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Mini-Muth’s Truths: February 15, 2011

Hey, I’m still in DC attending a Leadership Institute training school. Yes, even teachers brush up on their skills. The difference being I paid for this one out of my own pocket, not the taxpayers’. Anyway, this issue of NN&V is going to be a little light. Will catch up after I get home late tomorrow night.

Congratulate me; I’m no longer a conservative. I’m now an air-quote ‘conservative.’ Click here to find out why.

“UNLV is planning on bankruptcy,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported today. “That was the message the university’s administrators delivered to a gathering of faculty on Tuesday.” Which reminded me of this quote from university Chancellor Dan Klaich about a week ago:

“I think we have been guilty of hyperbole in the past where, you know, we get the first dollar of a cut and we would like you to believe that the sky is falling. Here we are a few years later and lo and behold the sky is right where it started out. It has not fallen in.”

So it’s only natural to wonder if the “university administrators” were serious, or if they were just exercising a little more of the ol’ hyperbole?

The story suggests that proposed budget cuts could mean slicing the College of Liberal Arts by $3.77 million. “Liberal” arts? So let it be written; so let it be done!

OK, so let’s say you’re Sen. John Ensign. And you tell your pollster to run a poll for a GOP primary race against Rep. Dean Heller. And let’s say the polling comes back and shows you losing to Heller by 15 points. Do you release those poll results to the public? Of course not! That would be insane.

OK, now let’s say you’re a business association which is absolutely opposed to a corporate income tax in Nevada. And let’s say you tell your pollster to run a poll on whether or not Nevadans support the creation of a corporate income tax. And then let’s say your pollster comes back and tells you that 55 percent of Nevadans support a corporate income tax. Do you release those numbers to the public? Of course not! That would be insane.

Yet that’s exactly what the Retail Association of Nevada did on Tuesday. Color me verwirrt.

And while we’re on the subject of mining (we were, weren’t we?), Sen. Michael Roberson (R-Las Vegas) correctly interprets the Taxpayer Protection Pledge with regard to REVENUE NEUTRAL tax reform, as reported by Ben Spillman of the Las Vegas Review-Journal today:

“Conservative political consultant Chuck Muth, Nevada’s most vocal proponent of signed, anti-tax pledges, said Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, is ‘100 percent correct’ in stating a vote for more mining taxes wouldn’t violate such a pledge if it were offset by a cut elsewhere.”

“On Monday Roberson, a pledge signer, said he wanted to learn more about how the mining industry is taxed in Nevada and decide for himself whether or not mining taxes should go up. Asked whether it would violate his pledge Roberson said, ‘You can raise taxes in one area and offset them by lowering taxes in another area.’

“Monday night Muth said Roberson was correct and highlighted a paragraph in the version of the pledge published by Americans for Tax Reform, the group most closely associated with pressuring politicians to sign.

“’While ATR opposes any tax increase as a matter of principle, the Pledge does not require opposition to revenue neutral reform. However, for tax reform to be considered revenue neutral, a tax increase must be tied to an offsetting tax cut of at least equal size. Generally, the offset must be specified in the same piece of legislation. Furthermore, the tax increase and tax cut must occur in a reasonable corresponding time window,’ the pledge states.”

Kudos to Sen. Roberson for actually understanding the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as it relates to tax reform. Raising mining taxes while, say, lowering vehicle registration taxes by the same amount? Bring on the debate!

Oh, and Sen. Roberson isn’t the only Republican who isn’t necessarily carrying mining’s water this session. Click here
And if that wasn’t bad enough, both the conservative Nevada Policy Research Institute and the Eagle Forum have weighed in favoring a proposed bill by Sen. Sheila Leslie (D-Reno) to reign in mining’s ability to snatch private property from under your feet using “eminent domain” powers. Janine Hansen of the Eagle Forum wrote the following to Sen. Leslie today:

“I wanted to express Nevada Eagle Forum’s support for SB86 on eminent domain. Private entities/businesses, including mining, smelting and related activities, should not have the power of eminent domain. This power in the Constitution is reserved to the government. We are concerned even now with the abuses of government regarding eminent domain let alone private entities. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo initiated a nationwide reaction from the States to curtail the government abuses of eminent domain. Thank you for bringing this issue forward.”

Don’t read any further for you folks who are easily offended. But the mining industry has been pissing on small business and conservatives for many a year now. They’ve spend a sh*tload of money for establishment Republicans and high-priced lobbyists. Alas, those high-priced lobbyists appear to have seriously “misunderestimated” the fallout from term limits last year and the ousting of Sen. Raggio.

What goes around, comes around.

There’s lot of interest in the looming GOP primary race to replace U.S. Sen. John Kyl in neighboring Arizona. It would appear that Rep. Jeff Flake, a solid fiscal conservative who has ticked off social conservative on a number of issues, has the inside track and is the frontrunner….especially after former Rep. John Shadegg announced he would not seek the seat. However…

Don’t count those chickens before they’re hatched. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he’s eying the race.

Now, among insiders Flake is a well-known and respected budget hawk. But among the great unwashed, Sheriff Joe is known…well, as Sheriff Joe. He has a natural, national and HUGE fundraising base to pull from. If Arpaio runs against Flake, it’ll be one helluva interesting race.