Political Ad Fact Checker
In an advertisement from the campaign to elect Republican Vick Gill to the Nevada Senate, an announcer says in part: "One election could decide historic tax hikes. One critical vote, two different candidates. Becky Harris, a liberal lawyer, willing to raise taxes." The ad shows clips of Harris appearing before a town hall-style forum hosted by the Siena Conservatives in which she said she is not going to sign a no new tax pledge. She also is shown saying she was once a registered Democrat. The announcer goes on to say that Gill is a lifelong Republican who opposes tax hikes.
What's true -- Gill and Harris are two of the four Republicans who are competing in their party's June primary in a bid to represent Clark County's Senate District 9 in the western valley. The winner is expected to face incumbent Democratic Sen. Justin Jones in the November general election. Vick provides documentation for the ad on his website, which includes an extended YouTube version of Harris' videotaped comments before the gathering of potential constituents. Harris indeed said she wouldn't sign a no new tax pledge and disclosed that she once was a Democrat.
What's a stretch -- She never told the Siena Conservatives that she is willing to raise new taxes. Instead, in a portion of the video not used in the ad, she expressed a willingness to work with other Republican lawmakers on tax reform. She said a no new tax pledge could limit the ability of exploring a variety of options toward achieving tax reform. Although tax reform conceivably could include new or increased taxes, it doesn't mean she would vote to raise taxes. A recent example of that on the national stage can be found in the Tax Reform Act of 2014, which was introduced in February by Republican Congressman Dave Camp of Michigan. Camp, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, vows that his plan could mean an additional $1,300 in spending money for the average middle class family of four. Camp also said 95 percent of federal income tax filers would be able to get the lowest possible tax rate by claiming the standard deduction. He said his plan also would result in only 10 percent and 25 percent tax brackets for virtually all taxable income. By Camp's definition, tax reform would actually mean reduced taxes. It's therefore difficult to make the case that Harris' call for tax reform necessarily means she would vote to raise taxes.