The news of late has been littered with the wails of the righteously aggrieved tempered only by timid responses from government officials who failed to heed ample warnings over many years. Well, the planes have hit the monuments to man’s inadequacy and Nevada doesn’t have an Iraq for distraction.
As American black music seeded and cultivated the rock ‘n’ roll and relevance renaissance, so the NAACP now lights Nevada’s way to a better future.
Join me for a Barbwire live television special this Sunday evening as NAACP leaders and I explore suing Nevada on behalf of public education. “Suing for Schools” will air from 6 to 7 p.m. on interactive Reno television before a studio audience. Viewers may call with questions at 828-1211 or send them to me in advance via the e-mail address, below.
Last year, then-university system chancellor James Rogers published research noting all the jurisdictions that have been successfully sued under circumstances similar to or worse than Nevada’s. The study may be downloaded by accessing the Feb. 7 Barbwire at NevadaLabor.com.
Sunday panelists will include Lonnie Feemster, president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, Jeffrey Blanck, NAACP legal counsel, professor Howard Rosenberg, former university system regent, and Annie Alfano, organizer for the state employees association (AFSCME Local 4041/AFL-CIO). I will also feature a recorded interview with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. (previewed on page 1A).
How we got here
I have long agreed with former State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, that Nevada gambling is grossly under-taxed. With the exception of a few California tribes, Nevada’s biggies enjoy the lowest taxes in the world. Nevada’s go-go growth stopped paying for itself more than a decade ago.
The mining industry had a crystal ball. With the help of the teachers’ union and the Nevada State AFL-CIO, miners got a constitutional amendment passed in 1989 giving them Hollywood movie accounting — a tax on net proceeds. If you do it right, there’s never a net to tax. After all, doesn’t the boss deserve a new Ferrari every year?
Nevada labor helped the foreign-owned industry sell the voluntary tax as help for education, crumbs from Marie Antoinette’s cake. A non-union dishwasher now pays taxes at a geometrically higher rate than mining.
Only the Barbwire and Travus T. Hipp called it for what it was on our radio shows, but Clark County carried the day. Mining still refuses to pay its fair share after raping and pillaging since 1872 — and we never even get kissed afterward.
My simple proposals for fixing the tax system appeared in the Jan. 17 Barbwire. Mining and gambling taxes are major components, along with revisions to property taxation and elimination of corporate welfare. We’ll talk about it Sunday night.
How to get the show
“Suing for Schools” will cablecast live Sunday at 6 p.m. on three Reno-Sparks-Washoe community television channels (SNCAT/Charter digital 16, 216 and hi-def 80-295). Internet viewers may watch the program as it happens through a NevadaLabor.com front page link which will activate when the show starts.
The program will rerun in prime time Sunday from 9 to 10 p.m. on CW Network affiliate KRNS (through the airwaves on digital 27.2 or analog 46). It is receivable over the air from just east of Sacramento, Calif., to Pershing County, Nev., and to the south through Fallon (Sen. Reid will offer Churchill County a water history lesson), Yerington and Mineral County (Hawthorne), Nev. The CW is available on Nevada cable systems at channel 6. Satellite (Dish, Direct et al.) or AT&T UVerse subscribers should consult their program guides for the dial position of KRNS from Reno.
Viewers with analog TV sets without digital converters, cable or satellite may access the program over the air with rabbit ears at UHF channel 46. Viewers in Susanville, Calif., may also receive CW-Reno over the air at analog channel 29, again with no converter necessary. A coverage map will accompany this column at NevadaLabor.com.
The program will rerun on various public and commercial stations statewide. Check local listings.
Gov. Jim the Dim’s proclamation calling the Legislature into special session is both laughable (he actually uses an “etc.”) and partially illegal.
Sen. Neal says “anything vague, the Legislature is free to ignore.” The 32-year legislative veteran is a respected authority on the state constitution and legislative procedure.
In the proclamation, Gov. Gibbons asserts that “the Legislature may also consider any other legislative business as I may call to the attention of the Legislature while in session.”
Wrong, says Neal. A special session is not a general session. Once lawmakers convene this Tuesday, the enabling proclamation is set in cement. If Jim the Dim wants changes, he must call another special session. Otherwise, Gibbons has declared himself a dictator in violation of separation of powers.
Constitutional confrontation, anyone?
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, political action chair and second vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP and editor of NevadaLabor.com. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail email@example.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.