Facts vs. demagoguery: A glimpse of the fight ahead on the tax repeal

The secretary of state's office on Wednesday posted a fiscal analysis of the tax repeal petition showing (see spreadsheet below) the $667 million in revenue that would be lost if it passes.

What happened next provided an unfortunate preview of the campaign to come.

First, I posted the document on my Twitter feed.

Reacting to the news, the man who filed the petition, Citizen Outhouse chief Chuck Muth, frothed on Twitter:

This is patently false. Sandoval had nothing to do with the report, which was prepared by the Legislative Counsel Bureau

A few minutes later, Muth dug the hole deeper:

Remember, he is disgorging spittle onto Tweet Deck because of the putative outrage of the governor using tax money to present his case.

What happened next was delicious.

Bradley Schrager, perhaps the best election lawyer in Nevada (disclosure: he once worked for my wife), tried to confuse the matter with, you know, facts, and his inimitable prose:

That law is pretty clear:

3.  Upon receipt of a petition for initiative or referendum placed on file pursuant to subsection 1 or 2:

      (a) The Secretary of State shall consult with the Fiscal Analysis Division of the Legislative Counsel Bureau to determine if the initiative or referendum may have any anticipated financial effect on the State or local governments if the initiative or referendum is approved by the voters. If the Fiscal Analysis Division determines that the initiative or referendum may have an anticipated financial effect on the State or local governments if the initiative or referendum is approved by the voters, the Division must prepare a fiscal note that includes an explanation of any such effect.


Having been confronted by the fact that he was wrong, Muth, of course, kept digging:

The rest of the exchange is just priceless and so, so revealing:

Illuminating indeed, but also so depressing.

Muth, who filed the petition, clearly has no knowledge of the law and reflexively attacked the governor, who had no role in this. Will he apologize for being wrong? About the same time Donald Trump apologizes to Megyn Kelly, I'd guess, and instead will probably come forth with his usual crass, ham-handed ad hominem stuff. (Psst, Schrager works for the Democrats!)

This is a harbinger of what's to come from the Muthian Mensans, who don't understand or don't care about facts and simply want to tear down people and programs. It's what they do.

If this were a fair fight, there wouldn't be a fight. It won't be fair.

Fiscal Impact of Repealing SB 483 (8!24!15) by Jon Ralston