Episode 69: Nevada is Not California East

John Tsarpalas, Michael Schaus

Free to Offend Episode 69 | Guest: John Tsarpalas, President, Nevada Policy

Politicians in Nevada might seem eager to emulate the absurdity of California politics – but is that really the fate of this great state?

John Tsarpalas, president of Nevada Policy, joined the program to talk about the culture, history and people that make Nevada so distinct from our neighbor to the west – as well as all the hard work we have to do in the upcoming year to make sure we remain that way.

Read the Transcript

John Tsarpalas: Vegas is built on legalizing things that aren’t legal in other places. That’s part of it. So, I think it attracted people that are free spirits and individuals. And so, I have a lot of faith in the population here, the people that live here.

Michael Schaus: This is Free to Offend. I’m your host, Michael Schaus, and the future is upon us. Yep, the future is here. It is. It is now 2023. 2023. It’s wild. And not only because it’s, you know, 23 years in the 21st century, but that, you know, it’s been one heck of a few years. I mean, it feels like pre COVID was an entire lifetime ago.

And now here we are moving into a year with very Democrat legislature, but we got a brand-new governor. And we’ve got a lot of work to do, which is why I’m very happy to welcome John Tsarpalas, the president of Nevada Policy. Obviously, a good guy, but also somebody who’s very focused on what can and cannot be done in the next year, whether that’s through the legislative session or beyond.

So, John, first and foremost, thank you so much for joining the program. Second of all, how do you feel about this next year? I mean, are you optimistic about the year ahead?

John Tsarpalas: Cautiously optimistic, with a lot of excitement, because it’s a new mix up in Carson City, I am in the southern end of the state.

Michael Schaus: It really depends on where you are in the state. It might be down to some folks.

John Tsarpalas: So up there. And the fact that we have a Republican governor, lieutenant governor and controller make it interesting for Nevada Policy, because they’re all people you can work with that have a little bit of sway in the system. And we’ll see what happens.

The legislature is a Democrat, veto proof supermajority in the assembly, but they are one seat away from it in the state Senate. So that is not a veto proof voting body. And if something should happen there, that one side or the other really wants something to happen, the governor can trade their veto or not vetoing for something big, we hope. And that offers a lot of opportunity.

We should also not forget that the governor is the executive, the head of the executive branch, which is actually all the government agencies. The governor runs those. Those all have sway within their operation as to their way they interpret what was written as legislation and who’s hired.

There are over 200 agencies and boards that the governor appoints people to. They don’t all come up at once. They usually sort of a term, so they roll along through the governor’s term. But as that happens, boards can shift in their viewpoint. And so, the governor’s got possibilities there. And then there’s things that the board does have sway over and decisions to be made in terms of regulation, licensing, etc. So, there’s lots of possibilities here.

Michael Schaus: Well, you know, what I was talking to Geoffrey Lawrence, also with Nevada Policy, and we were talking about the fact that divided government can often times lead to more lasting reforms.

I mean, you look at the last time Republicans had a trifecta, and basically everything they put in place, except for tax increases, have been undone over the years. So, with that in mind, knowing that we’re going to have to have, you know, a Republican governor and a heavily Democratic legislature come to terms on things, during the session, like, what are the top three issues you expect to be discussed, and that might not be things that you expect to get passed, but at least discussed?

John Tsarpalas: Well, coming down the pike, there’ll be a lot of environmental things. I do think that we always want to copy California. So, there’ll be discussions of making all automobiles electric, and other problems.

Michael Schaus: You can pry my VA from my cold dead fingers. Okay.

John Tsarpalas: Well, the problem is we have great distance. Can you drive from Las Vegas to Reno without somewhere charging in the middle? And how long does that charge take? And is that ridiculous?

I mean, we have state with great distances between its populations. And the only way to really reached them is with an internal combustion engine with a fuel tank of some sort. So that’s an issue.

There’s been also discussion of, again, following California and outlawing diesel engines. What I really think will happen is Nevada will boom with warehouses and trucking companies along the California border, and they’ll run the trucks in from here every day and run them bac. So, I think I could be a really big boost to our economy. Seeing is how Las Vegas is not too far from all of Southern California and Reno is not too far from Sacramento, and then the Bay Area. So those are big possibilities.

Boy, you said top three. I think that schools will definitely be on the list. I know that Governor-elect Lombardo has talked about making changes to schools to help parents improve the situation. Can full school choice be passed? It’s going to be really difficult with the union-controlled legislature. But it’s a possibility. But there’s some things that could be chipped away at there.

Some of the regulatory agencies that he controls can be lighter on their hand in terms of making up what they want to enforce for schools. We hear a little about private schools getting harassed by the health department because they serve pizza on Friday, and they don’t have a commercial kitchen. Well, the pizza was cooked at a commercial kitchen, licensed restaurant and brought in and the serving was done on site. That was it. So, you know, things like that, that can make small changes, but small changes add up to real change in philosophy and a feel for a state in a business environment. Things like that. Yeah,

Michael Schaus: I mean, I know, you know, specifically about education. That was one of the things that led to the rise of micro schools and stuff in the state was a lot of private schools during COVID lockdown had their hands tied. They were doing the same stuff that the public schools did, not because they wanted to, but because they were terrified of the regulatory agencies. So, any sort of regulatory reform, would certainly free up, you know, private schools, for example, or even homeschoolers or something to have some more freedom, and it’ll be a great thing.

As we look at the legislative session, you know, let’s start talking about kind of how Nevada Policy is going to be involved in everything. Because one of the questions that people have, as soon as you say, you know, okay, the elections are over, they’re behind us. Now, here the real work starts. A lot of just normal folks say, “Okay, what are some ways for us to get involved? Like, how do we get involved?”

I mean, you’ve got the legislature, they’re already elected, they’re already up there. You’ve got lobbyists up there 24/7 during the session. How does the average person have their voice heard?

John Tsarpalas: Well, the simple way is to go to nevadapolicy.org and click on our legislative bill tracker. It will be right there on the website. You click on the button, and then everything we’re watching (and we watch anything school choice, fiscal related, business related) will all be listed in our tracker.

We give you a synopsis of what it’s about. And we tell you what stage it’s in, in the process. So, for instance, we’ll tell you that it was filed and dropped. We’ll tell you if it’s been heard in the assembly or heard in the Senate. Has it gone through committee yet? When is the actual vote, etc., etc. And then you as a citizen can act.

You can also sign up for Nevada Policy’s emails, and this year, we will be sending emails to people in our email base based on their interests. And so, if you’re a parent, and you’re worried about school choice votes, you’ll get an email talking about when a school choice vote is coming, and how you can contact your assembly person or your state senator. So, we can make it really easy for you. And we will let you know when that’s all happening. So go to nevadapolicy.org and find the bill tracker. It’s that simple.

Michael Schaus: I tell people all the time, the biggest challenge you have as a citizen is knowing exactly what’s being talked about up in Carson City. You know, we still live in a relatively small state. You can call your lawmaker, and that has a huge impact on them because we live in a small state.

But you know, the biggest challenge is okay, what are they talking about this week? And that’s where something like the bill tracker, you know, really kind of comes into its own.

What’s the year ahead look like for Nevada Policy. I mean, obviously a ton of work to do during the session with your legislative affairs team, and folks actually talking to lawmakers and testifying and stuff. But I imagined that there’s just a mountain of work before you for, say, the first six months,

John Tsarpalas: There is a mountain of work and we’ve already started digging into the mountain. There have already been some bill draft resolutions (BDRs) that had been dropped, talking about what a bill is going to be that’s coming up for vote. So, we’ve started going through those, trying to figure out what they say, analyze them, get our tracker in order, and get them up. And that will all be in place come February 6, which is the first day of session.

And then we also use lots of different tools to make change happen. First of all, we are helping educate the newly elected legislators and the governor’s office and the lieutenant governor. So, we’re giving them information and ideas on things that they might want to sponsor or be aware of, so they understand what’s happening understand the budget.

And one of the terrible things happening right now is Sisolak has refused to let Governor-elect Lombardo see the current budget, the in-house budget. So, Lombardo has to wait till he’s sworn in before they’ll share any information with him. I mean, that’s just terrible partisanship. But anyway, moving on.

Yes, we bring together coalitions. So, one of the thing Marcos Lopez, our legislative affairs director, does is throughout the year, is he’s in touch with different organizations, lobbying organizations, trade associations, different groups, conservative, libertarian, or perhaps a specific issue group, and creates a relationship with them. And we have different coalitions that we are members of or that we lead.

And so, the coalitions spring into action when some kind of a bill that relates to their area happens. And then they discuss as a group in what should we do here? What is the strategy? Who can we talk to help this pass or to stop this or to amend it, or divert it? I mean, there’s lots of different strategies. And so, we spring into action in that way.

And then we act as lobbyists. Marcos is a registered lobbyist for us. He will be up in Carson City, calling on legislators, asking them to vote or not vote, in favor of depends on what it’s all about.

We testify. We testified 26 times I believe, last session. We testify in person or via the internal zoom type network that the state uses. We testify in Carson City. We also testified at the state of Nevada building, Grant Sawyer, down here in Las Vegas. And we get on the record. We also put in written testimony and comments onto bills as they’re moving through.

Our whole team steps up to get this all done. So, we’re there throughout the entire process, pushing, tugging, hoping the block, hoping to pass, depending on the situation. And yes, we’re very busy.

Michael Schaus: Well, you know, and I’ll say that all that hard work also pays off. Because look at the last legislative session, or the last two legislative sessions where Democrats had a trifecta, and yet, we still notched some pretty significant wins. I mean, for example, I’m thinking that some of the transparency bills through our work with the transparency coalition that we helped put together and found, we managed to kill some really horrific PERS secrecy bills. We managed to kill some horrible attempts to conceal information from average citizens, and we actually expanded certain aspects of the transparency law.

So, you know, there are wins there no matter who’s in charge when you branch out with that kind of a coalition, and you take that mentality.

Even beyond the legislative session now, there’s going to be a lot for Nevada Policy. I know for years, we’ve been working on the separation of powers case, which I want to get into, because this ties into some of what’s possible and not possible in the legislative session.

In the past, we’ve had two deputy district attorneys running things up in Carson City. They were deputy DAs in Clark County, and then they were in leadership position in the Democrat Party. And now they have left their DA jobs, but certainly they still have that conflict of interest there.

So, the separation of powers lawsuit that we brought forward was saying, “Hey, look, if you work in government, you cannot also be in the legislature.” Where is that lawsuit right now? And are we expecting any ground to be made on that in the next year?

John Tsarpalas: So, let’s refresh everyone’s memory. In 2022, early in the year, we were heard before the Nevada Supreme Court, and it was ruled that Nevada Policy had standing to represent the taxpayers in this suit. So, with that standing, that ruling, we were allowed to go back to the district court and start our lawsuit over.

The district court had thrown the suit out, saying that we didn’t have the right to bring this, that we didn’t have standing. And we made the case before the Nevada Supreme Court that who better than a watchdog group like Nevada Policy, to have standing. Who’s going to speak up for taxpayers and for the individual citizens of our state? And so, they agree.

So, we went back to the district court. We have refiled and we’ve been heard, and now we’re in the middle of arguments going back and forth. They’ll write something complaining.

For instance, at the time we refiled, there were nine legislators that were in violation of the Separation of Powers Act. In other words, they were serving in the in the legislature, but at the same time, they were working in state or local government, which is funded through the legislature.

So, they came back and broke it into separate complaints, such as, while they’re two of them are teachers, and the teachers should be treated separately than those that are in a different type of a job and in the executive branch in government. And so, they came back and complained about each type, and each one should be a separate lawsuit. And then we argued back that now that there’s no difference, you still work for government. It’s still the same budget, it’s still the taxpayer’s money.

So, we’re in the middle of this go round and this fight, which is dragging on. Quite frankly, I think it’s a strategy. We the taxpayers pay the legislative counsel bureau. That is the legislature’s staff and administration. And they’re paying the legal fees for those legislators. So, you the taxpayers pay for the attorneys defending those legislators breaking the Constitution.

And so, they love to drag things out and cost more money because we survive from donations. And I would love to have someone who’s hearing this, go to nevadapolicy.org and click on our donate button, because we need funds to pay our lawyers. Because our lawyers come out of the goodness of people’s hearts, the individuals all over the state of Nevada, donate to us.

So, that said, they’re trying to drag things out and waste our funds because it doesn’t cost them anything, it doesn’t come out of their pockets. So that’s what’s happening.

But we do believe we should get a district court ruling somewhere this year, and then get to the stage of the Supreme Court. And we feel really optimistic we’re going to have a positive ruling from the Supreme Court based on their earlier ruling when they gave us standing because they literally said in their opinion, we hope Nevada Policy brings this issue back to the court, because it needs to be settled. They’re inviting us to bring it so they can see the need of it. We see the need of it. We hope people here listening, hear the need of it, and we’ll go into nevadapolicy.org so that we can get there.

Michael Schaus: Yeah, I mean, we’ve had positive signs from the Supreme Court. The ruling that they issued giving us standing was in and of itself, a huge, huge moment. I mean, up until that moment, there was no such thing as any form of taxpayer standing other than one case that was actually against the education savings accounts that allowed for a very, very narrow public interest exception or what have you.

And so, our case was really important there. And the fact that the Supreme Court said, Yes, you guys do have standing, this is a court case that needs to be heard, that is definitely encouraging. So, I think you’re right, I think the government lawyers there are hoping that they can kind of run out the clock, so to speak. That they can tamp down the enthusiasm that Nevada Policy has had on this issue for so many years.

I don’t think they’re going to be successful, especially with folks actually hearing this, understanding this and going to npri.org and giving some donations. What are some of the other things that’s on the chopping block for 2023 that people should know about before it actually happens?

John Tsarpalas: Well, some of the big fights coming are going to be over affordable housing. The Democrats will want to give people money to buy housing or pay part of their rent. And every time you give money, you then put more money into the system. You haven’t increased the supply. That doesn’t make more housing, that only gives us more money that can pay towards housing. So, what are you going to do? You’re going to drive the cost up. It never works. They never seem to figure it out. But they want to do it all the time and everything.

So that affordable housing fight will be coming. They will want to give money to people to help them afford their housing. And I understand it’s a struggle. We have to figure out how to increase housing.

How do you increase housing? First of all, the federal government has to make more land available. They own 83% of the state. If they would give up more land in the southern Nevada, in Las Vegas and more in the Reno area, more housing could be built at a cheaper cost. Because if you have more land, the price can go down on land, you have less land, the price is going to go up.

And then there’s all the over regulation and permitting. It used to take a real estate developer six months to a year to start a project and now takes four to five years, multiple studies, more permit fees, and there’s a whole lot of other things going on in the layers of all of that.

So, there’s just government getting in the way, dragging things out, more requirements on everything, more requirements than housing, zoning laws. If everything has to be single family, you’re building less apartments. More apartments would allow for more housing units more quickly. It’s ongoing.

And there’s lots of areas that we could talk about this. This is coming, all of this is coming through the legislature. And there will be lots of debate on this. And it’s important we’re there to push back on those that just want to throw more money at it.

It’s always thrown more money at it. It’s the same with the schools. The way to fix the school problem is throw more money at it. No one ever approaches the problem that there is no accountability. Students aren’t graded. There’s no testing. Teachers are only paid for how long they’ve hung around. Teachers have tenure, so they can’t be fired. They’re never graded or marked or rated in any way. Why aren’t good teachers paid more bad teachers paid less or dismissed? All of those accountability things, that’s all part of what might happen in the discussion.

Last session, we got more money for opportunity scholarships for lower income kids to go to private schools. Perhaps some of that can happen this session again. There’s a whole lot of topics. Michael, what’s your number one, because it’s probably coming?

Michael Schaus: Yeah, I mean, I think education has to be the number one. You know, it’s one of those and we’ve talked about this before, too, if the Republican governor and the Republicans in the legislature can actually stick together and say, “Look, we need something that expands school choice, even if it’s limited, even if it’s just some more money for opportunity scholarships for low income kids or something,” that I think, has got to be one of the most important things in the state.

Because something to remind people and this leads into good question for you. In Nevada, it’s easy to get pessimistic. You look around and you look at the big government that’s growing in every corner of Nevada, and especially if you live in Southern Nevada. And you look at Las Vegas, and just the plethora of rules that everybody’s always talking about, you know, putting into place.

It’s easy to get pessimistic when you look at Nevada and say, “Oh, this is going to be the next California.” But it’s not the next California. And I don’t think that we are really a state that wants to become the next California. And despite what happens in the elections, I still feel really optimistic that this is a state that fundamentally understands the importance of individual liberty and kind of the libertarian values that we’ve had for 100 plus years in this state.

So, I tend to be pretty optimistic looking forward, regardless of what’s going on with politics of the day. How do you feel? I mean, as somebody that’s relatively new to the state, you haven’t lived here your whole life. You’ve only been here five years, six years now.

John Tsarpalas: Six.

Michael Schaus: Yeah, you know, yeah. I mean, you came from Illinois, which I love parts of Illinois, but that state’s lost. How do you look at Nevada right now, as we get into not just 2023, but kind of the next 10 years?

John Tsarpalas:  First of all, it’s a wonderful place. And it does have that mentality, that freedom of the West. It’s got a cowboy spirit. Vegas is built on legalizing things that aren’t legal in other places. That’s part of it. So, I think it attracted people that are free spirits and individuals.

And so, I have a lot of faith in the population here, the people that live here. I think that their heart, and their common sense, will get this state on the right track.

What I worry about is the California influence which you mentioned. We seem to want to copy them. And I think that’s not who we are. We are not California east. We don’t have the climate. We don’t have the population. And we have completely different industries. So, we need to do things our way, the Nevada way. And the Nevada way is how do we let people be their very best.

The first thing is get them school choice so they can get educations that are better suited to them. The one size fits all school that teaches everything the same way and the same curriculum is not working.

Our school model is old. Our school model comes from agrarian farm communities that were trying to teach kids how to be better workers in factories. And we’re still on even the agrarian calendar. Why don’t we often the summer? We should have school in the summer when the air conditionings are running and give the kids off in the fall and spring when the weather’s better. So that’s just one part of it.

So better education would really help. But then, freeing up. We have gotten terrible ratings from the Institute of Justice on our business regulation. Why do we need a lot of business regulation? This is a smaller state, smaller communities and people know what’s going on, word gets around. We don’t need a lot of rules and regulations, we need less of them.

And so, cutting fees and then letting people earn a living, make money and then pay into the other tax systems such as sales tax, or the commerce tax, which is a gross receipts tax. They take money off the top of every business here. Those are places that could really blossom, and revenue will increase if we just set free the entrepreneurial spirit that’s inside.

People came here because they were miners. What’s more entrepreneurial than going out knocking on rocks until you find something of value? I mean, that’s who we are. And so, let’s let that happen.

And let’s let mining free. We’ve got to get out of some of the overzealous conservation. We have a lot of BLM land here, that is not land that is part of a national parks. It’s not part of the national forests. It is not the atomic test site. It has nothing to do with military or area 51. It is just land owned by the government and managed by the government.

Think of what’s managed by the government and how efficient is that? What is that land was owned by some private people, the more the merrier. And they were allowed to do with that land and bring its potential to its greatest possibility. Or even just an affordable house because they can buy a lot because it was more available.

Again, that’s people looking out for their own personal interests. But in the long run the community benefits because that’s how little towns are created, and communities grow. You come together, your kids grow in a community, and then they go into business in that community. They create services and goods. It’s a micro system that grows and it becomes part of the bigger systems, and we don’t have that potential every time we create a regulation.

Michael Schaus: You know, I always talk to people about the difference between cultural preferences and political preferences. In politics, we’re always hearing, “Oh, we need new regulations, or new laws or new fees.” Culturally, people don’t feel that way. I was blown away when I started my own private business out here in Nevada, because the licensing fee, just to get the LLC, it was 700 and some odd dollars. I come from a state in Colorado, which is far more left in many, many regards. And in Colorado, it costs you $25 to $50 to file an LLC. And it’s easy, you can do it all online. It’s like one form, and it’s done.

John Tsarpalas: We’ve just made a suggestion to the governor through a committee. Why can’t the LLC license be graduated? So, it’s $25 and you file all the papers. And then the next year you owe $100, and the next year, you go to $200, and it gets to that maximum at you know, four years or whatever.

But stagger it. So, the little person who doesn’t have a lot of money in their pocket can get started, I mean, otherwise, people are saving up. And I always picture a landscaper or a house painter, just because I’ve done both of those things in my life. And you want to be a house painter, and you got a couple of houses lined up the paint, but you got nothing after that. And you got to go start an LLC, or get a house painters license, which I believe is $400 in this state. And you got two-part times because you only want to do it on weekends. You’re painting houses on the side; you’re working on another job. And it doesn’t make sense to start that business.

But if it was $100 the first year or 50, okay, I can commit, you know, $50 to get the license and do two houses and you know, I’ll make more than that I’m painting the house. And then next year, I got more customers because those houses gave me good recommendations and my business grew. And I’m no longer part time, now I’m full time. But what we have now is you got to make this big leap versus putting your toe in the water, trying to grow it. It doesn’t work like that.

Michael Schaus: Well, and this is one of the reasons why you see things, not just here in Nevada, but nationally, like the gig economy keeps on growing and it’s because I can go do a part time job on contract basis with somebody and I don’t need to go through all these hoops and get the LLC license and everything else necessarily to do some contract work. And people enjoy that type of freedom.

How do we adjust our regulatory system to not only accommodate that, but encourage that kind of entrepreneurship? And that’s something I think that culturally, people are very, very behind. And that’s why I say, you know, there’s a difference between political preferences and cultural preferences. Culturally, it seems to me that, especially in this state, given our history and just kind of the makeup of the people, we understand that there’s that need. It’s just that the political leaders and a lot of folks that run things or have run things are not truly representative of what the average person on the street thinks when it comes to starting a home painting business or something like that.

Michael Schaus: You know, the gig economy keeps on growing. And it’s because, okay, fine, I can go do a part time job on contract basis with somebody, and I don’t need to go through all these hoops and get all these, you know, the LLC license and everything else necessarily to do some contract work. And people enjoy that type of freedom we should be? How do we adjust our regulatory system to not only accommodate that but encourage that kind of entrepreneurship. And that’s something I think that culturally, people are very, very behind.

And that’s why I say, you know, there’s a difference between political preferences and cultural preferences. Culturally, it seems to me that, especially in this state, given our history and just kind of the makeup of the people, we understand that there’s that need. It’s just that the political leaders and a lot of folks that run things or have run things are not truly representative of what the average person on the street thinks when it comes to starting a home painting business or something like that.

John Tsarpalas: Unfortunately, across our whole country, the individual has gotten lost and it’s always more about the institutions and the bigger corporations. I mean, GOED, our Nevada Government Office of Economic Development, is about bringing bigger businesses to Nevada, and giving them tax credits. A little guy doesn’t need the tax credit, he needs some way to get his license cheap so he can start. You know, and then he’s getting taxed, and his tax he pays in the state goes into the GOED fund to pay the subsidies to bring big companies in.

Well, let’s start thinking of it as the little person and stop thinking of it as the bigger. I understand you get a lot more headline as a governor when you bring in 100 jobs. But in the process, how many little businesses didn’t get started?

Michael Schaus:  Yeah.

John Tsarpalas: There’s always this trade off. And so, the tradeoff is the issue here. And I’m not saying kill one to do the other. I’m saying figure out how to make them both work and just delay the gratification of heavy taxation of the little guy later.

Michael Schaus: Yeah, well, ribbon cutting ceremonies are, you know, really good photo ops for politicians. They don’t get to take a ribbon cutting picture every time somebody starts a small business in a garage, but they do anytime Tesla breaks ground in northern Nevada or something like that. And that’s the political incentives playing against what the average folks watch, which is why it’s so important to get involved during the legislative session.

So, let’s close with this. Obviously, you guys are doing a lot of work during the legislative session. If people do want to get involved, if some of the stuff that we’ve talked about, you know, kind of sparked something, and they say, “Yeah, you’re right, the real work begins in February,” what’s the best way for them to keep on top of everything and actually start to take an active role during the session?

John Tsarpalas: The simple way is go to nevadapolicy.org and give us your email address. You can always unsubscribe if you don’t like what you’re getting. And you will receive information from us on a regular basis of what’s happening in session.

It will start slowly, because session starts slowly. And as it heats up, that last week, it’ll be crazy time. It’s 24 hours a day the last week, because they dropped things in the middle of the night, because we’re running out of time. And I guarantee you, the more interesting bills don’t get dropped till the middle of the night of the last week. Those are the ones that are really monumental. So do that.

But also look at our bill tracker. You can go to nevadapolicy.org and you can look at our bill tracker whenever you want. Just bookmark it so you can find it quickly. And you can go down the list of what we’re tracking and see what you’re interested in. Just check in every now and then if you don’t want to get an email. But email’s the simplest way.

Michael Schaus
And let’s just also add, if you appreciate all this that’s being done in order to keep you more informed, go to nevadapolicy.org/donate. And, you know, keep it happening. Because that’s ultimately what it is.

I know we always like to talk about look at what we’re doing during the session, but it’s only made possible because people say I want to support this. We’re not like the government. We actually require people to support what we’re doing. We don’t just get money automatically from folks. So, John, thank you so much. I really appreciate you joining us today.

John Tsarpalas: Thank you, Michael. And thank you to everyone listening, and to everyone clicking that donate button. We work for you. And by the way, you can email me jtsarpalas@nevadapolicy.org and let me know what you think. What do you need more of? We’re here to be responsive. We work for you. We work for the people who are our donors. So, thank you. Thank you for the time and thank you for your support.

Michael Schaus: Again, John Tsarpalas with Nevada Policy. Also go to nevadapolicy.org/podcast and there you can not only sign up to receive these podcasts right in your email, but you can also let us know if there is a particular topic you think we ought to talk about, or a particular guest that you think we ought to have on the show, Definitely check it out, and get just keep on top of things throughout the session.

I cannot say this enough. I know that we’re a very big state when it comes to geography. I mean, there’s a ton of space between Las Vegas and Reno. And I understand that we’re kind of spread out throughout that state. But we’re still a small state when it comes to population. And being active during the legislative session and giving a phone call to your representative or sending them an email or sending them a text.

And most of these folks, by the way, you can get a hold of their cell phone. Go to the state website, and you can identify who your representative is, and it’ll give them it’ll give their office number. But a lot of times they also have their cell phone listed there. And these people will talk to you because they don’t get a whole lot of phone calls.

So being involved during the session is literally one of the most powerful things you can do, especially in this state because we are not yet California. Hey, thank you so much for listening. This has been Free to Offend.

Free to Offend can also be heard on Amazon and iTunes.

 Free to Offend:
A podcast that radically defends free speech by regularly practicing it.

Produced by Nevada Policy Research Institute,
featuring Nevada Policy’s Michael Schaus.

John Tsarpalas

John Tsarpalas


John Tsarpalas is the President of the Nevada Policy, and is deeply committed to spreading limited government ideas and policy to create a better, more prosperous Nevada for all.

For over three decades, John has educated others in the ideals and benefits of limited government. In the 1980s, John joined the Illinois Libertarian Party and served on its State Central Committee. Later in the 90s, he transitioned to the Republican Party, and became active in the Steve Forbes for President Campaign and flat taxes.

In 2005, he was recruited to become the Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party where he graduated from the Republican National Committee’s Campaign College, the RNC’s Field Management School, and the Leadership Institute’s activist training.

Additionally, John has served as President of the Sam Adams Alliance and Team Sam where he did issue education and advocacy work in over 10 states, with a focus on the web.

John also founded or helped start the following educational not-for-profits: Think Freely Media, the Haym Salomon Center – where he served as Chairman, the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity and Midwest Speaking Professionals.

A native of Chicago, John now lives in Las Vegas with his wife of more than 40 years.