As background on this commentary, Nevada in 2014 went 100% Republican at the State level for the first time ever in its history. The Senate, Assembly, Governor, Sec of State, etc. are all now in the hands of Republicans.
Before we reprint Fineberg’s, Jon Ralston’s, Joe Morabito’s and State Controller Ron Knecht’s commentary below, AUN-TV wants to remind you we have put forth the theory that whether through moles, blackmail or whatever there is significant evidence that much of the higher reaches of the Republican Party are under the control of the Democrat Party or another entity that wants the Democrat agenda to win. And that this disenfranchises the Republican base, the voters who vote for the Republican agenda and get the Democrat agenda. All four commentaries, even Jon Ralston’s, is further evidence of this explanation of Republican Establishment behavior.
In regard to Democrats at the State and Local level they do get the Democrat agenda when they elect Democrats, such as in Detroit and Baltimore. The voters in those areas may not like the results, but they do get the policies they voted for, unlike Republican voters who do not get what they vote for.
Rick Fineberg is a retired lawyer who ran against Pat Hickey in the Republican primary for Assembly in 2014.
By Rick Fineberg
June 1, 2015
It’s bad enough that the Nevada Legislature just approved the largest tax hike in history, now I just heard on the radio that they’re thinking of raising the minimum wage after previously refusing to do so.
Honestly folks, I can’t tell the difference anymore between the Progressive Socialists aka Democrats and the establishment donor class Republicans. I do have more respect for the Democrats because they don’t try to hide who they are. On the other hand we have a number of RINO hypocrites running around and campaigning to get elected that they’re the “most conservative” politicians who will uphold the principles of free markets, limited government, and individual liberty. They profess to be ardent supporters of the Second Amendment. They champion their support for less regulation on business and that they will “sunset” temporary taxes. They bloviate about the dangers of enacting margin taxes that will be job killers.
To put it mildly, they were all less than truthful.
If the Governor had asked for your vote so that he could raise your taxes by $1.5 billion, would you have voted for him? Did he tell you when he first ran for office that he’d be all in for ObamaCare, that he’d be all in for the expansion of Medicaid, and that he’d push Common Core down your throats?
When Pat Hickey ran for the Assembly, did he tell you he would author a bill that would give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens? Did he tell you that he’d vote to extend taxes which were promised to sunset three times, and then vote to make those tax increases permanent?
Did Greg Brower tell you that he would run his committee just like Harry Reid and prevent bills like campus carry from even getting a hearing?
Did John Hambrick warn you that he’d do a complete about face and break almost every promise he’d made?
There’s a great deal of anger at what has just happened in our legislature, and I share that anger. It’s justifiable anger too. These turncoat politicians are clearly tone deaf to the will of the people who rejected higher taxes just last November by an 80% margin. What’s even worse is that just like POTUS, they demonstrate an almost psychopathic narcissism and arrogance about their actions. In a kind of disconnect from reality, they cloak their treachery with claims that are patently false. With a straight face they proclaimed that the increase payroll and modified business taxes “wouldn’t be harmful”. But perhaps the most dangerous and yet subtle canard is that these tax hikes are “needed”, and that we have to provide more funding for “the children”.
Our State Controller, Ron Knecht and Assemblyman Jim Wheeler took up the Governors’ challenge and proposed an alternative budget that would not have increased taxes at all. And if you go back and look at newspapers from the last 30 years, you’ll find the education establishment during each and every election cycle whining that they need more tax dollars.
All I can say is no more excuses. Hold on to your anger. Don’t forget this betrayal. Make sure every politician who broke their promise to you on these very important issues is challenged when they run for election again. Never believe anything they say again. Never contribute to them. Write letters to your newspapers expressing your disgust with these politicians for what they have done, and also when homes are lost, businesses close, and people lose their jobs.
Most importantly, talk to your neighbors and strangers every chance you get and educate them. Inform them of the issues and how they will be affected. Remind them how important it is to vet candidates for office and look at their records and actions and not just listen to their empty rhetoric.
Thanks for allowing me to vent my frustration. I feel a little better now. God bless us all.
For a totally different take on the same story, Jon Ralston, a KNPB political commentator known as a cheerleader for the Democrat Party in Nevada, heaped praise on the establishment Republicans for enacting the Democrat agenda:
Ralston Reports: Sandoval & Company did the impossible
In 2003, a Republican governor proposed the largest tax increase in history, a billion-dollar baby designed to broaden the tax base with a new gross receipts tax.
The state senate was helmed by a Republican majority leader who almost always got what he wanted, a cunning, brilliant strategist who supported the governor.
The assembly was controlled by the Democrats by a 23-19 margin, which meant they needed five Republicans to support the governor. They only could get four.
Two special sessions and a state Supreme Court intervention later, the gross receipts tax was gone, the tax-broadening had failed and Gov. Kenny Guinn and Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio were hardly cheering about the $836 million tax increase with a new payroll tax.
Today, somewhere, Guinn and Raggio are smiling.
Where Guinn and Raggio could not overcome the so-called Mean/Fearless Fifteen (the adjective depended on your perspective), Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) and Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson (R) accomplished something much more impressive: Aided by a steady and steely Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson (R), they passed a landmark tax reform package (at $1.4 billion, significantly larger than Guinn’s), despite a lower house dominated by Republicans, 25-17.
Mini IRS is coming to Nevada to administer the Margins Tax, by Joe Morabito
Hello All: Today on the Dan Mason radio show, during an interview, RINO Assemblyman Pat Hickey, who voted for RINO Governor BS’s $1.5 Billion Tax and Spending Increase, the largest in Nevada history, in violation of his pledge to his constituents, when Hickey said he was against a Margins Tax during his reelection campaign, admitted that a Mini IRS is coming to Nevada to administer the Margins Tax, now relabeled the “Commerce Tax”, in the Governor’s Plan. The new branding was so RINOS could say they did not vote for a Margins Tax; but guess what, that is exactly what they did. A skunk by any other name is still a stinker. Hickey said that 26 more state employees will be added to the Taxation Department to deal with this overly complex plan that will hurt many small businesses. So now, businesses not only have the United States IRS to deal with; but also the Mini Nevada IRS intruding into daily life in Nevada. How is adding cost to do business, which will kill jobs, good for the people of Nevada. And, as we all know whatever starts out small in government will turn into a beast in time. It is what it is. JM
P.S. All Republicans, including the Governor and all those listed on this email above were against the Margins Tax on the ballot last November that went down to defeat by about an 80% No Vote, when they were running for reelection. And then, most of these same Republicans (now RINOS) enacted a Margins Tax, just a few months later, that it is so complex that it will require a Nevada Mini IRS to administer. Usually, politicians wait at least a year or two before developing election amnesia; but in this case, it was just a few months. Go figure.
Challenges to Anyone Who Supported the Record Tax Hike
By Ron Knecht, Nevada State Controller
Sunday, Assemblyman Erv Nelson and others broke their key election promises to fight huge destructive tax hikes and make state government operate reasonably. Nelson used glittering generalities and platitudes to explain that he didn’t really understand matters very well back when he made his promises, even though he’s an experienced lawyer. But now he understands and so has changed his mind.
If he thinks he now understands matters correctly, then he must logically also believe that folks who voted for him based on his promises don’t understand.
The mainstream media feasted on Republicans rejecting their roots and promises, seeing the light of statist liberalism, and helping pass Nevada’s largest tax increase ever. Marginal pundits raved and a left-wing paper ran atop its front page a huge picture of Nelson speaking.
While his perfumed words made them swoon, his statement was unsupported by any real facts, numbers or analysis essential to the issues and to his political sects change. But those things don’t much matter to the tax, spend and regulate zealots, including the statist mainstream media, as long as touching narratives are spun with feel-good rhetoric.
They matter to the rest of us and they should be central to the whole discussion. So, I put the following challenges to anyone who supported the tax and spending increases.
Did you know that Nevada state spending has increased over the last decade by ten percent more than the incomes of our families and businesses? So, even before your record $1.3-billion tax hike, their burden has risen not just for inflation and population growth, but also to feed the maw of gluttonous government and predatory special interests.
Spending has grown so fast that Nevada is no longer a small-government state, an old claim progressives and cronyists trot out to make their destructive taxes seem okay. The total state and local tax burden on Nevadans ranks 25th or 26th among the states and DC, depending on how you measure it. That’s exactly in the middle and moving consistently up.
Does the out-of-control growth of government here concern you at all as you vote recklessly to raise it to ridiculous levels? It should, because growth of government at all levels – exemplified by Nevada – has caused economic growth to slow over the last half century to a crawl in recent years. That has choked off opportunity and prosperity, especially for folks not in the cronyist elite who manipulate government to their advantage.
You say you reluctantly joined this latest tax-and-spend orgy to benefit our children by fixing our awful K-12 schools. Did you know that state spending over the last decade for K-12 has already sky-rocketed 23 percent per student in real terms? Besides increases for student population growth and inflation and before your outrageous increases, Nevadans are already spending nearly one-fourth more of their incomes than a decade ago on a predatory, wasteful, unaccountable and failing K-12 monopoly.
You say the Governor has a plan to fix those schools with massive new categorical programs that he assures you will work. Did you know that we’ve already been down that path various times in the last 20 years with nothing to show for it? This reckless throwing of money at teacher unions and big-county school boards and administrations has not produced any improvements in student achievement. Now you’re embracing all-day-K and pre-school mandates already proven ineffective elsewhere to augment the class-size reductions Nevada previously adopted to no avail, despite similar poor track records. Why?
Do you know that the empirical research literature shows little to no correlation between K-12 spending and student achievement?
Do you understand that what our children really need is two things? First, low-cost K-12 policy changes, such as greatly increased parental choice, that actually work; it’s less about how much money we spend and more about how we spend the money. Second, reining in of government spending, taxes and regulation so we can return to the historic economic growth levels that gave our generation prosperity and opportunity way beyond what our parents had.
It’s easy to bleat, “Do it for the children!” while throwing taxpayer megabucks at predatory special interests. If you really cared about our kids, you’d consider the big picture – namely that Big Government and its predatory provider and crony partners are the real threat to their future. For 200 years, Americans enjoyed prosperity and opportunity that made each generation twice as well off as its parents – before we destroyed that growth and freedom by embracing the nonsense that culminated in Sunday’s vote.
I challenge Nelson and anyone supporting the massive tax-hike to answer these facts, numbers and analyses directly on their own terms, instead of hiding behind Sunday’s false rhetoric.
Ron Knecht is Nevada State Controller.