Until this afternoon, I only despised teachers unions because they are shills for big government whose goals are diametrically opposed to the students they claim to serve. Now, in Nevada at least, they are bald-faced liars who fabricate reasons to vote for Democrats in state Assembly elections.

Before reading, click this link to see a direct mail piece the Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) is sending to voters in the state's 40th Assembly District attacking Republican candidate Pete Livermore for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. In evaluating this garbage, keep in mind that the Pledge is a simple commitment to constituents never to vote to raise their taxes.

The hit cites Livermore's Pledge as evidence that he would:

  • Fire thousands of teachers
  • Abandon "our kids"
  • Cut 60 percent of state government
  • Close schools
  • Institute larger class sizes

I count five egregious scare-mongering lies there. In their perpetual quest to line their pockets with more taxpayer dollars, the NSEA has resorted to desperate and pathetic attacks with no basis in reality. These are the people charged with educating Nevada's children.

I would encourage those who find this as appalling as I do to contact the NSEA at 1-800-248-6732 or email their President, Lynn Warne at [email protected] and ask them to pull the direct mail hit piece and issue an apology to the voters they've mislead.

To see a statement from ATR President Grover Norquist, see below. For a PDF, click here.

Nevada Teachers Union Makes Most Egregious

Attack to Date on the “No New Taxes” Pledge

Union Falsely Calls Pete Livermore’s Pledge “cut of 60 percent of state government”

WASHINGTON, DCThe Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) has sent a desperate and false direct mail piece to voters in the state’s 40th Assembly District. The mailer hits Republican candidate Pete Livermore for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, claiming it calls for “the cut of an extreme 60 percent of state government” that would result in teacher layoffs and closed schools. In fact, the Pledge is merely a written promise to constituents to oppose and vote against all tax increases, with no direct implications for education spending cuts.    

The Education Association cites Americans for Tax Reform’s list of Pledge signers to back up the “fact” that “Pete Livermore would fire thousands of Nevada teachers and abandon our kids.” The Taxpayer Protection Pledge has nothing to do with spending – it is simply a promise not to raise taxes. While this is the most significant distortion of the Pledge to date, other attacks have been discredited this cycle. Most notable is Jon Ralston’s finding that attacks on the Pledge on behalf of Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) were “thoroughly misleading.”

ATR President Grover Norquist issued the following statement:

“The NSEA has reached a new low in an already desperate election cycle for national Democrats. This attack on Pete Livermore is completely baseless and without merit. Livermore has simply promised to oppose and vote against tax increases should he be elected to represent Nevada’s 40th District. His Pledge says nothing about spending, education, or teacher layoffs.

“Nevada’s teachers – those charged with educating the state’s children – have been reduced to shameless and arbitrary lies about Pete Livermore and other candidates who have signed the “No New Taxes” Pledge. The charge that Pledge signers have promised a 60 percent budget cut is completely fabricated. I call upon the Education Association to provide a citation for this calculation, lest Nevadans correctly believe it to be the product of a few union hacks sitting around a room dreaming up doomsday scenarios to discredit Republican candidates.

“Pete Livermore has committed to never raising taxes on his constituents while his Democrat opponent, Robin Williamson, has left the door for tax hikes wide open. While Nevada’s educators peddle pathetic lies to the public, voters recognize the need for leaders like Pete Livermore to stand up to their left-wing tax-and-spend agenda in Carson City.”