Posts Tagged ‘tax pledge’

ICYMI: Mid-Week Political Round Up

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:35 pm August 24th, 2011

This “In Case You Missed It” feature was supposed to be a weekend thing, but I’ve got so many browser tabs open, I guess it is going to be semiweekly. Get caught up, Dear Readers. And comment below.

Special Election (September 13, 2011)

Ralston hosted a televised debate between Kate Marshall and Mark Amodei. Part One. Part Two. Or read our story on it.

KTNV has the early voting locations and schedules in Clark County.

Politico looks at all the lobbed bombs at Obama by the GOP.

A reporter at the conservative news site Washington Examiner writes about how (he thinks) Amodei could lose. Among other things, he cites a Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by DailyKos. Today, the same reporter heaped more coals by writing about Amodei’s changed position on the Ryan budget.

Both Amodei and Marshall tout positive reviews by the National Rifle Association.

The Marshall campaign launched a pretty scathing ad against Amodei. The NRCC continues to run equally scathing ads against Marshall (they have now spent over $500,000 on TV spots). Gloves are definitely off in this race as early voting approaches.

Amodei signed the tax pledge. Again. And American’s for Tax Reform defend the pledge on the subject of loopholes. The issue was raised by Marshall in criticisms of Amodei.

Anjeanette Damon recently questioned Amodei on tax issues on her show To the Point. When he said he had a consistent record on taxes as well as a record consistent with the tax pledge, she asked him if was fair to say he was consistent in his inconsistency.

Ralston discovered (and Tweeted) that this is not, after all, the first special House election in Nevada’s history. D.R. Ashley (R) won his with 3,691 votes back in in 1865. Fun stuff.

U.S. Senate

Political opponents Sen. Heller and Rep. Berkley work together (sorta) on the debt committee issue in D.C.

Rep. Shelley Berkley wants women in Reno to know what she has done for them. Ditto, Native Americans. She is clearly trying to win hearts and minds in northern Nevada.

Berkley spent some time in Carson City this week, too.

Heller commented. He also said he thinks Judge Russell should have disclosed his relationship with Mark Amodei in the CD-2 special election court case.

GOP Presidential Race

Romney is going to roll out his jobs plan in (you guessed it) Nevada on Labor Day weekend. Ann Romney was here this week.

@RalstonFlash Tweeted earlier this week that Rick Perry is talking to Mike Slanker (and I am sure others) about getting a ground game going here.

FiveThirtyEight did some interesting graphics on the GOP field.

Miscellaneous & Sundry

Anjeanette Damon wrote a fun piece on the many mock Twitter accounts in Nevada politics. (Are you following me on Twitter yet, peeps? @elizcrum )

Rep. Joe Heck chimed in on Libya. Earlier in the summer, he introduced a bill to pull the U.S. out of the NATO mission in Libya by cutting off funding.

Heck’s House race next year (we do not yet know who will challenge him) is anticipated to be one of the toughest in the land.

I am hearing there is an effort afoot to recall North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck. A group will file the necessary kick-off papers on September 7, if the energy doesn’t fizzle by then.

Sue Lowden recently spoke in Laughlin. She reflected on what she would have done differently in last year’s U.S. Senate primary (“I guess I would have tried harder to win over the vote of the Tea Party group”) and said she does not rule out a future run.

State Sen. Ruben Kihuen spoke to the AFL-CIO in Reno and was on AD’s show this week, but still has not announced that he is running for Congress next year.

You can track the Tweets of Nevada legislators on this page. Bookmark it, maybe.


Sandoval Says No Contradiction Between Marriage Protection Pledge and His Support of SB 283

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:37 pm April 16th, 2010

Despite signing a pledge eight years ago that he would oppose domestic partnerships outside of marriage, gubernatorial contender Brian Sandoval, who last year said he supports such arrangements, said today he forgot he had signed the document.  Sandoval also claimed there was no contradiction.

“I have always believed that marriage is between a woman and a man,” said Sandoval. “My position has not changed at all. When I signed that pledge in 2002, I interpreted domestic partnerships to be an analogue for marriage.”

When pointed to language in the pledge he signed as a candidate for attorney general that states an opposition to the endorsement of all marriage “imitations” including “domestic partnerships,” Sandoval said he did not interpret that language to be prohibitive of support for SB 283 and added, “I did not support [SB 283] as another name for marriage.”

The Marriage Protection Pledge signed by Sandoval in 2002 states that “awarding spousal equivalent rights to non-married couples defeats the civil purpose of marriage” and that “various “domestic partnership,” “civil union,” or “reciprocal beneficiary relationship” benefits belong exclusively to marriage”.

The pledge closes with a promise to “oppose any endorsement of marriage imitations, including “domestic partnerships,” “civil unions,” reciprocal beneficiary relationships,” or any similar arrangement.”

Sandoval told the Las Vegas Sun in September of 2009 that he would have signed SB 283, a law granting same-sex couples the ability to secure domestic partnership contracts that essentially give them the same legal rights as married couples.

Sandoval rejected the suggestion that the domestic partnerships and non-marital beneficiary relationships he promised to oppose in the 2002 pledge were the same as the domestic partnerships and related benefits he said he supported after they were passed into law in 2009.

“This is an example of why I don’t think signing pledges is a good idea,” said Sandoval.

Sandoval had told members of the media earlier this week that he would not sign the Nevada Taxpayer Pledge because he is generally opposed to signing pledges of any kind.

“I haven’t signed any pledges, and I am going to remain consistent on that,” said Sandoval.

Update (4/17/10 at 10:53 a.m.): Click here to view Sandoval’s Marriage Protection Pledge

Gubernatorial Candidate Brian Sandoval Answers Questions on Issues

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:17 am April 14th, 2010

This morning in a statewide media conference call moderated by the Nevada News Bureau, candidate Brian Sandoval fielded questions on numerous issues including the 2003 Supreme Court ruling on the two-thirds legislative supermajority needed to increase taxes, tax policy, the Tax Pledge, budget cuts and higher education salaries, renewable energy mandates and the state’s health care reform lawsuit.

Sandoval maintained that as his press release said yesterday, he did not agree with the controversial 2003 Supreme Court ruling. He said he did not publicly state his views at the time because rules of conduct prevented him from doing so.

“The rules of conduct are such that I could have found myself subject to a bar complaint had I criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling,” said Sandoval. “However, my spokesperson at the time did issue a statement that went as far as I was able to go in expressing my opinion.”

“We didn’t seek invalidation of the two-thirds vote – the court did that on its own,” Sandoval spokesperson Tom Sargent told the Reno Gazette-Journal on July 16, 2003.

Sandoval also defended his position on taxes, saying as governor he would veto a corporate income tax.  He also said he does not believe tax increases are inevitable.

“Many believe [tax increases] are a foregone conclusion, but I do not,” said Sandoval.  “We have a spending problem in this state, and that is how I will approach the issue if fortunate enough to be elected governor.”

But Sandoval said he has not signed the Tax Pledge because it would “tie my hands behind my back.”

When asked how he can reconcile his refusal to sign the Tax Pledge with a statement made in a recent radio interview with Dawn Gibbons — in which he answered with an emphatic “no” in answer to a question about whether he would, under any circumstances, consider supporting a tax hike — Sandoval said he considered being on record enough of a “pledge.”

“I haven’t signed any pledges, and I am going to remain consistent on that,” added Sandoval.

Sandoval said that as governor he will be committed to finding cuts in the state budget and referred to the proposal he had submitted prior the special session that included a four percent reduction in pay to higher education salaries as well as the the reduction of some benefits.

Regarding Nevada’s need to attract and develop industry and create jobs, Sandoval said he is not in favor of clean and renewable energy mandates similar to the one’s passed in California but that he does believe renewable energy is an important part of the state’s recovery.

“Between solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and other clean energy sources, Nevada has some unique and valuable natural resources,” said Sandoval.  “We need to attract those kinds of businesses here.  But I would oppose any mandates that are generally harmful to the business environment.”

Sandoval also defended what some perceived as a curious delay in announcing his support for Governor Gibbons’ effort to join a lawsuit to challenge the recently passed health care reform legislation.

When asked why he had to deliberate overnight on the issue, Sandoval insisted he never had to think about it.

“We had put out a release that we opposed the bill, two months beforehand,” said Sandoval. “So, that next day, to clarify and make sure everyone knew my position, that I was consistent, I came out with statement.”

Sandoval said he believes Attorney General Masto’s duty on the issue and to the state is clear.

“If you have a client, you take the case if it has merit and if you are ordered to do so,” said Sandoval. “The governor is that client. And the case does have merit.  As the state’s attorney, she should take the case.”

Citizen Outreach Anti-Tax RoboCalls to Start Today at Noon

By Elizabeth Crum | 10:24 am February 24th, 2010

The voice of conservative (and the Keeper of The Tax Pledge in Nevada) Chuck Muth may soon greet you via RoboCall saying if you disagree with Tax-Pledge-breaking Governor Gibbons’ support of tax hikes, Press 1 to be connected directly to his office.

Listen to the audio here:

muth press 1-0224

Mining Taxes Continued – Do Reducing Deductions Equal A Tax Increase Per the Tax Pledge?

By Elizabeth Crum | 7:42 pm February 16th, 2010

Steve Sebelius has a mining tax post that includes quotes from head of the NMA.  Here’s the opener:

The head of the Nevada Mining Association said he’d rather see the industry pay more in fees, pre-pay its taxes — or a combination of both — rather than lose deductions it enjoys under state law. Tim Crowley said today the mining industry wasn’t happy with an idea to remove deductions that allow the industry to write off many expenses related to digging up, processing and selling precious metals, but was willing to come forward with other money to help the state fix its budget problems.

Sebelius adds, a couple paragraphs later:

Gov. Jim Gibbons, as well as Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley and state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford (both Democrats) have all said that tax increases on businesses are off the table for the special session that will start Feb. 23. But with even anti-tax Gibbons embracing the idea of removing some mining industry tax deductions, the industry is increasingly under pressure. (Gibbons spokesman, Daniel Burns, said eliminating deductions isn’t a violation of the governor’s legendary anti-tax pledge, since the rate of taxation will remain unchanged. Eliminating a deduction on an existing tax is not creating or raising that tax, Burns explained.)

Not so fast.  As Tweeted by @schwartznews (David McGrath Schwartz, capitol reporter for the Las Vegas Sun) today:

Chuck Muth, keeper of anti-tax pledge, says Gov’s $50 million in mining deduction reductions a tax increase. (Sandoval campaign smiles?)

I wonder what all the elected Republican legislators – Tax Pledge signers and otherwise – have to say about it?  Someone oughta ask ‘em.

Tax Pledge Revisited

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:33 pm February 12th, 2010

Chuck Muth, staunch fiscal conservative and Nevada’s steward of The Tax Pledge, today had this to say in response to statements in a Governor Gibbons’ fundraising email yesterday:

Meanwhile, in an email fundraising solicitation to supporters yesterday…Gov. Jim Gibbons said he promised not to raise taxes and that he kept that promise. The governor also wrote that the “liberal media (was) playing their deceptive game of lies” by pointing out that he initially included a $292 room tax hike in his 2009 budget, claiming the “tax increase was approved by voters in Clark County and Washoe County.”

Yikes! I guess I belong to the liberal media – because as much as it pains me to have to do so, I must be honest and call the governor on this (again).

First, the voters of NEVADA didn’t approve that tax hike because only the voters of three of Nevada’s seventeen counties got to vote on it – and one of those counties rejected it. Secondly, what the voters of Clark and Washoe voted on was an advisory question only; the actual initiative presented to the governor and legislators was never on the ballot and the wording was completely different.

Third, the promise the governor made to the people of Nevada, in writing, was to oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes. Putting a $292 million tax hike in your budget is proposing a tax hike, not opposing it….and letting it then become law without your signature sure as heck isn’t vetoing it.

Sorry, Governor. You were great on the tax issue most of the time, but you absolutely did fall off the wagon in this one instance. And that’s no liberal media conspiracy. It’s simply fact.

The uber-liberal Steve Sebelius over at SlashPolitics also mentioned this issue the other day, first quoting from the governor’s speech and then commenting:

The statement, tellingly, reads in parts like a campaign speech:

“Nevada government must reduce its spending. Just like everyone at home, the State of Nevada must live within its means,” Gibbons said. “The Democrat-controlled Legislature raised taxes and increased spending, while I stood by my promise to the voters by vetoing their higher taxes and spending. But they wouldn’t listen and now we have to endure the consequences of their actions.”

Technically, Gibbons didn’t stand by his promise entirely — he allowed the room tax increase for casinos in Clark and Washoe counties to go into effect without his signature.

Whether viewed from right or left, a fact is a fact.  Gibbons did include a tax increase in his ’09 budget and allow a tax increase to go into effect, so in one instance he did not keep his pledge on taxes.