Eight Nevada legislators that voted against the main component of Nevada Governor Sandoval’s $1.5 billion 2015 education proposal voted for Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas stadium tax during the recent special session. All are members of the Republican Party.
Assembly Republicans that voted against the education tax based on a no-new-tax platform yet supported the stadium bill that will spend more than $1 billion in tax money are:
- Michelle Fiore
- Victoria Seaman
- Brent Jones
- Jill Dickman
- Chris Edwards
- Jim Wheeler
- John Ellison
(Sources: SB483 vote - SB1 vote)
Two Assembly members were absent during the education tax vote in 2015. John Moore and Victoria Dooling were excused. The Las Vegas Sun reported at the time that both were expected to vote against the education tax. Moore and Dooling voted for the stadium tax.
Moore was a GOP member at the time that has since switched to the Libertarian Party. Libertarians opposed the stadium bill and created the group Don’t Raid Nevada to help fight it, yet the lone party member in the Nevada Legislature was the swing vote that brought the Assembly number up to the needed 28 that gave it a two-thirds majority.
The Nevada Senate passed the final version of SB483 (2015 education tax main component) 18-3. Two of the three state senators that voted against the education tax increase also voted against the stadium bill. State Sen. Mark Lipparelli voted for the stadium bill in the special session and is shown on the record as voting against the 2015 education bill’s tax during its original vote.
An amendment to the education tax bill moved from the Assembly to the Senate on the final day of the 2015 session. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that State Sen. James Settlemeyer voted against that amendment. Settlemeyer also voted for the Las Vegas stadium bill.
Five legislators voted against both the education and stadium tax bills:
- Ira Hansen
- Shelly Shelton
- Robin Titus
- Donald Gustavson
- Pete Goicoechea
I will publish an article later this week on the November races involving legislators mentioned in this post that have taken the position that subsidizing a billionaire’s stadium is more important than funding education.
(Updated to reflect the five legislators that voted against both the education and stadium taxes.)
Update 2: Ryan Hamilton, Victoria Seaman’s campaign manager, took exception to his client being included in this list of Nevada politicians that voted against funding the education proposal. Jon Ralston explained (via KTNV) how Seaman voted for the education spending but against the tax that was needed to fund it.
Seaman accepted $30k from companies related to Las Vegas Sands since August 25, 2016, according to Nevada Secretary of State records. The last contribution was September 29, 11 days before the special session.