RINO Joe Strikes Again

On April 27, 2011, in Muth's Truths, by Chuck Muth

Teens are free to trot down to the local abortion clinic without parental notification, let alone parental permission, but if SB 291 is passed into law, they’ll have to get a note from mommy before patronizing a tanning salon.

This ridiculous bill passed the Senate this week with two Republican votes. One was term-limited Dean Rhoads; the other, naturally, was liberal nanny-state Republican Sen. Joe Hardy.

How many signatures does it take to launch a recall again?

OK, one more RINO Joe item.

There’s a bill sponsored by Joe Hardy that would allow a candidate who loses a party primary – let’s just say, for argument’s sake, a liberal Republican – to then file and run on the general election ballot as a write-in candidate. I call it the “Lisa Murkowski Bill.”

Well, RINO Joe’s bill came up for a vote on Tuesday night and went down in flames. In fact, RINO Joe was the only senator to vote for the bill. It was killed, 20-Joe.

 

Johnny O Goes to War with NRA Warrior

On April 27, 2011, in Muth's Truths, by Chuck Muth

On Easter Sunday, Carrie Herbertson, Nevada State Liaison for the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, sent the following email to members of Nevada’s Assembly opposing a bill introduced by Assembly Speaker John Oceguera which, in essense, plagiarized four individual gun bills sponsored by other legislators and, as amended, increases the fee gun owners must pay for CCW permits. Here’s Ms. Herbertson’s email:

Subject: AB 282 Oppose on Third Read

Dear Assemblymembers:

On behalf of the Nevada members of the National Rifle Association, I would like to inform you that when Assembly Bill 282 comes up on Third Reading (scheduled on Monday, April 25th), the National Rifle Association is going to be formally adopting an OPPOSE position to this bill.

Despite the many hours of work that have gone into the issues contained in this bill, not excluding Speaker Oceguera’s, your colleagues Assemblyman Bobzien (AB 143), Assemblyman Pat Hickey (AB 205) and Assemblyman Goedhart (AB 185), the amendment (No. 359) adopted on Second Reading on April 22nd, which reads “Section 4 of this bill revises the fee for the renewal of a permit from $25 to the amount necessary to obtain the reports required as part of the investigation by the sheriff” would most assuredly result in a fee increase, and that is not something we can support. CCW permit holders seeking to renew their permits could be excluded from doing so should the fees go beyond what they can afford. What would prohibit an issuing agency from charging an outlandish fee under the auspices of “that which is necessary”? Should that occur (and we have no reason to believe it wouldn’t), thousands of law-abiding Nevadans would be excluded from exercising their right to self-defend because they just could not afford to do so – and that would be discriminatory at the very least.

In fact, when a fee increase on concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit applications was added to a 2007 measure (AB 21) which was very similar in nature to the language in AB 282, the opposition was tremendous and then Governor Jim Gibbons was adamant that he would veto any measure that contained a fee increase. As a result, a good policy measure was scuttled with the help of the law enforcement community.

While there is no specified fee increase in the above amending language, please make no mistake about it, that is what would ensue, as that members of the law enforcement community have been vocally and openly coveting additional revenue for years.

Perhaps a more reasoned approach would be to determine the actual administrative costs of conducting a background investigation PRIOR to giving the issuing agencies carte blanche to charge what they will.

Should this language remain and gain your support to pass it out of the Assembly, it will be considered an anti-gun vote despite the attributes contained in this bill.

For this reason, I ask that you either remove the afore-mentioned language or you vote no on AB 282.

Cordially,

Carrie Herbertson
State Liaison
National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

Well, this got Johnny O’s dander up. On Tuesday he fired back the following email response to Ms. Herbertson, essentially telling the gun rights lobbyist that she’s an irresponsible dumbass who doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about:

Subject: RE: AB 282 Oppose on Third Read

Ms. Herberstson,

I am a strong supporter of gun-owner rights, have been endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) for over a decade, and, as you know, I myself am a Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit holder. I have sponsored and supported pro-gun legislation throughout my career at the Nevada Assembly, and am sponsoring AB282 to further the interest of Nevada’s gun owners and to strengthen Nevadans’ 2nd Amendment rights.

AB282 would permit categorical CCW permit qualification for semiautomatic firearms, provide an exemption from the Brady check for each firearm purchase where a purchaser holds a valid CCW permit, allow for carrying of firearms in state parks consistent with State law, and ensure that certain information about CCW permit holders remains confidential. It is astounding to me that the NRA would oppose a bill that would provide significant reform in favor of gun owners.

You have expressed opposition to the language addressing permit renewal fees, but that concern is unwarranted. Your email to NRA members incorrectly claimed that AB282 would leave the cost of permit renewal up to the discretion of the issuing authority. That is not the case. AB282 limits the permit renewal fee to the actual cost of obtaining the background check report.

Nevadans may currently renew CCW permits for a $25 fee by completing applications and providing fingerprints, but a background check is not required. As stated on the record, the federal government does not accept fingerprints-only for CCW permit renewal, and only requiring fingerprints for permit renewal would jeopardize Nevada’s reciprocity with other states. Currently, due to federal requirements, CCW permit holders are required to undergo a Brady background check and pay an additional $25 fee every time a new firearm is purchased.

Under AB282, if Nevada’s CCW permit holders obtain a background check report from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) upon permit renewal, they would no longer be subject to the Brady background check and $25 fee for each firearm purchase. Instead, they would only pay for the cost of obtaining the background check report – currently at $51.25 or $40.25, depending on paper or electronic submission, plus the $25 Brady check, for a total of about $75 – once every 5 years, no matter how many guns are purchased. No more Brady check, no waiting, and no more $25 fee for each gun purchase. Just $75 for 5 years. In emails to the Nevada Assembly, you voiced concerns that you are unaware of the actual cost of NICS background checks. It is unclear to me why that information would not be known to a representative of the NRA.

You suggested setting the fee at a certain amount in statute, but your home state may be better suited to frequently revising its permit fees as costs increase or decrease. California, after all, has the “luxury” of long, annual legislative sessions. However, Nevada’s legislative session occurs once every two years and lasts only 120 days – requiring the Legislature to prospectively address changes that may occur over a biennium. Setting the permit fee at the amount of the actual cost to obtain a background check report – and no more – allows Nevada to pass any savings on to permit holders if costs decrease, and prevents the State from incurring debt in the case of a cost increase (you may have heard that Nevada is currently addressing its budget problem, which I do not wish to exacerbate).

AB282 would not permit unlimited fee increases for permit renewal. The language used for renewal fees is the same language in existing statute for initial permit applications. It is language that is traditionally used in Nevada statute to limit fees to actual costs incurred, and is not discretionary. As I have heard of no complaints about exorbitant initial permit application fees, I find it unlikely that the statutory language that has worked without issue for many years would suddenly become a barrier to gun owners’ rights. It is unfortunate that you now oppose AB282 due to a lack of understanding of a phrase used in the bill.

AB282 presents a tremendous opportunity for Nevada’s citizens, but the confusion your emails caused among the NRA’s members and members of the Legislature almost single-handedly destroyed what could be the most successful legislative session for Nevada’s gun owners.

I am disappointed that you did not talk to me before sending inaccurate information to your membership and to Nevada’s legislators. As you know, I am available to meet, or talk on the phone if you aren’t able to come down from Sacramento. If you had just called, we could have discussed why the language is drafted as it is. I hope that in future, you will contact me or any other legislator in a similar situation.

Sincerely,

John Oceguera
Speaker of the Assembly
Nevada Assembly

Can’t wait to see Ms. Herbertson’s response. I can’t help but think that when it comes to this debate over Second Amendment legislation, Johnny O is bringing a knife to a gunfight.

 

The New Counter-Culture Warrior

On April 27, 2011, in Muth's Truths, by Chuck Muth

The following letter-to-the-editor appeared in today’s Record-Courier, in which I’m referred to as “the new counter-culture warrior.” I’m honored!

EDITOR:

Nevada Appeal columnist Chuck Muth took out an ad in the April 12 edition calling out Nevada State Assembly Speaker John Oceguera’s plagiarism of other legislators’ work. Sounds like an interesting news story. I wonder if any media types plan to cover it while it’s still news.

The media used to take pride in speaking truth to power. But if a modern day journalist happens to be an ideological ally of the “power” in question, not so much. A while back the Appeal carried a karaoke column tying the Tucson shootings to prominent conservatives, but no outrage for the violence that came from the union thuggery and vandalism in Wisconsin.

A few days ago we were treated to a column justifying the high level of public sector pay. OK, but every dollar they get is first earned in the productive private sector. When are we going to get a column lauding the capitalist schlubs who pay that freight?

The Soviet Union had its useful idiots. At least some in the media appear to be performing that function for the Democrat party and the political left. In the case of Oceguera, he isn’t just an Assemblyman; he’s the Assembly Speaker. Nevada’s voters deserve to know.

If you want to see real rage against the machine, pull up Muth’s ad on his website and see what drawing attention to the unvarnished truth looks like. Chuck Muth, the new counterculture warrior, is doing the work the media walked away from.

Lynn Muzzy

Minden

 

Senate Republicans Who Love Government Too Much

On April 26, 2011, in Muth's Truths, by Chuck Muth

Over in the Nevada state Senate on Tuesday, three Republicans joined every Democrat in approving new government regulation – complete with a new $200 licensing tax (fee)! – of, get this, “Music Therapists.”

What the hell is a Music Therapist you ask?

Well, according to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy “is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”

Yeah, that sure cleared things up. Let’s try this from another angle: What do music therapists do? Again from the AMTA:

“Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.”

In other words, it’s a load of crap. But hey, if somebody thinks they can cure Alzheimer’s by listening to Yanni music over and over and over again…who am I to argue? Live and let live, right? However, is this really something Nevada’s government now needs to license and regulate? I don’t think so.

Sidenote: And for all you Music Therapists right now sitting down to tap out an angry email telling me how I know nothing about music therapy and what wonderful things you do….forget it. By the time you read this I’ll be blasting Led Zeppelin music into my ears through my iPod while working out on the treadmill. That’s all the music therapy I need!

In any event, this is exactly why it is so hard to shrink government. Even in the worst stinking recession in our state’s history, some well-intentioned, busy-body nanny-state legislators think the government just has to do more, when what’s really called for these days is for the government to do LESS. MUCH less.

Oh, you wanna know who the Republicans were who voted with the Democrats to expand government and increase taxes (fees)? That would be Sens. Barbara Cegavske, Joe Hardy (naturally!), Ben Kieckhefer and Dean Rhoads.

BTW, whatever happened to that letter signed by all 10 Republican senators saying they backed Gov. Sandoval’s budget and wouldn’t be voting for any new taxes or fees? Or was there some fine print or weasel-wording in the letter that the average Nevada voter/taxpayer missed that, um, doesn’t appear in the Taxpayer Protection Pledge?

And some still wonder why I’m so adamant about getting candidates to sign the Pledge and never take their word for it? And, um, yes….Sen. Cegavske did sign the Pledge. So as you can see, nothing is fool-proof.

 

The Nevada state Assembly voted on Tuesday to expand the regulatory arm of government by requiring that mopeds be registered with the DMV, imposing a new registration “fee” (tax) on their owners, as well as require moped drivers and riders to wear full government-approved motorcycle helmets.

Republicans who voted to raise taxes and expand the nanny-state were: Pete Goicoechea, Tom Grady, John Hambrick, Scott Hammond, Cresent Hardy, Randy Kirner, Pete Livermore, Mark Sherwood, Lynn Stewart and Melissa Woodbury.

Pathetic. And some people still wonder why I’m no longer a Republican?

 

Atkinson’s Alarming Arrogance

On April 26, 2011, in Muth's Truths, by Chuck Muth

If you truly want to understand the arrogance of legislative Democrats consider this little item from Assemblyman Kelvin Atkinson (D-Isle of Man).

Sen. Don Gustavson has introduced a bill to repeal Nevada’s nanny-state mandatory motorcycle helmet law in every session he’s been in at the state Assembly. This year he did so again, only as a member of the state Senate. And this year, his bill received a hearing and was passed out of Sen. Shirley Breeden’s Transportation Committee even though Sen. Breeden herself opposes the bill.

Which has little Kelvin’s tighty-whities in a bunch.

Atkinson, you see, opposes treating grown adults as, well, adults. As such, and as chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee last session, he killed Gustavson’s bill. And for the life of him, he can’t understand why Sen. Breeden didn’t kill the bill this year in her committee.

“How does a bill pass out of committee by one vote when the chair is opposed to it?” he asks with incredulity in a Las Vegas Sun story today. “I was a little alarmed by that.”

Alarmed? ALARMED?? Kelvin Atkinson is “alarmed” that a committee chair allowed a vote on a bill that a majority of her committee favored? That “alarms” him? Seems to me such an arrogant attitude by Mr. Atkinson is what should be alarming.

 

Assembly Republicans Vote for Higher Taxes

On April 25, 2011, in Muth's Truths, by Chuck Muth

One of the oldest tricks in the liberal book is to couch tax and fee hikes into something “for the children” – and some Republicans fall for it, hook, line and sinker every time. And so it was on Monday with Assembly passage of AB 192.

AB 192 could QUADRUPLE the fee for you to record “a document, instrument, paper, notice, deed, conveyance, map, chart, survey or any other writing other than an originally signed copy of a certificate of marriage.”

And how did Democrats on the Ways & Means Committee sucker six Republicans into voting for it? By specifying that the additional revenue “be used to provide legal services for abused and neglected children,” that’s how.

Now here’s the thing: *IF* “abused and neglected children” really need legal services (are we supposed to believe that abused and neglected children aren’t being taken care of in the courts right now?), isn’t that something that all of us, collectively, should pay for out of our general fund taxes? Why should legal services for abused and neglected children be funded from…recording fees? This is insane. This is nuts. This is dumb and dumber rolled together.

And yet…

Six Republicans in the Assembly fell for it and voted for AB 192. They are: Tom Grady, Scott Hammond, Cresent Hardy, Pat Hickey, Lynn Stewart and Melissa Woodbury.
Good grief.

 

Angle Can’t Win: The Untold Story from 2010

On April 25, 2011, in Muth's Truths, by Chuck Muth

It was around this time last year that Sharron Angle’s U.S. Senate campaign – thanks in part to the out-of-state Tea Party Express teaming up with Harry Reid’s supporters to boost her candidacy – began to take off. And by the time early voting began, it was pretty clear that Angle was definitely in a position to win the GOP primary.

As such, the Sue Lowden campaign prepared a brutally honest mailer to be dropped on the final weekend before Election Day which asked in the first sentence, “Can Sharron Angle beat Harry Reid in November.”

The letter then laid out a solid, historical argument for why Angle, among the other top candidates, couldn’t, ending with this appeal directly from Lowden:

“So if you can’t vote for me – though I certainly hope you will and I’m asking for your vote – at least vote for someone who can beat Harry in November. Because after all, that’s what this election is all about.”

As we all regretfully know now, Lowden’s assessment was, in the immortal words of Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny, dead-on balls accurate. Now for the rest of the story….

That letter never went out.

It was approved… printed… inserted in envelopes…. addressed…. stamped… and sitting on the post office loading dock… when Sue pulled it.

At the last minute Lowden opted to do what was in the best interest of the GOP, not necessarily what was in her own personal best interest. Ever the “good party soldier,” Lowden knew the letter, should Angle prevail, would be used very effectively against the party’s nominee in November.

So she yanked it.

Yes, the letter was a “Hail Mary.” And yes, judging from the results of the primary election, it certainly wouldn’t have changed the overall result. But yes, the same arguments used in the letter back then still apply today in light of Angle’s latest political quest to win…something.

Just as Sharron Angle was probably the only candidate who could have lost to Harry Reid last year, many Republicans have come to the conclusion that Angle is now the only Republican who could possibly lose the Second Congressional District seat to the Democrats.

But will enough of them wake up in time? Time will tell. But remember, Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.

 

The Heller Angle & Worst Case Scenario

On April 24, 2011, in Muth's Truths, by Chuck Muth

Over the weekend there has been some speculation that it might be in the GOP’s best interest if Gov. Brian Sandoval appoints a “placeholder” to fill the vacancy created by Sen. John Ensign’s resignation rather than appoint the obvious choice, Rep. Dean Heller. The argument is that it would cost the state too much money to hold a special election and that a wide-open primary could allow the Democrats to win the seat.

This is absurd.

A House seat isn’t worth anywhere near a Senate seat. Appointing Heller (ACU Lifetime Rating: 89) makes it more likely that Heller will hold the seat in 2012 against Democrat candidate Rep. Shelley Berkley (ACU Lifetime Rating: 11), who otherwise holds a slight advantage in picking up the seat.

Weigh that against the worst-case scenario of the GOP losing CD2 in the special election in the fall. Should that happen, it’ll have zero impact on the GOP’s control of the House in Congress. And the Democrat winner would have to turn right around and hold the seat in this Republican district a year later….an uphill climb at best.

Who in their right mind would risk our U.S. Senate seat going to a hard-core liberal in a Democrat majority state rather than risk a lowly House seat going to a relative moderate northern Democrat in a Republican seat that the GOP could win back with relative ease?

The same numbskulls who cost us the chance to take out Harry Reid last year, that’s who.

According to the out-of-state political svengalis at Tea Party Express, Gov. Sandoval should appoint ex-Gov. Bob List or ex-Treasurer Bob Seale to hold the U.S. Senate seat until Shelley Berkley possibly wins it outright in 2012. Yeah, brilliant strategery fellas!

Tea Party Express stuck us with Sharron Angle last year – the only candidate who could have possibly lost to Harry Reid, and Harry Reid knew it. Which makes TPX nothing more than Harry Reid’s “useful idiot.” And now we’re supposed to take their advice and NOT appoint Dean Heller to John Ensign’s Senate seat? I don’t think so.

Hey, TPX…don’t call us; we’ll call you.

 

The New RINO King

On April 24, 2011, in Muth's Truths, by Chuck Muth

RINO, of course, stands for “Republican in Name Only.” And while the tea party movement has helped place them on the endangered species list, there are still a few still running around posing a serious danger to limited government, individual liberty and fiscal conservatism. In fact, one was spotted in Carson City just last week.

There were two bills in the state Senate – one to ban Cheetos, Twinkies and cupcakes from public schools, and another to force auto repair shops to check YOUR tire pressure under penalty of law – in which one, and only one liberal Republican voted with the Democrats: Sen. Joe Hardy.

Folks in “Jacobin Joe’s” Boulder City/Mesquite district should begin preparing for two things: (1) For Sen. Hardy to vote with the Democrats, despite his assurance to the governor otherwise, on raising taxes, and (2) To form a recall committee for when he does.