‘Analysis’ articles

Digging into Question Three

A protected government monopoly or free markets?

Confused about Question 3? That makes about 3 million of us.

Even among the politically informed, what may result from the passing of Question 3 seems unclear.

Is it the right or wrong thing to do?

Big money

Both the For and Against campaigns are spending big money to get you on their side.

So far this year, the No on Question 3 PAC — known as the Coalition to Defeat Question 3 — has raised over $63.1 million.

All but $12,000 of that sum came from NV Energy, according to the Contributions and Expenditures reports filed with the Secretary of State.

The group supporting the ballot question, “Nevadans for Affordable, Clean Energy Choices,” this year raised $32.9 million — $22 million of which came from Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Sands owner Sheldon Adelson had considered leaving NV Energy, as other large casinos have done, but decided not to pay the $23.9 million exit fee asked by the monopoly utility.

Adelson’s net worth as of 2018 was estimated at $35 billion, while that of Warren Buffet — owner of Berkshire Hathaway, which purchased NV Energy in 2013 —was, two years ago, put at $87 billion.

Arguments Pro & Con

Those in opposition have claimed that the passage of this measure will result in higher energy costs and rolling black- or brown-outs. They have also claimed that this is not the sort of thing that should be in a constitution, and that putting it there would cement the results for several years due to the process by which the state constitution can be amended.

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CCSD’s sexual-misconduct epidemic
shows need for bargaining transparency

Leading states define government labor-management negotiations as public meetings

A recent epidemic of sexual-misconduct revelations has the Clark County School District scrambling to draft new policies.

The new rules are intended to better govern communications between district employees and students, especially with regards to social media and texting.

While more explicit district standards in this area may be helpful, alone this simply won’t be enough. What makes such misconduct possible in the first place is that the teacher union systematically prioritizes the job security of its members over the safety and security of students.

This shows up most clearly in the lack of public transparency within the collective bargaining process — the process through which the government and its organized workers negotiate for a new contract.

Behind closed doors, it’s all too easy for the representatives of government and of government unions to form a common front against the public — whether it’s the taxpaying public or, as in this case, the youth and families the district was established to serve.

Take for example Article 12, Section 10 of the current collective bargaining agreement between CCSD and the CCEA teacher union.

Often dubbed the “pass the trash” clause, it reads:

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Police union ‘tricks’ LVMPD into more
millions for higher salaries, pensions

Negotiators taken to cleaners in latest LVPPA negotiations, new state law shows

As if Clark County residents needed a reminder, the unrivaled political power of local government unions is again on full display.

This time, the involved union is the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, which appears to have duped Metro negotiators into conceding an additional $6 million for salaries and retirement benefits for, essentially, nothing in return.

Alternatively, Metro brass — recognizing the giveaway in progress — may have simply been content to hide behind the rationale advanced by the union.

What brings all this into focus is the recent (and predictable) passage and signing into law of Senate Bill 176, mandating body-worn cameras (“BWCs”) for all Nevada police officers.

Thus, Clark County taxpayers are now paying police and corrections officers additional millions to merely comply with state law.

Moreover, this may well have been the LVPPA’s strategy all along.

Here’s the background. As reported by Nevada Journal last fall, the LVPPA and Las Vegas Metro PD agreed in September on a new collective-bargaining agreement through June 2019, following the expiration of their prior agreement in June 2016.

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State requires more accountability
from Southern Nevada police agencies

Law enforcement must file detailed reports every three months

For the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, its new More Cops money comes with higher transparency requirements.

That’s because when Clark County last week increased the countywide sales tax to hire more police officers, the county commission was implementing a new state law that requires a new level of oversight and reporting for Metro.

Under the state legislation — Assembly Bill 1 of the October special session, dubbed the Clark County Crime Prevention Act of 2016 — Metro’s governing five-member Fiscal Affairs Committee must submit quarterly reports to the state Department of Taxation on multiple matters.

The reports must spell out the total amount of the new More Cops tax dollars received and a “detailed description” of how that money was spent.

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Language in Nevada state constitution reveals
19th century anti-Catholic consensus, agenda

U.S. Supreme Court justices, liberal and conservative, acknowledge the history

You might not expect it in this day and age, but Nevada’s Constitution still bears telling traces of a discriminatory 19th century doctrine the U.S. Supreme Court has characterized as “born of bigotry.”

Those traces can be found in the multiple appearances in the document of the word “sectarian.”

Contrary to the belief of many today, the term in the 19th century was not understood to simply mean “religious” — as in: “there shall be no religious instruction in the public schools.”

Instead, the actual understanding of the term in the decades when Nevada’s constitutional provisions were first written or later added was — as has been widely documented — “non-protestant,” or, most likely, “Catholic.”

Both wings of the U.S. Supreme Court, liberal and conservative, have repeatedly acknowledged this.

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