March 27, 2018
27 Mar 2018

Political Update – March 27, 2018

       

The Politicization of the FBI

 

By Joseph E. diGenova
Imprimis
February 2018

 

Over the past year, facts have emerged that suggest there was a plot by high-ranking FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials in the Obama administration, acting under color of law, to exonerate Hillary Clinton of federal crimes and then, if she lost the election, to frame Donald Trump and his campaign for colluding with Russia to steal the presidency. This conduct was not based on mere bias, as has been widely claimed, but rather on deeply felt animus toward Trump and his agenda.

In the course of this plot, FBI Director James Comey, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok, Strzok’s paramour and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, FBI General Counsel James Baker, and DOJ senior official Bruce Ohr—perhaps among others—compromised federal law enforcement to such an extent that the American public is losing trust. A recent CBS News poll finds 48 percent of Americans believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia collusion probe is “politically motivated,” a stunning conclusion. And 63 percent of polled voters in a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll believe that the FBI withheld vital information from Congress about the Clinton and Russia collusion investigations.

I spent my early legal career as a federal prosecutor. I later supervised hundreds of prosecutors and prosecutions as a U.S. Attorney and as an Independent Counsel. I have never witnessed investigations so fraught with failure to fulfill the basic elements of a criminal probe as those conducted under James Comey. Not since former Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray deep-sixed evidence during Watergate has the head of the FBI been so discredited as Comey is now.

 

The Case of the Clinton Emails

The Hillary Clinton email scandal began in 2013 with the U.S. House of Representatives investigation into the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. It was during that investigation that accessing Secretary of State Clinton’s emails became an issue. But it wasn’t until The New York Times broke the story on March 2, 2015, that Clinton had a secret, personal server that things really took off.

Thousands of emails that the House at first requested, then subpoenaed, conveniently disappeared—remember those reports about BleachBit and the smashing of Clinton’s numerous phones with hammers? Clinton and her aides were, to say the least, not forthcoming. It was clearly time for the FBI and DOJ to act, using the legal tools at their disposal to secure the emails and other materials the House had subpoenaed. But that didn’t happen.

One tool at their disposal was the grand jury—the sine qua non of a criminal investigation. Grand juries are comprised of 16 to 23 citizens who hear a prosecutor’s case against an alleged criminal. The subject of the investigation is not present during the entire proceeding, which can last up to a year. A grand jury provides investigators with the authority to collect evidence by issuing subpoenas for documents and witnesses. FBI agents and prosecutors cannot themselves demand evidence. Only a grand jury can—or a court, in cases where a subpoena recipient refuses a grand jury’s command to provide documents or to testify.

Incredibly, FBI Director Comey and Attorney General Lynch refused to convene a grand jury during the Clinton investigation. Thus investigators had no authority to subpoena evidence or witnesses. Lacking leverage, Comey then injudiciously granted immunity to five Clinton aides in return for evidence that could have been obtained with a subpoena. Even when Clinton claimed 39 times during a July 2, 2016, interview—an interview led by disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok—that she could not recall certain facts because of a head injury, Comey refused the case agents’ request to subpoena her medical records.

Comey claims he negotiated the immunity deals because of his concern about time. Yet the investigation was opened in the summer of 2015, nearly a year before he cut these deals. Compare this to the DOJ’s handling of four-star Marine General James E. Cartwright, who pleaded guilty in October 2016 to a false statement about leaking classified information to The New York Times. In that case, the DOJ bragged about its use of subpoenas and search warrants.

Not only was there no grand jury, the FBI never issued a search warrant—something it does when there is concern a person will destroy evidence. Clinton deleted half her emails and then claimed, under penalty of perjury, that she had turned over to the government all emails that “were or potentially were” work-related. The FBI later found email chains classified as “secret” or “confidential” that she had not turned over. Still no search warrant was issued.

 

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"A great disservice has been done to the dedicated men and women of the FBI by Comey and his seventh floor henchmen. A grand jury probe is long overdue. Inspector General Horowitz is an honest man, but he cannot convene a grand jury. We need one now. We need our FBI back."
 - Joseph E. diGenova,
Imprimis,
February 2018

 

Laxalt Campaign Launches First TV Ad

Laxalt For Nevada
March 26, 2018

Our campaign aired its first television spot, “Overcome,” Thursday night during the University of Nevada’s Sweet Sixteen game in the Reno and Las Vegas media markets.

The ad introduced Adam Laxalt to voters watching and rooting for the Nevada Wolf Pack’s men’s basketball team during its NCAA Tournament game against Loyola-Chicago. In this introductory spot, Adam discusses being raised by a single mom, overcoming his struggles with alcoholism, answering the call to service in the U.S. Navy and as Nevada’s Attorney General, and what he envisions for the future of Nevada. Please take a minute to watch:



This ad comes just one week after Adam officially filed to run for Governor of Nevada. Adam was joined by his wife Jaime, daughters Sophia and Isabella, and his newborn son, John Dominic.



Later that day, over 200 supporters gathered at homes across the state for the very first “Laxalt Day,” to make more than 2,000 phone calls for Adam and discuss his campaign with their friends, family, and neighbors.



With less than three months to go before Nevada’s June 12 primary elections, not only are we the first out of the gate with a positive narrative about our candidate, but the numbers also show that our campaign is building strong grassroots momentum throughout the Silver State. Nearly 3,000 Nevadans have already signed up to volunteer for the campaign and we recently reported having more small-dollar donors than any candidate — Republican or Democrat — running for Governor combined, comprised of donors from every county in the state. This is a grassroots movement that we will continue to grow in the weeks ahead.


 
 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

 
March 20, 2018
20 Mar 2018

Political Update – March 20, 2018

       

In Nevada, Proof That Tax Cuts Work

 

By Assemblyman Jim Marchant
The Daily Signal
March 14, 2018

 

Confidence among small business owners is at a record high, according to a recent CNBC survey. The good humor is due, in part, to the half of them who expect positive change to come from the new tax law in 2018.

Positive change is already happening: Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp are two of many institutions raising their starting pay to $15 an hour.

I’m from Nevada, and Las Vegas’ own South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa doubled its employee bonuses and canceled a scheduled increase in health insurance costs as a result of the tax cuts.

All told, Americans for Tax Reform reports that more than 4 million U.S. workers are receiving bonuses, wage increases, or better benefits thanks to the new tax law.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone.

But if you exclusively listen to the overarching narrative from the political left, it seems tax cuts benefit only large corporations at the expense of the American middle class.

As for the rest of us? Any benefits we see are mere “crumbs,” according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the 15th-wealthiest member of Congress.

I’ll give Democrats credit for getting half the story right: Businesses are benefiting from the new tax law, but not to the exclusion of working America.


 

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"The small business owners I've spoken with over the years all echo a similar sentiment: Nevada's fairly low-tax business environment makes it a welcome place to plant their roots and build the business they've always envisioned. But a lack of capital stops them from expanding. Releasing federal taxes back to these job creators is the first step in addressing this problem."
 - Assemblyman Jim Marchant,
The Daily Signal,
March 14, 2018

 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

 
March 13, 2018
13 Mar 2018

Political Update – March 13, 2018

       

Lawmaker pushes false narrative to sell tax-hike proposal

 

By Robert Fellner
NPRI
March 6, 2018

 

Tick Segerblom’s plan to raise the county sales tax by a full percentage point finally makes sense: He is operating under the catastrophically flawed assumption that education spending is at an all-time low, when precisely the opposite is true.

Mr. Segerblom, a Democrat, currently serves in the Nevada Senate. He now seeks a seat on the Clark County Commission. In a recent tweet about education spending, Mr. Segerblom claimed that Nevada’s inflation-adjusted, per-pupil spending is lower “than at any time in our history.”

If that were true, his desire to increase education spending with another tax hike might be understandable. But he couldn’t be more wrong.

As the Review-Journal reported in December, per-pupil, inflation-adjusted funding for the Clark County School District has increased by 66 percent since 1967 — and that’s just looking at base funding received from the state Distributive School Account.

In addition to base funding, Nevada taxpayers contribute hundreds of millions of dollars more in “categorical” funds — supplemental funds used for specific educational purposes such as reducing class-size, helping low-income students and so forth.

Federal data from the National Center for Education Statistics shed light on the full scope of Nevada’s education spending: From 1960 to 2015, Nevada nearly tripled the amount spent on K-12 education, as inflation-adjusted, per-pupil expenditures rose from $3,556 to $9,165.

In total, Nevada spent approximately $4 billion on K-12 education in 2015 — the most recent year data were available from the center.

That number would have to have been $1.5 billion or less in order for Mr. Segerblom’s claim to be true. In other words, Mr. Segerblom appears to be operating under the assumption that $2.5 billion in annual education funding doesn’t exist!

While it’s obviously inexcusable for a lawmaker pushing for a tax hike to get his facts so wrong, it’s understandable that, given their continual struggles, some would assume our schools are chronically under-funded. But those struggles — stagnant test scores and declining graduation rates — have occurred despite generations of sustained spending increases.

Sadly, Nevada’s experience is just part of a much larger trend. On a national basis, the overall performance of K-12 schools has remained flat since 1970 despite a nearly 200 percent increase in inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending over that same time period.

Rather than blindly throwing more money at a demonstrably failing institution, Nevada needs to fix how our money is being spent.

Choice and competition improve virtually every aspect of our lives. There is absolutely no basis to support the notion that a top-down monopoly is the best way to deliver education — which is, after all, arguably the most unique and customizable service imaginable.


 

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"Tick Segerblom’s plan to raise the county sales tax by a full percentage point finally makes sense: He is operating under the catastrophically flawed assumption that education spending is at an all-time low, when precisely the opposite is true."
  - Robert Fellner, NPRI,
March 6th, 2018

 

Transparency is lacking in Nevada government

By Michael Scott Davidson
Las Vegas Review-Journal
March 10, 2018

Former state Sen. Mark Manendo sexually harassed more than a dozen women over his years in the Nevada Legislature, leading to his resignation. The transgressions were documented in a $67,000 taxpayer-funded investigation, but the public can’t see the report.

Former Henderson Police Chief Patrick Moers retired with full severance benefits after a law firm hired by the city found he repeatedly sexually harassed at least one employee. The city has declared that report, paid for by city taxpayers, confidential and unavailable for public scrutiny.

READ MORE HERE


 

 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

 
March 6, 2018
06 Mar 2018

Political Update – March 6, 2018

       

Assemblywoman's pension 'fix' akin to pouring gasoline on a fire

 

By Robert Fellner
NPRI
March 1, 2018

 

In trying to come up with ways to tackle Nevada’s soaring pension debt, a key Nevada legislator put forth an idea that is the functional equivalent of trying to put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline.

At last week’s Interim Retirement and Benefits Committee legislative hearing, Assemblywoman and Committee Chair Maggie Carlton made it a point to declare that increasing wages for government workers was a viable way to reduce Nevada’s pension debt.

At the outset, it’s important to remember that the only reason PERS $13 billion unfunded liability matters is because of the massive burden it imposes on the government workers and taxpayers who must pay down this debt.

So suggesting higher wages as a way to reduce Nevada’s pension debt is a bit like recommending that a family struggling with credit card debt take out a lease on a brand new Mercedes — with no real strategy for how that will help other than belief in the phrase, “you’ve got to spend money to make money!”

But it’s actually even worse than that. Because higher wages translate to higher future pension benefits, Nevada governments and taxpayers would get billed twice: as the cost of higher wages is compounded by higher annual pension costs.

So what, if any, reduction in PERS unfunded liability would occur in exchange for increasing both the annual wage and retirement costs of Nevada governments?

Literally, zero dollars — and that’s in the best-case scenario. But more on that later.

Carlton’s genuinely too-good-to-be-true proposal came in response to a presentation by PERS executive officer Tina Leiss.

Leiss was discussing the result of payroll growth having been far below what the System assumed over the past 10 years.

And because PERS sets annual contributions as a percentage of payroll — rather than a level-dollar amount — the lower-than-assumed payroll growth means debt payments coming in below forecasts, which in turn requires levying higher contribution rates on public employees in order to ensure the full, expected dollar amounts are received.


 

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"In trying to come up with ways to tackle Nevada’s soaring pension debt, a key Nevada legislator put forth an idea that is the functional equivalent of trying to put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline."
 - Robert Fellner, NPRI,
March 1st, 2018

 

Nevada continues to deny public records requests

By Michael Scott Davidson
Las Vegas Review-Journal
March 4, 2018

The state of Nevada refuses to divulge how much it has paid former employees for their unused sick and vacation leave.

Since October, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has sought comprehensive information documenting how much money individual employees received when they retired, resigned or were fired. The request, if fulfilled in its entirety, would encompass employees spanning from department executives to rank-and-file workers such as DMV clerks.

READ MORE HERE


 

 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth