Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kiss That Straw Man Goodbye

We expected them to scream over it. But really, did they have to lie? And did they have to advocate a "plan" they themselves know will go nowhere?

So what are we talking about? Remember those gawd awful "Kiss Your Assets Goodbye" TV ads that the rabidly anti-tax-reform Nevada Development Authority ran in California nearly five years ago to entice businesses there to move here? Well, it's back... And it has a new name: The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA).

And not only does LVGEA have a new name, but it also has a new mission: killing The Education Initiative (TEI). Perhaps it's not really all that new, since LVGEA/NDA has always fought any attempt to bring Nevada's tax code into the 21st century. But now, it's focused on killing this new effort to break the cycle of FAIL that's crippled Nevada schools and the state’s overall economy. But why? Simple answer: shortsighted greed.

But this week, that shortsighted greed may be coming back to bite LVGEA. Why? Remember when we discussed the shortchanging of Southern Nevada two years ago? LVGEA went there this week. So far, so good. But then, it proceeded to shoot itself in the foot. But how so?

Remember when we went into detail last year about how to fix state funding formulae without shortchanging anyone? LVGEA clearly doesn't get that, since Jon Ralston & other local media caught LVGEA boss Tom Skancke claiming Esmeralda County can magically fix Clark County schools. But how so?

He claimed the state should just slash funding for Esmeralda County schools and the rest of Northern Nevada public education, then divert all that money to the Clark County School District. Of course, there's one problem with this new funding fix: It's anything but realistic. There's no way anyone up north will agree to massive budget cuts in order to better fund the south. But even if Southern Nevada lawmakers were to miraculously agree on a "Rob from the North to Fund the South" budget, it would still only add a few extra pennies into the still mostly empty bucket for Southern Nevada's schools.

So why go there? Why is LVGEA proposing such a nonsensical and unrealistic "alternative" to TEI? Does LVGEA now care about public education in Southern Nevada? Is its rage against the state’s flawed funding formulae blinding it to the full picture of Nevada's flawed tax structure? Or is it just trying to distract Southern Nevada voters with a rather flimsy straw man?

Frankly, we strongly suspect the latter. We also suspect this straw man is faring as well as that ridiculous "Kiss Your Assets Goodbye" campaign did five years ago. And if NDA/LVGEA/Whatever-the-hell-it-will-call-itself-next wants us to believe it has a realistic alternative to TEI, then it actually needs to produce one (and then get its cronies in Carson City to actually pass it).

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