Las Vegas Sun

February 5, 2016

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David McGrath Schwartz

Story Archive

On housing, Nevada Senate candidates' differing views boil down to federal government's level of involvement
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012
The issue of principal reduction is at the heart of the philosophical divide over how active the federal government should be in trying to address Nevada’s problem. And it marks a key difference in how the two candidates running for U.S. Senate would approach the housing crisis.
State agencies put forward mostly flat budget requests
Monday, Oct. 15, 2012
State spending would bump up slightly to deal with more people seeking government assistance and state employees would still see their pay cuts and furloughs under agency budgets released this morning.
When do two words spark an outrage? At the end of campaign season
Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012
It's that time of year when political campaigns gear up their scandal machines to amplify the outrage.
Sandoval to step up efforts to help elect fellow Republicans
Friday, Oct. 12, 2012
Gov. Brian Sandoval, the state's most popular Republican, is poised to take a more active role in GOP races, including the presidential campaign.
Final campaign themes emerge in second Berkley-Heller debate
Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012
In the second debate of the U.S. Senate campaign, incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller and his Democratic rival, Rep. Shelley Berkley, sparred over online poker, a mining project in rural Nevada and financial reform, laying out the final campaign themes just weeks before early voting begins.
Wynn, Adelson spread influence to state-level races
Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012
Las Vegas casino moguls have won both acclaim and derision for their roles in financing national political campaigns this year. But they’ve also spent considerable money to influence Nevada legislative races.
Sandoval says he never promised to restore state workers' pay
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012
Gov. Brian Sandoval said he will still attempt to reverse salary cuts and furloughs borne by state employees since 2009, but the state has to weigh costs in health and human services and see where tax collections are.
Line of Attack: Is it fair to characterize Heck as callous toward rape victims?
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012
In a new ad, Democratic Assembly Speaker John Oceguera accuses his opponent, Rep. Joe Heck, of having a record of voting against victims of rape.
Democrats expand voter registration lead in Clark County
Monday, Oct. 8, 2012
Democrats in Clark County have a 119,000 voter registration advantage over Republicans at the closing online voter registration.
State Republicans taking a softer stance on taxes
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012
State Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, announced last week a $20 million-a-year plan to help Clark County students learn English — a move uncharacteristic of a senator who made a name for himself as a boldly anti-tax conservative last session.
After cautious start, Obama administration recalibrates its approach to foreclosure crisis
Friday, Oct. 5, 2012
Nevada's housing market has yet to rebound under a patchwork of shifting federal programs aimed at helping distressed homeowners. The deep wound of the crisis on our economy is clear: The state led the nation in per-capita foreclosures for 62 straight months. That has led some to question whether the Obama administration should have led a more aggressive effort to help homeowners.
State Senate candidates tussle over integrity, education funding, mining taxes
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012
Senate District 9, in the southwest valley, wasn’t supposed to be in play. But when Sen. Elizabeth Halseth resigned in February, the district opened up — presenting another opportunity for Democrats to pick up a seat.
Line of Attack: Does John Oceguera waste taxpayer dollars?
Monday, Oct. 1, 2012
Did Democratic congressional candidate John Oceguera waste tax dollars on a gym for legislative employees and game the system for a big paycheck from the fire department?
NV Energy buying its renewable energy outside of Nevada, undercutting efforts to spur in-state development
Friday, Sept. 28, 2012
When the Legislature required the state’s power company to produce a certain percentage of its electricity from renewable energy, a primary goal was to spur the “green energy” industry inside Nevada. But NV Energy has used wind power from other states to help it meet the state’s requirement.
Jim Rogers taking on Horsford on Twitter — three years after phone call never came
Friday, Sept. 28, 2012
Former chancellor Jim Rogers has been on a Twitter rampage against Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, who is running for Congress. Seemingly the No. 1 lesson from this tirade: Do not, under any circumstances, ignore a call from Jim Rogers.
Nevada governor steers clear of Romney’s ‘47 percent’ remarks
Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, the state’s most popular politician who just returned from a trade mission to Asia, distanced himself from GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s comment about the “47 percent” on Thursday.
Las Vegas Senate candidate raises north-south education funding issue
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012
State Senate candidate Kelli Ross said more state education money needs to stay in Clark County instead of being shipped north, while her opponent, Assemblyman Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, would not commit to supporting the taxes he voted to extend in 2011, during a televised debate Tuesday night.
Candidate's role in high profile Las Vegas Sands case at issue in Senate race
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012
A state senate candidate’s decision not to speak up in court about the availability of evidence in a high profile court case involving a casino executive fired by the Las Vegas Sands has become the focus of a race that could determine which party controls the state Senate next year.
Applications available for foreclosure settlement payments
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012
Nearly 67,000 Nevadans who lost their homes to foreclosures will be eligible for checks of as much as $2,000 under a settlement agreement with the nation’s five largest banks, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday.
Northern Nevada race could determine control of the state Senate
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012
The most intriguing political contest that hasn’t been splashed on television screens statewide might be a legislative Senate race here in the old part of Reno — Senate District 15, a swing district inside a swing county inside a swing state.
Harry Reid not backing down over issue of Romney’s taxes
Friday, Sept. 21, 2012
A summary of Mitt Romney’s taxes over the past 20 years that says the Romneys paid state and federal income taxes each year didn’t cow Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Sandoval heads to China on economic development mission
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012
Gov. Brian Sandoval is leading a delegation of state and business leaders from Nevada to China and South Korea, to promote Nevada’s business-friendly atmosphere and establish relationships with officials in the growing Asian markets.
Lawmaker questions how Sandoval's budget promises will pencil out
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012
Gov. Brian Sandoval, the eternally optimistic governor, has made some big promises on the budget he’s currently building. Now, one lawmaker wants to know how they will all pencil out.
Holly Madison stars in Nevada's $800,000 voter campaign
Friday, Sept. 14, 2012
Secretary of State Ross Miller is launching television ads featuring himself, Gov. Brian Sandoval and entertainer Holly Madison to encourage Nevadans to register to vote.
Lawsuit prompts Nevada welfare agencies to ramp up voter registration efforts
Friday, Sept. 14, 2012
Nevada’s public assistance agencies have aggressively stepped up their voter registration efforts following a federal lawsuit accusing the state of disenfranchising thousands of poor Nevadans.
The beginning of collective bargaining
In 1969, lawmakers, worried about the cost of higher salaries, didn’t allow state employees to organize
Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012
In February 1969, with labor unrest in Las Vegas and public employees rumbling about strikes, the Legislature took up a bill that would set the rules for how teachers, firefighters, police and other local government employees would negotiate with local governments.
Line of Attack: Mitt Romney ad has hits and misses in the message
Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012
The attack is that “Obamacare” will cost the little guy. It raids $716 billion from Medicare, taxes wheelchairs and pacemakers, and raises taxes on families making less than $120,000.
Legislative committee adopts new higher education funding formula
Proposal shifts money to Southern Nevada campuses; committee recommends implementing plan immediately
Friday, Aug. 31, 2012
After making some revisions, a Legislative committee agreed to adopt a funding formula proposed by the Nevada System of Higher Education that will shift $13.2 million a year to Southern Nevada campuses.
Committee to recommend funding formula that would benefit Clark County schools
Northern Nevada lawmakers among those who agree more money should be allocated to districts with students in poverty and English language learners
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012
Instead of relying on its decades-old way of dividing money between Nevada’s 17 school districts, the state should send more money to districts with students in poverty or who are learning English, a Legislative committee decided Tuesday.
Tension precedes what many hope is 'equitable, fair methodology' for funding higher education
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012
In the ongoing debate over whether universities and colleges in Southern Nevada are getting short shrift at budget time comes this question: Who can be trusted to come up with a fair funding formula, a consultant hired by the chancellor or one retained by the Legislature?
Nevada panel OKs hotline, counselors to help struggling homeowners
Friday, Aug. 24, 2012
Distressed homeowners will have access to a new hotline and additional housing counselors as part of a plan approved today by a legislative committee.
State to decide how to spend money from federal foreclosure settlement
Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012
When the nation’s five largest banks reached a settlement with the federal government and 49 state attorneys general over their role in the national housing crisis, the banks agreed to chip in $57 million to the state of Nevada to address the housing crisis. Now it’s time to spend the money.
Sandoval's GOP convention speech set for prime time Monday
Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012
Gov. Brian Sandoval secured a prime-time speaking slot at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, his spokeswoman confirmed today. He will speak Monday at 6 p.m. local time.
Black eyes at the Capitol: Secretary of State Ross Miller wins MMA fight
Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012
Some politicians don’t want to risk getting their hair mussed, much less shatter a cheekbone or break a nose. But Secretary of State Ross Miller had his first — and only, he said — mixed martial arts bout Saturday, defeating his opponent 30 seconds into the second round.
Nevada Tax Commission: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac exempt from taxes on foreclosure sales
Monday, Aug. 20, 2012
In a split vote, the Nevada Tax Commission today rejected an effort by Treasurer Kate Marshall to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to pay taxes on home foreclosure sales.
District crying wolf could hurt credibility in next budget fight
Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012
During contract negotiations with its teachers, the Clark County School District warned of dire consequences — up to 1,000 teachers laid off — if existing teachers got raises instead of having their salaries frozen. The district lost at arbitration and ended up issuing pink slips to 419 teachers. But, despite the warnings, all those teachers have been hired back. They didn’t lose any pay.
Gerald Gardner named governor’s new chief of staff
Friday, Aug. 17, 2012
Gerald Gardner, former Las Vegas regional chief in the Attorney General’s Office, will be Gov. Brian Sandoval’s new chief of staff, the administration announced today. Gardner will replace Chief of Staff Heidi Gansert, who announced her departure Thursday to spend more time with her family.
Apple lobbyist who facilitated tax deal also has state contract
Friday, Aug. 17, 2012
When Apple needed help negotiating the tax breaks it sought as a condition to build a $1 billion data center in Northern Nevada, the company turned to Greg Ferraro, a lobbyist and adviser to Gov. Brian Sandoval. But Ferraro not only has a close relationship with the governor. He also has a $200-an-hour public relations contract with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the agency with which Apple company officials would be negotiating.
Audit finds state improperly paid some Medicare subsidies
Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012
Nevada failed to adequately vet seniors and the disabled who get a state subsidy to help pay their Medicare premiums, potentially costing state and federal taxpayers millions of dollars, according to a federal audit.
Report: Nevada education funding formula no longer adequate for urban Clark County
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012
Nevada lawmakers should ditch an anachronistic education funding formula that favors sparsely populated counties in favor of a new method that awards dollars based on the number of children living in poverty and learning English, according to a new report.
Nevada's most expensive highway helps politicians save face but not much else
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012
Nevada’s most expensive highway project will open this month — an 8 1/2-mile stretch of pavement that most Southern Nevadans will never use, unless you’re a politician or lobbyist commuting between Reno and Carson City. It’s three lanes in each direction, takes travelers over no less than nine bridges, including one that spans 1,700 feet — the longest bridge of its kind in the world. Automatic sprayers apply a saline solution on the bridges in cold weather to prevent freezing, and an 8-foot fence prevents deer from leaping to their deaths.
New tax initiative to fund education is filed
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012
The state's teachers union today re-filed its initiative that would impose an $850 million a year business tax, a day after a Carson City judge invalidated a previous version.
Judge invalidates business tax initiative for allowing 'tax vigilantes'
Monday, Aug. 6, 2012
A Carson City judge invalidated a petition for a proposed business tax today for violating a state law that ballot initiatives must adhere to a single subject.
Line of Attack: Is this really the weakest recovery ever?
Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012
Is it fair to accuse President Barack Obama of presiding over the weakest recovery in American history?
Apple deal proves race for new business is cut throat among cash-strapped states
Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012
To get Apple’s data center, Nevada had to compete with a down-on-its-luck former mill town in Oregon, which offered a virtually tax-free environment.
Line of Attack: Did Dean Heller let a diamond scam happen under his watch?
Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012
Is Dean Heller responsible for a fraud in which a Las Vegas shell company sold stock in fictitious diamond mines.
Why one Nevada official alone had autonomy to decide Apple's tax breaks
Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012
The most generous tax abatement deal in state history highlights the scant state oversight elected officials and business leaders appointed to oversee the Governor's Office of Economic Development have over the size of tax breaks.
Mortality rates lower in states with expanded Medicaid coverage for the poor
Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012
If Nevada had followed its neighboring state’s lead and expanded its Medicaid program in 2001, it could have saved lives, a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine suggests.
Business group challenges Nevada tax initiative
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
A coalition of business groups petitioned a Carson City judge Tuesday to throw out labor unions’ initiative to impose a business tax, arguing that it would not necessarily increase funding to education as proponents claim.
Nevada Democrats' voter registration lead expands over Republicans
Sunday, July 29, 2012
When Nevada’s voter registration rolls were scrubbed this year to reflect people who had moved, Republicans saw hope. Nevada Democrats’ advantage dropped in April to 36,700 voters. But Democrats have made up much of the ground they lost.

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