The Las Vegas Citizen

The Archives of Ann Reynolds
Doublespeak Masters 7 July, 1997
Is it over yet? The defeat of the "Ring around the Valley" bill is
disheartening, not because the bill was perfect, but because it limited the
number of new local casinos. So we have to wonder why this gentleman from
North Las Vegas decided to vote against it. I think that the strong point
of the gaming lobby this session was obfuscation. It was simple enough to
confuse us with the Brown/Callister campaign, because Callister did take
those contributions, and then gave them back. But the fact that he gave
them back should have given us a clue. And Brown promised to be honest,
but that doesn't mean he will vote against the corporate local gambling
And now Commissioner Gates (see letter above) tells us that opposing growth is a casino
stance? Does she believe this, or is it just a posturing in her feud with
the legislature? Or was "oppose casinos, and promote growth," whispered in
her ear by a master of double-speak? Or is "keep everyone fighting" a
strategy that has been on-going for 15 years?
There are two ways that we can bring the casino industry under control,
where it belongs. We can stop gambling. And we can register to vote. I
can't tell which is more important, but if you can't do one, then do the
other. There will come a time when we will know what to vote for, but it won't do
any good if we aren't registered.
Remember, rage and demoralization is probably what the gambling industry
wants, so be sure to have a nice day. The mountains were beautiful Sunday
morning, did you notice? Be sure and notice the light refraction, too. . .
some days they are taller than others, when measured against the
Stratosphere Tower. Stop gambling. Register to Vote. Ann Reynolds

Are The Riviera Rally Nudes ... an Exercise in Bad Taste? (Click here)

Reply to letter from Senator Bob Coffin 4 July, 1997
I have repeatedly told the gamers that I really thought it was in their best longterm interest to help avoid taxpayer revolt if they would give the green light to the leadership that they could support some level of
increase in the gross gaming tax. Remember--as a businesswoman, as I am a businessman, that the gross tax is easily affordable by some but not others as it pays no regard to profits. Joe's two-per-cent was too high for all of the casinos but could have been absorbed by others. He would not consider a lower amount which would have gathered support and would have been hard to refuse to vote for. I will continue to oppose the sales tax to support infrastructure as my protest. Signed,
(Senator) Bob Coffin

Dear Senator Coffin,
Thank you for your reply. You have consistently shown concern for families
in the Las Vegas Valley, and that has not gone unnoticed. I know that the
2% tax would be hard on some casinos, but it is also true that we have too
many casinos. Every grocery store is a casino, every 7-11 is a casino.
While it may seem that it is only fair to make casino revenue available to
the small guy as well as the big guy, perhaps those days are over. Perhaps
if the risks were higher for the casino owner it would be possible to
diversify the economy of the Valley, and re-centralize the gamblers. If
the gambling business isn't doing well enough to absorb this tax, then an
adjustment is needed. Remember, that money from small local casinos is
coming from our citizen's paychecks, not tourist dollars. Perhaps any
casino that could prove that the 2% would kill him could be given a 2%
rebate to get out of the business. Just thinking out loud. Again, thanks
for your reply. Ann Reynolds
The Real Fight Was in Carson City 2 July, 1997
The real fight wasn't in Las Vegas, it was in Carson City. With my
full-time job, and my web page, and my tax class, and my slow modem, I'm
not up on the latest round, but it's time for the Southern Nevada
delegation to recognize that the real issue with Northern Nevada is their
implicit and subtle support of the gambling industry's subjugation of
Southern Nevada.
If Northern Nevada sins, and it does, it is on the side of smugness. They
are willing to be a party to denying the people knowledge of which of their
legislators that supposedly represent this county instead represent the
casinos. The sales tax increase should be on the ballot. The only reason
it isn't on the ballot is because it wouldn't pass.
Senator Raggio has no claim to indignation. He doesn't live here. If
Senator Neal wishes to introduce a bill that would have the gambling
industry, instead of the consumers of Clark County, pay the tax for the
infrastructure , then his idea deserves a forum, to say the least. I want
to know, for the record, which legislators would support such a proposal,
and which would oppose it. If such a suggestion upsets business as usual in
the Legislature then so be it. Business as usual in the Legislature has
produced quite a ride for the gambling lobbyists, it would be a pleasure to
see them turned away from the gate instead of Joe Neal.
It's time to confront Northern Nevada as a body on this issue, and find out
who is for, and who is against. Burying a proposal to tax gambling in the
face of this highly controversial tax increase is arrogant. I think the
Southern Senator has had his ears bitten, and where is the voice of justice
now? As far as I'm concerned, Senator Neal, you are the heavy weight
champion of the world.
Ann Reynolds
Nevada native, Las Vegas resident
On a Clear Day 30 June, 1997
The air was clear on Sunday morning in Las Vegas. The Red Rock mountains
were in high detail on this crisp morning, jutting up from the horizon like
a carved castle wall, separating Las Vegas from the rest of the world, and
protecting our desert floor from the onslaught of Huns and Vikings from
Oh, well.
The dramatist in me is rising, and I'm think of putting on a play. There
is a respectable amount of dramatic activity in Las Vegas, although I have
yet to see a performance, good or bad, that wasn't marred by some guy (it's
always a guy,) taking photographs in the middle of the performance. Or
video-taping the whole thing. The one thing that keeps going wrong in my
conception of directing a play is how I would keep these belligerent folks
down, and out of my theater. I have heard them arguing with directors,
saying that they have every right to photograph the proceedings, that their
daughters are on stage, and therefore, it isn't a performance, it's a
photoshoot. At other times, I suspect that the directors themselves have
decided that the very best stills are taken during performance. But I have
decided that I will have to deal with this curious phenomenon as I come to
it. One solution would be to cast no young girls. That limits my choice
of plays, doesn't it? Ann Reynolds


Restricting local gaming 26 June, 1997
I see that the Nevada Resort Association and the Las Vegas City Council
sponsored identical amendments to limit neighborhood bars in Las Vegas to
35 slot machines. The amendment was also favored by the Las Vegas Tavern
Owners Association, who feared unfair competition by the larger number of
slot machines that could put the smaller tavern owners out of business.
I feel that further divisions in the gambling business would be to the
community's advantage. I realize that the Nevada Resort Association is the
official mouthpiece for greed in general in Nevada, but there is advantage
to be gained by the large Strip hotel-casinos defending their turf, with
the voters' blessings, against the usurpation of up-scale customers by
corporate local gambling interests. The problem, of course, is that local
corporate gambling is sponsored in many cases by Strip interests. But a
large corporate local casino does cut into Strip business. It also cuts
into tavern and restaurant business on the local side, as well as competing
strongly with existing local gambling. And if the voting (and buying)
public could make serious strides in restricting slot machines in grocery
stores, then we could eventually begin to isolate and "tree" the casinos
into more manageable chunks.
I realize that this activity will concentrate gambling activity into large
monied interests, but the local population that concentrates on
diversifying the economy into non-gambling areas and non-gambling
entertainment should be encouraged by friendly legislation. Businesses who
ride the coat-tails of gambling and feed their fires are distinctly part of
the problem. It is to our distinct advantage to get out from under the
pervasive and domineering arrogant rule of the
easy-money-lose-your-paycheck-here crowd. Let'em go broke. If that
creates a line at the existing local gambling houses, then so be it until
the new population settles in and figures it out. And then there will be
absolutely no good reason not to tax the healthy big guys, whether they
like it or not. Ann Reynolds
AB 291, The Sales Tax Increase June 25, 1997
We are being served a double dish by the legislature concerning the sales
tax increase. It is being represented with a conglomerate of other bills
designed to control growth, and the people who are sponsoring this
"package" pretend that the sales tax bill is a growth-containing plank in a
growth-containing platform. But even if the Southern delegation pretends
that the bill is green, everyone that has eyes knows that the bill is neon
It glows like the lights on the Strip. It is a subsidy of monied special
interests. It is taxing the people to subsidize growth that won't benefit
them, growth that will further deplete our natural resources, growth that
will, with its introduction of a naive new population, subvert the effort
to control the gambling industry. If the Senators who vote on this
legislation choose not to know that this bill is a slap in the face of the
people who are just barely surviving in this valley, that is one thing.
But we, the voters, must see it for what it is.
A vote for this bill negates much of the effect of any control that we may
have on growth, because it says, in effect, that the people of Las Vegas
are not to be consulted on the matter. It's not our business to interfere
with those who use the valley floor as a playing field for the
super-powers. If the sales tax bill passes, then I'm up for some
door-to-door for the next two years.
It does no good to pass a law against
breaking zoning restrictions if at the same time you are funding those who
have already broken the restrictions. The Assembly bill to control growth
sounds good, but in fact it allows the doubling of the population, which is
beyond the capacity of Lake Mead to service. It is merely saying, we will
not grow beyond these boundaries that have already been set by the current
wave of developers. After this wave has finished, no one will want to move
here anyway.
The damage is done by the sales tax subsidy. The only way to slow this
folly is to make it expensive, and the sales tax denies the possibility of
that. However a lawmaker votes on the growth package, the telling gesture
will be the vote on the sales tax increase. Let that be the measure of how
the lawmaker really feels about the issue of casino rule. Ann Reynolds
Thoughts on the eve of the sales tax decision 24 June, 1997
The best thing about Las Vegas is the people here. Whatever happens to the
town, it isn't going to be what we are planning, no matter who we are. But
it is important that we are ready and willing to take responsibility for
the town.
If it is the most exciting place in the United States in which
to live, then we are responsible for that. And if it is the absolute hole
of the universe, then we are responsible for that, too.
The energy and momentum is going somewhere. It feels too good to live
here, on a good day, to think that all of it is going down a video poker
Ann Reynolds
Gambling should work on its national image 23 June, 1997
The gambling industry would have a better national image if it would submit
to taxation. In fact, I think that the mere suggestion that gambling
wouldn't submit to taxation is frankly frightening, but I guess that many
legislators consider it to be business as usual.
If Nevada increases its tax on gambling revenue, the casino industry will
pay it.
What else are they going to do, leave town? Then the state could
take over our gambling interests until someone came along that thinks 35%
is fair.
Ann Reynolds
The momentum is rolling 20 June, 1997
Las Vegas is a national phenomenon, we can't fool ourselves into thinking
that we are in any way in control of it. All traditions fall away with
time, and the Las Vegas traditions of religious hypocrisy and subjugation
of women are going to be challenged by the influx of new blood into this
neck of the desert. We don't know, we can't know, what will happen when
the population doubles. We can only pray that the influx will serve as a
cleansing agent, and will purge the area of the weak of heart and poor of
As the new small white cars rush around the streets at break-neck speeds,
as the industrial district trucks write their own traffic rules as they go,
as the dust swirls around the valley like some sort of malevolent fog
I can't help but wonder what is brewing, and what will come of it
all. There will be depletion of per capita income, and a lowering of the
educational standards. There will be more homeless people, and there will
be lower quality water, and lower quality air, if those things are
imaginable. But perhaps Las Vegas has to hit bottom before it can start to
grow up. It's a scenario I would like to avoid. Ann Reynolds
Pretense of Acceptability 19 June, 1997
If there is to be a new day in Las Vegas, it has to begin at a personal
regarding the amount of that each of us permits in our
life. The denial associated with gambling has pervaded every aspect of our
community, and the only way to purge it is to begin at home, in our hearts.
The cruel treatment of the poor in our city has reached new heights, with
people assuring each other that anyone who gambles does so of their own
free will, and that's not our problem. (But it is our problem, whether we
admit it or not.) And we have a lot of convenient religious arrangements
that take full advantage of the cash value of the gambling business without
accepting the responsibility for our brother's well-being. I missed the
part in the New Testament
where it says that's it's not a problem to take
systematic advantage of another's folly and pain.
The arts, or the humanities, are based on the examination of the total
human experience, involving the joys as well as the pain of excess. But
Las Vegas has placed itself in a political situation where we can't truly
examine the human condition because we have denied the existence of the
most meaningful aspects of compulsive behavior. . . the lessons learned
from it. We will not grow as a community until we accept the
responsibility of a community, which is to protect the concepts and
archetypes which comprise civilization.
Ann Reynolds
A note about the old-timers 18 June, 1997
The essence of Nevada is made up of its visitors. The wonder of the place
is preserved by the visitors who stay. As we enter into the era of people
rushing in, it is the visitors who stay that will decide the future. We
cannot use these people as fodder. Their future, and the future of their
children, is where we all will live.
The mountains around the valley have been especially beautiful this week,
with the shadows of the untimely clouds evoking fresh views of harsh and
barren valleys on the cliffs above the city. The timelessness of the
desert is our legacy.
It is neither less nor more than what we see and
what we allow it to be. Every morning the mountains take my breath away.
I'm learning the names of the mountains, it's a slow process for one as
absent-minded as I am. But I am only a visitor. It's important to get to
know the residents, the ones who are planning to stay. Ann Reynolds