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An irrelevant caucus no more

As soon as this weekend, Nevadans might learn the reform agenda for the 2015 Legislature — from a caucus that just a few weeks ago was supposed to be irrelevant to the discussion.

An Uber-foolish crackdown on ride sharing

The Internet and smartphone revolution has turned industries upside down and forced them to adapt. But the Nevada taxicab industry, far from embracing innovation and creative destruction, has doubled down on its outdated, over-regulated business model and its penchant for protectionism.

On margins tax, numbers don’t lie

The argument for passage of Question 3 holds that increased school spending translates to improved student achievement. Nevada’s schools perform poorly because they’re poorly funded, Question 3 backers claim. Therefore, pouring more money into the state’s K-12 system is the only way to guarantee better outcomes.

Judge’s ruling voids common sense

For as long as Nevada’s local government employees have had collective bargaining rights, there has been a single check against their unions’ demands for ever-higher pay and iron-clad job protections: the ability of management to lay off workers it can’t afford.

Public will pay for judge’s crimes

Steven Jones got away with one last scam. This time, the taxpayers were the patsy. And regardless of whether federal prosecutors and a federal judge try to right the wrongs of the disgraced Family Court judge, Nevadans will pay dearly for his crimes for many, many years.

Will Nevadans be doing Electric Slide?

I hate to pull the plug on the statewide celebration of the Tesla Motors tax giveaway, but the deal to secure the electric car company’s massive lithium-ion battery plant for Northern Nevada received quite a shock of reality last week.

Police union: ‘We use’ politicians

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department can’t add officer positions without a tax increase, partly because of a plunge in property tax revenue, but mostly because its force is compensated so generously. If police pay were more in line with national averages, hundreds more officers would be on the streets patrolling neighborhoods, stomping out the valley’s dangerous driving culture and keeping the Strip even safer.

Half-baked study cooks margins tax

Question 3, the business margins tax, is a study in overreach. So it’s appropriate and unsurprising that the most recent and likely last pre-election study on the initiative’s economic impact holds even less water than the question itself.

Save bats, birds or the planet?

What’s all the fuss over the bat tartare and bird flambe being prepared at renewable energy sites around the Southwest? We’re just moving up the death sentences that would be carried out by the coming climate change doomsday, right?

Helping children, or helping themselves?

The SEIU says Southern Nevada’s most vulnerable children are in danger because Clark County doesn’t have enough social workers. This month, Department of Family Services workers represented by the union’s Local 1107 presented the County Commission with a petition demanding reduced caseloads to ensure children are safe.

Fractions matter in Assembly races

This year’s legislative campaign will be all about the state Senate. Democrats hold the slimmest of majorities, at 11-10. If Republicans can pick up a seat and seize control of the upper chamber, it will change the power dynamic in Carson City in 2015.

Nanny State has plenty of detractors

My July 6 and July 20 columns on the growth of the Nanny State generated more response than can be published. But it was very encouraging to see so many readers understand the threat the growth of government poses to the rights of parents — and the well-being of children.

Early look at November’s tastiest races

It’s hot as blazes out, which means it’s time for campaigns to cool off. Although candidates will be out knocking on doors, making public appearances and raising money, they won’t spend much of their war chest on advertising when voters are on vacation and, in general, not thinking about politics.

Gun control lobby wrong on Wilcox

Joseph Wilcox’s funeral is today. I hope the political opportunists who’ve spent the past two weeks second-guessing or trashing this community hero have the grace to stay away and allow his family and friends to honor him appropriately.

Voters come up short at finish line

Low turnout wasn’t the only challenge facing some down-ticket candidates in Clark County’s primary election. Aside from the difficulty of building name recognition in a climate of political disinterest, many candidates worried about ballot attrition — the number of voters who would simply quit before reaching the end.

Windfall for schools brings no guarantees

Two issues are central to Nevada’s margins tax debate. Thus far, justifiably, conversations and research have focused almost exclusively on one: how the levy would affect the state’s businesses. Which industries would be hit hardest by the 2 percent tax on revenue? How many jobs would be lost if Question 3 passes in November?