TO: Nevada Workers
As you may be aware, the recent Las Vegas Review-Journal poll showed Sen. Joe Neal within 11 points of GOP frontrunner Kenny Guinn statewide (35-24 with 41% undecided). In John Ensign's southern Nevada congressional district, the race was dead even (29% Guinn, 28% Neal, 43% undecided). The RJ did not print those Clark County numbers. Neither would they publish their results on how a proposed gaming tax increase stands in the south. Statewide, the RJ noted the tax increase proposition losing by eight points. (See the story at the Las Vegas Review Journal, and "Neal in Close Race With Guinn Statewide.")
However, "until a few years ago, gaming industry polls indicated that 72 percent of the public thought casinos should pay for growth, said a former top government official," Larry Henry wrote in the Las Vegas Sun on Dec. 28, 1996. "That percentage was so frightening that casino executives quit including the question in industry polls," the Sun noted.
Last month, a survey of the Nevada Federation of Independent Business showed its membership favoring a gaming tax increase by a 52% to 43% margin. (Daily Sparks Tribune 2-9-98) Made up of small businesses, they also favored repeal of the per-head business activity tax. Ironically, this is almost identical to Sen. Joe Neal's tax proposal, which would raise taxes only on major casinos. (See "Casinos Pay No Taxes")
Kenny Guinn opposes affirmative action and collective bargaining for state workers. He favors Nevada's mislabeled right-to-work law, which allows people to avoid paying union dues while taking union pay, benefits and representation.
The same day Mr. Guinn addressed the Nevada AFL-CIO convention last September, he disclosed taking a substantial campaign contribution from Margaret Elardi and the Frontier Hotel. It was later disclosed as $30,000. (See "Three Bears Break Into Labor's House")
Mr. Guinn sat on the board of Boyd Gaming, which tried to bust the Carpenters Union at the Stardust and kept them without a pay raise for 11 years. Through the end of last year, he had taken $43,487.10 from Boyd interests.
My personally most severe criticism of Mr. Guinn comes from the comparatively small $2,000 payment he took on 5-27-97 from ATC/Vancom. This outfit provides $7.50 per hour replacements for the wrongly fired union security guards at the Reno Hilton. Some had been there since it opened as the MGM Grand in 1978. I have seen many of my friends lose their homes and marriages as a result.
Sen. Neal has the best labor record in the Nevada State Senate, where he has been a friend of workers for 26 years. Last year, he received a Lifetime Commitment Award at the Nevada AFL-CIO Convention. (His current term expires in 2000.)
Nevada labor has a chance to elect our best friend since Mike O'Callaghan held the governor's chair 20 years ago. Please circulate this memo and related material as far as you wish. Please contact us with any questions. Our campaign is very Internet-oriented. We are recommending that people working for Sen. Neal involve individuals with personal computers who can keep their group in touch with us via the worldwide web.
Your support of Sen. Neal will be sincerely appreciated. Keep us posted.
Andrew Barbano, member, CWA Local 9413
Neal for Governor Campaign Manager