Political commentator and Las Vegas CityLife editor Steve Sebelius, an unapologetic lefty, is defending Sharron Angle’s record against an unfair attack by Think Progress blogger Ian Millhiser who accused her of “…fighting against the Nevada Constitution’s requirement that all children have the opportunity to obtain a public education” when she was a state assemblywoman back in 2003.
That year, the Legislature was in limbo on the passage of the K-12 education budget which was accompanied by an $833 million tax bill intended to fund schools and balance the state’s books. Angle was part of a 15-member group that fought the bill’s passage and prevented the needed two-thirds majority vote. The legislative session and two subsequent special sessions both ended without resolution, so the governor ordered then-Attorney General (and current GOP gubernatorial candidate) Brian Sandoval to sue the Legislature.
In a controversial (and later withdrawn) decision, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the legislature could raise taxes with a simple majority as opposed to the usual constitutionally-mandated two-thirds majority. Angle and others objected and filed a federal lawsuit. Then a lone assemblyman switched sides and “solved” the whole thing by voting in favor of the tax bill.
Angle’s vote, along with that of 14 other legislators, was not a vote against education funding but against tax hikes, so Millhiser’s characterization is misleading. He has since posted a follow-up which includes a nod to the point Sebelius was making (though he is still somewhat wrong) as well as a response to Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston who yesterday disputed the Think Progress claims via Twitter.