For Nevada State Senate District 20
For Nevada State Senate District 20
Brandon has been part of this community for many years, working tirelessly to make it a better place.
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What Governor Sisolak and the School Boards and County Commissioners did to Nevadans in response to Covid-19 was an unforgivable assault on a supposedly free people.
I am running, in part, to repair the NRS in a way that completely removes from our Executive Branch the power to lock Nevadans in their homes, call them and their businesses and their employees “non-essential”, force them to wear ridiculous and useless masks, close schools, literally muzzle our children, or force them to submit to “medical treatments” of any kind.
Whatever supposed justification Sisolak and others used to authorize these edicts, I will seek to remove. If they overstepped their duly authorized powers, I will seek to discipline them with every legal tool at my disposal.
The tyrannical lockdowns and mandates increased domestic violence, suicide, unemployment, and severely degraded our vital social institutions. They ruined lives. They destroyed businesses and families. Sisolak and the other petty tyrants have blood on their hands.
Whatever damage the novel coronavirus was destined to cause our society here in Nevada, the lockdowns and mandates made it much much worse. A nasty virus is bad enough, but Sisolak and company made us suffer through tyranny, economic devastation, and cruel isolation as well.
We must change the NRS (and Constitution if need be) such that these jackals never do this to us again. We cannot allow the government “emergency powers” as well as the power to decide when an “emergency” has occurred. Look to history. This power is constantly abused.
We suffered a nasty virus, but its lethality was minimal, affecting less than 1% of the population, and the vast majority of those were very old and/or very unhealthy. Piling on society-crushing government tyranny on top of that was unconscionable. Never again.
(The above article is essential reading. If this analysis is correct, Sisolak et al should be prosecuted for going beyond the powers granted to him by NV’s Emergency Powers statutes.)
Nevada’s government schools are terrible in general, and the CCSD is particularly awful. Our government schools are violent mini-prisons where children are subjected to identity-based government propaganda while constantly in fear that they will be beaten (or worse) by their fellow students. It is unconscionable that we have allowed things to get so bad.
Econ 101 teaches us that monopolists, by their nature, provide goods and services of too low quantity and quality and at too high a price, compared to free market producers. This universal economic truth applies to education too. We must free our parents and children from the negative impact of monopolist government schools.
I support school choice and radical decentralization. Ideally, we should abolish government schools. They are funded with stolen money, they violate the wishes of parents, and they harm our kids. Until a complete separation of school and state is politically feasible, we should expand the range of choices our parents have to get their kids away from this monopolistic monstrosity.
We should expand school choice with vouchers that follow the children. In Nevada, these are called ESAs (Education Savings Accounts) As government schools are wildly inefficient, these vouchers can be for less money than the school district spends per pupil in government schools - on a par with the funding for a charter school.
The vouchers must not carry “strings” attached that turn whatever school option chosen by parents into the same crappy government school they are fleeing. The vouchers can be used for homeschooling, private tutoring, micro-schools, textbooks, online education, or any other educational expense chosen by the parents. In this context, “education” must be interpreted broadly. It is up to parents to decide what manner of education they wish for their children, not the state.
CCSD, in particular, is much, much too large. No wonder it is terrible. It is bloated and inefficient. It is a historical truth that small political institutions are more easily influenced by the citizenry than large ones. CCSD is a case study on the truth of this principle. The parents have very little say in what happens in their schools. Instead, teachers unions and other powerful cronies get their way. It is perfectly predictable. It’s the nature of the system.
We must break up CCSD. Small is beautiful, especially regarding political power structures. Smaller school districts are inherently more responsive to the parents and children they cater to. It’s harder for unions and other special interests or ideologues to push their agendas if they have to petition many small districts rather than bribe and bully a single political nexus.
For the sake of our children and our society, we should abolish government schools entirely. If that can’t be done in one stroke of the pen, we must at the very least expand school choice and shrink the bloated, despotic, enormous embarrassment that is the Clark County School District.
In 2015, the NV State Legislature passed an Educational Savings Account bill - effectively giving parents school choice. It eventually was struck down at the request of teachers unions and other special interest groups.
A 2019 poll showed that 73% of Nevadans and 82% of Nevadan parents supported ESAs. We should immediately resurrect Nevadas ESA program.
Opportunity Scholarships, a program in which businesses can receive tax credits for awarding scholarships to children, are a small step in a good direction, but ESAs are a much bigger step in a much better direction.
Arizona just passed legislation to expand their ESA program to all K-12 students. Nevada should do likewise.
Red flag laws are pre-crime laws and they are incompatible with a free society. Red flag laws incentivize people to make up stories about others they dislike so that the government will disarm them. Red flag laws violate the 2nd Amendment. They are wildly susceptible to abuse from bad actors, and they are an embarrassment to a supposedly free people.
In a free society, the government doesn't have the right to disarm you without having actually proven you to be a credible threat.
I have yet to see a red flag law that doesn't violate this basic tenet of a free society.
If it were actually proven that an individual was an imminent threat, we should be doing more than taking away their guns, they should be prosecuted. An actual imminent threat can use 1,000 tools besides a gun to harm others.
If the problem is truly serious, using a red flag law is ineffectual. A person who is an actual imminent threat has already violated the law in a clear way. No need to violate due process with red flag laws, prosecute the malefactor for committing the assault (the threat).
Clearly, we are talking about a much lower standard. Red flag law proponents are trying to guess who is dangerous before they have actually proven themselves to be. If they have actually threatened anybody, that is a crime, right? Why not simply address that? Why violate anyone’s Constitutional rights?
Red flag laws are not only dangerous to freedom, they are lazy and disingenuous. They are an attempt to circumvent the 2nd Amendment through the back door.
Nevada’s red flag gun law is AB291, signed into law by Governor Sisolak in 2019. It gives the police the power to take away your guns without so much as a hearing on the matter. All that is required is for someone (a crazy ex, perhaps?) to make a complaint. No hearing, No testimony from any medical professional, no due process. Nothing. Even hearsay “evidence” can suffice to disarm you.
When AB291 was passed, your 2nd Amendment rights were severely curtailed in NV. It should be repealed immediately.
As citizens and consumers, we naturally want some way to ensure that the businesses we use are competent, reliable, and safe. Unfortunately, government licensure is the stupidest way to try and accomplish that. It is exactly the wrong tool for the job.
The government is a monopoly. Econ 101 teaches us that monopolies provide too little of a good (or service) at too low a quality, and at too high a price. It’s perfectly obvious why this is the case - the monopolist is incentivized to behave this way.
Worse, the monopolist can be (and usually is) captured by cronies. There is an incentive for established businesses and practitioners to lobby the government to increase fees and “educational” hurdles as barriers to entry to their industry. This restricts competition and increases their profits. Evidence of this can be witnessed in thousands of industries in all 50 states.
Perhaps worst of all, government licensure bamboozles the public into thinking that the license ensures that the business is actually competent, that the monopolist has done its job properly. This crowds out genuine market solutions to the problem of “how can I make sure this business is reputable, reliable, and safe for me to use”?
If we get smart and do away with government licensing, a vast array of market solutions will arise (because the market demands it) to certify businesses. Certification is infinitely superior to licensure. The certification organizations will be subject to competition. Their stamp of approval and its continuance over time will actually mean something. Poor certifiers will lose public trust and disappear, replaced by certifiers who do their jobs well.
And it won’t just be certification firms. Since market demand for information on businesses and their safety, honesty, and reliability is enormous, services similar to “Yelp” will proliferate widely, reaching deep into every nook and cranny of the market and spreading wide across the now license-less marketplace.
Market solutions are vastly preferable to government solutions in the vast majority of instances. If you care about consumer safety, don’t trust the thin (and corrupt) reed of top-down government licensure to protect you. Put your trust in the robust thicket of bottom-up certification and review services.
Consumer protection is much too important a societal function to risk leaving it in the hands of a government monopoly.
I’m a radical. I think all these government licenses should be abolished tomorrow (if not sooner), but at the very, very least, we should adopt these common-sense reforms.
The Obama administration in 2015 produced a study that found regulations governing licensing in many occupations were frequently overburdensome, especially for some Americans.
A study produced by the Institute for Justice, titled “License to Work, A National Study of the Burdens of Occupational Licensing” determined that Nevada has the third-most burdensome licensing requirements of any state, with the fourth-most extensive and onerous licenses.
Recently, Nevada was made infamous when a video went viral of a NV State trooper engaging in a legal highway robbery by pulling over a veteran and stealing almost $90,000 from him.
Civil asset forfeiture is an abomination in a free society. It allows cops (usually in conjunction with a deal made with the DEA) to literally rob citizens. Just… because. Under this procedure, the victim is never even charged with a crime (hence “civil” asset forfeiture).
It is absurd. Literally, the property is put on trial, with case names such as “State of Nevada v. $86,900” or “State of Texas v. One 2004 Chevrolet Silverado”, or “United States v. One Solid Gold Object in the Form of a Rooster.” Seriously.
In a twisted perversion of justice, the victim must hire a lawyer and go to court to prove a negative - that the money was NOT involved in some way with some drug crime.
This insane practice is a horrific byproduct of the US’s war on drugs. Police departments across the country now routinely use this law to seize money that (after kicking some of it to the DEA) they can use to pad their own budgets.
Some states have woken up and passed legislation making civil asset forfeiture illegal in their states. Nevada needs to do the same.
The horrific mess of our almost empty (less than half full) Lake Mead is entirely the result of socialism when applied to water. Rather than property rights and free markets allocating water usage, it is allocated politically. Of course there are shortages. Of course there is cronyism. Of course politically connected special interest groups get the lion's share. Of course the average citizen suffers. What else should we expect?
The amount of Colorado River water used by the various states involved was established politically in 1922, a century ago. The water allocation plan has been revised many many times since then - always politically.
Political solutions are notoriously corrupt and wasteful. Political solutions lack free market prices. Consumers don’t have the proper incentive to economize. Producers (remember, desalination plants are a thing) don’t have the incentive to increase production. There are no resource “owners” to create a sensible market price with their usage choices and their bid/ask decisions. It’s a mess.
So, how much water is used by whom and how empty or full Lake Mead is, is decided politically. What could go wrong?
It doesn’t have to be this way. Property rights in water used to be a well-understood legal concept and modern technology makes demarcation and exchange of riparian and other water rights a perfectly sensible practice. All we have to want is to embrace free markets in water rather than socialism.
Every MAF (million acre foot) of water can and should be owned by a private entity. Exactly how we get from fully government-owned to fully private-owned is tricky, but as Ronald Coase famously observed, once property rights and liabilities are clearly defined, the affected parties will adopt policies to “internalize the externality”. Resource use and price will match up with the realities of supply and demand. Equilibrium can be achieved. Reason and planning can take place.
If we keep allocating water politically, we will constantly face bewildering shortages and misuses of this precious, life-sustaining resource.
California recently scrapped a proposal to build a water desalination plant. Of course. Why should they? They get “free” water (or at least priced far below what a market would set) from upstream. Why spend the money? Why make any unnecessary trade-offs? Why bother?
That’s the worst part about socialism. Resources are wasted due to the tragedy of the commons. Our natural incentives to economize, create, and innovate – our natural incentives to be good stewards of resources – are muted (disastrously so) by socialism.
You want water shortages? Allocate water politically.
Defend the Guard is a nation-wide movement to enact legislation in each state that takes away from the Federal government the power to deploy a State’s National Guard units into active combat without a formal declaration of war by Congress, as called for by the US Constitution.
It is a grass-roots movement to reduce the ability of the Federal executive branch to siphon resources from states to use military force in the pursuit of unconstitutional foreign policy gambits. It is an attempt to restore balance to our Federal, Constitutional system of government.
Defend the Guard legislation has been introduced in many state legislatures across the country and I would like to add Nevada to that growing list. The legislation hasn’t passed anywhere yet, but the movement is growing and it is a very worthwhile and important cause. I support it fully.
Nevada’s residential solar market is exactly the byzantine network of hodge-podge crony legislation that one would expect in the absence of free markets. There are city and county ordinances, zoning restrictions, crony metering mandates, sell-back restrictions and price controls, violations of HOA covenants, state and national “electric codes”, hook-up fee mandates and/or allowances, tax credits, regulations, etc.
It is truly awful. Each criss-crossing piece of legislation is either wonderful or tyrannical depending on which special interest it benefits. It’s a government monopoly regulatory body trying to make a monopoly power company act as if it’s in a well-functioning and competitive marketplace. Individual, taxpaying, fee paying, citizens don’t fare well in such an environment.
Our legislature can attempt to pick and choose (or craft) legislation that tries to “help” consumers or tries to “imitate” what a free market would look like, and (in the short term) they certainly should make the Quixotic effort.
Ultimately though, nothing will solve this problem except free market competition. It is a mistake to grant power companies monopolies and attempt to regulate them. Such a system is inherently inefficient and rife with cronyism and corruption.
Perhaps one day solar and battery tech can become efficient enough that citizens can go off-grid entirely - or create private mini-grids amongst themselves in which solar is backed up by traditional energy sources. Perhaps technology and innovation will fix this problem where political will and economic understanding have failed.
Monopolies and crony regulatory schemes are part of the errors of our past. Our future must be decentralized, unleashing the creative competition of free minds and free markets. This is the direction for Nevadans to move towards - in the solar industry, as well as all others.
At the very least, Nevada should release all non-violent “offenders” of marijuana laws that have been repealed since their incarceration. That they are still jailed for now-legal behavior is bizarre and cruel.
Those who believe that society is made worse off by drug use must come to grips with the fact that drug prohibition does very little to impact the availability of drugs. Worse, the “drug war” actually compounds the problem because of the societal evils that inevitably come along with prohibition and black markets: Gangs. violence, corruption, impure drugs and related overdoses, enormous expense (both in police and prisons), and perhaps worst of all, a growing disrespect for the law and distrust of the police.
The “war on drugs” is an abject failure. Drugs are completely pervasive in society. Anybody can get any drug at any time they want. Law enforcement can’t even keep drugs out of prisons.
By waging this inept “war on drugs”, we get all the societal harms of prohibition, and we don’t even get the alleged benefits (ridding society of drugs).
The drug war is expensive, harmful, stupid, and counter-productive. The only people who benefit from it are those employed by it. It’s good for bureaucrats and their fiefdoms, It’s bad for everybody else. We should end it.
An axiomatic principle of libertarianism is that the individual owns themselves. They own their own body. What they (and consenting adults) do with their bodies isn’t the proper concern for anybody else. Everybody understands that essential truth about sex - until money changes hands. Then people lose their minds and commit legislative and enforcement atrocities that have no place in a free society.
We need to end all laws against “sex work”. One can certainly make arguments that sex work is “bad” for sex-workers, or for society, but if that is the case, we must change our culture. Trying to use brute force to change people’s minds about how they use their own bodies is not only pointless, it is immoral. These laws must be struck down. The laws themselves are much more immoral than sex work is.
Prohibitions against victimless crimes doesn’t eliminate the activities (drugs, prostitution, etc) from society, it merely pushes them into black markets. This causes the violence and cost associated with these activities to rise, but that’s about all. People can still get drugs and hire prostitutes. All that has changed is that they incur more risk when doing so.
Much worse are the harms to society from prohibition laws and their enforcement. Police and prison budgets inflate massively. The incentives for police corruption increase enormously.
Perhaps worst of all, citizens view police (and the law generally) with distrust and hostility. If the government is perceived as doing illegitimate things (criminalizing victimless crimes), the citizenry begin to lose respect for the law in general. It is hard to imagine anything more destructive to society than that.
If a person wants to engage in sex work, they should be free to do so; If a person wants to buy or sell drugs, they should be free to do so. It would be immoral for some guy down the street to throw these people in cages for these actions, and it is also immoral for government agents to do so.
Often the argument for regulation of sex work and drug use is one of precaution — sometimes one of moral resentment. No matter the root of the opposition, the government has no right to manipulate our economy, stifle our wellbeing, dictate our worldview, or control our bodies.
General price inflation is a monetary phenomenon and we won’t be rid of it until we reign in (or abolish) the Federal Reserve. A free society has no place for a command and control monetary system.
Until we abolish the Fed, Nevada’s State Legislature could do a few things to help Nevadans in this area. First, quit making things worse. We need to cut out the waste and corruption here in NV that wastes our tax dollars and increases the cost of living of our citizens.
Several states have enacted laws that make gold and silver legal tender in their states. In their best forms, these laws eliminate state income taxes and sales taxes from the purchase and sale of gold and silver, thus eliminating the artificial disadvantage these ancient and sound monies have against the inflationary upstart that is the fiat dollar. Such legislation should also exempt Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies from this taxation.
Further, Nevada could establish a state gold depository, protecting our taxpayer reserve funds from fiat inflation by holding them in gold and silver. And finally, Nevada could accept gold and silver and crypto as payment for services. In time, hopefully private businesses would see the anti-inflationary advantages of switching to sound money and follow suit.
All these measures would help Nevadans “opt-out” of having their purchasing power destroyed by the wildly corrupt and inflationary counterfeiting operations of the Federal Reserve.
Unlike the two old parties, Libertarianism is not defined by a set of policy positions. It is a coherent political philosophy rooted in Enlightenment-era classical liberalism. We start from a few core principles, and all policy positions are derived by the application of those principles. Furthermore, we believe that these principles apply to everyone. There are no special groups of people who are any more or less deserving of these rights.
You own yourself. This is a fundamental truth of the human condition. You own your body, you own your thoughts, and you own your time. No other person or entity can have rightful control over those aspects of your life. Each of us is a unique individual with our own ideas, passions, priorities, and contributions. This irrefutable fact of self-ownership is the most basic form of property rights.
You own your property. Because you own yourself, you can choose to trade your time and effort for compensation – which can in turn be converted into possessions. It is the fact of self-ownership that creates justly acquired private property. Only you should decide how to use the product of your time, labor, and creativity.
It is wrong to use violence against peaceful people. There is no justification for theft or aggressive violence against others. If someone aggresses against you, you have the right to defend yourself and your property.
Libertarians often summarize our philosophical framework simply as “don’t hurt people, and don’t take their stuff”. These are simple and self-evident ideas that the vast majority of people agree with and already live by in their private lives and personal interactions. Libertarians are different in that we apply these principles to government actors and actions as well. If an action is wrong for a citizen to take, it is also wrong when done by a politician.
Libertarians seek to maximize individual freedoms. We believe in shrinking the size and scope of the government. We aren’t merely interested in reducing the rate of growth – we want to see an absolute reduction in both government spending and governmental authority over the lives of individuals.
We believe free people build strong communities. Most social problems are better tackled by voluntary cooperation and mutual aid than by government intervention. Free markets pull people out of poverty and create the best opportunities for human thriving. Economic liberties and civil liberties go together hand-in-hand. As Americans, we are used to thinking of ourselves as living in the “land of the free”. The reality is our freedom has been steadily eroded for decades. Libertarians aim to reverse that trend.
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Committee to Elect Brandon Mills