuntary servitude.

Assembly Bill 193: Presented by Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson and Douglas District Attorney Mark Jackson, this legislation is a victim’s rights measure. This bill prevents vulnerable witnesses such as sexually traumatized children and victims of domestic violence from being subjected to repeated court appearance by allowing law enforcement to speak for the witnesses in preliminary legal proceedings.

Assembly Bill 292: This bill allows licensed health care workers to provide services via telehealth to patients in Nevada through the use of technology. It requires insurance policies to cover services provided via teleheath to the same extent and in the same amount as services provided in person.

Assembly Bill 212: This measure amends the statute of limitations for the filing of a criminal charge for sexual assault from 4 years to 20 years after the commission of the offense.

The full list of bills signed into law on Monday May 25, 2015 can be found below:

Chapter# Bill Date Signed

189 Assembly Bill 112 5/25/2015 7:23:00 PM

188 Assembly Bill 442 5/25/2015 7:21:00 PM

187 Assembly Bill 465 5/25/2015 7:20:00 PM

186 Senate Bill 429 5/25/2015 7:19:00 PM

185 Assembly Bill 425 5/25/2015 7:17:00 PM

184 Assembly Bill 391 5/25/2015 7:16:00 PM

183 Assembly Bill 384 5/25/2015 7:15:00 PM

182 Assembly Bill 377 5/25/2015 7:14:00 PM

181 Assembly Bill 371 5/25/2015 7:12:00 PM

180 Assembly Bill 362 5/25/2015 7:10:00 PM

179 Assembly Bill 324 5/25/2015 7:09:00 PM

178 Assembly Bill 301 5/25/2015 6:47:00 PM

177 Assembly Bill 251 5/25/2015 6:46:00 PM

176 Assembly Bill 243 5/25/2015 6:44:00 PM

175 Assembly Bill 224 5/25/2015 6:43:00 PM

174 Assembly Bill 223 5/25/2015 6:42:00 PM

173 Assembly Bill 201 5/25/2015 6:41:00 PM

172 Assembly Bill 192 5/25/2015 6:40:00 PM

171 Assembly Bill 143 5/25/2015 6:38:00 PM

170 Assembly Bill 140 5/25/2015 6:37:00 PM

169 Assembly Bill 130 5/25/2015 6:36:00 PM

168 Assembly Bill 124 5/25/2015 6:35:00 PM

167 Assembly Bill 108 5/25/2015 6:34:00 PM

166 Assembly Bill 106 5/25/2015 6:33:00 PM

165 Assembly Bill 101 5/25/2015 6:29:00 PM

164 Assembly Bill 92 5/25/2015 6:28:00 PM

163 Assembly Bill 88 5/25/2015 6:24:00 PM

162 Assembly Bill 81 5/25/2015 6:21:00 PM

161 Assembly Bill 54 5/25/2015 6:19:00 PM

160 Assembly Bill 53 5/25/2015 6:15:00 PM

159 Assembly Bill 47 5/25/2015 6:13:00 PM

158 Assembly Bill 17 5/25/2015 6:11:00 PM

157 Assembly Bill 15 5/25/2015 6:10:00 PM

156 Assembly Bill 6 5/25/2015 6:09:00 PM

155 Assembly Bill 449 5/25/2015 6:06:00 PM

154 Assembly Bill 305 5/25/2015 6:05:00 PM

153 Assembly Bill 292 5/25/2015 6:03:00 PM

152 Assembly Bill 267 5/25/2015 5:58:00 PM

151 Assembly Bill 246 5/25/2015 5:52:00 PM

150 Assembly Bill 212 5/25/2015 5:49:00 PM

149 Assembly Bill 195 5/25/2015 5:43:00 PM

148 Assembly Bill 193 5/25/2015 5:38:00 PM

147 Assembly Bill 162 5/25/2015 5:31:00 PM

146 Assembly Bill 153 5/25/2015 5:29:00 PM

145 Assembly Bill 62 5/25/2015 5:28:00 PM

144 Assembly Bill 86 5/25/2015 5:27:00 PM

143 Assembly Bill 4 5/25/2015 5:19:00 PM
To read more about bills in this session, click here.

Gov. Brian Sandoval reveals updated tax plan; combines Assembly idea

brian-sandoval-bongCARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Gov. Brian Sandoval is releasing an updated tax proposal that he says improves upon a plan he introduced earlier in the session and incorporates ideas from Assembly leaders.

Sandoval unveiled the Nevada Revenue Plan on Thursday, three weeks before the legislative session ends.

The plan raises the business license fee to a flat $300 or $500, depending on whether the business is a corporation. It raises the rate of the existing modified business tax, as proposed by Assembly Republican leaders Paul Anderson and Derek Armstrong.

The bill also adopts elements of Sandoval’s earlier Business License Fee based on a business’ gross revenue and industry type. That element is called the Commerce Tax.

The measure is part of Sandoval’s effort to raise or extend $1.1 billion in taxes over two years.

Will Sandoval run for Senate?

brian-sandoval-bongBy Kyle Roerink (contact)
Monday, May 4, 2015 | 2 a.m.

As a handsome, popular, moderate politician of Latino heritage, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval often is the subject of political speculation.
Even before his overwhelming re-election win, people were guessing about his ambitions to run for U.S. Senate.

Then Sen. Harry Reid announced his retirement, making a potential Senate run even more attractive to Sandoval.

For now, only Sandoval knows what his next move will be. He refuses to answer questions about his political aspirations, and his inner circle insists he is focused on the job Nevadans elected him to do.

But with Sandoval’s history of exiting office early to win a more powerful seat, pundits speculate he could make a 2016 power play for Reid’s seat.

There are compelling reasons for either decision.



Sandoval has a history of leaving jobs to take better positions. Three years into his term on the Nevada Gaming Commission, Sandoval resigned to run for attorney general. His landslide victory in November 2002 made him the first Latino to win statewide elected office.

Three years later, Reid recommended Sandoval to the federal bench. Sandoval stepped down early from his attorney general post to become a U.S. District Court judge.

Almost four years later, he left the lifetime appointment to run for governor. He is one of only three federal judges nationally to leave the bench to become governor.


Sandoval has a tight-knit cohort of lobbyists and consultants that has known him for decades and helped him climb the Nevada political ladder. The group includes people, namely Pete Ernaut and Greg Ferraro, who encouraged Sandoval to leave the bench to run for governor. Neither will hint about where the governor will go next, but if Ernaut and Ferraro want Sandoval to run for Senate, he likely would.

Both Ernaut and Ferraro helped coalesce the state’s divided Republican Party, aiding the GOP’s 2014 election sweep that ousted Democrats from every statewide office and gave both chambers of the Legislature to Republicans for the first time since 1928. The team also has deep ties to Washington, D.C.


Sandoval won his second term as governor with more than 70 percent of the vote. His popularity is attractive to the GOP. As Republicans nationwide look to rebrand the party as one of inclusion, who better than a Hispanic man from a swing state who embraced the Affordable Care Act, expanded Medicaid, lured Tesla Motors to Nevada and vowed to raise taxes to improve education?

Few potential GOP candidates can compare with Sandoval politically. None has the record, recognition or likeability among voters.



The governor has spent a long time at the top of the political pecking order. If Sandoval were to win Reid’s seat, he would head to Washington as a junior senator with little clout. The back seat is not familiar territory for him.

Sandoval has been a former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commissino, attorney general and a federal judge. In other words, he has been the boss. Sandoval confidants say the governor is more attuned to running the show than being a player in it.


Sandoval loves Nevada, and insiders say a U.S. Senate seat isn’t ambitious enough to lure him away from his beloved home state. Vice president, however, or a Cabinet position — Department of the Interior, perhaps — they say would better suit Sandoval’s leadership qualities and not bog him down in congressional infighting.


Like all politicians, Sandoval wants a legacy. He has asked for at least $438 million a year to revamp the state’s public education system and is trying to broker tax increases to pay for reforms.

If the money comes through, which is likely, putting it to good use will take executive oversight and commitment throughout the remainder of his tenure as governor.

Who is running for Reid’s seat?

On the Republican side, state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson and Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers have thrown their names in the hat. Other potential candidates include Attorney General Adam Laxalt, former Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Rep. Joe Heck, Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison and former state lawmaker Heidi Gansert.

On the Democratic side, Reid’s hand-chosen successor is former attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto, Sandoval’s former lawyer. Other potential candidates include former Secretary of State Ross Miller and Rep. Dina Titus.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s tax flip flop

In 2010 and 2014, Gov. Brian Sandoval promised Nevada voters that he wouldn’t raise taxes. Now he’s proposing the largest tax increase in Nevada history. Flip flopping on raising taxes isn’t a laughing matter for Nevadans. For more visit

…Gov. Brian Sandoval – you and your thugs are the “bullies”

governor sandovalLAS VEGAS — A bill backed by Governor Brian Sandoval’s office was heard in the Nevada State Assembly and is the latest attempt by lawmakers to stop bullying in Nevada schools.

Senate Bill 504 would create the Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment — within the State Department of Education — to give grants to schools to help pay for additional anti-bullying resources, including additional counselors.

Claudia Schwarz is a psychologist who regularly deals with children who are victims of bullying.

“I think it’s huge and I think it really helps. Schools need to have that legislation,” said Schwarz. “I think sometimes their hands are tied of what they can and what they can’t do.”

Schwarz says technology is creating more venues for bullies to pick on others.

“We really have to stop it before it becomes worse than it is right now, because it’s pretty bad now,” Schwarz said.

Last school year, Clark County schools reported nearly 2,300 suspensions or expulsions for bullying. That’s up 32 percent from the previous school year.

School officials say the increase is because definitions of bullying, harassment or acts of violence are now being reclassified. Officials say there was no category for bullying incidents on the Nevada school report card until three years ago.

“We have seen a trend of it moving up a little bit, but that is actually because of something that we want as far as having parents and students report it to the Clark County School District,” said Brandon Moeller, Assistant Director of Equity and Diversification at CCSD.

The bill would also hold school staff and administrators responsible for reporting bullying incidents to parents within a day — something psychologists believe is very important.

“I think that is critical,” said Schwarz. “That needs to happen, because many times they won’t know that their child is doing that.”

If administrators or staff do not report incidents of bullying, the bill would allow for teaching or administrative credentials to be removed.

A vote on the bill has not yet been scheduled.

Who’s A-list and who’s a longshot in the race to replace Harry Reid

After U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced he will not run for a sixth term, political prognosticators declared the post a “toss-up,” with either party able to win the seat in 2016.

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval immediately was declared the favorite to win, though the popular leader has said he isn’t interested.

On the Democratic side, Reid played the queenmaker, endorsing former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to succeed him. Just days following his March 27 retirement announcement, Reid was in Las Vegas, plotting her path to victory, saying he would put his formidable machine behind her.

“We are going to do everything we can,” Reid told the New York Times over a bowl of chicken soup, settling into his new role of political Godfather. “I have to make sure I take care of the person running for Senate in Nevada.”

Several potential contenders already have taken themselves out of the running, from Reid’s eldest son, Rory, to former U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., who now runs Tuoro University in Nevada and California.harry reid

U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., said he would rather stay in the House, where he has served since 2011. But like Sandoval, the congressman likely will feel pressure from GOP leaders who want their best candidate in 2016’s hottest race after the presidency.

Meanwhile, Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, said he’s preparing for re-election and “leaning no” on a Senate run. U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., has said in the past that he’s not interested, although Reid’s retirement could change that. State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, a Republican, said he would consider running only if Sandoval and Heck do not.

Yet the list of Nevadans who could try to join Washington’s exclusive club of 100 remains fairly long. Reid’s retirement has shifted the electoral ground, prompting relative newcomers and political veterans alike to consider the possibilities. Here’s a report card on some of the potential contenders:

Go to DAVIDLORY.US. Nevada Senator 2016 David Lory VanDerBeek has been an amazing website and I’m grateful for all of the good that it has done and continues to do in the cause of freedom and the American dream. I’ll continue to maintain this website for the purposes of preserving the content for historical reference. However, the Internet website that will be my home for the remainder of my life as a political figure will be That is where I will be online. I invite you to go there and join me as I continue to campaign for the freedom of Nevada and America. My next campaign is US Senate 2016. God bless and thank you for all of your amazing support for



Money — A+: Cortez Masto should have no trouble filling Senate campaign coffers in a race that could exceed 2010’s highly competitive race in which both Reid and Republican Sharron Angle each raised and spent more than $25 million. Outside groups just about matched the candidates’ spending.

;) New mini NAG MASTO signs to placed all around the protest zone(s)

😉 New mini NAG MASTO signs to placed all around the protest zone(s)

On her own, Cortez Masto took in nearly $2.5 million for her elections in 2006 and 2010 and will have Reid as a rain­maker in 2016.

Since 2009, Reid has raised $23.6 million for his campaign committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Reid also helped land $46.7 million for the 2012 midterm elections for the Senate Democrats’ super PAC, Senate Majority PAC. Reid’s own campaign committee held $1.5 million as of Sept. 30.

Experience — B: Cortez Masto served eight years as attorney general after a career as a criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., that gave her a taste of Capitol Hill.

Name Recognition — B: She’s held a high-profile statewide office for two terms and is a native Nevadan of Hispanic heritage. Her father, the late Manny Cortez, had a high profile in Southern Nevada as the longtime head of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and was partly responsible for making the Strip a tourist mecca.

Liability/Asset — C: Cortez Masto hasn’t had a tough campaign and might not be ready for a rough-and-tumble Senate race. She declined to challenge Sandoval last year.


Money — B: Titus has never had trouble raising money. She raised about $1.1 million last year for a 1st Congressional District race that wasn’t very competitive. She raised nearly $2.6 million for the highly competitive 2010 campaign in the 3rd Congressional District, which she lost to Heck. For a Senate run she could expect a lot of support from outside groups such as Emily’s List.

Experience — B: Titus has survived the campaign crucible and runs strong. Even her losses in some of the state’s most competitive districts were close. In 2010 she lost to Heck by just 1,748 votes.

Name Recognition — B: Titus has been around Nevada politics for decades, including 20 years in the state Senate (1988-2008) where she rose to become minority leader. She also has a statewide profile, having run for governor and losing to Republican Jim Gibbons in 2006.

Liability/Asset — B: Titus, a native Georgian, has a thick Southern accent that can dissuade voters who favor native Nevadans. Strongly independent, she isn’t afraid to cross Reid and wouldn’t hesitate to challenge Cortez Masto if she thinks she can win. Titus in 2012 ran for the 1st Congressional District after Reid hand-picked state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, for the open seat. Kihuen dropped out before the primary.


Money — A+: Miller is a talented fundraiser who brought in $2.6 million for his failed 2014 attorney general campaign.

Experience — C: At age 30, Miller became the youngest Nevada secretary of state in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010. But he faced weak GOP challengers in both campaigns. In 2014, he lost his first truly competitive race to Adam Laxalt, a political newcomer who eked out a slim 4,750-vote victory, or 46.2 percent to 45.3 percent. Miller suffered in the low turnout race as Democrats stayed home, but his campaign also failed to turn voters against Laxalt.

Name Recognition — A: Miller held statewide office for eight years and boasts the highest social media profile among Nevada officials with nearly 17,500 Twitter followers. In addition, his father is Bob Miller, who was governor from 1989 to 1999.

Liability/Asset — C: Miller’s love of socializing proved his downfall against Laxalt. He reported accepting more than $70,000 in gifts while secretary of state, including tickets to sporting events such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship and football games where he sat in luxury skyboxes. Miller said some of the freebies were educational conferences. His opponents were able to exploit the gifts and question his ethics.


Money — C: Flores raised nearly $754,000 in her failed 2014 race for lieutenant governor — not nearly enough to keep up with Republican Mark Hutchison, who raised about $2.5 million to win.

Experience — C: Flores served two terms in the Assembly, but neither of those elections featured tough competition. In 2010 she took 82.16 percent of the vote in the general election. She swept up 73 percent of the vote in a three-way primary in 2012 but faced no general election opponent at all.

Name Recognition — C:Little known outside of Clark County, her weak showing last year was her first statewide campaign. It focused on her bio — former gang member and high-school dropout who had an abortion as a teen, then went on to graduate from law school and enter politics. Inspiring to many, her hard-luck tale might not play well in conservative rural Nevada.

Liability/Asset — C: Hispanics comprise nearly 30 percent of Nevada’s population and Flores had the Latino vote last year, but she had trouble reaching other demographic groups statewide. She’s considered a long shot for a Senate bid but a better candidate for the 4th Congressional District.


Money — C: Her secretary of state campaign raised $715,245 last year but spent $100,000 more.

Experience — D: Marshall won two terms as state treasurer but failed in a 2011 special election for the 2nd Congressional District and lost the secretary of state job last year.

Name Recognition — C: Few Nevadans can name the state treasurer, even one who served two terms.

Liability/Asset — C: Her high-pitched voice can be grating; she’s a two-time loser in her most recent elections.



Money — B: He raised $152,000 in 2013 for his Las Vegas City Council campaign and has shown he can get bigger bucks when needed, including more than $500,000 for one past state Senate bid.

Experience — B: Beers served in the Nevada Assembly and Senate from 1999 to 2008 but was washed away by the Democratic wave that swept Barack Obama into the White House. He rebounded in 2012, beating eight other contenders in a Las Vegas City Council special election with 37 percent of the vote. The following year voters gave him a landslide re-election, with 76 percent of the vote.

Name Recognition — C: He ran in the 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary but isn’t widely known outside Clark County.

Liability/Asset — B: Beers is the first candidate to announce he’s running for Reid’s seat, putting out the word and 55,000 pamphlets in January 2014. An accountant, he’s known for asking lots of questions before spending taxpayer money and was a leader of the Assembly’s “mean 15” which blocked a proposed $1 billion tax hike in 2003.


Money — A+: Running virtually un­opposed, Sandoval raised about $3.7 million for his 2014 re-election, plus $1.4 million for his New Nevada PAC helping other GOP candidates. He raised more than $5 million to easily defeat Rory Reid in 2010.

Experience — B: The governor has served in all three branches of government as a member of the Nevada Assembly, state attorney general and as a federal judge. He’s never faced a tough campaign.

Name Recognition —A: Not only is Sandoval widely known, he’s also popular. More than 60 percent of Nevadans say he does a good job. No credible Democrat would run against him last year, and his re-election was a 71-percent landslide. He’s also gaining popularity among Nevada Latinos, who lean Democrat. Latino Decisions said exit polls showed Sandoval got 47 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2014, up from 15 percent in 2010.

Liability/Asset — Incomplete: Sandoval insists he doesn’t want to run for the Senate but instead is focused on finishing his second four-year term, which runs through 2018. How Sandoval comes out of the Nevada Legislature could affect his political future: Will lawmakers approve his $7.3 billion spending plan that includes $1.1 billion in new and extended taxes to fund education? Is he as “unbeatable” as some insiders say? Stay tuned.


Money —A: Heck raised nearly $2.5 million for his 2014 campaign and spent less than $2 million. He would have no trouble raising big bucks for a Senate race from gaming interests and other major Nevada industries.

Experience — B: Heck has been able to hang on to his seat in the 3rd Congressional District for several elections, although it’s the state’s most competitive House district with an even Republican-Democrat split and independents leaning GOP. He’s also had a taste of defeat: In 2008 he lost his state Senate seat in a Democratic wave election that put President Barack Obama in office.

Name Recognition — C: Heck maintains a fairly low profile as a serious, workaday congressman, and he has never run a statewide race. That could put him at a disadvantage against someone with statewide campaign experience.

Liability/Asset — B: Heck’s promotion last year to brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve and past active duty as a doctor in Iraq make him an appealing candidate, particularly among Nevada’s large veteran population. But the moderate has come under fire from the left for voting with the conservative House caucus on hot-button issues such as immigration and equal pay. Heck said he’s staying put in the House, but 2016 could be his best chance to move up to the U.S. Senate.


Money — B: Krolicki hasn’t had a big-money race, although he raised $640,000 and spent $1.1 million in his first election for lieutenant governor in 2006. He raised about half that for his 2010 re-election.

Experience — B: He’s been around state government and GOP politics for a long time, serving two terms as state treasurer followed by two terms as lieutenant governor. He contemplated a run against Reid in 2010 but was sidelined by an ethics investigation that ultimately foundered.

Name Recognition — C: Krolicki has been on the statewide ballot four times, but remains relatively unknown.

Liability/Asset — D: His career took a hit with his 2008 indictment related to management of a college savings program while state treasurer. A judge later dismissed the felony charges, which Krolicki characterized as a partisan attack by then-Attorney General Cortez Masto.


Money — A: Hutchison showed he can raise money — lots of it — even for the low-profile post of lieutenant governor. He raised at least $2.5 million to win a part-time job that puts him in line to replace Sandoval, if need be.

Experience — B: A newcomer to politics, Hutchison resigned his state Senate seat midterm to run for lieutenant governor as Sandoval’s choice. The stakes were high, but Hutchison sailed into office with 59.5 percent of the vote.

Name Recognition — C: Hutchison’s campaign attracted a lot of attention and he crisscrossed the state several times, yet he remains relatively unknown.

Liability/Asset — B: Sandoval’s support is a big plus. An attorney, Hutchison represented Nevada for free in its challenge to Obamacare — work that made him popular among conservatives but could hurt him among Democrats.


Money — B: Roberson raised more than $600,000 last year toward his 2014 state Senate race, plus money for a PAC and other candidates, helping the GOP take control of the upper house.

Experience — C: His political career has taken off like a rocket since his first election to the state Senate in 2010. But the Senate majority leader never has been tested in a statewide race.

Name Recognition — C: His state Senate leadership gets his name out there, but his lack of a statewide run means he’s not that widely known. On the plus side, his base is Clark County, home to 75 percent of all Nevadans.

Liability/Asset — B: Roberson first ran as a strict conservative but has become a moderate over time. He’s now pushing for Sandoval’s $7.3 billion general fund budget and $1.1 billion package of new and extended taxes. This could hurt him in any GOP primary but help him during a general election. Insiders say family considerations and a desire to stay in the Legislature weigh against a U.S. Senate race, for now.


Money — A: Laxalt surprised many observers by raising more than $1.8 million in his first political campaign to score an upset over better-financed Ross Miller in last year’s attorney general race. He tapped conservatives in Washington, D.C., where his mother, Michelle Laxalt, was a widely known lobbyist. Acquaintances of his grandfather, former Nevada Gov. and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt, also ponied up.

Experience — C: Laxalt was a Navy judge advocate general and a lawyer in a private practice in Las Vegas. But he has only lived in Nevada for a few years and has run just one campaign. He would be sorely tested in a high-stakes contest that could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.

Name Recognition — B: Laxalt’s family name helped him win support statewide. He also spent a lot of time traveling the dusty roads to reach every corner of Nevada last year.

Liability/Asset — C: During the campaign, an operative leaked a memo from a Laxalt job review at the private firm, Lewis Roca, where he worked. It said he had sloppy legal skills and was “a train wreck” as a lawyer. His campaign countered by releasing rave reviews he got in the military, including when he oversaw terrorism cases in Baghdad. Laxalt has suggested he wants to focus on his new job but hasn’t ruled out a Senate bid.

Contact Laura Myers at or 702-387-2919. Find her on Twitter: @lmyerslvrj.

From – Homeland Security Funding, Brian Sandoval More Fake News From The Media

brian-sandoval-bongFRED WEINBERG — MARCH 6, 2015

After watching the mainstream media breathlessly reporting the “funding crisis” of the Department of Homeland Security to viewers who they assume are too stupid to know the actual facts, I have a newsflash for Chuck Todd, Bob Scheiffer, Martha Radditz, and, yes, even Chris Wallace at Fox:

Outside Washington, DC, nobody cares.

Or, put another way, do you really think that if those overpaid blue-shirted clowns at the airports don’t get paid for a few weeks, the average American traveler who has been harassed by them many times since 9-11 is going to be holding a benefit concert?


The average American now knows that Federal employees make more than they do, have better job security, retire on more generous terms, and have better health insurance.

I’m pretty sure that the average American couldn’t care less that those very same people might have to wait a few weeks for their money while Congress and the President have a little pissing contest. It is probable that American Express won’t cancel their cards. Right now, the average American is far more worried about whether A-Rod will finish his career with the Yankees because for all the money A-Rod has made in his career, he has never harassed a grandmother at an airport.

So despite the hopes and dreams of the mainstream media that the American taxpayer will somehow turn against Republicans for daring not to fund the department unless the President actually does what he was ordered to do by a Federal Judge in Texas, it’s doubtful anybody outside DC really cares.

That being the case, let’s compare two Republican Governors: Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Brian Sandoval of Nevada (pictured above).

Walker—to the anguish of the aforementioned mainstream media—has morphed into a serious GOP Presidential contender.

People in Nevada—mostly those who have a habit of whistling through graveyards—keep hinting that Sandoval could be a candidate for the second spot on the 2016 ticket.

Were that true, it should be the end of the Republican Party.

Walker, in four years, made a blue state on the verge of financial default into a performer by a combination of reforms, cuts, and his willingness to take on powerful entrenched interests.

Sandoval, on the other hand, campaigned for a second term as Governor against, well, none of the above (we have that in Nevada)–and never mentioned that he wanted to throw an extra Billion-plus dollars into the state’s coffers with the largest tax increase in the state’s history.

For that, he waited until his state of the state (aptly abbreviated SOS) address.

And, our best guess is that while he won’t be the subject of a recall election—like the one which Walker beat back from the Wisconsin Teachers’ Unions—his tax plans are dead on arrival; and his ability to lead is pretty much history as well.

And that’s what the GOP needs in Washington?

The media would love to see a Sandoval candidacy nationally. It would ensure a Democrat victory.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by


School construction exempted from Nevada’s prevailing wage law

CARSON CITY— Wasting no time, Gov. Brian Sandoval on Friday signed into law a bill exempting school construction projects from Nevada’s prevailing wage law.

The bill saw final approval in the Assembly only on Thursday.

“Children across Nevada need more schools now, and our education system has limited resources to build them,” he said in a statement. “This narrowly tailored, extraordinary measure will allow school districts to stretch these limited resources as far as possible to meet an immediate need.”

The bill was sought by Republicans as part of a school bond rollover bill passed in a bipartisan vote by lawmakers this week. That bill, Senate Bill 207, was signed into law by Sandoval on Wednesday.

Did you know that Gov. Brian Sandoval has proposed not one, but two multi-billion dollar tax increases over the next 10 years?


Did you know that Gov. Brian Sandoval has proposed not one, but two multi-billion dollar tax increases over the next 10 years?

The first one you know about. It consists of the making the sunset taxes permanent, creating a modified version of the margin tax and raising cigarette and slot taxes.

The second one you may not know about – but it’s coming up to a vote next Monday on the Senate floor. You may even think the bill – SB119 – is a something conservatives should support, because the bill contains a repeal of prevailing wage requirements for school construction.

While repealing prevailing wage requirements is a very good thing and would save taxpayers 10 to 15 percent on construction costs, accompanying that repeal is a massive property tax increase. SB119 would authorize school boards around the state to conduct ten additional years of bonding – meaning taxpayers would be on the hook for an additional 30 years of debt – without needing a vote of the people.

This would cost taxpayers, specifically in Clark and Washoe County, between $3 to 4 billion, before including billions in interest costs.

Both the Clark and Washoe County School Boards are desperate for the legislature to approve this, because voters in those counties have specifically rejected similar property tax increases within the last three years.

So while eliminating the prevailing wage is a huge positive, the primary savings would come from spending new tax dollars more efficiently, not more efficiently spending the tax dollars we currently pay.

Now advocates of the bill may claim it’s a compromise, because liberals are fighting the removal of the prevailing wage requirement tooth and nail.

But since removal of the prevailing wage will save 10 to 15 percent in construction costs, a compromise would be eliminating prevailing wage requirements in exchange for authorizing one additional year of bonding. This would give voters a chance to decide in 2016 if they want to further raise their property taxes to pay for more school construction.

Having ten parts tax increase with one part savings isn’t a compromise, it’s a rip-off. Without changes, SB119 would be one of the largest tax increases in Nevada history.

Sandoval vs. Reid 2016?

dean hellerSen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is a vice-chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee.

Part of his duties with the NRSC is finding the best Republican candidate he can to run against Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Las Vegas in the 2016 election cycle.

Reid and Heller work together on many bills for Nevada but in politics, they are commanders in opposing armies.

“It’s all business,” Heller said.brian-sandoval-bong

When asked if the NRSC thinks Gov. Brian Sandoval would be the candidate with the best chance of beating Reid, Heller said:

“He is our ‘A-plus’ candidate, let me say that. He is our ‘A-plus’ candidate.

“It doesn’t mean we don’t have ‘A’ candidates and ‘B’ candidates out there,” Heller said. “But there is no doubt, Gov. Sandoval is our ‘A-plus’ candidate.”

Heller’s comments came during a taping of the Nevada Newsmakers TV program on Thursday.

The interview with Heller, which takes up the entire show, is scheduled to be shown Monday at 11:30 a.m. on KRNV-News 4.

Heller was all in with Sandoval running against Reid.

“Whether or not he decides to run, obviously, at the end of the day, that is up to him,” Heller said. “But boy, I’d love to see him run and truly believe that he would be the premier candidate.”

Heller said GOP groups are actively recruiting Sandoval to run. Sandoval has swatted away any speculation from the media about running against Reid, often saying things like, “I am focused on my job” and “I enjoy being governor.”

Said Heller: “Oh, I have no doubt that there are groups out there trying to sit down with him (Sandoval) to convince him that this would be a good move – from (U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell himself to every other group.”

Heller mentioned three other possibilities for run against Reid, including current state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, former Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki and in somewhat of a surprise — former Assembly Minority Leader and Sandoval’s former Chief of Staff, Heidi Gansert of Reno.

“There are a number of candidates that are expressing interest,” Heller said. “Heidi Gansert is another one who I believe is an ‘A’ candidate. We’ll see if former Lt. Gov. Krolicki wants to run. We are not at a loss for candidates. We have a great bench on our (GOP) side, compared to what the Democrats have here today in the state of Nevada.”

Heller talked at length about Roberson. I asked Roberson about running for the U.S. Senate last week, prior to the Heller interview, and he said, “I am focused on the present. I am focused on the job that I’m tasked with right now.”

Heller, however, said Roberson is interested.

“He is another good candidate,” Heller said about Roberson. “I may get a chance to talk to him in a few weeks. I know he has an interest. He wants to get through this Legislature first and I understand that because there are a lot of ups and downs that are going to happen in the next 100 days.”

Yet Roberson would be second-fiddle if the choice was between him or Sandoval, Heller seemed to say.

“But needless to say, I think he (Roberson) is an ‘A’ candidate,” Heller said. “And I think Roberson would agree with me that the governor is the ‘A-plus’ candidate.”

APPARENTLY THERE IS little outrage about Nevada’s 1st U.S. House District Rep. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, wanting to move the Veterans Administration’s Regional Office from Reno to Las Vegas.

Titus said in a letter to VA Secretary Bob McDonald that an office in Las Vegas would stand a better chance of recruiting the VA’s most talented workers and administrators that are needed to boost the performance of the under-achieving regional office if it were moved to Las Vegas.

“First of all, I really don’t care,” Heller said. “I’m agnostic to where this office is. I want a good office and it (Reno office) is one of the worst performing – if not the worst-performing regional office – in the country.

“If we can fix the backlog (of health-related claims) and if fixing the backlog means that we have to move that office from Reno to Las Vegas, it really doesn’t matter to me,” Heller said. “I just want a regional office that works for veterans here in this state.’

Heller then noted a glaring truth about where most of Nevada’s 300,000 vets live.

“Let’s not kid ourselves,” Heller said. “Most of the veterans we have in this state are in Las Vegas.”

SANDOVAL’S A HISTORY BUFF, so he’ll like this:

The great-grandfather of Assemblywoman Robin Titus, R-Yerington, and Nevada’s first elected governor, Henry G. Blasdel, were partners in a mining venture back in the day.

Blasdel later gave Titus’ great-grandfather his inkwell and pen. It’s now a family heirloom. If Titus’ bill to make the square dance the official state dance of Nevada passes the Legislature, Titus would like something added to the signing ceremony.

“If this (square-dance bill) comes to fruition, I’m going to ask Gov. Sandoval to sign this bill with Gov. Blasdel’s ink pen,” Titus said.

EWAN GREGORY, 94, might be the oldest person I’ve interviewed at the Legislature. She was in Carson City Wednesday as a square-dancer in support of the square dancing bill.

She has the pick of field of gentlemen dancers when she’s out dancing.

“I don’t have a partner but I have my share of dancing,” Gregory said.

Another one of the square dancers in the building that day was Joye Angle-Kincade, daughter of former Assemblywoman and GOP U.S. Senate nominee Sharron Angle.

Jim Clark: Is Brian Sandoval drinking the Democratic Kool-Aid?

brian-sandoval-bongAre you tired and disgusted with the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C.? Cheer up. Take a look at what’s been going on in some Republican governed states.

Gov. Jeb Bush turned around Florida’s failing K-12 education system by establishing liberal charter school legislation, a tax credit scholarship program for poor minority children, and virtual and distance learning systems while simultaneously eliminating a hated tax on investments.

In Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels turned an $800 million deficit into a $500 million surplus and $2 billion in reserves without raising taxes. He ended collective bargaining for state employees, privatized the state’s toll roads and created the largest school choice program in the country.

Gov. Bobby Jindal inherited Louisiana’s long history of corruption and brought in a comprehensive system of ethics reform. He improved education in New Orleans by converting every failing school into a charter school. Finally, he turned a $341 million budget shortfall into a surplus even after lowering taxes by $1.1 billion.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie capped property taxes at 2 percent, enacted public employee pension and health benefit reforms, balanced four budgets without raising taxes, and in fact cut taxes by $2.35 billion.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez turned her state’s budget around from a $450 million deficit into a $200 million surplus.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder reversed a $1.5 billion deficit while at the same time lowering personal income taxes and eliminating the state’s business tax.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker took on public employee unions, eliminating collective bargaining and reforming costly pension/health benefits, and he turned a $3.6 billion deficit into a $1 billion surplus. Equally important, by eliminating inefficiencies imposed by public employee unions Wisconsin’s school districts are solvent.

The common thread running through these success vignettes is a reform of collective bargaining laws and reigning in of public employee unions which have produced a work force that is almost exactly contrary to what it takes to run any kind of enterprise.

Pay, benefits and job security based on seniority instead of merit creates a top-heavy inefficient labor pool that demands more and more taxpayer money as its productivity wanes.

Here in Nevada, we have that problem in spades. Gov. Brian Sandoval wants to fix the problem by following the path blazed by his peer GOP governors, enacting education and government employee reforms but, unlike his Republican brethren, he wants to raise taxes by almost 20 percent to pay for the reforms. Has he been drinking the Democratic Kool-Aid?

Tax opponent Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore (R-Las Vegas) has a kinder, gentler explanation. She told an overflow crowd at the Reno Republican Men’s Club last month that the governor created his budget before the election when casinos would give no better than even odds that the GOP would win back the senate and the odds of capturing the assembly were impossible; he therefore prepared a budget designed to attract Democratic support.

Indeed, items like a $30 million allocation for all day kindergarten, $73 million for autism and state-paid preschool appeal to liberals even though experts assert that they do not result in lasting improvement in student achievement.

So maybe Gov. Sandoval has come up with a “make everybody happy” budget and is prepared to have some of his wish list trimmed.

One other factor. Nevada’s financial forum, experts who forecast state revenues, meets first in December prior to the legislative session, and again in May, right before adjournment.

The final budget cannot be higher that their forecast without also raising taxes. The December estimate was $6.3 billion. The May estimate may be higher if the economy improves.

So there are a lot of moving parts. Let’s see what the legislature and the governor grind out.

Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Washoe County and Nevada State GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at

Brian Sandoval’s Billion-Dollar Somersault The Nevada governor vowed no new taxes as he campaigned. But that’s so yesterday

While Republican governors across the country are proposing tax cuts, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is seeking to impose the largest tax hike in his state’s history. The 51-year-old governor—a former state attorney general, federal judge, and the first Hispanic elected to statewide office in Nevada—has been among the GOP’s rising stars. Some politicos have even floated Mr. Sandoval as a potential vice presidential pick, or a challenger to Harry Reid in 2016.

But Mr. Sandoval’s stand on taxes brings to mind Florida’s Republican Gov. Charlie Crist , who sold out to the teachers union by vetoing a school-reform bill in order to enhance his political stature with the goal of running for Senate in 2010. He didn’t make it to the Senate and was defeated by Rick Scott when he tried to return to Tallahassee as governor last year.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval

Mr. Sandoval rode into office in 2010 on a no-tax pledge, promising to phase out supposedly temporary sales and business tax increases that the state’s then Democratic legislature imposed over the veto of Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons in 2009. (Nevada does not have an income tax).

Mr. Sandoval kept his promise until the Nevada Supreme Court in May 2011 blocked the state’s plan to raid local government reserves. Thereafter he backed a two-year extension of the sales- and business-tax hikes—and a year later he expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Despite rebounding sales- and gambling-tax revenues—about half of Nevada’s general fund—Mr. Sandoval pushed in 2012 for another two-year tax extension, to pay for rising Medicaid expenses and prevent cuts to K-12 education. In 2013, Republican moderates joined Democrats to extend the tax increases through June 2015.

To ward off a serious primary challenge in his bid for re-election in 2014, Mr. Sandoval steered right. His campaign website boasted that he had increased spending on education by “$486 million over the last two years—without raising taxes” and promised “more education funding” with “no new taxes” if re-elected. He promoted a tax credit for businesses that contribute to private-school scholarship funds.

Mr. Sandoval also vigorously opposed a referendum backed by the teachers union to create a new business “margin tax,” based on gross receipts, to fund schools. “The proponents of new taxes, like any good marketer, ignore what’s unpopular about the product,” he declared in a March 2014 speech. “Instead, they point to the alleged benefits of the tax, rarely mentioning the costs.”

Nearly 80% of Nevadans voted down the teachers-union referendum in November as Mr. Sandoval crushed the weak Democratic challenger, Bob Goodman, taking 70% of the vote. The governor claimed credit for sweeping unexpected GOP majorities into both chambers of the legislature that gave Republicans unilateral control of state government for the first time since 1929.

But once he was safely re-elected governor, Mr. Sandoval in January pitched a third extension of the sales- and business-tax increases—and an increase in another tax, a graduated business license fee. Under his proposal, the current business license fee would vary by industry and be based on gross receipts. Most small businesses grossing less than $250,000 would pay about $400, double what they do now. But a real-estate firm earning $8.5 million would owe $24,231 while a farmer making the same amount would be dinned $6,106.

Nevada boasts a relatively business-friendly climate due to the absence of a personal and corporate income tax. However, its tax code is complicated, narrowly-based and heavily dependent on tourism and gambling. The governor claims that his “hybrid tax model” is the “least complicated” way to raise revenues and that it borrows “the best attributes from a true gross receipts tax, a margins tax and a business license-fee structure.” The Nevada Policy Research Institute, a free-market nonprofit, says the plan is unnecessarily complicated and resembles the margin tax that voters rejected in November.

The governor wants to dump most of the $1.1 billion in projected revenues raised from his proposal into education, including new, unproven programs for failing schools. His proposal to create “Victory Schools” aims to improve student learning by providing more “family engagement” and “professional development.” Then there’s the new Safe and Respectful Schools Office, whose mission is to prevent cyberbullying. Notably absent from his budget are any tax credits for private-school scholarships.

Democrats are cheering. “I never imagined the day when a Republican governor would be proposing things I’d been fighting for all this time,” said state Sen. Mo Denis of Las Vegas. Republicans legislators appear to be lukewarm. While the Senate majority leader has shown cautious support, many Assembly Members are outright opposed. Conservative activists have threatened to recall members who vote for a tax increase.

That means Mr. Sandoval will need to win nearly unanimous support from Democratic lawmakers in both chambers. This could require him to abandon second-term policy objectives such as public union collective-bargaining reform. By becoming a champion of higher taxes, the governor has drawn applause from liberal media and boosted his bona fides as a so-called common-sense, compassionate conservative. Many a Republican has taken this easy middle road. But few have gotten very far on it.

Ms. Finley is an editorial writer for the Journal.

LET THEM EAT CAKE: Ben Kieckhefer is an asshole and a co-sponsor of a bill that would prohibit the state from paying prevailing wages on public education construction projects.

Ben Kieckhefer

Asshole Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, works in a budget subcommittee hearing on Friday, May 3, 2013, at the Legislative Building in Carson City. Kieckhefer is co-sponsor of a bill that would prohibit the state from paying prevailing wages on public education construction projects.

By Kyle Roerink (contact)

keep-calm-and-let-them-eat-cake-3CARSON CITY —  Lawmakers have fired the first salvo in the legislative battle among political parties, organized labor and conservatives groups.

The Senate Government Affairs Committee vetted a bill that would prohibit the state from paying prevailing wages on public education construction projects, kickstarting a debate bound to reverberate for the remainder of the session and into the 2016 election.

Senate Bill 119, sponsored by Republican Sens. Ben Kieckhefer and Becky Harris, highlights the longstanding partisan divide in the workforce.

Prevailing wage is a sum paid to all workers on public projects — building new schools, roads and other government facilities.

The state’s labor commission determines prevailing wages by surveying contractors in every county.

becky harris is a cunt

Senate Bill 119, sponsored by Republican Sens. Ben Kieckhefer and Becky Harris, highlights the longstanding partisan divide in the workforce.

The labor commission declined to comment for this story.

Republicans claim that the salaries of union employees inflate the prevailing wage and create a disparity in the marketplace and a costly expense for the state on public projects. Democrats say the policy provides state projects with highly skilled contractors and livable wages.

For decades, Republicans have pushed to upend the current prevailing wage laws, but they have never had the majority to do so in the Legislature. Late Gov. Kenny Guinn pushed reforms in 2001 without any effect. Kieckhefer proposed legislation in 2013 with the same result.

Now that Republicans control the Legislature and the governor’s office, it’s poised to pass the law.

If prevailing wage is stripped from public school construction projects, Republicans say the state will save money.

Democrats and organized labor assail the idea, saying it would ship jobs out of state.

“If we gut prevailing wage, folks aren’t going to be able to feed their families,” Democratic Sen. Kelvin Atkinson said. “If there are lower wages, you are taking essential things out of homes and money out of the economy.”

The move to cut prevailing wage dovetails with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s call to raise taxes to bolster education funding by more than $800 million. The Republican move to raise taxes comes with Sandoval’s promise to implement what he’s called accountability measures and reforms.

brian-sandoval-bong“If we approve this exemption we will go back to revert to the free market to price the construction of our schools,” Kieckhefer said. “If we do that we will be able to build more schools.”

Prevailing wage is just one bill aiming at organized labor. Also on the table are bills to change collective bargaining laws.

Unions promised to lobby in unprecedented numbers and canvass districts with lawmakers who support changes to collective bargaining and prevailing wage.

In contrast to the suits and ties of lawmakers and lobbyists, some union members filled the committee meeting Wednesday dressed in jeans, boots and plaid shirts.

Contractors were one of the hardest hit groups in the recession and among the slowest to recover, union members testified. They argued that the quality of work would diminish along with the wage of Nevada workers.

“Schools happen to be a big part of my business,” said Craig Holt, owner of Sierra Nevada Construction. “… This is jeopardizing my employees and their wages.”

A handful of contractors testified that good construction employees don’t cost $15 an hour, saying that contractors who win prevailing wage jobs have certifications and education to do the job properly.

On the prevailing wage schedule, laborers average $48 to $50 per hour in Clark County.

“Maintaining the prevailing wage means that you get the highest quality worker out there,” said Danny Thompson, executive vice treasurer of the Nevada AFL-CIO. “People leave if they don’t get those jobs. If you want qualified people you’ve got to pay prevailing wage.”

The prevailing wage provision is one part of a two-pronged bill. The other half of the bill would allow school boards to issue bonds without having voters approve the funding.

Lawmakers in both parties and superintendents agree that giving boards the authority would be good for the state’s education system.

But committee chairman Sen. Pete Goicoechea said he doesn’t see the bill passing because of the bonding issue.

He said his rural constituents wouldn’t approve of it.

The committee will vote on the bill at its Friday meeting.


Republicans Schwartz, Knecht propose alternative budget to Gov. Brian Sandoval

moneyA week after Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt broke rank with GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval in joining an immigration lawsuit aimed at the federal government, more of the state’s top Republicans are turning away from the governor.

State Treasurer Dan Schwartz and Controller Ron Knecht released a three-page document Wednesday outlining an alternative spending plan after calling Sandoval’s proposed $7.3 billion budget an overreach that unduly increases taxes and focuses too much on education.

Although there’s nothing in Nevada law giving the treasurer the ability to create a budget, Schwartz said he and Knecht were approached to create an alternative by a group of Assembly and Senate Republicans upset with the governor’s proposed $1.1 billion in tax increases and extensions.

Schwartz said he felt it was appropriate because he’s the state’s top fiscal officer.

“We’re the two elected officials who have some financial responsibility in the state,” he said. “There was a belief or feeling that we were in the best position to do that.”

Former Treasurer Kate Marshall said she wasn’t aware of any previous alternative budgets being proposed outside of the governor’s office and the office historically has been mostly neutral in tax policy.

“I think you undermine what the treasurer does when you begin to participate in a kind of partisan role in respect to the numbers,” she said.

The alternative $6.8 billion budget proposal calls for tax increases on airline passengers and gambling, and would cut $20 million from various state agencies.

Schwartz said he and Knecht will meet Monday with a group of Republican lawmakers, including a member of Assembly leadership, to discuss putting the budget proposal into bill drafts.

Schwartz criticized Sandoval’s budget proposal, calling the governor’s plan to increase funding to programs like autism therapy and anti-bullying measures wasteful.

“What education needs is teachers, not social workers,” he said.

Calls to the governor’s office Wednesday were not immediately returned.

Sandoval proposed an ambitious $7.3 billion two-year budget that would inject millions of dollars into K-12 education, including programs for English Language Learners, children in poverty, gifted students and children with disabilities.

The popular Republican governor proposed a number of tax increases to pay for the expanded funding, including restructuring the business license fee to bring in $437 million over two years.


GOP stalls in effort to oust Reid

harry reid one eyed bandit

Senate Republicans are unlikely to land their most formidable recruit to take down Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

brian-sandoval-bongWith Gov. Brian Sandoval delaying any decision until summer, his indecision is costing Republicans precious time in their quest to oust the party’s biggest target in 2016.

The popular governor is at the top of wish lists for Nevada and Washington Republicans, but he has suggested he won’t run. Still, Sandoval is unlikely to make a final announcement until after the state’s legislative session concludes.
That has frozen the field for other GOP hopefuls and left national Republicans in a holding pattern.

Sandoval has said he wants to focus on his legislative agenda, one that includes tax increases that has angered the GOP base as much as it has Democrats, and he has all but ruled out a bid.

“Do you really think, if this is my last session as governor, I would propose the things that I proposed last night, thinking I might be on a ballot?” Sandoval asked influential Nevada journalist Jon Ralston in a recent interview.

When pressed by Ralston, Sandoval repeatedly refused to declare that he definitely wouldn’t run. But those close to him say he is focused on getting things done in Nevada and has no desire to commute to Washington to work in a body that has been largely dysfunctional for the past decade.

“The governor is completely focused on the legislative session. I think that will be done before he gives a final decision,” said one Nevada Republican familiar with Sandoval’s thinking. “I don’t think he’s going to run, but I also don’t think he’s ready to say ‘no’ yet.”

Republicans say current Lieutenant Gov. Mark Hutchison and former Lieutenant Gov. Brian Krolicki are both interested in running but won’t make any moves until they’re sure Sandoval is out. The same goes for Nevada state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson (R) and a half-dozen other potential candidates.

“I don’t think Sandoval is going to make a Shermanesque statement until after the session. But he’s showing no interest in running. Something really strange would have to happen for him to run,” Ralston told The Hill. “We won’t know much until the summer.”

Reid’s poll numbers have been underwater in recent surveys, and if Sandoval runs, the governor would likely start out as the favorite.

Republicans still think they can beat the incumbent senator without Sandoval, but they’ll have to nominate a candidate acceptable to swing voters. Most importantly, they need to avoid a costly primary that could produce a flawed candidate like Reid’s 2010 opponent, Tea Partyer Sharron Angle.

However, the entire race could be shaken up if Reid reverses course on running for reelection.

The 75 year-old Democratic leader suffered a bad fall while exercising over the holidays and had to miss work to have one surgery — with another expected — to try to save his eye.

The senator further stirred questions about his commitment to a sixth term in his first press conference after returning, when he made comments that some read as less than definitive.

“I plan to run,” he told reporters in late January. “My staff has continued to review my new campaign. We have quite an operation.”

Reid and his staff have since insisted unequivocally that he’ll be on the ballot in 2016.

“Sen. Reid is running for reelection, period,” said Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman.

But his injuries have some close to the senator, a former boxer known for his toughness, worried that there’s a chance that he might not run again.

“The conversations [with Reid staff] both internally and externally are all the same: that he’s running. The official line to friends and family is it’s full steam ahead,” one source close to Reid’s political operation told The Hill. “But in my gut, I’m not sure he does.”

Reid already has much of his campaign team in place. Many of the people who ran his potent field operation in 2010 never left Nevada, staying in the state to help President Obama in 2012 and continuing to work for the state party.

His fundraising operation never stopped churning either. Reid has already been raising cash this year and had close to $1.5 million in the bank at the end of 2014.

Those close to Reid admit that hiring for the rest of his staff has slowed down due to his injury. He had to cancel some candidate interviews for campaign manager and other positions during his recovery.

When he dislocated his shoulder and bruised his face during fall while jogging in 2011, he returned to work the same day. That he missed as much work as he did shows how much pain he was in.

“When he got hurt, everything was kind of put on hold. Reid couldn’t meet with potential staff; he was down for a while. There hasn’t been an update in two weeks or so because of that,” the source close to Reid’s team said of the difference in injuries. “This time, the man was out for weeks. He was in an excruciating amount of pain.”


Proposed tax hike by Nevada’s GOP governor stirs angry revolt

brian-sandoval-bongCARSON CITY, Nev. — If 2014 was a good year for Republicans nationally, in Nevada it was an election for the ages.

Gov. Brian Sandoval won his second term with an extravagant 70 percent support. Republicans not only seized control of the Legislature — giving them full run of the Capitol for the first time since 1929 — but also staged an unprecedented sweep of statewide offices.

Sandoval then did something uncharacteristic for a Republican, especially one in a state with such a deep and abiding hostility toward government: He called for the largest tax increase in Nevada history.

And he did so after nearly 80 percent of voters in November rejected a tax hike that, while differing in size and scope, was touted as addressing the same problem Sandoval hopes to remedy with his plan: the state’s woeful public education system.

money“I know this will cause debate,” Sandoval said after springing his plan in last month’s State of the State address.

Indeed it has, along with a revolt by antitax Republicans, rumblings of a legislative recall and a man-bites-dog display of Democrats hailing the GOP governor and his brave leadership.

“The governor loves this state,” said Marilyn Kirkpatrick, the Democratic leader in the Nevada Assembly. “And he has a vision of what it needs to look like moving forward.”

Apart from turning Nevada politics upside down, Sandoval has launched a frontal assault against the Tea Party — perhaps the boldest in the country — in a state where the movement’s minimal-government philosophy has one of its strongest followings.

Sandoval’s $1.1-billion proposal would replace the state’s $200 business license fee with a levy based on annual revenue and industry type. The tax on cigarettes would increase, and a 2009 tax hike that was supposed to end in June 2013 but was extended would become permanent.

The added revenue over two years would pay for a sizable investment in the state’s public schools — among the worst-performing in the nation — including more money for English-language learning.

District Judge James Todd Russell on Thursday sharply narrowed the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the governor’s Catalyst Fund.

judge_russellIn a verbal order issued from the bench, District Judge James Todd Russell on Thursday sharply narrowed the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the governor’s Catalyst Fund.

That fund, with some $20 million to help bring businesses to Nevada, has been challenged as a violation of the constitutional provisions barring direct contributions of money by the state to for-profit businesses.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute challenged it on behalf of Michael Little, a southern Nevada businessman who objected to the $1.2 million award to Solar City which he said is his direct competitor.

The lawsuit was originally framed as a blanket challenge of the Catalyst Fund law.Featured Image -- 14618

But Russell Thursday narrowed it specifically to a challenge of the award to Solar City.

He said to do otherwise would necessitate bringing into the lawsuit all 13 companies that have won grants — funneled through local governments in Nevada — from the Catalyst Fund.

Those companies have effectively been awarded $9 million from the Catalyst Fund using local government entities as a pass-through.

“If we’re going to take that money away from them, I think they need to be here,” the judge said.

Russell basically ruled Little has no specific standing in the issue different from any other taxpayer.

Russell also questioned whether it’s up to the court to “second guess the Nevada Legislature as to the establishment of a business program.”

He said he wasn’t certain that’s the court’s business.

That enabled him to narrow the case to a specific challenge of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development decision to issue up to $1.2 million to Clark County for that entity to then send to Solar City — a scheme designed to get around the appearance of a direct contribution to Solar City.

Russell said the issue then becomes, “can the state indirectly do what they can’t do directly.”

“We think that’s the thrust of this issue when all the dust settles,” said NPRI lawyer Joseph Becker.

Russell directed Kevin Powers of the Legislative Counsel Bureau to prepare an order narrowing the case to that particular grant and bringing in Solar City and Clark County.

The result is even if Little and NPRI win the Solar City case, the other grants GOED has made to different businesses aren’t invalidated. That would depend on challenges of those grants based on the specifics of those individual contracts.

Sandoval unsure if he can override Laxalt’s decision on immigration lawsuit

Attorney General Adam Laxalt

Attorney General Adam Laxalt

By Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder, Associated Press

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval said Wednesday that he doesn’t think he legally can override the state’s challenge to an order that would spare more people from deportation, but he plans to talk with Attorney General Adam Laxalt about it in the next few days.
Sandoval made the comment Wednesday at an unrelated event in Carson City that took place just before a coalition of liberal groups launched a protest at Laxalt’s Las Vegas office. While Sandoval didn’t give prior consent to Nevada joining the suit, which includes 25 other states as plaintiffs, it’s not uncommon for attorneys general to pursue lawsuits on their own.

Critics said Sandoval should have done more to rein in Laxalt, a fellow Republican whom he endorsed in the past election, especially on such a heated issue.

“He’s the governor. He can’t act like he has no control over anything,” said spokeswoman Laura Martin of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, one of the groups involved in the protest. “Stop being aloof and be a governor.”

Laxalt announced Monday that Nevada would challenge President Barack Obama’s order to shield millions from deportation and allow them to apply for work permits. Obama promoted the move at a Las Vegas high school in November.

The attorney general acknowledged that the immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed but argued that the president was going about it illegally.

“The president cannot bypass the peoples’ elected representatives in Congress just because they do not pass the laws he wants, nor can he simply rewrite current law under the guise of ‘prosecutorial discretion,'” Laxalt said.

Obama has defended himself by pointing to his Democratic and Republican predecessors and saying presidents exercise “prosecutorial discretion all the time.”

Laxalt’s move to join the lawsuit drew sharp criticism from Democrats, including Nevada Sen. Harry Reid.

“This is embarrassing,” Reid said in a statement. “No other state in the country will benefit more from President Obama’s executive actions than Nevada. The irresponsible decision to join a lawsuit that will cause family separation is harmful to our communities.”

An estimated 7.6 percent of Nevada residents are living in the country illegally — the largest share of any state, according to the Pew Research Center. Politicians are typically sensitive to how their immigration moves will appear to Nevada’s sizeable bloc of Hispanic voters, and Sandoval takes a more moderate tone on the matter than some Republican governors.

“Gov. Sandoval continues to encourage Congressional leadership and President Obama to work toward passing a bipartisan solution,” his spokeswoman, Mari St. Martin, said Monday. “He continues to believe that the best course of action is a legislative solution rather than legal action.”

While attorneys general at the federal level are typically in lockstep with the presidents who appoint them, the offices are elected separately in Nevada and an attorney general is independent of the governor.

What is more intriguing in this case is that while both men are Republicans and Sandoval supported Laxalt’s heated race for attorney general, their positions on immigration diverge.

“It’s politically a more interesting question than legally,” said Michael Kagan, an associate professor at Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “It shows two different visions in the Republican Party.”

In case you haven’t heard, taxes are going to be big once the 2015 Legislature convenes on Monday.

In case you haven’t heard, taxes are going to be big once the 2015 Legislature convenes on Monday.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has called for increase in the business license fee (which carries the delicious acronym “BLT”), switching to a progressive fee depending on a company’s gross receipts. He’s also proposed continuing a package of temporary taxes.

But there are plenty of other things the Legislature will have to deal with in its compressed, four-month session as it sets policy for the state for the coming two years. Here’s a look at five of those pressing issues, and maybe a few more:

1. Construction defect reform: For years, Republicans have sought to overhaul the rules regarding when and how homeowners can sue construction companies or home-repair contractors for allegedly shoddy work. But Democrats successfully kept most of those bills at bay. Now that Republicans control both houses of the Legislature, things will be different.

For one, Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, is chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee (where construction defect bills will be heard). Hansen is a plumbing contractor, and has long been an advocate of a “right to repair” bill in which contractors get a chance to make a defective repair right before being sued.

For another, state Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, is preparing a comprehensive tort reform package for introduction in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs. Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, said a recent breakfast forum sponsored by the Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce that Nevada’s litigious legal environment is “a hidden tax on business.” So the question is not whether the law will be reformed, but how. And how will Democrats — who count trial lawyers among their key constituencies — react to the proposals, now that Republicans have the votes to pass them even in the face of Democratic opposition.

2. Organized labor reform:Danny Thompson, the head of Nevada’s AFL-CIO, just today announced that working families are under attack by Republican lawmakers. And organized labor reforms long sought by the GOP are what he meant. Now that Republicans are in charge, this will be a prime focus. Ideas include changes to binding arbitration rules (or perhaps the elimination of it entirely), changes to the Public Employees Retirement System pension system and clearly defining a “fiscal emergency,” as well as outlining how collective bargaining contracts are to be handled in such circumstances, are going to be the subject of legislation in the 2015 session.

Once again, Democrats will find themselves playing defense, as labor unions are among the most reliable of their political base. But with a sympathetic Republican governor, they may not be able to muster the votes to stop some of the more moderate ideas. The real question: What will moderate Republicans and Sandoval do if, for example, a bill to simply end government-worker collective bargaining makes it out of the legislative building?

3. Education reform: Public schools in Nevada don’t have a very good reputation, but the prescriptions to fix them are as varied as the membership in the Legislature. Sandoval set the tone early in his State of the State address,promising to add more than $780 million to K-12 schools alone. But the Republican governor also called for reforms, and that’s where some of the biggest political battles will take place.

School choice will be an oft-debated topic during the session, including vouchers, scholarships and an expansion of the laws governing charter schools. While the state’s constitution prohibits state funds from being used for sectarian education, some conservatives believe that provision can be evaded by giving money directly to parents and allowing them to choose a private, even a parochial school, without offending the constitution.

Not only that, but reforms to rules governing teachers may be in the works, including further restricting (or even eliminating) teacher tenure. Those efforts will be staunchly opposed by Democrats, one of whom once declared teachers to be the “backbone” of the party, without whose support it would be “defunct.”

4. Voter ID: Republicans have repeatedly tried to get a simple law passed in Nevada that would require a drivers license or state identification card in order to vote, but they’ve been just as repeatedly thwarted by Democrats. In fact, the Democratic antipathy to the idea even led lawmakers in the 2013 session to reject a proposal by then-Secretary of State Ross Miller that would have used DMV photos at polling places, but would not have disenfranchised any voter who didn’t have a photo ID. Their stated reason: Too costly.

But now, with Republicans in control of the Legislature and with the foremost advocate of voter ID, former state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, in the secretary of state’s office, voter ID is at the forefront of the agenda. But instead of Miller’s proposal — the only voter ID at the time that didn’t draw the condemnation ofBrennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School — it appears Republicans will try to enact a straight-up voter ID requirement over Democratic objections and, inevitably, a lawsuit.

5. Marijuana: Once a neglected topic in Carson City (who else misses Assemblywoman-turned-Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani?!), marijuana is now the cause of the moment. Not only will the Legislature have to address problems that have cropped up with the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries, but lawmakers will also be compelled to deal with a voter-approved initiative to legalize recreational marijuana outright. (If they approve the measure in the first 40 days, it could become law right away; if not, it goes to the 2016 ballot for voters to decide.)

Although he’s now in the minority, nobody knows more about the issue than state Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, who will no doubt play a prominent role on the issue (when he’s not crossing swords with Republicans over labor and tort reforms).

6. And lots of other stuff: With more than 1,000 bills expected to be introduced (to say nothing of resolutions!), every subject under the desert sun will get some attention. Among the other issues are guns, especially where they may be carried concealed and whether a background check should be required for sales between two private parties. Economic development, including rules about which companies should get state incentives and how much they should pay their employees before they can get tax breaks from the state, is another one. The development of a UNLV medical school is another hot topic, one that Northern Nevada lawmakers will monitor with interest (since the only existing medical school in Nevada now is based at the University of Nevada Reno). And funding for treatment of mental health services will be an issue, spurred by negative publicity over the state’s handling of some patients who were bused to other states instead of receiving care here.

Oh, and my personal favorite: Wineries! Las Vegas may have a platoon of master sommeliers working at the various high-end restaurants in town, but there are precious few places where grapes are cultivated, fermented and bottled, to say nothing of handed out to the public in on-premises samples! Don’t make Las Vegans and Renoites schlep all the way to Napa Valley, Legislature!

New details emerge about Gov. Brian Sandoval’s “Massive tax proposal”

taxBy Cy Ryan (contact)

Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 | 2:58 p.m.

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval is putting the finishing touches on his estimated $570 million tax-increase package that would hit cigarette smokers, slot route operators, the mining industry and other businesses.
The biggest share would come from a gross receipts tax that would cost businesses from $400 to $4 million. The top of the scale would be paid by companies that gross $1 billion or more a year.

Companies now pay a $200 a year business license fee. That will be eliminated and the new tax would be based on the type of business and gross receipts.brian-sandoval-bong

Julia Teska, director of the Department of Administration, outlined Sandoval’s $7.3 billion, two-year budget today for members of the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee in advance of the Feb. 2 start of the legislative session.

Today’s meeting outlined new information about raising an additional $133 million to help fund the state’s education programs with $882 million over the next two years.

The details about the funding boost follow Sandoval’s state of the state address last week.

In his speech, the governor outlined a plan to spend nearly $1 billion on education over the next two years. He wants to raise $437 million of that by increasing business fees, he said in his speech.

As part of the governor’s plan, the tax on a pack of cigarettes would be increased from 80 cents to $1.20.

moneySlot machine route operators who have 500 machines or more or whose revenues are $10 million or more would be hit with a gross revenue tax, similar to that paid by casinos.

The change would also apply to a the operators slot parlors where the total number of machines is more than 500 or the gross win exceeds $10 million.

Casinos already pay a tax on their gross win. But they would have to pay the gross receipts tax on other revenues, such as entertainment, rooms and food.

The tentative plan calls for a 1.17 percent payroll tax paid by mining companies to be increased to 2 percent. That is expected to bring in $14.6 million over the next two fiscal years.

The gross receipts tax would yield an estimated $437.5 million and the slot tax would produce $39 million over the next biennium.

The governor also plans to make permanent so-called sunset taxes imposed in 2009 and due to expire June 30.

If the sunset taxes are not extended there will be a loss of $600 million in revenue over the next two years, Teska said.

Teska told the members of the committee the administration is keeping a “tight rein” on adding state workers. The present number of 18,406 would increase to 19,048 next fiscal year and to 19,229 in 2017.

Nevada’s big businesses waiting for Sandoval budget details

Gov. Brian Sandoval’s $1.1 billion tax package to fund education and other state services caught some industry groups off guard, but the state’s largest business organizations say they will await specifics of the proposal before passing judgment.

Representatives of gaming, mining and retail industries say they like the Republican governor’s vision to improve education. It’s how to pay for it that is giving them pause.

Virginia Valentine, president of the powerful Nevada Resort Association, applauded Sandoval’s plan to jump-start school construction and capital improvements.

“The NRA has always advocated for increased and stable funding for all levels of education in our state,” Valentine said in an email. While admiring the governor’s intentions, she added, “We, like many other Nevada businesses, await the details.”

Getting the two-thirds votes in both the state Senate and Assembly needed to pass the tax package will not be a cakewalk for the popular governor. And lawmakers are expected to bring some of their own ideas on taxes when the 120-day legislative session begins Feb. 2.

The cornerstone of Sandoval’s proposal is an overhaul of the state business license fee. Businesses large and small currently pay a flat $200 each year. The governor wants to establish a tiered rate schedule, ranging from $400 up to $4 million, based on gross receipts.

Sandoval said the move would raise $430 million over the two-year budget cycleand pay for his plan to elevate Nevada’s education system from the basement dungeon to the penthouse suite, nurturing a workforce demanded by the high-tech companies such as Tesla that he’s worked to recruit to the Silver State.

“I realize these decisions are difficult. I know I am asking a lot from the business community. But I have explored every option and find this to be the broadest, least complicated, and fairest solution,” Sandoval said in his State of the State address Thursday, when he released the highlights of his $7.3 billion two-year budget proposal.

Mining, which escaped potentially higher taxes at the ballot box when voters in November rejected a measure that would have removed a cap on net proceeds from the Nevada Constitution, did not evade the governor’s revenue strategy. In addition to new business license fees, Sandoval wants $14.6 million more in payroll taxes from the industry.

In a statement, the Nevada Mining Association said it is passionate about Nevada’s schools and shares the governor’s concerns about closing the workforce skills gap. It’s also looking out for its members.

“We are also concerned about the current economic diversity being experienced in the mining industry — virtually no job growth, volatile mineral values and declining company stock prices,” the association said.

Sandoval’s tax plan also would:

■ Make permanent $560 million in so-called “sunset taxes” that were supposed to expire in 2011 but have twice been extended.

■ Raise cigarette taxes to $1.20 per pack, up from 80 cents, bringing in $78.3 million.

■ Impose a new slot tax on restricted gaming license holders with more than 500 machines or revenue of $10 million or more, for $39 million.

Business groups have long said they would support tax policy that is broad and fair in scope. But they want to see the fine print before signing off on the governor’s plan.

Bryan Wachter with the Retail Association of Nevada said its members range from mom-and-pop operations “to those that pay the highest taxes in the state.”

“If there are other options out there that do a better job of bringing in that additional revenue, then we’ll look at those as well,” he said.

There is also an underlying resentment that businesses who struggled to stay afloat during Nevada’s gripping recession are being asked to pony up while tax breaks are granted to new kids on the block. Tesla Motors was given a pass for $1.3 billion in taxes over 20 years to build its $5 billion battery plant in Northern Nevada.

“We’re treating businesses differently,” said Randi Thompson, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

“They are just increasing the cost of business on the small folks and keep incentivizing the big folks,” she said. “After awhile, we get a little crabby.”

Thompson said she’s not against Tesla and believes it will have a positive influence on the economy. “But most of the guys I’ve worked with have never asked for a tax incentive.”

Tesla would not be exempt from the new business license fee, though it’s unclear how much it would pay.

Nevada’s two largest business organizations — the Las Vegas Metro and Reno-Sparks chambers of commerce — also hailed Sandoval’s commitment to education but are more muted about his tax plan.

The Las Vegas business group said it looks forward to working with the governor “as conversations evolve” on state revenue needs.

Tray Abney, with the Reno-Sparks Chamber, said the group has historically opposed taxes based on gross receipts. Voters in November rejected a measure pushed by the teachers union to impose a gross receipts business margins tax.

“I’m looking forward to hearing more about it,” Abney said of the governor’s plan. “I think corporate tax reform is a piece of it but it can’t be the only piece.”

Carole Vilardo, president of the Nevada Taxpayers Association and veteran of numerous legislative sessions, said the governor’s speech was impressive and covered a number of topics discussed over the years.

“Obviously the amount of new money required is what’s going to be the challenge,” she said. “It always is.”

Contact Sandra Chereb at or 775-687-3901. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

STATE OF CORRUPTION: Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval used the term “unmanned aerial systems” instead of DRONES in his 2015 State-of-the-State

Nevada became one of only six national training sites for unmanned aerial systems. – NV Gov. Brian Sandoval

Drone NevadaCARSON CITY, Nev. ( & KRNV) — Here is the full transcript from Governor Brian Sandoval’s State of the State speech:

“Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Distinguished Members of the Legislature, Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court, Constitutional Officers:

My Fellow Nevadans:

I’m incredibly grateful and honored that I have the solemn privilege of serving as your governor.

Tonight I wish to speak with you, not just about the state of our state, but about a plan to modernize and transform Nevada for its next 50 years of success.

Let me take a moment to recognize Nevada’s First Lady, Kathleen Sandoval, as well as my daughters, Maddy and Marisa, my parents, Ron and Teri Sandoval, and my sister, Lauri.

Tonight we welcome 20 freshmen legislators.

Governor Brian Sandoval State of CORRUPTION

Governor Brian Sandoval State of CORRUPTION

Twenty years ago, I was a freshmen legislator, so I know exactly how you are feeling.

Will all the new legislators please stand so we can acknowledge your commitment to public service?

Sadly, since we last met, a great many former legislators have departed.

We lost a Nevada giant in Speaker Joe Dini.

A total of 19 legislators will long be remembered for their service.

Please join me for a moment of silence in their honor.

Thank you.

One month ago today, at the final event of the Nevada Sesquicentennial, I helped seal a time capsule that is now buried at the Capitol.

drone-pilot-nevadaThe contents capture a snapshot of the Nevada family today, to be presented to a 200-year-old Nevada in 2064.

I wrote a letter to Nevada’s bicentennial governor for the time capsule.

As I wrote, I realized that the success or failure of the governor and people of Nevada in 2064 will largely depend upon our decisions today.

Ladies and gentlemen, we stand at a unique moment in time.

Having just completed our Sesquicentennial, we have proudly celebrated our state’s history.

Tonight we begin writing the next chapter of that story.

We must decide if that chapter is about getting through the next two years, or about creating a New Nevada – for the generations to come.

The most recent chapter of our story required strength and perseverance as we weathered one of the worst economic storms in our history.

These times were even more challenging because they coincided with two long and difficult wars.

Even though some said it couldn’t be done, we managed to lay the foundation for a New Nevada:

Nevada became one of only six national training sites for unmanned aerial systems.

We attracted Tesla in one of the most competitive site selections in our nation’s history.

droneWe became the home to dozens of other national brands who now employ Nevadans in industries of the future – cyber security, medicine, aviation, renewable energy, manufacturing, data storage and more. During my first State of the State Message in 2011, Nevada led the nation in unemployment. We set a goal then of 50,000 new jobs – we have almost doubled that. Today, Nevada’s job growth is third strongest in the country, we have cut our unemployment rate in half, and we have the second fastest growing population in the nation. We are adding good jobs in almost every sector, with business services, manufacturing, health services, gaming and tourism leading the way.

And yet, the success of our state is inextricably linked to the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens.

And I believe we have made significant progress in that regard.

Two years ago, 23 percent of Nevadans lacked health insurance, the second worst ranking in the nation.

Today, that number has been reduced by more than half, to 11 percent, and we are the fourth most improved state in the country.Google drone delivery

The uninsured rate for our children has dropped from 15 percent to 2 percent.

Nearly three-fourths of our Medicaid and Nevada Check-Up populations are covered by care management, which saves the state $13 million, and ensures that nevadans receive timely, cost-effective and appropriate health care.

In 2013, our behavioral health system was in a crisis.

Individuals waited days to access inpatient psychiatric treatment, and emergency rooms were overflowing.

Through the work of the Department of Health and Human Services, the specially-created Behavioral Health and Wellness Council, and many others, there have been dramatic improvements.

Continue reading

Gov. Brian Sandoval calls for end to state worker furloughs


State employees will finally see the elimination of the unpaid furloughs they have complained about since imposed several years ago because of the recession.

The governor’s proposed budget also includes continuation of the merit salary increases for classified employees reinstated this current fiscal year. Many particularly new state workers were hard hit by elimination of the steps, which held them for some five years at the base entry pay level where they started.

Budget officials say the state can’t afford to give workers those step raises — worth about 5 percent a year — retroactively. But the budget will continue the steps into this next biennium, which will give workers not at top scale in their classification a total of nearly 10 percent more pay over the next two years.

Those employees, however, will be hit by an effective 1.125 percent pay cut because the Public Employees Retirement system board has ordered a 2.25 percent increase in retirement premiums, split 50-50 between state and the employee.

Sandoval’s ‘prisoner’ joke gets a big laugh

Governor Brian Sandoval

Governor Brian Sandoval

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval recently spoke at The State of the West Symposium in Stanford, Calif., as the current chairman of the Western Governors Association.

To start his speech, he told the audience about an earlier trip to Washington D.C., where he was able to speak with President Obama in the White House Situation Room.

“It was a pretty good few days and I was feeling pretty good about myself,” Sandoval said. “We were at the Baltimore airport coming home. And when I travel I am sometimes escorted and my escort is armed and he was talking to the gate agent.

As they were in conversation, they were looking at me and the gate agent said, ‘Well, who are you escorting?

“He pointed at me and said, ‘That gentleman over there.

“The gate agent pointed at me and said, ‘Sir, don’t you know that prisoners are supposed to be handcuffed?”

The joke got a big roar from the Stanford crowd. Sandoval laughed, too, harder than I’ve ever seen in public.

Public invited to inaugural celebration Monday at the Nevada State Capitol building

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval will host the Inaugural Celebration of the Governor and Constitutional Officers on Monday, Jan. 5. The program will begin at noon on the capitol steps in Carson City and the official ceremony starts at 12:30 p.m.brian-sandoval-bong

Gov. Sandoval, Mark Hutchison, Lieutenant Governor-Elect of the State of Nevada, Barbara Cegavske, Secretary of State-Elect of the State of Nevada, Dan Schwartz, Treasurer-Elect of the State of Nevada, Adam Paul Laxalt, Attorney General-Elect of the State of Nevada, The Honorable Mark Gibbons, Nevada Supreme Court Justice, and The Honorable Kris Pickering, Nevada Supreme Court Justice will take the oath of office as part of the ceremonies. The event is open to the public.


Inaugural Celebration of Governor Brian Sandoval and the incoming Constitutional Officers.WHO:
The Honorable Brian Sandoval, Governor of the State of Nevada
Mark Hutchison, Lieutenant Governor-Elect of the State of Nevada
Barbara Cegavske, Secretary of State-Elect of the State of Nevada
Dan Schwartz, Treasurer-Elect of the State of Nevada
Ron Knecht, Controller-Elect of the State of Nevada
Adam Paul Laxalt, Attorney General-Elect of the State of Nevada
The Honorable Mark Gibbons, Nevada Supreme Court Justice
The Honorable Kris Pickering, Nevada Supreme Court Justice

Monday, January 5th, 2015

– 9:30 a.m. Catholic Mass: St. Teresa of Avila, 3000 North Lompa Lane, Carson City, Nevada 89706
Note: This event is open to the public but closed for any media inquiries or cameras.

– 12:00 p.m. Inauguration ceremonies begin: Capitol Steps, 101 North Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada 89701

– 12:30 p.m. Introduction of the Dais Party: Capitol Steps, 101 North Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada 89701

– 1:45 p.m. Reception with Governor Sandoval and First Lady Kathleen Sandoval: Old Assembly Chambers, Capitol Building, 101 North Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada 89701

Traffic Closures
– At 8:00 a.m. several streets around the Capitol Complex will be closed to traffic which will include:

– East 5th Street between South Carson Street and South Stewart Street
– East Musser Street between North Carson Street and North Stewart Street, and

– At 9:00 a.m. Carson Street will close between Musser Street and 5th Street.

The inaugural ceremony will also be broadcast live. To view the ceremony live, please visit thehome page of the Governor’s Office here.

Feds Attempting Unlawful UN Land Grab Of 3 Million Acres In Nevada – KrisAnne Hall




Closed Roads · Excluded Trails · Closed to Camping · Closed to Recreational Vehicles · Closed to Motorized Travel · Closed to Livestock Grazing · Restricted Human Hiking · Restricted Horseback Riding · Exclude Group Recreations · Closed to Mineral Development · Closed to Water Access · Closed to Hunting / Target Shooting The Southern Nevada people soon will have less access to their lands than any other people in the history of this country.

Government Crack Down on Self Reliance and Liberty

Uncle Sam Propaganda Poster

We can no longer dismiss these type of events as small localized issues; I believe they’re part of a larger movement to control the way we live. What we are seeing here is a coordinated attack on traditional American values, and an all out assault on the self-reliant lifestyle. They don’t want you to be able to live off your land, they don’t want you to hunt and fish, and they don’t want you to be able to take care of yourself.

I think evidence of this can be seen:

Published on Dec 22, 2014

Visit to learn more about what you can do to help Nevadans stop the federal government from taking 3 million acres of land without due process:

Listen to KrisAnne Hall on GMN every M-Fr at 9am PST at

The proposed Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). have prompted concerns of how this will affect Bundy Ranch and, most importantly, all of Southern Nevada.

Federal Register / Vol. 79, No.197 Notice – Outlines plans to make the Bundy ranch–and most of the rest of Southern Nevada–Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs). 90 days from October 10th, 2014, these proposals will become federal law without consent from the Nevada State legislature or the people of Southern Nevada.

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) are human-restricted management areas. ACECs have been a tool used by the federal government to gain further control of large masses of western lands and the resources.

As proposed, nearly 3 million acres in Southern Nevada will be locked away from the people.

This includes most uses on the land (recreational, agricultural or otherwise).

Listed below are just a few of the outlined restriction that come with ACECs: · Closed Roads · Excluded Trails · Closed to Camping · Closed to Recreational Vehicles · Closed to Motorized Travel · Closed to Livestock Grazing · Restricted Human Hiking · Restricted Horseback Riding · Exclude Group Recreations · Closed to Mineral Development · Closed to Water Access · Closed to Hunting / Target Shooting The Southern Nevada people soon will have less access to their lands than any other people in the history of this country.



Battle of Bunkerville 2: BLM to declare 1.8 million acres environmental protection zone

“Retaliation”: Feds Launch New Land Grab Targeting Bundy Family
A federal land grab being imposed under the guise of environmental protection in Southern Nevada has been labeled an act of “deliberate retaliation” by Cliven Bundy, the rancher who was at the center of a standoff between BLM agents and armed militia groups earlier this year.

On Sunday, the Bundy family posted a Facebook entry which asserted that, “the federal government is mounting retaliations against the Bundy family and the Southern Nevada people,” after it was announced that the feds intended to designate around 1.8 million acres of land around their Gold Butte range as critical to the environment.

The initial dispute between Bundy and the feds, which culminated in an armed standoff between BLM agents and Bundy supporters back in April, centered around more than $1 million in grazing fees which authorities claimed Bundy owed stretching back two decades.
The Bundy family asserts that the new draft Resource Management Plan made public by the Bureau of Land Management would place up to 3 million acres of land off limits to recreational use, agriculture or ranching.

“They’re trying to surround us by controlling all the land. People should know they’re doing this without the knowledge of the people who use it,” Carol Bundy told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Days after the standoff came to a head earlier this year, after which the feds were forced to release nearly 400 cattle belonging to Bundy, Nevada Senator Harry Reid labeled Bundy supporters “domestic terrorists” and indicated that the fight was not over.

“From near the beginning of history, tyrannical men have sought to oppress through the control of land and resources, “Control the land and resources, and you have the power to control the people”. There is a direct correlation to land and resources with power and wealth. All major powers in world history have gained their power & wealth by conquering the land and controlling the resources,” states the Bundy Facebook post, adding that Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) “have been a tool used by the federal government to gain further control of large masses of western lands and the resources.”

The BLM’s latest move to seize huge tracts of land surrounding Bundy’s property under the justification of environmental protection suggests that we could witness part two of the ‘Battle of Bunkerville’ sometime over the next few months.
The comment period for the BLM’s new proposal ends on January 7th after a series of public meetings set to begin on Monday.

Watch footage of April’s armed standoff between Bundy supporters and federal authorities below.

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Powder Keg: Cliven Bundy Supporters Openly Warn Feds To Stand Down In 3 Million Acre Land Grab

Get Ready for the Shit the hit the fan…

by Pete Santilli, The Pete Santilli Show & The Guerilla Media Network

The Pete Santilli Show:   Wednesday October 28, 2014 Episode #827

In this episode of  The Pete Santilli Show:  Pete’s back from his little business trip.  We were off air for a couple days, planning for the coming days & weeks of unraveling within the USA.

Today Pete’s main theme was about a story he discovered initially that was published on titled  FEDS Retaliate Against The Bundy Ranch And Southern Nevada.

In today’s episode, Pete relives the original Bundy Ranch standoff, and he also conveys his belief that a 2nd Bundy Ranch Standoff will ensue if the federal government dares to take the 3 million acres they have recently proposed and published on their website.  Santilli’s comments are important, especially as they relate to the U.S. Constitution.  Article one, section 7 paragraph 17 of the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits what the U.S. Government can and cannot own as far as land.  Taking 3 million acres from the American people is outright unconstitutional, and Santilli tells Senator Harry Reid, the BLM, the DOJ and every other communist who has infiltrated the U.S. Government that we will not let them take the land from the people of the state of Nevada.  Santilli openly calls for a 2nd Bundy Ranch Standoff in order to defend our constitutional rights as a people.

During the show, Pete Santilli is joined by “Gunny Booda”, the head of security for the Bundy Family and Ranch.  Booda and Santilli are both former United States Marines who have sworn an oath to defend and support the U.S. Constitution, and they do not pull any punches when the discuss how a 2nd Bundy Ranch Standoff will produce an even bigger response than the first — the Constitution still applies, and contrary to BLM Special Agent Daniel P. Love’s recorded conversations with Santilli, the U.S. Constitution applies in the dirt.

Please listen to at least the last conversation Santilli had with Love before the Standoff:   3 – Final Meeting with BLM_04112014  3 – Final Meeting with BLM_04112014

Santilli & Booda also reach out to federal agents, law enforcement and federal officials to be “Constitutional”, and to stand down when confronted by peaceful protestors.  They both agree that each of the Bundy Ranch supporters are peaceful, constitutional and very willing to die defending our God-given rights.  They both encourage all members to the Citizen’s Militia to respond to the call when necessary in order to defend our country at Bundy Ranch.

The warning to the federal government is strern and non-negotiable.

1) The federal government must comply strictly with Article 1,  Section 8, paragraph 17  ”To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–  The federal government does not own land for any reason outside or or in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

2) If the federal government attempts to seize 3 million acres in Southern Nevada, and local law enforcement does not side with the people of Nevada as in the case leading up to the standoff in April 2014, We The People will have no alternative than to stop them by any means necessary to peacefully defend and support the U.S. Constitution.  If the federal government attempts to harm the American people in any manner with “weapons of war” as they did on April 12th 2014, We The People will have to defend ourselves by any means necessary.  We will not fire a shot unless fired upon, but we make it very clear that the 2nd amendment will be fully exercised in our defense, and as we are obligated to do so by the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

3) 10′s of millions of patriots are literally willing to die to defend our nation from all enemies; foreign and domestic.  Feds and law enforcement need to choose the side of the American people and refuse to continue acting as a domestic enemy.  Officials who have sworn an oath must educate themselves, stand down and be constitutional or face another potential Bundy Ranch stand ranch standoff.

This time around we have a chance to be proactive and avoid the potential loss of life as occurred on April 12th, 2014.  We ask Feds a law enforcement to choose the side of the supreme law of the land, the American people, and future generations of Americans who will benefit from each of us doing the right thing for our country.  STAND DOWN and you will instantly become a true American hero.  Opposing us and firing upon us….would be a very very bad choice.  We proved our intent on April 12th, 2014.  We meant peace, but we were willing to die to defend our God-given rights.  Not one shot was fired, and every singlet person in the canyon benefitted that day — except for BLM Special Agent In Charge Daniel P. Love.  If Daniel P. Love is involved in any way with the taking of 3 million acres, refuse his orders and if the federal government dares an unconstitutional “next time”, let’s all arrest him on the spot for putting all of our lives in danger.


Please feel free to review the original Bundy Ranch Standoff which took place in April 2014.

As millions of Americans are aware, Pete conducted the first major interview with Cliven Bundy on April 8, 2014 (Click here to get right to the interview)

The following day Pete was present at Bundy Ranch and recorded the BLM brutalizing peaceful protestors who set out to stop the BLM’s convoy returning from the desert as they suspected the BLM was killing cattle or destroying infrastructure in violation of the law and their own court order.  The video begins as the BLM convoy was stopped in order to demand a full investigation of the vehicles returning from the area seized by the federal government.  Millions of people around the world viewed and shared this video, and thousands of people came to Bundy Ranch on April 12th to defend the peaceful proctors demanding the cattle and land be freed.

Watch what “We The People” accomplished on April 12th 2014.  The unarmed peaceful protestors were met by the Federal Government’s guns of war, but the protestors were backed up by a credible threat of 2nd amendment patriots of the citizen’s militia.  15805c8d-546a-caac-cc5d-c1abb9261745-banner

Please support Pete Santilli and The Guerilla Media Network in their efforts to bring you continued coverage and analysis of the news which matters most. Please go to our donate page and show your support by contributing as much as you can. God bless and Semper Fi!!



Sandoval approves of U.S. Senate passing Nevada land bills

brian-sandoval-bongRENO, Nev. — After more than five years of wrangling, the U.S. Senate has passed a bipartisan package of land bills to promote economic development in northern Nevada while protecting some unspoiled sites as wilderness areas.

“The passage of this important legislation will have a direct impact on all Nevadans. This bill will open the door to economic development, job creation, mining, ranching, and protect some of Nevada’s treasured lands which will preserve our state for its next generation of citizens,” Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-NV said. “I would like to thank the members of our Congressional delegation who supported the NDAA and hope for a swift signature from President Obama so all Nevadans can begin to enjoy the benefits of this significant bill.”

The Senate’s action follows the House’s approval of the bill last week. The legislation, included in a defense spending bill, now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

One of the measures allows the sale of some 10,000 acres of federal land to Yerington to support development of Nevada Copper Corp.’s mine and other industrial projects while creating the 48,000-acre Wovoka Wilderness.

Another bill sets aside 26,000 acres northwest of Winnemucca as the Pine Forest Range Wilderness while allowing nearby ranchers to secure land exchanges with the government to ensure their economic future.

The Associated Press helped with the writing of this story.

Sen. Reid gearing up for 2016 run

harry reidRENO — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is batting down speculation that he won’t run for re-election in 2016.

The 75-year-old Nevada Democrat told a Reno newspaper he’s running and plans to start interviewing candidates for his campaign staff in February.

Reid hasn’t denied a run, but some have speculated that he would retire on account of his age or the health of his wife, Landra.

He told the newspaper he has lots of ideas for a potential campaign manager, but wouldn’t name any names.

Race observers are anxious to learn which Republican will challenge the five-term senator for his seat. They say the race would be highly competitive if popular Gov. Brian Sandoval decides to run.

Power struggle over tax and revenue system lurking ahead of 2015 Legislature

By Geoff Dornan


The unanticipated Republican takeover of the Nevada Assembly has thrown a potential monkey wrench into Gov. Brian Sandoval’s plans to restructure Nevada’s tax and revenue system.

While most thought the Assembly’s Democratic majority would shrink, no one — pundits, political operatives, members of the Legislature or the governor’s advisers — expected the Republicans to claim a solid majority.

Sandoval had been dealing with Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, who was expected to become Senate Majority Leader and Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, who was expected to retain that post for the 2015 session.

Kirkpatrick, in fact, was in Carson City the week before the Nov. 4 election meeting with the governor and his staff on plans to overhaul the state’s tax and revenue system.

It’s generally believed both had pretty much agreed to back Sandoval’s upcoming proposals for the 2015 Legislature.

“For the most conservative members, even reforming taxes is often seen as a tax increase.”
Eric Herzik, UNR Political Science chairman

But, when all the ballots were counted, the Legislature’s lower house went from 27-15 Democrat to 25-17 Republican.

The practical effect of the election result is instead of needing to flip just one Republican Assembly member to get a two-thirds majority and pass or reform taxes, Sandoval now needs to convince 10 Republicans to join Democrats in making any significant changes. money

That will be a major challenge — especially any changes designed to increase state revenue — since there are at least eight members of the Republican Assembly caucus who have signed the no-tax pledge.

Even more problematic for the governor, one of the eight is the newly named chairman of the Assembly Taxation Committee, Michele Fiore of Las Vegas.

University of Nevada, Reno political science chairman Eric Herzik said the conservatives who swept into office Nov. 4, owe Sandoval who claimed a 71 percent victory margin. Without Sandoval, he said he doubts many of them would have unseated Democratic incumbents.

“The governor, who many conservatives don’t trust, showed them how to win,” Herzik said.

Herzik said he doubts the Republican Assembly will do Sandoval much good during the session, pointing to Fiore chairing Taxation.

“If that isn’t the most conservative part of the caucus waving the middle finger at the governor, I don’t know what is,” he said.

He said even if the governor wants to reform, not raise taxes, Fiore may make things difficult.

“For the most conservative members, even reforming taxes is often seen as a tax increase,” Herzik said.

Fred Lokken of the Truckee Meadows Community College Political Science Department said no one saw the Assembly takeover coming including Sandoval.

But he said Sandoval was smart not to offer any details of what he is planning.

“The simple reality is he could change course 180 (degrees) and we wouldn’t necessarily be able to confirm it,” he said.

He said as the state climbs out of the recession, there has been a growing move to reform a tax and revenue system that has performed badly for the past several years.

“If all that is off the table, we will continue to be a state of three million operating with a tax system designed in the 1960s,” Lokken said.

One big piece of reform Sandoval may have been looking at is extending the sales and use tax to services since that has become the majority of Nevada’s economy. That would enable him to lower the overall tax rate significantly while providing the state more total revenue.

But his chances of convincing the Assembly leadership to back that plan are slim at best.

Beyond that, a potential target looming large in front of lawmakers is the 243 tax breaks currently in statute. According to a report issued Monday by the Department of Taxation, those exemptions, abatements, credits, deductions and other tax reductions cost the state of Nevada $3.77 billion in fiscal 2013-2014.

Some of them can’t be changed by lawmakers such as the voter-approved provision exempting food from the sales tax. But many others are purely statutory, including the nearly 80 property tax breaks different categories of people and businesses get. Even some conservative members have expressed a willingness to look at some of those breaks, although not on the record at this point.

Republicans agree with Democrats Nevada needs more revenue to meet rising costs, some of which are outside the state’s control. The biggest example there is the cost of Medicaid, expected to rise some $400 million for the coming budget cycle. The state would be on the hook for between one-third and half of that total.

There are numerous other increases sought that aren’t within state control, many of them in entitlement programs within Health and Human Services. And the state is required to make up the shortfalls caused by K-12 enrollment increases that could cost another $100 million.

State agency requests released in October totaled $7.7 billion over the biennium. That is more than $1 billion higher than the existing $6.6 billion General Fund budget — a budget which, itself, is balanced on the back of $1.184 billion in tax increases and revenue diversions that are all scheduled to sunset June 30, 2015.

If the GOP blocks new revenues and even refuses to extend the sunsets, that $7.7 billion in agency requests would have to be chopped back to $5.5 billion for the coming biennium.

Both Lokken and Herzik said the GOP takeover means Sandoval’s chances of instituting meaningful change to tax policies in the state are much more limited.

Herzik said not only that but the new Republican majority in the Assembly could object to even extending the $1.18 billion in sunsetted taxes used to balance the current budget.

“If that happens, oh, this budget is in trouble,” Herzik said.

Lokken came to the same conclusion adding unlike in the past this Republican majority is more likely to come out of the gates swinging than to take a measured approach.

“Instead of the spirit of compromise and finding middle ground, they will probably have trouble finding that even in their own party,” he said.


The Daily Beast


If Republican scientists, deep in the bowels of a lab somewhere in a nondescript office park in northern Virginia, were going to design the perfect politician, he would probably look something like Brian Sandoval.

Sandoval is a governor at a time when the party values executive experience over time spent in the windbag corridors of Washington. He is a young 51, “Hollywood handsome” in the words of the Los Angeles Times, but experienced, having served as an assemblyman, chairman of the Nevada gaming commission, state attorney general, and federal judge. He hails from one of the swingiest states in the nation, one that votes Republican and Democratic in equal measure. Yet he is wildly popular, winning his second term in the Silver State this month with 70 (!) percent of the vote. And if that weren’t enough, Sandoval is Hispanic at a time when the party is desperate to prove that it is not the clubhouse of old white men.

Under most circumstances, Sandoval would be an all but certain presidential hopeful, the kind for whom every trip east of Ely would be parsed for possible political implications. Instead, however, Sandoval seems to have delighted in kicking his party’s activist base in the shins. He has always been pro-choice—which already disqualifies him in the minds of many social-conservative activists—but then compounded this apostasy by refusing to reject Obamacare and by declining to continue the state’s legal fight against same-sex marriage.

Sandoval, indeed, was so comfortable with Democrats in his legislature that, according to statehouse sources in Nevada, he had already been plotting with the opposite party’s leaders before the election about how to advance his agenda, one that included increasing education funding and “tax reform”—a euphemism for raising revenue.

But then Sandoval’s popularity got the best of him. Riding on the coattails of his commanding win, control of both houses of the state legislature flipped from Democratic to Republican hands. Republicans now control all three branches of government for the first time in 100 years, and every constitutional office for the first time in state history.

And conservatives in Nevada are looking for the kind of snarl that the smiling Sandoval may not be able to deliver. Soon after the last votes were counted, Republicans in the state assembly pushed out as their leader a moderate member of the establishment, Pat Hickey, in favor of Ira Hansen, a plumber and part-time right-wing radio host who was first elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010.

Sandoval once told a group of local Republicans that he would have pushed for Scott Walker-like reforms on budgets and unions if only he had the Republican-controlled legislature that Walker had in Wisconsin.

Election 2014: Flores, Hutchison face off in debate for Lt. gov.

LAS VEGAS — Republican Mark Hutchison touted his endorsement from Gov. Brian Sandoval and said he’d be a great teammate for the popular leader if he’s elected as lieutenant governor, while Democrat Lucy Flores said she’ll ask questions, hold people accountable and be “more than a rubber stamp.”

The comments came Wednesday, during a taping of a debate set to air Friday evening on Vegas PBS. Polls suggest a relatively close race for the part-time post, which would lead to the top job in the state if the governor lives up to speculation and leaves his position midterm.

“I’ve got the experience, having owned my own law firm, my own small business, to understand what’s needed to bring small businesses to Nevada,” said Hutchison, a state senator and Las Vegas-based attorney who has raised nearly four times the campaign money of his opponent.

MSNBC Gushes Over Nevada Dem Who Was A Felon & Had Abortion: “Rising Star In The Democratic Party”

Flores said she grew up “pretty low-income” and had trouble with the law as a teen before she turned her life around, earned a law degree and became a state assemblywoman.

“I believe there’s an incredible opportunity for someone … to really bring the perspective of the everyday Nevadan to the top leadership positions in Nevada,” Flores said.

The candidates fielded questions about growing tourism in Nevada, which is one of the primary tasks of the office. The lieutenant governor chairs the state Commission on Tourism.

Hutchison said he would work with airlines to bring in more international customers, then work to lengthen tourists’ stays in Nevada.

Flores said she wouldn’t take the approach of Hutchison, who recently suggested building a satellite tourism office in India. The focus should instead be on close neighbors in Mexico, Canada and Hawaii, she said.

The two also faced questions about their records on taxes and education policy in the Nevada Legislature.

Hutchison supported a tax on mining as a way to fund education, but it died during the 2013 session. He said at a debate last month that the measure was meant to start a conversation about revenue.

“The first and best way is through growth and economic opportunities,” he said, adding that the next step would be having “a big discussion” about how to broaden the tax base and lower rates.

Flores, who said she opposes the margins tax initiative on the November ballot as well as single-industry taxes like the mining proposal, criticized Republican legislators for blocking past Democratic plans to raise revenue. She pointed to a failed plan in 2011 to tax services.

“We’re not going to grow our way out of our problems,” she said. “We’ve tried it, and it doesn’t work.”

On education, Hutchison said Flores was the candidate of the status quo. He criticized her for blocking a $2 million plan that would have brought 100 recent college graduates to Nevada through Teach for America, a program that places young teachers in low-achieving schools, and said she didn’t back a plan that would allow low-performing schools to morph into charter schools if parents supported the move.

“You need someone who not only supports more revenue, but also reform,” he said.

Flores said the Teach for America bill came up on the last day of the session and was not properly vetted. She said $2 million would be better spent developing existing teachers, and said the proposals Hutchison touted didn’t address the underlying issues in Nevada schools.

“I don’t support Band-Aid solutions. We need to adequately fund education,” she said.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s Mailer Misspells State’s Name

nevedaSamantha Lachman The Huffington Post A popular Republican governor up for reelection this year sent out an innocuous campaign mailer that wouldn’t have attracted much attention were it not for an obvious spelling mistake. Nevada Gov.

Brian Sandoval’s campaign sent out a fundraising flier last week touting his economic record ahead of the state’s primary. However, as Jon Ralston noted Monday, the mailer spelled the state’s name as “Neveda.”

The spelling mistake above a picture of the governor probably will not dampen enthusiasm for Sandoval in the state; his approval ratings have been near 70 percent. Sandoval is rumored to be weighing a 2016 run against Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Governor Brian Sandoval offers proclamation for “clitoral” resources

brian sandoval proclamation

Posted: April 19, 2014 in Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
The spell-check function in Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office apparently has a racy sense of humor.

Brian Sandoval with his bong

A staff member who authored a gubernatorial proclamation declaring this week stateemployee appreciation week, misspelled the word “cultural” in describing thework state employees do to protect “cultural resources.”

The result: the proclamation honored a not-safe-for-work part of the female anatomy.

To be fair, the governor’s office is busy with his trade mission to Canada this week. The typo slipped through and the proclamation was distributed to some state employees and eventually wound up on the social media site

The governor’s office regrets the error.”This

White House security breach refocuses Nevada Capitol security

gov fearAs the Secret Service works to make sure no other intruder makes it through the front door of the While House, there might be one lesson it could learn from Nevada’s Capitol Police: lock the door.

Unlike the North Portico of the White House, the front door to the governor’s mansion in Carson City is locked.

The Secret Service is still investigating how Omar Gonzales of Texas not only made it over the fence, but across the White House lawn recently and entered the unlocked doors of the North Portico before Secret Service agents tackled him. He’s now facing charges that could result in a 10 year prison sentence.

Jerome Tushbant, chief of the Capitol Police, said that immediately prompted him and his staff to examine their procedures looking for potential weaknesses.

The division is responsible for the safety of Gov. Brian Sandoval and his family at the mansion as well as the safety of Sandoval and the other five constitutional officers and their staffs in the Capitol.

Nevada Highway Patrol protests DA DICK GAMMICK AND AG MASTO

While he declined to detail their procedures, he confirmed both the mansion and capitol have security personnel on site around the clock.

Tushbant’s officers also staff the Attorney General’s office across the street from the Capitol during business hours.

“Within our critical infrastructure there are several layers of protection,” he said.

That includes not only capitol police officers but technology such as video cameras.

Over the past few years, security around both buildings has increased significantly. Bollards — essentially steel posts imbedded in concrete — have been installed to prevent vehicles from driving onto the capitol complex and up to the building as well as the mansion. A key-card activated security gate was installed to limit access to the rear of the capitol and more video cameras have been added in both places.

In addition, he said his officers work closely with officers in the Legislative Police and the newly formed Supreme Court security detail as well as with the Carson City Sheriff’s Department.

In addition, the governor has a security detail who accompanies him pretty much everywhere including his son’s high school basketball games. Those officers are assigned through theNevada Highway Patrol and aren’t part of the Capitol Police.

Like the Secret Service, Tushbant said providing that security is a balancing act.

“If’s difficult because you’ve got a governor who enjoys his freedoms,” he said. “We have to balance security with freedoms.”

He said the capitol, for example, is an open public building and the governor wants it that way. Visitors, however, are greeted when they enter by a uniformed officer.

“We live in a world of very real and ever emerging threats,” he said. “So we’re constantly re-evaluating procedures — even prior to the incident at the White House.”

Tushbant said it’s a challenge because, unlike the White House, the mansion is in a neighborhood in west Carson City surrounded by regular folks who live next door.

“That brings us some unique challenges,” he said.

Although most have years of experience with other law enforcement agencies and are all fully certified, the Capitol Police force is a small organization.

Tushbant said that fact is why his force works closely with the Supreme Court and Legislative police chiefs as well as the Carson Sheriff’s Department to make sure everyone knows what the others are doing in terms of security.

“We’re all talking and working well,” he said. “The the ability to get our job as a team is so much more powerful.”


cnn ireport Brian Sandoval protest

cnn ireport Brian Sandoval protest

July 30, 2012 ANTI-CORRUPTION protest in Carson City at Taxation and State Capital

July 30, 2012 ANTI-CORRUPTION protest in Carson City at Taxation and State Capital