Judge approves tax and spending amendment for placement on ballot | NevadaAppeal.com

Judge approves tax and spending amendment for placement on ballot

Saying he won’t ignore the 156,000 people who signed the petition, Carson District Judge Bill Maddox Monday refused to take the Tax and Spending Control initiative off the November ballot.

Opponents led by Danny Thompson of the AFL-CIO promised an immediate appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Maddox said there is no question the TASC committee filed one version of the amendment and circulated another and no question there is a big difference between the two.

But he refused to strictly read the law requiring a petition be filed with the Secretary of State’s office before it can be circulated.

“I would like to strictly construe the law but it makes me ignore 156,000 signatures of people who wanted the initiative on the ballot to limit growth of government,” he said. “I’m not willing to do that.”

Maddox also rejected arguments by Paul More, representing Nevadans for Nevada, the group created to fight TASC, that the initiative deals with multiple subjects and, therefore, violates the law requiring initiatives to deal with just one issue.

“The purpose of this statute and initiative is to limit the growth of government,” he said. “Generally speaking, it all comes under one subject.”

Thompson said opponents would take it to the Supreme Court as early as today to try pull the initiative off the ballot.

And, he said, his group has already turned materials over to the Clark County District Attorney showing signature gatherers committed fraud by forging signatures on the petitions, copying names between petitions and providing false addresses and notarizations. He said those incidents were far from isolated.

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