Teachers oppose stay in petition case

The teachers union says proponents of an initiative seeking to impose a version of California's Proposition 13 on Nevada should be denied a stay of the order removing their question from the November ballot.

Union lawyers Mike Dyer and Jim Penrose filed with the Supreme Court arguing the stay sought by We The People Nevada lawyer Joel Hansen should be denied because the appeal of the district court ruling has little chance of success.

They argued that, "the most important finding of the district court is its determination that appellant's agents decided not to compel compliance with a critical component of the attestation requirements."

There was testimony before Senior Judge Charles McGee last week that in numerous cases those who circulated the petitions failed to complete the statutory affidavit requiring they attest to the number of signatures they obtained on each document. A spokesman for the initiative campaign testified they didn't feel comfortable doing so because they feared invalid signatures would open them to perjury charges. And he testified because of that, he didn't feel comfortable demanding they do so.

In his decision, McGee wrote that proponents were "not unaware" of the statute requiring they sign attesting to the number of signatures and that, to the best of that circulator's knowledge, the signer was a valid Nevada voter.

"They simply elected not to compel compliance with these requirements by the circulators of the petition," the order states.

Because of that, McGee ruled the petition affidavits failed to comply with statutory requirements.

"Appellant has not shown and cannot show any substantial likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal," Dyer and Penrose wrote. "Appellant's motion for a stay of the district court's judgment should, therefore, be denied."

The argument may, however, be moot since, according to Carson City Clerk/Recorder Alan Glover, clerks statewide have already sent their ballots " with the property tax question removed " to the printers.

- Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

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