July 17, 2018
17 Jul 2018

Political Update – July 17, 2018

UNLV official paid $50K to college friend, but work done is unclear

By Natalie Bruzda
Las Vegas Review-Journal
July 13, 2018

Five months after UNLV launched its new medical school, the chief of staff authorized a $50,000 payment to her college friend for consulting services.

But little to no marketing deliverables were produced.

A series of emails beginning in February 2017 and obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal through a public records request shows how Maureen Schafer, former chief of staff for the medical school, hired Ernest Lupinacci as a branding and marketing consultant for the new school of medicine, all the while serving as his direct supervisor and skirting policies and procedures to pay him.

“I don’t know what he did,” said Chuck Johnston, managing partner and president of B&P Advertising, a Las Vegas marketing firm with which UNLV was also working. “I still don’t know what he did. We’ve worked with UNLV for 14 years and have a long-standing relationship with them. It was kind of a strange situation.”

Over a series of months, emails show UNLV officials and others questioning the payment amount, the contract and the quality of work performed.

Schafer, now UNLV’s director of special projects for government affairs, said in a statement to the Review-Journal that she used a “streamlined method to acquire professional services and minimize bureaucracy” in an effort to keep the school “on track with an expedited timeline,” while also noting Lupinacci’s experience working with Fortune 500 companies. The university refused to say why Schafer was reassigned, but said she began her new role on Dec. 19.

Keystone Corporation

Quote of the week



"I had no expectations of him producing under me … and I wasn’t intending to hold him accountable for anything." – Deirdre Devine, the director of strategic initiatives for  UNLV School of Medicine,
"UNLV official paid $50K to college friend, but work done is unclear"
Las Vegas Review-Journal,
July 13, 2018


The Right Way to Measure Tax Changes by Income Group

By Kyle Pomerleau 
Tax Foundation
July 12, 2018

The Tax Foundation and other prominent tax policy groups typically focus on the percent change in after-tax income to measure how different proposals impact the distribution of the tax burden. This measure is preferred because it creates an accurate representation of the change in the distribution of the tax burden.

Other methods tend to overstate, or understate, the distributional effects of certain policies. Probably the most prominent example of this is measuring the “share of a total tax change.” Using this metric as a guidepost of progressivity and regressivity of a single tax change can imply some odd things about policy.

To show how, let’s take an example economy with 100 people with a distribution of income similar to taxpayers here in the United States (Table 1). The average income ranges from $7,807 in the bottom 20 of income earners to $1.5 million for the top earner in the economy. The share of income by income group in unequal. The bottom 20 percent earns 2.2 percent of all income, the third twenty earns 11.4 percent, and the top 1 percent earns 22.4 percent of all income.

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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.

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• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
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