In case you missed it…

John Tsarpalas

This week in the Nevada legislature

A lot was going on in Carson City this week. Senator Heidi Gansert introduced a bill that would extend the funding for Opportunity Scholarships (read our response here), Democrats proposed repealing the very minor reforms made a few years ago to prevailing wage (read our testimony against that bill here) and Senator David Parks introduced a bill to strengthen Nevada’s open-records law (learn about who we’re partnering with to push for this change here). Keep up with everything that is happening by visiting Nevada Policy’s online Legislative Bill Tracker by clicking here!

 

Organized labor

In 2016, labor unions spent more than $1.7 billion on political activity. It’s a staggering amount of money, to be sure. However, of more significance is how public-sector unions use that money — to lobby for the expansion of government and more laws ensuring that ever-more taxpayer-funded dues flow into union coffers, to then be used for even more political lobbying. In short, public-sector unions have become a highly concentrated, government-funded political force — openly acting as lobbyists, campaign contributors and grassroots organizers for those many politicians willing to prioritize union demands over the concerns of taxpayers. Of course, this is no actual surprise. Decades ago, even pro-union activists and politicians — notably including FDR himself — rejected the idea of unionized government workers, recognizing the inherent corrupting of democratic government that would follow. (Read more)

 

Government transparency

What good is a law, if the very people who violate it are never actually penalized? It’s a question worth asking, because that is precisely what Nevada’s current open-records law is — a law without any teeth. Fortunately, Senate Bill 287 aims to fix this. Introduced in the Nevada Senate just last week, the bill would bring three major overhauls to Nevada transparency law. It would limit the fees agencies can charge for records, it would add penalties against those who violate the law and it would require agencies to actually help the public find the information they are seeking. Such reforms would be a major step forward for all Nevadan citizens — making it possible for them to know what, exactly, their government is up to. (Read more)

 

Free markets

When “Democratic Socialists” are asked to point to a successful case of socialism, inevitably they end up using Sweden up as an example. However, in truth, Sweden is actually one of the most robustly capitalist nations in the world. The Scandinavian nation has privatized its pension system, instituted universal school vouchers, deregulated business, abolished the minimum wage and strengthened personal property rights. Sweden has only one thing in common with the “Democratic Socialist” agenda — a massive welfare state, funded by exceptionally high taxes on Sweden’s middle class. (Read more)

John Tsarpalas

John Tsarpalas

President

John Tsarpalas is the President of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, 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 38 years. They have three daughters, and in his spare time, John enjoys trap shooting (while he still has the right!), fishing and public speaking.