The Las Vegas Citizen
Ann Reynolds, editor... Sam Dehne, publisher
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"Sunrise in the Valley"
A Collection of Short Articles byAnn Reynolds
GO FOR IT ! The Las Vegas Citizen Supports Sam Dehne for Reno Mayor.
Click here for Campaign Story
New Jersey, anyone?
Those of us associated with this year's political campaign are trying to
spread awareness of how important this election is to the people of
Nevada. Joe Neal has little money, and much of his media coverage has
been based on his efforts to fight gaming greed. His opponent in the
primary has already been endorsed on a state, local, and national level
by the established leaders of the Democratic Party. The Gaming
spokespersons have accused him of grandstanding in order to get elected.
Another way to put it would be to say that he decided to run for
Governor because the people of Nevada need a break from the ursupation
of their heritage by the gambling lobby.
In Las Vegas, there has been a statement by a county official that
campaign contributions are confidential, sort of, and that they should
not be relevant to an ethics hearing on Jan Jones' involvement with
Nick's Fish Market. Also in the news was that it is customary practice
to embezzle public funds on a clerical level in the City of Las Vegas
Las Vegas is infested with a legacy of corruption that is even more
insidious than the mob power because it is clothed in legitimacy granted
by corporate gaming. Another reign by a casino Governor (and both Guinn
and Jones qualify for this designation), and Nevada will flounder in the
dark waters of reality, not being able to survive in that current.
I got a letter from my travel club today. Atlantic City has it's own
Strip now, complimented by a first-class transportation system, and a
building boom. Also golf courses and the Atlantic Ocean. With the
increasing pollution of our water supply, the absolute tangle of traffic
in this city, the diseased air (which public officials deny
categorically, but private physicians substantiate) and the alarming
rates of eviction, foreclosure, and bankruptcy, how long will it be
before our resources as a resort will be depleted? The customers that
the casino-developer complex have imported are mainly retired. They are
sixty now, but they will still be here when they are eighty, and they
will be a lot poorer, because they moved here in order to play video
poker all day, which they do, with the blessings of our local news
media. Of the workers that they have imported, many are under-paid and
underinsured, unable to support their families without public charity.
Nevada isn't going to have another shot at the corporate casino
bankroll. We have to tax this entity, and invest in the future of this
State, because the corporate casino industry has invested in other
horizons. But to sit by and let the normal political process take its
course while gaming finances demagogues that rant and rave about nuclear
waste isn't enough. We need to recognize the importance of the moment.
We need Jones and Neal debating on TV, a lot, and we need to discuss the
issues of this campaign. These issues, as I see them, are: immediately
taxing the huge gaming assets which drain the community, examining the
de-regulation of our utilities so that ratepayers and stockholders
aren't unjustly penalized, examining the state managed-care
organizations, and letting our true tax structure see the light of day.
(We haven't spent 54% of our budget on education. . .the correct figure
is 32%.) Other issues involve water resources, excluding gaming from
the legislative process, and stopping, now and forever, the assumption
that corruption is somehow okay just because it is in Las Vegas.
There are times when it is convenient to forget about the individuals
who are contributing to the flavor and breadth of this campaign season.
Ken Mahal, a Republican, has done major research into ways that New
Jersey effectively retains control of its public funds. Dr. Larry
Paulson has worked for his entire career to save the wetlands from
extinction. Mary Sanata, candidate for State Controller, is a tireless
and professional public servant who would restore some meaning to an
ill-reported budgeting process. Genie Ohrenschall, State
Assemblyperson, has championed the public right to protest monied
The people of Nevada have a chance to elect representatives who would
face Nevada's coming crises. Those media members who prefer to keep
their eyes closed are serving neither themselves nor the public. The
correct questions are not being asked.
About a year and a half ago, I asked a State Senator at a Chamber of
Commerce meeting whether or not the tourist-oriented Strip hotels would
be taxed to benefit the state educational budget. His reply to me was
that the major casinos preferred not to be taxed at this time. I
haven't heard that answer lately.
County Commissioners stated that even though the voters turned down a
sales tax increase that the Commission would institute it anyway. Could
we please interview those Commission members and see if they feel that
way at election time? Right now I am involved in sales, and I know that
increasing the sales tax would deter customers from buying from local
merchants, especially larger items. Tourists not only pay a share of
sales taxes, they pay most of the 17.3 percent of our budget which is
the share that the state gets from table games and slot machines.
Remember that a hefty share of that gaming revenue is contributed by
hopeful (if mis-led) locals. We are in danger of getting a ballot
question that states that the only options for infrastructure for water
delivery are increased sales tax or increased water rates. May we
please see the wording of that question before it is approved, and be
sure that the County Commission is aware that we know there are other
And as for Mr. Wynn, we don't need art. We need water rights. The best
way to get 'em is to buy 'em, because the Colorado River is the only
place that has enough of it. Importing it from Northern Nevada will
kill the ranches and provide a temporary solution. (If the casinos are
planning on sticking around, why aren't they looking for a permanent
solution? Or are alternatives to gambling as a way of life simply
expendable?) The Southern Nevada Water Authority has tried
intimidation, palsy-walsy games with other states, borrowing water,
increasing public debt, and various other types of posturing, including
desperate promises, but has anybody proposed taxing gaming NOW and
purchasing water rights? Has anybody made Utah and Colorado any offers?
Don't you think we should, before California does it?
Megabucks will hit when the Bellagio opens, so let's stop talking about
it. Let's start some meaningful, hard, pointed, and frequent debate on
Nevada's future, let's do it on television during newscasts instead of
giggling about jackpots. I would like to think that somebody in the
media in southern Nevada cares. Or is everyone planning to move to New
Send money (small amounts are fine) for Joe's campaign to:
Joe Neal For Governor
304 Lance Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada 89030
Thank you, Ann Reynolds
535 Sierra Vista, #19
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
The Prosperity of Las Vegas
To relieve some curiosity as to some of the detailed explanations in
this message, it is also going to several out-of-state individuals and
organizations who may be interested in how gambling can affect a
community if it is not constantly monitored and regulated. Elected
officials in Nevada often beat their chests and howl about the large
amount of jobs in Nevada, and the low rate of unemployment. Gaming and
fast, cheap construction do create jobs, but that is not the same as
creating prosperity. It is the job of government to take this mixture
of dirt and money and turn it into a community with a sustaining economy
and a diverse quality of life.
Turning over the legislature to the Gambling lobby, and rubber stamping
any and all zoning and development permits is not government, it is
dereliction of duty in the face of a dangerous and predatory force in
our community. Regulating the gambling industry is hard, tedious work,
but it is the job of people to govern themselves. All the people who
have moved here in the last twenty years must realize that it is their
job to regulate their own lives, and the laws in this community. As
much as the corporate gambling/developer complex would like you to
believe that they have always run things in this state, it is not true.
We handed over the reins to corporate gambling because we wanted to
believe that corporate policy would nullify the effects of greed. It
has simply institutionalized greed in the form of bottom line growth or
die strategies for taking people's money.
On Channel 4, the public access Channel in Las Vegas, during a County
Commission meeting, there were extensive interviews by underinsured
workers. The first one was a man who worked for New York New York
casino. He pays 135 per month for insurance, plus $25 per visit co-pay
for his family, plus hospital bills. He makes 5.25 per hour.
The next man has a wife who works at McDonalds. No insurance, three
The next man has a wife and three kids with no insurance. He can't
afford it. It was emphasized during the meeting that each of these
workers works for a corporation that is experiencing great benefit from
the growth in Clark County.
An employee of a prosperous local construction company makes 7 dollars
an hour. His back surgery cost him 13 thousand. He has no way to pay
A Santa Fe Casino cocktail server has worked for 4 and a half years
extra board, on various shifts, but is denied the opportunity to pay for
company insurance because she doesn't have a set shift. Her mother
lives with her to provide child care, so she is free to work at any
time, a situation which the casino exploits freely. She works full
time, and pays her own medical bills...She doesn't want charity. She
wants medical insurance. The Santa Fe has full intention of opening
another local casino in nearby Henderson. They are, I assume,
anticipating licensure with no problems. (The last I heard, Mayor Jan
Jones was a stockholder in the Sante Fe.)
Catholic Charities has 40 services. 75 full time positions deal with
homeless and low-income families who have no insurance. In 1996, they
dealt with 12,760 families. In 1997 they dealt with 15,000 families.
Of the 38,763 individuals that they dealt with in 1997, 12,000 were
brand new. (There were 6000 "brand new" cases in 96.) Transportation
and medical assistance is requested daily. This year they have already
had to refuse 2,000 people who have asked for prescription assistance.
During the 1998 year, there are already 34% more people who have come
for assistance than there were in the same time period last year.
Many of these people are working full time. Many of these people are
working for development or gaming corporations whose profits are
According to an emergency room technician at UMC, 35-40 people a month
come to University Medical Center with serious medical problems who are
one paycheck away from being homeless. We have a sicker population when
families deny themselves health care because food and shelter are
priorties. When they finally come to the emergency room, they get the
most expensive services. Because UMC is a taxpayer-supported
hospital,the impact on the taxpayer is getting worse. Rich employers
benefit from the growth, while the taxpayers foot the bill, and the area
families absorb the pain. (Washoe County's solution to this problem was
to privatize Washoe Med. . .the legislature has denied Clark County this
These facts and interviews were brought before the County Commission by
the Inter-faith Council for Worker Justice, an alliance that has been
formed by several religious leaders in the area, including priests,
rabbis, and ministers of many faiths.
They object to having to pay expenses for people who are working full
time. They feel that the rich employers should offer a living wage and
health benefits to people who are contributing to their profit margins.
The Inter-Faith Council emphasized that this was not a complaint against
small businesses who were struggling to stay open.
Senator Joe Neal was the only representative of government that made
himself heard besides the County Commission. Commissioner Myrna Williams
complained, as usual, that the Commission was a child of the
legislature, however Senator Neal had already pointed out that the
legislature doesn't grant gaming permits and building permits in Clark
County, the Commission does that. He suggested that the ability and the
mandate to pay a living wage and offer health insurance be a requirement
for a license to operate a privileged business in Clark County.
The Commission adopted a resolution to study the problem so that they
had actual figures of who the employers were in these situations. They
agreed to use any available talent at UNLV for this purpose, in order to
get information to act on as soon as possible.
As far as I know, they haven't asked any casino attorneys or lobbyists
how to handle this situation. And if they don't ask them, and if they
don't accept the casino industry's "solutions," then that's the real
But is it art?
Perhaps there is no better reason for Nevada's current angst than the
fact that her representatives on a national, state, and local level have
all happily assumed that the interests of legalized corporate gambling
and private citizens are one and the same. After all, it's an easy
conclusion to jump to. If they provide us with casino jobs, then the
jobs will continue as long as the growth does, BUT THE PROSPERITY
IS HAPPENING FOR THE CORPORATE ENTITIES, NOT
THE RESIDENTS THAT LIVE IN THEIR SHADOW, and
especially not the folks who survive in the under-paid world of
casino workers, many of whom are themselves addicted to gambling.
Any public servants that offer up their own constituencies as fodder for
casinos are asleep, dreaming that they are serving those that voted for
them, instead of those that buy them lunch during legislative sessions.
Despair is the deadliest of sins, and so I continue to hope that there
is a reasonable way out of the tunnel that we have dug, a tunnel that is
leading us to bankruptcy as a state.
The art that Steve Wynn has bought for the Bellagio Hotel wasn't
purchased for the good of the people that live in Nevada. It was
purchased for the good of Steve Wynn. There is no conceivable reason
why he should receive a tax break on an investment that is going to
produce instant profits for him. . .profits that represent bankruptcy
and financial hardship for many of his customers. (I've heard estimates
that 30% of Strip profits come from local residents). . .The fact that
children have to go anywhere near his casino in order to see the art
simply devalues the intrinsic nature of the art.
I'm certain that Wynn anticipates profits similar to the profits when
the Mirage opened. So many people flocked to see his fake volcano that
he prohibited children from the building for several months simply as a
way of controlling the crowd. Are we to believe that he will relax such
consideration in the case of his recent art purchases? I rather doubt
it. He will make no concessions that will hurt his bottom line.
Can you imagine a school field trip to the middle of the Strip? Perhaps
on the way, the children can view the other recent arrival of "art" on
the Strip, the bronzed asses of the Crazy Girl dancers. Perhaps the
subtle message to our school children is that, as citizens of Nevada, we
are supposed to be grateful for the opportunity to subsidize our own
hardship, and to subject our bodies to the whims of gamblers so that
gamblers can be distracted from the realities of parting with their
personal net worth. What aspirations our children can have!!! No
wonder they drop out of school.
It's okay for Dennis Rodman to fondle reluctant dealers. And the local
news stations consider it appropriate to celebrate with him, not even
mentioning his conduct, as if it is an unrelated matter. Cocktail
waitresses are forced to federal courts to bypass the unconstitutional
Nevada laws which protect casinos from harrassment suits.
Casino lobbyists and attorneys invade our legislature and are constantly
turning up on "ethics boards" and "advisory committees". But it is the
role of the media that is disgusting. Any attempt to dislodge these
moral midgets from their dominant thrones is, when possible, ignored.
It's not rocket science, it's arithmetic. Gambling is a tax on the
undiciplined. Unfortunately, a community doesn't have the option of
ignoring them, especially when the casino/developer sector chooses to
import them, sell them a house, and buy them a drink right next to a
video poker machine.
The next conclusion that we make is that the casinos are paying their
share. Wrong. And if they don't know it, they shouldn't have a gaming
license. It's the same as issuing driver's permits to drunk people.
I've heard a lot lately about "educating the public" about the dangers
of slowing down the growth. How about educating the public about the
dangers of gambling? Not just while the Commission is in town, but all
the time, as a matter of common decency and public service.
Nevada used to be a place where it was understood by the local
population that daily gambling was for tourists or idiots. There is no
community that thrives on systematically fleecing its own residents.
Mere truth in advertising would be sufficient guidelines to restrict
casino ads. The State of Nevada doesn't have the wherewithal to provide
sufficient social services for 750,000 bankrupt senior citizens. The
state doesn't have the funds to absorb the billions of dollars of public
debt that will be present after the coming sales tax hike is leveraged
in order to pay for the water delivery system for hundreds of thousands
of new single family residences. The people that already live here are
already catching on. The Reserve is not doing well. Sunset Station has
never performed up to expectations. No wonder they want new blood.
These folks are beginning to show a little bit of intelligence.
What Las Vegas needs isn't art, it's water rights, PURCHASED from
upstream Colorado River users. It's very difficult to convince our
neighbors that we can't afford to pay for rights. Now, if we taxed the
big money-making casinos to get the money, we would probably get a
handle on enough water to nurture our wetlands. And if we corraled the
casino industry, we could take back the consciousness of our citizens.
We could offer leisure entertainment that isn't anywhere near a slot
machine. We could offer groceries that aren't near a slot machine. We
could diversify our economy if we got the slots off of the back of every
paycheck. And we could pass the necessary laws to do it if we kicked
the self-serving casino lobbyists out of our legislature, out of our
neighborhoods, off of our ethics boards, and told them to shut up and
sit down. If they move tomorrow, we are better off than if they carry
this pyramid to the limit that they have in mind.
Steve Wynn has managed to turn some of the finest art in the world into
advertising. Advertising for the world's biggest con-game. I'm not
grateful, and I'm not grateful to the legislators that sat there in
Carson City and subsidized it with the public tax structure. And the
world will not be grateful, either. He has not lent our city any
dignity. He has lowered the level of the masters. Tax the
tourist-oriented casinos. That's what casinos are for. And represent
the people that live here, not the vultures that prey on us, and sell
off our heritage.
This is not an official message of Joe Neal's Campaign, Senator Neal has
neither seen it nor reviewed it. But he is defending Nevada's tax
structure, practically on his own, while self-satisfied cynics sit and
watch, irritated by the tiresome voice of social and moral
responsibility. Steve Wynn thinks that Jan Jones or Kenny Guinn would
make fine governors. I think that Steve Wynn should either stop trying
to run the State of Nevada or be relieved of his license to run a
casino. They are not one and the same, and they never will be. And I
think that his opinion of who should be governor should be expressed in
the pit at the Mirage, not quoted in the paper by responsible
journalists, and most certainly not given preference in a legislative
Donations to Senator Neal's campaign should be mailed to:
Joe Neal for Governor
304 Lance Avenue
North Las Vegas, NV 89030
I personally find that supporting his campaign is MUCH more entertaining
than gambling, and much easier on the pocketbook.
PO Box 16022
Las Vegas, NV 89101-0022
Political Threats Aren't Nice
Congressional candidate, Shelley Berkley owes voters no apology.
She simply was discussing how things are with someone who she thought
she could trust. It is interesting that we only hear about these violations
of public trust when corporate gaming representatives think that their
stranglehold position on public life in Nevada seems threatened.
Sands tycoon, Sheldon Adelson, was worried when his hotel permits were
questioned. He hadn't allowed for enough parking, he hadn't considered traffic
considerations, he has no housing provisions for 5,000 additional low-paid
workers, and he will introduce competition into a currently declining market.
His property will make money at the expense of current business ventures,
and will generate more growth which taxpayers will subsidize with higher sales
tax, higher auto registration fees, higher connection fees, and higher
Does Sheldon Adelson believe that corporate gaming would have achieved
its present dominant position over our economy on the watch of public
officials who represent the best interests of the voters? And are we
now to suffer judgement at the hands of the sector that profits most
from this corrupt system?
I think that the best way to end the reign of self-serving politicians
is to institute policies that actually serve the people who live here,
rather than the people who are only here to get rich. I think we should
stop attempting to "educate the voters" as what their best interests
really are, and start actually serving the best interests of the voters.
It is in the best interest of the voters to regulate the gaming
Ethics broker Craig Walton's statement, "Southern Nevada voters,
particularly the influx of new people, don't like this idea that
everybody is for sale and the public office is a public trough." is an
amusing one under the circumstances. The old people don't like it
either, but when we are told that we have to subsidize the growth-hungry
casino industry, and when public policy is decided by hand-picked
commissions instead of elected officials, and when our legislature is
crawling with gaming industry predators who literally write our laws to
their own advantage, then we come to the conclusion that everybody is
for sale and that public office is a public trough.
The voters owe Shelley Berkley a big thank you for discussing the matter
so candidly, a subject that is discussed on the street daily as a matter
of course. And as for all the pretending that it isn't true, aren't we
all sick of this? Mr. Adelson has benefited from this ridiculously
corrupt system as much as any other corporate giant, yet he feels
justified in his coy game of punishing Shelly Berkely for calling a
spade a spade. I vote that Mr. Adelson should take a good long look at
the way he makes money and shut up. It's difficult enough to live with
these idiots without listening to their self-justifying prattle.
It's time to elect honest officials who represent the voters in this
valley. This means outlawing casinos in neighborhoods, including
Summerlin, taxing the million dollar a day casinos on the Strip, and
evicting gaming lobbyists from our legislative building. How's that for
an agenda, Mr. Adelson, does that impress your moral sensitivity?
The problem with gambling corporations is that there is nobody there. If we were to get a promise from the president of MGM that MGM wouldn't abandon Las Vegas as its major market focus, so what? In ten years, MGM might be the subject of a hostile takeover by Bill Gates, who might decide to pioneer the defining campaign to move the Strip to Atlantic City, and the MGM president who made us the promise will have been downsized, re-located, re-employed, and parachuted, retired and living in Montana, where he will vote against gambling, and with good reason.
Corporation presidents are frank about this. Their defining purpose is to serve their stockholders, not their customers or their communities. I read an intriguing sentence in a magazine this week, stating that the liquor business isn't a growth industry. I guess that means that treating liquor as a product that should be pushed to the limit based on its possible profit under any circumstances isn't a moral thing to do. Was this a lesson we learned from Prohibition? Why isn't gambling understood to be in this category?
My point is that corporate spokesmen speak about Las Vegas as a good market because we, as a community, don't bother to protect our residents or our state budget. As a result, they aren't worried about the obvious result of their business on our community because it isn't their problem. Until the gambling industry escalates to the point where it depletes the resources of the middle class on a national level, this "growth" industry won't worry about its cancerous effect on its host. It will just spread.
But the corporate spokesmen are worried about the fact that some voters are foolish enough to put the livelihood and health of their families and community above the interests of gaming stockholders.
The voters, evidently, are uneducated as to the benefits of continued growth based on local gambling. But the truth is that if there is no other industry besides gambling, then there is nothing for this parasite to feed on. Decisions are made by numbers in bottom-line economics, and cash return is an end in itself. Conversely, the devastation caused by this cash exchange is simply a market force. We are supposed to wait until they have filled the valley with 3, 4, or 5 million people, and then they will have the cash they need to finish the transfer of hotel rooms to a more populated area. This is what they are doing. If they leave sooner instead of later, it will hurt them more than it will hurt the workers in this area. The union labor will follow them. The casino workers will follow them. The broken retirees who have nothing but Social Security left to live on will stay. Is it really in our best interest to have 3 billion in public debt for infrastructure with an impoverished population, and no industry?
The casino workers can follow casinos for several years into vast markets all over the world. The union labor can build and blow up hotels wherever these corporations can squeeze paychecks and nest eggs out of the population. (Most of the union construction labor is from out of state, and will leave with the market, taking their money back to their families.) I suggest that we tax the corporations that are making billions, and that we tax them soon. I also suggest that we progressively tighten the requirements for a gaming license to include personal responsibility, that is, phase out corporate privilege in this industry. We need casino owners and union workers that send their children to area schools and spend their money in Nevada in endeavors that are far removed from slot machines and games of chance. (Bill Harrah's auto collection in Sparks created a legacy that provided jobs and excellence and leadership in a fascinating area of American life.) I would rather have one rich man that I can talk to than a corporate board that will disappear with the first drop in stock prices.
Nevada is not a wasteland, but if we don't wake up, it will be. Ann Reynolds
A LETTER IN RESPONSE...
Not all of us are rude, although we are tired of being pigeon-holed by the major press as being insignificant. Perhaps your response to Sam [Dehne] was one that you expected a lot of support for. Surprise!
The Gazette Journal is famous for stroking the status quo. They won't take a stand on an issue that threatens its advertiser base. Maybe that's journalism, but life in Nevada requires a deeper look right now. And you won't find anyone with more courage and integrity than Sam.
The insults and slander that he has suffered from most of the city council members would have stopped most people from telling the truth. If his supporters over-reacted to your comments, perhaps it is because they are weary of easy denial and convenient ridicule.
Be specific about what is true about the Gazette's evaluation of Sam's tactics, and perhaps the response that you get will be more intelligent. You have simply tasted some of the anger that many citizens feel after being blatantly lied to by elected officials who are receiving knee-jerk support from the dominant press.
We should play nice, I know, but the current game isn't a nice one. Anyone who loves Nevada's freedom and it's rich and varied lifestyle had better pay attention, because we are losing it fast at the hands of politicians who think that feathering their own nest is expected.
I'm interested in an open discussion of details, and I'm sure that everyone else is too. A blanket ridicule of Sam Dehne?
Show half of his courage, and then ridicule him.
And try signing your name.
Derotha Ann Reynolds
Taxes on winnings
There seems to be some major misconceptions about gambling winnings as they are reported on tax returns. During the 15 years that I worked in the gambling casinos, it was assumed that a "big" winner was a re-capture of losses. Seldom did a winner leave with the money in any case. He usually played it back, often in the same evening. And the experience of winning doesn't inspire opening a bank account. Often it goes toward paying a bill or two, but just as often it inspires a fresh surge of betting, which usually engulfs not only the win, but more of the players principle wealth as well. For the IRS to buy the theory that these wins represent a gain in wealth is, at best, naive. Next best would be convenient. It's a lot easier to go after individuals than it is to go after the people with the money. It's the casinos that have the money, not their customers.
Remember when the IRS went after dealers' tips? They based their claim on lifestyle. Their argument went something like this. . ."If you are only making minimum wage, then how come you are driving a BMW?" A similar argument should be posed toward the person who is told that he can't deduct losings from his posted winnings. The only effect that taxing these winnings will have is that bankruptcy will come sooner to this person rather than later, and any benefit that is realized from funding scholarships through this tax windfall will be paid doublefold in the cost of foreclosure and the creation of a new homeless person, unable to participate in our economy. And the casinos will continue to falsely report "losses" as any win over 1200, which is patently ridiculous to anyone who has ever played.
Do you want your scholarship money? Withhold it from the winnings. The current system is grossly unfair to the casinos' customers. Disallowing the deduction would even the playing field, however. Because it ruins their shot at getting it back that night, and it's too good a bet to give up without a fight. There's your scholarship money, Senator Reid. Go for it. Ann Reynolds.
We are responsible
The time is right to pray and act. It isn't a time to respond to events. It is a time to focus on goals and to progress toward the goal. If our goal is making Nevada a better place to live, then we simply continue to live our lives in the best possible way, and refuse to be defeated by other people's definition of defeat.
If organized labor has abandoned Joe Neal, then organized labor will lose by its own choice. The speed with which the current casino/developer regime will absorb and digest the wage scales offered by union jobs will amaze us all. Joe Neal is offering us a chance to elect a human being to the post of Governor. We cannot pass up the chance to whole-heartedly support him, to our friends, to our bosses, to our employees, to our children, and to our postmen. To the grocer. To the receptionist at the bank. To anyone who is sick of having our lives fed to slick men who tell each other that gambling is just another business.
Remember that if we don't elect Joe Neal that what is happening in Las Vegas is the future of Nevada. Northern Nevada can no longer afford its smugness. What is happening in Verdi is a direct consequence of the success that pure greed has enjoyed in Las Vegas. What better climate for the usurpation of property rights than a core of corrupt and blind public servants who court money from any source with deaf ears to the people who live in the area?
But we have to remember that what happens here is not the fault of the politicians. It is the direct and irrevocable responsibility of the people who allow it to happen. Stop gambling and register to vote. Start spending your time somewhere other than a casino. Avoid stores with slot machines. If a person is ruining his life or your life by gambling, avoid that person.
The State of Nevada is still small. It can be controlled by a group of rational sensible and compassionate people, but we cannot lose our focus by accepting someone else's rules. If we want to stop being dominated by casinos publicly, then we must start carving out areas of sanity around ourselves. Cynicism is not useful. If anyone who is reading this is not registered to vote, then register. I was talking to a man today who wasn't registered to vote because he was a convicted felon. That's the only good excuse I've heard. (He was telling me that all of the employees of the company that he works for were convicted felons, and that is why they are being exploited, because they perceive themselves as powerless, and won't protest abusive treatment.) I asked him if he knew anybody who was eligible to register to vote, and he said no. He works for a company that disposes of toxic waste.
I talked to another woman who just moved here from Oregon and was working for 5 dollars an hour. She told her boss that the minimum wage was 5.15, and she was fired.
It is typical for casinos to hire full time and fire three weeks later, or to have much of their staff on-call, with two or three jobs. Preparing dealers to pass a drug test is an industry in itself.
Time is our enemy. If we are going to have a large population based on the casino industry, then we will have all the problems that go with diseases of the spirit. Spend your money and your time away from slot machines. If you work in a casino leave after work. Stop gambling. Register to vote. If you live in Reno, vote for Sam Dehne. Elect Joe Neal Governor. Stop treating casino owners like they are gods. They are con men. Enjoy your day.
Overdue Thanks to Sam
For all the disparity between the North and the South, many of the people
who live in the Northern regions of our state are anxious to see the
gambling business pay more of their own way. For those of you who don't
follow the links to the other "Citizen"(click here) pages, these words are published by Sam Dehne, an advocate of sanity and intelligence in the Reno area. His constant fight for a reasonable approach to running the Reno airport has greatly benefited the residents, while he suffers the slings and arrows of
outrageous Reno City Council members, none of whom appreciate his dry wit
or his cool head. (With the exception, of course, of Judy Pruett, a brave
northern Valkerie who has stood up to the police excesses as well as an
There are times, Sam, when it may seem that I don't appreciate you as a
publisher, even though you go to great lengths to publish my page "my way,"
virtually ignoring your own crusades, and staying up into the middle of the
night listening to the problems of Southern Nevada. In case you are ever
feeling that I take you for granted, please know that there has been many a
bleak night during this legislative session when the only encouraging word
that I have heard has been from you, telling me about a new link or telling
me that I have 50,000,000 subscribers when I'm certain that I have fewer.
As the legislative drama climaxes, for better or for worse, know that I
could not have kept this up without you. And if any Southerner who feels
gratified by anything that I have said, also feels abandoned by the
Northern half of the state, know that there is a "Gadfly" (click here) in the Sierra that has taken time for you, without condition. Thanks. Ann.
"Click" to read Ann Reynolds' Editorial Letters to former Nevada Governor, Mike O'Callaghan, Editor of the Las Vegas Sun.
"Click" to read The Reno Citizen.
To Read More Recent Ann Reynold's Observations, click your mouse here.
To Read More Recent Ann Reynold's Observations, click your mouse here.
To Read More Recent Ann Reynold's Observations, click your mouse here.
To Read earlier Ann Reynolds Observations, click your mouse here.
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