Todd “Taxpayer” Bailey is a strong advocate of the capitalist system, working as a media professional locally for the past 25 years, in radio, television. He’s started several of his own businesses specializing in advertising, computer networking, real estate, and strategic development. Todd is now a candidate for Nevada Senate District 4 and participated in the following e-interview with Nevada News Bureau’s publisher, Chuck Muth…
Why are you running?
It’s time for a new kind of leadership in the Nevada Senate, leadership that professional politicians can not provide. We need a new vision for the State of Nevada, as this election is about the future of Nevada, not any one person’s political career in the future.
All candidates running for Senate District 4 should make a commitment to serve the district to the constitutional limit, and not use it as a stepping stone to higher office. District 4 deserves someone that is willing to put the time and work into gaining a leadership position in the Senate, that tradition must continue.
We need someone that can spread a new vision across the entire state, and especially in the Nevada Senate. District 4 is my home and always has been, so it’s only natural that I would run for the Nevada Senate right here, right now. It will be the first time in 25 years that the voters in Nevada Senate District 4 will have a real choice.
Both of your opponents are likely to have far more money to run their campaigns. Even with an effective campaign message, how do you expect to compete successfully without the financial means to communicate that message to so many voters in such a large district in such a short span of time?
It’s doesn’t cost a thing to shake hands, and politely introduce yourself to a neighbor. A quiet town hall meeting in every precinct to discuss the future of Nevada costs almost nothing. A website that is complete with a 10 point agenda for everyone to see and discuss, with an invitation to all other candidates of all parties, requires only patience. There are supporters of YOUR Campaign that want a sign for their front yard, and are willing to pay for it.
Everyone wants the money out of politics, yet only candidates that can raise money are taken seriously. It’s the most difficult economy since the Great Depression, should I really be going around asking people for $500 checks, while promising to make government more efficient with less money?
I am running YOUR Campaign on contributions of $25 or less, $99 max, per contributor. This means I need a lot of contributors to compete in this money game, and I will find them. Besides, candidates need time more than money, no campaign can buy time.
I will have enough of both to give the taxpayers in Nevada Senate District 4 a choice. I’ll support whomever the voters decide should go to the Nevada Senate, and I hope all other candidates in the primary will make the same commitment. The short answer is, I will be knocking on a lot of doors, and meeting a lot of new people. It will be one of the most exciting times in our lives.
At this point in the campaign it appears you and Ty Cobb are two conservative Republicans running against an “anointed” establishment moderate Republican. Does it concern you that your candidacy might siphon off enough votes from Cobb to elect the moderate, Ben Kieckhefer?
I’m actually a constitutionalist first, then a fiscal conservative, but that’s not the issue.
What concerns me is the lack of respect so many Republicans give the primary process. Secret phone calls to urge candidates not to run, excluding those that do run from the conversations at meetings, why have an election if we are going to rig the game before the primary even begins?
Ultimately I trust the voters; they will make the RIGHT choice.
There are still 90 days for people to decide which office they are running for. I made a commitment to run for Senate District 4, and when I suggested to my supporters that perhaps I should consider the Assembly, the pitchforks came out. I made a commitment, I’m going to do what I said I was going to do, it’s a question of credibility. The strongest candidate will win, a diversified primary is good for the Republican Party, and will Make Nevada Stronger, Right Now!
During the last legislative session, you sent out a lot of email updates under the name Todd Taxpayer rather than Todd Bailey. Please explain.
Two years ago, after attending several government meetings, I realized the taxpayer was often not a part of the conversation, except when it came to paying the bills. At the same time, there was an endless discussion about how tight every government budget was, so I decided to help focus the conversation. I went to the county court house and registered the name, “Todd Taxpayer” – paying $15 (every little bit helps). Since that day, the interest in Todd Taxpayer has grown steadily, and represents something most political professionals do not understand. Taxpayers do.
Tom Mitchell, editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, wrote in his blog last May that you had been served a cease-and-desist order concerning your anti-tax email newsletters during the 2009 Legislative session. What was that all about?
I’m trying to remember the details of those 48 hours.
That’s the day before the Nevada Senate passed the largest tax increase in Nevada history, after many had promised in the election not to do so. That’s the night they locked the doors of the Nevada Senate and wouldn’t let anyone go potty until the tax increase passed.
That’s the day I, and two others, raised the conflict of interest issue on Senators and their law/PR firms. That’s the same day they passed a general amnesty on conflicts of interest to get the votes on the tax increase, nullifying the rules, after promising to be the most ethical. Make the rule, break the rule, take the money, that’s not o.k.
People are still wondering who didn’t like my criticism of that? Easy, none of them did, that’s why they passed the amnesty. To clarify, I was never “served”, I was “informed”, and took that very seriously.
My response to those who tried to limit the conversation was to declare my candidacy for Nevada Senate District 4. Did any other candidate protest as loudly, besides just saying NO? They did not, but they could have, they just didn’t.
You refer to Nevada’s payroll tax as a “back door income tax.” Please explain.
The Nevada Constitution forbids a state income tax, thanks to a vote of the people. To get around this pesky taxpayer restriction the Nevada Legislature “created” the Modified Business Tax. But don’t be fooled! It’s an income tax. They are just using the back door and collecting it from your employer before you ever see it.
It is the same with most “business taxes” – a myth that hides who is really paying the bills, YOU are.
The first thing the Nevada Legislature should do if the Governor convenes a Special Session is ELIMINATE the Payroll Tax. YES, I will lose the number one issue in YOUR Campaign, and the State of Nevada will start creating jobs again, a sacrifice I am willing to make.
If I am elected to the Nevada Senate, I will lead the way to ELIMINATE the Payroll Tax, Nevada’s hidden “back door” income tax. Taxpayers in Nevada Senate District 4 can come to a Town Hall I will be hosting on this very subject in 2010.
Most of the tax hikes of 2009 will sunset and likely come up for a vote to keep them in place in 2011. If so, how would you vote on extending or making this year’s tax hike permanent?
I do not support ANY of the tax and fee increases of 2009. None of them created any jobs, and all of them hurt Nevada’s competitive position in the marketplace. Politicians can raise taxes all they want, if there are no JOBS, everyone gets fired.
You and Cobb, but not Kieckhefer, have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge promising the voters of your district that you won’t vote for any tax hikes. With an estimated $2 billion budget shortfall predicted for the next biennium, what would you do specifically to balance the Nevada budget without raising taxes?
I am about to sign it!
As most people know I am for Lower Nevada Taxes. Just look what happened to my friends in Incline Village. Thank God they won. The whole property tax system needs review.
Currently, I am doing a lot of research on the issue of “depreciation”, also known as the discount on “forced essential services” that needs a review.
NO state income tax, no gross receipts tax, no profits tax, and ELIMINATE the payroll tax! Sunset every tax passed in 2009!
If we are going to have a state, and a state government, the focus should be on job creation, not taxes. Even Rory Reid agrees with me on this point – at least that’s what he said on Jon Ralston’s show.
Balancing the budget is going to be difficult, which is why we need someone from Nevada Senate District 4 that will make the RIGHT choices, someone who can do more than just say NO! If I still qualify, then I will sign the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” at a special ceremony on January 4th.
We have to create a place that people will want to create jobs in, and that’s not who we are today. It’s very competitive, Nevada will need to be stronger, and together we can do it.
Do you believe Nevada’s tax base needs to be broadened – spread the pain, if you will – if it can be done without increasing the overall amount of money going to the government?
Before we talk about the tax base, let’s stay focused on broadening the Nevada economy. Without that discussion, we will continue to fight over an ever diminishing tax base.
Before we “broaden the tax base”, let’s broaden the authority of the SAGE Commission and make it permanent. The leadership in the Nevada Senate is heading in the wrong direction with a tax study. We should be doing a study on broadening our economy, emphasizing manufacturing and the creation of capital building new jobs!
I love tourism and the growth it has created. It’s just time for Nevada to grow in a new direction; otherwise we’ll be taxing ourselves out of existence. Many places across the country are doing just that, and Nevada should be going in the other direction.
Should the Legislature pass a spending cap which would require a 2/3 super-majority vote in order to pass a general fund budget which exceeds the combined rates of inflation plus population growth? Why or why not?
Gosh, Senator Raggio is telling everyone Nevada already has a state spending cap just like that – inflation plus population growth. Has he misspoken?
If you take that same formula, with inflation and population going down, spending should also decline, yes? Fact is, the State of Nevada has a spending problem, and the responsibility is at the Nevada Legislature.
A REAL spending cap might work, responsible legislators work better. Businesses don’t use formulas like that, they become more efficient, and every level of our government can do better. This has nothing to do with any one employee; it is the leadership in the Nevada Legislature that must change. I will lead that change.
The Republican Party base seems very vocal on the issue of illegal immigration, yet the issue hasn’t really shown itself to be a powerful vote-getter at the ballot box in general elections. Do Republicans need to ease up on the issue to make itself more attractive electorally to Hispanics?
First, I should disclose that I am Hispanic, although I’m not sure that’s relevant or important.
Most Hispanics I know do not favor illegal immigration, although some have a family member or friend who is guilty of this. If you do a rational comparison of the values and principles of the Republican and Democrat Party, the differences are clear.
Hispanics, and all people who dream of coming to the United States, want more freedom, not less, more choices, not fewer. Senate District 4 has a large Hispanic population in a few precincts, and I’m ready for that conversation. If people want to come to our country they should do it the legal way.
The REAL conversation is not about where we come from, it’s why we came to Nevada. That is why Hispanics, and everyone who comes to our country legally and has the right to vote, should register and vote Republican. The reasons they are coming here is what we are fighting for, and they should join our fight by becoming Republicans.
Do you support school vouchers? If not, why not?
Effective Education is key to everything we are doing.
Currently in Nevada, money does follow students to Charter schools. I do not understand why this is not the case in Private schools, although I understand the spiritual nature of the objections.
Education is changing, and it will be difficult for all of us to keep up with kids who are growing up in the technological world we have created. If school vouchers help achieve the goal of Effective Education, then I will support that.
Should the process for filing and pursuing ballot initiatives be made simpler and less expensive? If so, what specifically should be done to accomplish that objective?
It’s embarrassing how many times the State of Nevada has been over-ruled by Federal Courts on this matter. Just ask Governor Gibbons, Senate Candidate Sharron Angle, and then ask Brian Sandoval.
So many politicians do not like it when the people have a say, such as the Gibbons Tax Restraint Initiative that requires a two-thirds majority to raise taxes. There should be much stricter rules about when and how the courts get involved, as this is where the voice of the people has often been silenced, and even fined thousands of dollars for speaking up.
If I am elected to the Nevada Senate, we will fix this problem, and I have a group of advisers who have experience on the issue to help craft the legislation. Unfortunately, many Republicans have voted to restrict the voice of the people on many issues. We a need a Senator from District 4 that will protect the rights of the taxpaying voters, and on this point I am the best candidate!
If you could go to dinner with any three American historical figures – dead or alive – who would they be and why?
I’d invite Ben Franklin, Martin Luther King, and Ronald Regan.
Much of what we are today come from these three people, although there are many others. I’d sit quietly and just listen, and at the end of the night I’d be trying to arrange another. They’d respond with something like, “that’s your job, you figure it out”.
Believe it or not, this has already happened, just with different historical figures here in Nevada, all of them alive.
What’s the greatest rock band of all time?
No comment, there is more than “one”.
Ok, ok, I’ll give you an answer.
Elvis, The Beatles, Jimmy Hendricks, U2, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, David Bowie, The Eagles, Def Leppard, Duran Duran, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, The Police, Led Zeppelin, Sammy Hagar, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Yes, ZZ Top. I know I’m missing a few.
I should also disclose that I have every CD and been to almost every RUSH concert over the last 25 years that was within a 4 hour drive. I’m going to be spinning tunes at some of these fund raisers; you should come check it out.
Chuck I’d like to close by thanking you for all YOUR efforts to inform the public about important issues, even when it’s uncomfortable for those of us on the receiving end. You set a high standard that many voters appreciate, and as candidates, it gives us all something to talk about.
I’ll be doing my best to answer your questions going forward, and I really appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me to communicate with your readers. It’s a great way to close out the last month of casual campaigning, and I just want to Thank You!