Logrolling, air raids & dirty deeds done dirt cheap

From the 2-2-2003 Daily Sparks, Nev., Tribune

The Nevada Legislature goes into session tomorrow. Lock up your kids and hide the silverware. Research Exclusive
State of Nevada study blames chronic fiscal problems on wholesale creation of low-wage casino jobs.

More corporate welfare horror stories: White Paper on Nevada's unfair and regressive tax structure. 1-20-2003 Web Extra

The Silence of the Sacred Cows
Sparks Tribune 1-19-2003

Gambling industry offers only token taxes and cosmetic participation
1-20-2003 Web Extra

State of the State: Next to Nothing
Las Vegas CityLife 1-30-2003

Humongous property tax hike glossed over by Gov. Dudley Do-Right
Sparks Tribune 1-26-2003

The need for zero-based taxing
Sparks Tribune 12-13-98

Legislative Opening Day Web Special: Dudley Do-Right, Joe Neal, living room elephants & chopped liver
2-3-2003 Web Extra

The good news: the power of the gambling industry ain't broke, but it's badly bent. The casino shills are casting about for deals with smaller lobbies they'd normally never talk to, promising to support special interest legislation in exchange for votes favoring the casino tax plan which hits everywhere but the gambling industry's fat profits.

IN THE AIR. Prediction: A story I heard from a military man many years ago will come to the fore in the Space Shuttle Columbia investigation. One aerospace company won a political battle for the shuttle's familiar bathroom-tile exterior. Experts at the time said a one-piece body design would have been safer. Perhaps they will now be proved right. Meanwhile, bow your head, say kaddish and light candles for the dead.

ON THE AIR. Because pimps, thieves, politicos and pundits are always interesting, Sam Shad's NevadaNewsmakers returns to the airwaves Monday through Thursday at 12:30 p.m. beginning tomorrow. For the first time in more than a decade, the program has switched addresses. It will now air immediately after the noon news on KRNV TV-4. Like last year, each program will be repeated on the same day at 9:30 p.m. on cable stations throughout the region — Charter Communications channel 12 in Reno, Sparks and Carson City, channel 19 in Douglas County. Audio of all four half-hour programs will be rebroadcast the following Sunday from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Reno radio station KKKOH-am 780.

Joining Shad and his faithful sidekick Andrea Engleman: Monday, Feb. 3, Gov. Dudley Do-Right hisself. Tuesday — Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D- Henderson. Wednesday — Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, and Ray Hagar, legislative correspondent and former sports editor of the Reno Gazette-Journal. Thursday — Nevada Manufacturers Assn. executive director Ray Bacon and Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville.

Among the guys who will get to say bad things about the pols after they leave: Andrew Barbano, Sparks Tribune; Scott Craigie, president of Alrus Consulting, former Nevada Public Service Commission chair and former chief of staff to ex-Gov. Bob Miller, sorta-D; Sparks political consultant Jim Denton; KKKOH afternoon talk show host Rusty Humphries.

SPEAKING OF TALK SHOWS. In the Jan. 5 edition of the Barbwire, I noted how the Demolitioncrats were again fooling around with ideas to counter the conservative media tide. They talked about a similar strategy after their 1994 drubbing at the hands of Newt and his Zootsuits. Hillary was placed in charge and it went nowhere. According to the New York Times, the most viable current alternative is talk radio. But the Donkeys plan to provide only guidance and encouragement for people to get their own shows on local stations, not money.

Here's a report from an enlightened registered Republican Barbwire spy who made the mistake of taking them seriously: "Just returned from DC and the 'Democracy Radio' talkers conference, which was mostly an exercise in showing the party heavies that their money was getting some action. About forty talkers around the nation were flown in for a daylong series of exposures to congress and senate Dems topped off by dinner at the capitol itself and a lot of schmoozing. Since 'progressive' talk hosts are largely unemployed, the turnout was looking for work, by and large. Gloria Allred just lost her show in LA and was there looking for backing, as was I, but there seems little chance of financial backing for buying time or setting up a satellite syndication of any sort. More DC jagoff. Write if you get work, and hang by your thumbs," wrote my former talk radio colleague.

DEMO FLAILING, PART DEUX. Washoe County Democrats host a summit this Saturday, Feb. 8, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at party HQ, 300 South Wells, Suite 5 in Reno. The keynote speaker will Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon. For more information, call (775) 829-1699 or 323-8683.

BREAKER BREAKER. At deadline, I got a tip from one of my union brothers. Yesterday, local Teamsters drivers for the three major freight lines, ABF, Yellow Freight and Roadway Express, voted almost unanimously to strike. The vote is viewed as mirroring balloting across the nation, results of which are due into Teamsters national HQ by noon Monday. The three companies saw their revenue skyrocket after Consolidated Freightways went out of business last year. The companies want workers to pay some of their own health insurance for the first time ever and accept a pay increase below the consumer price index. The national master freight agreement expires on April Fools Day. I worked side-by-side with Teamsters Citifare bus drivers during their strike and lockout last year. Looks like it's time to dust off my Jobs with Justice/Michael Moore picket sign.

SPEAKING OF THE MAHATMA. In his 1996 bestseller Downsize This!, Moore predicted that the U.S. would invade the tiny W. African nation of Burkina Faso, largely because we had already invaded just about all the other choice, defenseless targets. Now, we've got an excuse. A news report a couple of weeks ago said that the Burkina Faso government stands accused of providing shelter to some of Osama bin Laden's henchmen. I doubt we'll invade. Dubya doesn't seem to care about Osama (who?) anymore.

CLARIFICATION. Last week, I dropped a phrase at the head of the column. Downtown redevelopment agencies are funded mostly by skimming off property tax dollars and earmarking them for downtown corporate welfare for 50 years or so. However, Reno, Sparks and Las Vegas RDAs all augment with substantial amounts of room tax.

Be well. Raise hell. | U-News | C.O.P. | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors


Copyright © 2003 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 34-year Nevadan, a member Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of and He hosts Deciding Factors on several Nevada television stations. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.)Tribune since 1988.

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