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Ringers and zingers go down in flames
Expanded from the 6-8-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune

St. Louis Cardinals hall of famer Dizzy Dean once famously said that if you do what you say you're gonna do, that ain't braggin'.

I closed my TV show last Friday predicting that in today's Tribune, I would end the political career of a Democratic candidate, and I wasn't kidding.

Marc Deal, you're outta here.

Mr. Deal is the only Democratic candidate on the ballot in sprawling Assembly District 32, which goes from eastern Sparks and the northern valleys all the way to longtime Assemblyman John Marvel's house in Battle Mountain, 3.5 counties away. (Can you say "gerrymander"?)

In addition to Mr. Marvel, five other Republicans filed along with one candidate from the Hansen-Wallace Moonhowler Party.

Mr. Deal's candidacy is illegal and his name must be removed from the ballot.

Records at the Washoe County Voter Registrar's office show that Mr. Deal was a registered Republican through the 2006 election, a year in which he did not vote. Failing to cast a ballot did not negate his party registration. He voted as a Republican in 2004.

Nevada Revised Statute 293.176 states that "no person may be a candidate of a major political party for partisan office in any election if he has changed: (a) The designation of his political party affiliation; or (b) His designation of political party from nonpartisan to a designation of a political party affiliation, on an application to register to vote in the State of Nevada or in any other state during the time beginning on December 31 preceding the closing filing date for that election and ending on the date of that election whether or not his previous registration was still effective at the time of the change in party designation."

Records at the registrar's office indicate that Mr. Deal re-registered as a Democrat at the party caucuses last January. His new affiliation was not entered into the system until March, as it was part of more than 8,000 new Democrats produced by the presidential beauty contest.

If Mr. Deal wanted to seek office as a Democrat, he needed to have changed his registration last year.

He did not. He's out.

The Democrats need to find a new candidate in that race, but the process is very cumbersome because it's a multi-county district.

Nevada Revised Statute 293.166 states that "A vacancy occurring in a party nomination for the office of State Senator or Assemblyman from a legislative district comprising more than one county may be filled as follows…The county commissioners of each county, all or part of which is included within the legislative district, shall meet to appoint a person who is of the same political party as the former nominee and who actually, as opposed to constructively, resides in the district to fill the vacancy, under the chairmanship of the chairman of the board of county commissioners of the county whose population residing within the district is the greatest. Each board of county commissioners shall first meet separately and determine the single candidate it will nominate to fill the vacancy. Then, the boards shall meet jointly and the chairmen on behalf of the boards shall cast a proportionate number of votes according to the percent, rounded to the nearest whole percent, which the population of its county is of the population of the entire district. Populations must be determined by the last decennial census or special census conducted by the Bureau of the Census of the United States Department of Commerce. The person who receives a plurality of these votes is appointed to fill the vacancy. If no person receives a plurality of the votes, the boards of county commissioners of the respective counties shall each as a group select one candidate, and the nominee must be chosen by drawing lots among the persons so selected….No change may be made on the ballot after the first Tuesday after the primary election of the year in which the general election is held. If a nominee dies after that date, his name must remain on the ballot and, if elected, a vacancy exists."

If not high drama, this has the makings of great comedy. The Washoe County Commission, comprised of four Republicans and one freshman Democrat, would have the maximum clout in naming a new Democratic nominee. I guarantee you that they will choose the weakest available candidate.

It gets worse for the Republicans. Venerable Assemblyman Marvel is in very poor health. Even if he wins the primary in the lopsidedly Republican district, he may not be able to serve. When it comes to filling a vacancy, commissioners will first look to the runnerup in the primary. So second place to Marvel this August may be very valuable indeed.

The strongest contenders are Mike Weber, a believer in government by the Christian Bible (see the Barbwire of Oct. 13, 2002) and husband of Washoe County Commissioner Bonnie Weber, and investment counselor Glenn Dawson who has amassed a huge warchest. (Mr. Dawson was briefly a commercial public relations client of mine about 10 years ago.)

RINGING ENDORSEMENT. Mr. Deal may be this year's Marvel Ringer.

A few elections back, Mr. Marvel's minions put a ringer into the Democratic primary. She told her opponent that she would not campaign, that she wasn't really interested in getting elected, and that she would endorse him after the primary. She beat the guy who wanted the job, then rolled over and played dead in the general election and Mr. Marvel coasted to victory.

I suspect that Mr. Deal may be part of the same old-fashioned, skullduggerous and quite effective election strategy. Which has now blown up.

Since multi-county candidates must file with the secretary of state in Carson City, it's his job to make sure candidates are legally qualified. Looks like Mr. Deal dropped through the bureaucratic cracks.

His filing caused a real Democrat to withdraw from the race after seeing the party ticket filled.

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week's launch of what may well be the first marriage of talk radio, talk TV and webcast webchat. The show will probably move to cable channel 200 pending the next lineup shakeup a couple of months from now when Charter Communications again juggles the numbers as the system moves to full digital.

You may also tune in online at Barbwire.TV from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. The phone number is (775) 682-4144.

Tune in, turn on and tell a friend.

Be well. Raise hell.

Smoking Guns...

Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know
Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.

...and more ammo

NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Alternet 5-20-2007

Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.

Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate. For additional comments on the work of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning team, use the search engine and sweep for "Barlett."

Review of Alex Carey's Taking the Risk Out of Democracy:
Propaganda in the US and Australia

The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below

ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press

     SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.

     By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)

     Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.

Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.

      BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey

      BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy

The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Barbwire 9-10-2006

      Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

      RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?



Copyright © 1982-2008 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of and; a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO; political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP; and producer of the annual César Chávez celebration. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.


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