NEVADA UNION-ENDORSED CANDIDATES 2000
Nevada Secretary of State statewide election returns
Clark County (Las Vegas area) election returns
Washoe County (Reno-Sparks area) election returns
Reno Gazette-Journal Election 2000
Las Vegas Sun Election 2000
Las Vegas Review-Journal Election 2000
YOGI BERRA RULES! IT AIN'T OVER TILL IT'S OVER
THE FAT LADY
GOES ON STRIKE AND REFUSES TO SING
RENO (Nov. 19, 2000) ELECTION POST-MORTEMS
FOR A SUNDAY MORNING. If you're not doing anything of great social, religious
or athletic significance this Sunday morning at 11:30, tune in to KOLO TV-8's
Nevada Newsmakers anywhere in eastern California/northern Nevada
viewing area. Sam Shad and the usual suspects will dissect the Y2K political
wars and the media which further mangled them.
guests will be Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, R-Reno, and veteran Newschannel
8 reporters Dennis Myers (also a columnist for the Sparks Tribune and Las
Vegas Business Press) and Andrea Engleman, producer of the station's campaign
adwatch and former executive director of the Nevada Press Association. Late
but not least, this website's humble labor editor will present his calm
and collected viewpoints. BARBWIRE:
Election theft Y2K 1988 warnings ignored)
(Nov. 8) VEGAS HAIR WINS A SENATE SEAT. Back when radio ruled the
airwaves, a guy named Smiling Ed McConnell used to open his program with
"ain't nobody gonna sleep while this show's on." Somewhere, smiling Ed is
smiling tonight as the presidential race remains too close to call.
Ed isn't smiling too broadly this morning. Las Vegas attorney Ed Bernstein
lost his bid to hold Sen. Richard Bryan's, D-Nev., seat for the donkey party.
If you get up early, or just don't sleep, you can watch your humble labor
news editor analyze the results today at 6:40 a.m. PST time on KOLO TV-8.
It can been seen throughout northern Nevada and parts of eastern California.
I will be joined by newly re-elected Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., and host
was the harbinger of former congressman John Ensign's elevation to the senate
when Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., pronounced Ensign acceptable in an interview
with Shad earlier this year. (See the 2-13-Y2K installment of Barbwire by
Barbano, accessible at the link at the bottom of this page.) Reid defeated
Ensign by fewer than 500 votes in 1998.
SQUEAKS THROUGH IN LAS VEGAS As NevadaLabor.com reported Monday, Rep.
Shelley Berkley's, D-Las Vegas, once-large lead had shrunk to as little
as five points in some polls. The Republican Party poured $2 million into
Nevada in the last week. Berkley, one of the GOP's principal targets at
the beginning of the year, was re-elected by 7.5 points over State Sen.
Jon Porter, R-Henderson.
U.S. Senate nominee Ed Bernstein took a public relations hit with last Wednesday's
release of a Las
Vegas Review-Journal poll showing him slipping against the much better-funded
John Ensign. Other
polls showed the race much closer. Bernstein debated Ensign at the Peppermill
Hotel-Casino in Reno on Thursday night. They had their final confrontation
Sunday night in Las Vegas, but these apparently changed few minds. Bernstein
was toast when Ensign's staff was able to successfully execute two changes
of position on abortion.
Nevada AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Danny Thompson, left, with U.S. Senate candidate Ed Bernstein at
last September's Nevada AFL-CIO convention.
a Bernstein victory over the union-busting Ensign (see the 1998 background
article, below), Democrats stood to break years of GOP gridlock in the U.S.
Senate. Bernstein's race rose to even greater national significance with
the tragic death of Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan in a plane crash. Carnahan
was rated the Democrats' best chance to unseat an incumbent Republican senator.
His widow has pledged to accept appointment to his seat should he win posthumous
election. Republican supporters of incumbent Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Mo.,
have promised a court challenge should that occur, and apparently it has.
of the early betting lines conceded the retiring Sen. Richard Bryan's seat
to the GOP. Ed Bernstein and Nevada organized labor changed the odds. Labor
went to work to win early support for Bernstein and kept that commitment
strong through some tough moments. Because of those efforts, Bernstein went
from impossible longshot to credible contender. However, one amateur mistake
in not quoting verbatim an Ensign interview on a Pahrump TV station allowed
Ensign to fuzz the abortion issue and stop Bernstein's momentum at the same
was one of about a dozen smaller states in play with the potential to decide
the presidency. Vice-President Gore and Texas Gov. Bush ran even with each
other, resulting in Las Vegas visits by the vice-presidential nominees over
the final weekend of the campaign. Green
Party nominee Ralph Nader's wild card entry raised the stakes even higher.
STATE ASSEMBLY DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY THREATENED BUT SURVIVES Late speculation
out of Las Vegas said the Democratic stranglehold on the 2001 Nevada State
Assembly would be loosened. The donkey party enjoyed a 28-14 supermajority
in the lower house in the 1999 legislative session.
Review-Journal article by veteran political reporter Jane Ann Morrison
reflected a decidedly GOP spin and ignored the almost-certain Democratic
pickup of the late Jan Evans' seat in Sparks by Democrat Debbie Smith. It
also counted on the defeat of Assembly Judiciary Chair Bernie Anderson,
D-Sparks. Newcomer Kendall Stagg was positioned to catch incumbent Assemblyman
Don Gustavson, R-Sun Valley, at the wire. Gustavson responded with vicious
last-minute smears against Stagg both on the streets and via Republican-friendly
hate radio and was re-elected. After an early scare, Smith won by a wider
margin than the veteran Anderson.
the Monday Reno Gazette-Journal, political commentator Jon Ralston predicted
that the Democrats would lose four assembly seats, blunting the Democratic
edge in a reapportionment year. All of this gave union members and their
families plenty of reason to get out the vote on Tuesday and they did. The
only incumbent lost to the Democrats was Genevieve "Gene" Segerblom, D-Boulder
City. Her district has a GOP registration majority. Mrs. Segerblom represented
the third generation of her family to serve in the Nevada Assembly. Las
Vegas Assemblywomen Kathy McClain and Ellen Koivisto survived GOP challenges
and Democrat John Oceguera held the seat vacated by the retiring Kelly Thomas.
UNION MOTIVATION -- PAY CUTS If union members needed any more incentive
to work to maintain the edge in the lower house, all they needed to do was
review Gov. Kenny Guinn's latest attempt to get around the state's prevailing
wage law with a construction
and leaseback scheme. Assembly minority leader Lynne
Hettrick, R-Gardnerville, served notice earlier this year that the prevailing
wage law would be a target for budget-cutters.
Sparks Assemblywoman-elect Debbie Smith, left,
with Las Vegas State Senate candidate Terrie Stanfill at the recent
Nevada AFL-CIO convention.
STATE SENATE STAYS 12-9 REPUBLICAN Labor-endorsed candidates made a
strong drive to re-take the Nevada State Senate for next year's critical
reapportionment session. Firefighter and Pahrump rancher Ed
Beaman ran a very aggressive race in the sprawling Central Nevada Senate
District, but started calling the incumbent's record into question too late
in the contest.
race and that of Las Vegas business consultant Terrie
Stanfill were critical to the Democratic
Party strategy of winning a state senate majority for the first time
in 10 years -- just in time for reapportionment. Stanfill
fell 10 points short of upsetting troubled Sen. Ray Rawson, R-Las Vegas.
She quickly drew even with Rawson in early polling and the race remained
a dead heat late in the running. Like Beaman, Stanfill was heavily outspent.
She was able to field small armies of precinct walkers to make up some of
the difference. Stanfill, too, failed to aggressively call Rawson's record
into question. Failure to exploit the vulnerabilities of the incumbents
cost the Democrats their best chance in a decade to win a state senate majority.
last week, Beaman launched a long overdue attack against the Sen. McGinness.
is more important to rural Nevada than water," Beaman said. "We
elect our representatives to fight for our best interests. Yet, when Truckee
River water was on the negotiating table at the 1999 Nevada Legislature,
Sen. Mike McGinness of Fallon chose not to participate.
Central Nevada Senate District candidate Ed
Beaman, a fire captain and Pahrump rancher.
landmark 1999 Truckee River Water Settlement will affect his hometown of
Fallon for generations. The bargain was struck without Sen. McGinness,"
his credit, Sen. McGinness appears to take no credit for the water settlement
in his re-election campaign advertising. Mr. McGinness is a fine person,
good citizen and businessman, but his absence during the negotiations raises
serious questions about how he views his responsibilities in high office,"
of other parts of the Central Nevada Senate District must be equally concerned,"
Beaman added. "Walker Lake is dying and the future of Hawthorne diminishes
along with it. Las Vegas Strip casino moguls have long lusted after southern
Nye County and Lincoln County water.
McGinness rightly voted against casino boss Steve Wynn's high-priced art
tax break and corporate subsidy in 1997. However, Mr. McGinness changed
his position and supported an expansion
of that loophole in 1999. This year, Las Vegas casinos, including some
of Mr. Wynn's recently-sold properties, and the law firm which lobbied for
Mr. Wynn, have showered the McGinness campaign with money. Meanwhile, Steve
Wynn continues to cash his tax break, taking millions a year from school
children, while planning his next water-themed Strip resort" Beaman
CANDIDATES WORKED HARD AND, WIN OR LOSE, DID THEMSELVES PROUD Sparks
State Assembly Candidate Debbie Smith
successfully defended the seat of the late, great Jan Evans. Congratulations
may be called to (775) 331-0897 or 857-4440. At the last minute, Smith received
the endorsement of the Reno Black Professional Men's Association to add
to her long list.(Reno
Gazette-Journal Smith endorsement.)
Assembly members Vivian Freeman, D-Reno, and Bernie Anderson, D-Sparks,
narrowly fended off aggressive GOP challenges. Freeman may be reached at
(775) 747-3448. (Reno
Gazette-Journal Freeman endorsement.)
Assemblyman Anderson may
be contacted at (775) 358-8113. (Reno
Gazette-Journal Anderson endorsement.)
assembly candidate Willie Edwards
promised to walk every house in the district. Edwards published a running
tally of the number of homes he walked by using a "Willie Walk thermometer"
on the front page of the Douglas County
Democratic Central Committee's website. Edwards recently caused a dandy
little dustup when he found his opponent's campaign signage creating the
impression of a Bank of America endorsement. (See the link at the top of
this page.) He was defeated by anti-labor incumbent Lynn Hettrick in the
most heavily Republican county in Nevada. Edwards may be contacted at (775)
Dist. 32 (North Valleys) assembly candidate
Kendall Stagg, surged after the Reno Gazette-Journal endorsed him over
the two-term GOP incumbent. Stagg's
endorsement by longtime Sparks Tribune Sun Valley columnist Susan Severt
in last Thursday night's edition combined with aggressive precinct and direct
mail campaigning positioned him to win. Gustavson responded with right-wing
hatred and bigotry. The smears worked.(Reno
Gazette-Journal Stagg endorsement.)
this page and the Barbwire column for news and more hijinx. All information
welcome. E-mail the AFL-CIO/COPE
well. Raise hell.
1998 Nevada Republicans Plan to Silence
Workers at the Polls
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is from NevadaLabor.com's
Campaign '98 file, but applies more than ever today. The pogrom to pauperize
and silence workers at the polls has spread across the country. Whenever
he's asked about campaign finance reform, the first words from Republican
presidential nominee George W. Bush involve his support of the following
proposal. When GOP U.S. Senate nominee John Ensign sat in the U.S. House
of Representatives, he also supported this union-busting concept. Still
does. If Bush finally wins the White House and is able to depend on GOP
majorities in both houses of Congress, union members will have targets
tattooed on their backs for the next four years.]
Nevada Republican Party has circulated a statewide initiative petition
which would make it extremely difficult for worker organizations to participate
have long been required to honor members' requests that no fraction of
their dues be devoted to political purposes. The Nevada GOP proposes to
make matters much more difficult with what it termed a "paycheck
protection" initiative petition. Despite the label, it has nothing
to do with paying Nevada workers a living wage.
will be modeled after a bill of the same name introduced by U.S. Senate
Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.). Lott's proposal, which failed in
congress, would place a mountain of paperwork to plug up the process.
similar California initiative is already underway. Steve Moler's excellent
explanation appears in the October '97 edition of Engineers News published
by Operating Engineers Local 3.
Moler notes that the Republican effort will be cloaked in the mantle of
campaign finance reform.
called the 'Campaign Reform Initiative,' the measure would prevent labor
organizations from using union funds for political purposes without acquiring
written authorization from each member on special forms devised by the
state," Moler reports. Ironically, the anti-government party now
mandates a big government solution to damage its political opposition.
a law would deal a crippling blow to the labor movement's political action
programs...The initiative would impose no such restrictions on corporations
and other special interest groups. Big business would be able to spend
money on politics while unions would have to sit on the political sidelines
and watch," Moler concludes. So much for freedom of speech.
Big Government is just alright with these guys as long as they can use
it to grind workers into silent submission. The dollar derby is far from
competitive already. A recent report compiled by the Center for Responsive
Politics shows business interests outspending labor more than 11 to 1
during the 1996 election cycle.
initiatives will become next year's "wedge issue," Moler notes.
California Gov. Pete Wilson (R) has made a career of fanning irrational
hatreds for personal gain. "More than most politicians, Wilson needs
an enemy...somebody or something to beat up on: I demonize, therefore,
I am," wrote Sacramento Bee columnist John Jacobs last Sept. 30.
the 1994 elections, thousands of union members in California were duped
into voting for Wilson in part because they were drawn to his support
of two highly charged ballot measures: the anti-immigration initiative,
Prop. 187, and the 'three-strikes-and-you're-out' measure, Prop. 184,"
after Wilson won by a landslide over Democrat Kathleen Brown, union members
watched in disbelief as Wilson attempted to eliminate overtime after eight
hours, abolish prevailing wages and dismantle the state's civil service
system through massive contracting out. He eventually managed, through
the state Industrial Welfare Commission, to abolish the eight-hour day
earlier this year," Moler notes.
Nevada GOP is simply borrowing a page from the Pete Wilson playbook to
turn a profit. They have manufactured a threat to the survival of civilization
as we know it and offered the usual five magic words as a solution: "pay
to the order of..."
recent Nevada Republican fundraising mailer fabricating the threat and
announcing the fiscal fix just drips with anti-worker viciousness. (See
the Nevada AFL-CIO response below.)
To longtime GOP watchers, this comes as nothing new.
one mailing this year, they called the Rev. Jesse Jackson a "poverty-pimping
hustler" (3-8-97). They equated AFL-CIO President John Sweeney with
the late Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev, stating "the spirit
of Khrushchev lives on" (3-26-97). Red Scare McCarthyism has returned
to Nevada and the GOP is selling the tickets.
their official publications, the Nevada Republican hierarchy has even
opposed the Constitutional separation between church and state (2-8-97)
and the very concept of public higher education: "I see no great
desire for higher education that would justify pouring still more billions
of the taxpayers' money down a bottomless pit. We already have far too
many people in college who have neither the desire nor the ability to
make the investment pay off." (Thomas Sowell, 3-8-97)
outright contempt for public education expressed in the March 8 edition
seems particularly ludicrous, given that the GOP's gubernatorial frontrunner,
Kenny Guinn (Doctor of Education), uses as principal qualifications his
experience as a teacher, school superintendent and UNLV president.
detailed exposure of this uncontrolled partisan anger, please see the
March 30 and April 6, 1997, installments of Barbwire
additional perspectives on the GOP campaign to eviscerate the votes of
working people can be found in the Dec. 9 writings of Las Vegas Review-Journal
Ralston and Las Vegas Sun commentator Jeff
German further reported on Dec. 11 that many GOP stalwarts are upset with
Mason's declaration of war, given that the party's gubernatorial frontrunner
is actively courting labor support.
least one Nevada labor leader sees a benefit to the GOP campaign. "It
will surely motivate a lot of our people who might otherwise sit on the
sidelines next year," said Tom Stoneburner, President of United Plant
Guard Workers Local 1010 in Reno.
Nevada Labor website welcomes your responses and involvement.
well. Raise hell.
Nevada AFL-CIO Leader Responds to GOP Threat
In a letter to Nevada Republican Party chair John
Mason, Nevada AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Claude S. Evans responded
"we are in receipt of your fund-raising letter in which you attack
our state and national labor unions.
"As a 44-year resident of Nevada and a Democrat who has
voted for and supported Republicans for political office, and in spite
of your attacks will undoubtedly do so again, I resent your hate-filled
and inaccurate fund-raising letter. Nevada deserves better.
reference to your support of the so-called 'paycheck protection ballot
initiative,'" Evans wrote, "as you seem to be concerned about
our members' political donations, I'm sure you will want to support our
initiative to have all shareholders of corporations vote on all political
donations made by Nevada corporations," Evans asserted.
one of those whom you define as a 'labor union boss,' I'm very proud that
the union members of Nevada have elected me to my current position and
the other union offices I've held for the past 40 years.
130,000 members of the Nevada AFL-CIO, of which 25,000 are registered
as Republican, are (part of) a non-partisan organization. We will not
attack anyone simply because of their party affiliation, but based on
their records and their positions on issues important to the working men
and women of our state and nation.
quote former President Harry S. Truman: 'Those who say they love workers
but hate unions are damn liars.' Please note that we have not enclosed
any donation to your organization but will donate directly to Republican
candidates of our choice," Evans concluded.
longtime resident of Henderson, Evans served as secretary-treasurer of
the Nevada AFL-CIO from 1978 until his retirement in 1999.
Who's Bankrolling the Nevada GOP Union-killer Campaign?
Sands/Venetian CEO Sheldon Adelson has a twisted
relationship with Nevada organized labor. On the one hand, he has signed
a union project labor agreement to build his new 6,000-room Venice-themed
resort, an all-suite property linked to his shopping mall and convention
center next door. When completed, it will be the world's largest hotel,
easily eclipsing the 4,000-room longtime recordholder in Moscow, Russia.
as northern Nevada workers can attest, the big boys like to take advantage
of union skill and efficiency to build their megaproperties, but they'd
rather have unions go away afterward.
Venetian is rising on the site of the Sands, known to oldtimers as "a
place in the sun" when it was home to the legendary Sinatra-led Rat
Pack of the 1960's. When Adelson closed the venerable hotel last year,
he would not guarantee any seniority or rehiring of longtime Sands employees
at the new resort. This incurred the wrath of the 45,000-member culinary
and bartenders unions.
two locals have been actively demonstrating against the Venetian project,
questioning traffic impacts and trying to impede financing on Wall Street.
has been rumored as backing the GOP initiative petition to neutralize
labor in politics. On Dec. 11, Las Vegas Sun columnist Jeff German reported
that "one GOP insider insists Adelson is not among those being asked
to support the drive."
didn't ask the right question. No one need ask the angry Adelson. He has
bankrolled candidates into office, recently putting hundreds of thousands
into local elections and defeating a longtime member of the all-powerful
Clark County commission.
Las Vegas Strip moguls, most notably Mirage magnate Steve Wynn, have been
openly placing their chips on the GOP side of the table.
Kenny Guinn, who has neither sought nor held public office before, currently
stands as governor-in-waiting, duly anointed by the gambling-industrial
complex. The Strip Lords have refused funding to all potential opponents.
Only fringies remain in the race against pretty Kenny.
89.5% of the private workforce in the U.S. now non-union, corporate America
is lining up some formidable money men to kill off the final 10.5%. (American
union membership peaked at about 35% just after World War II. Right wing
writers have long predicted a "union free America" by the year
Vegas is now the focal point of union resurgence in the country. The Service
Employees International Union is waging a very effective campaign against
the oppressive Columbia/HCA Sunrise Hospital.
AFL-CIO Building Trades Dept. is spending $6.3 million to reclaim the
Las Vegas construction industry. The Building Trades Organizing Project
also serves as a training school for union organizers from throughout
the nation. More than 2,500 new members have signed up since the program's
kickoff earlier this year.
Culinary and Bartenders unions recently declared victory at the Frontier
Hotel. When a new owner takes over on Feb. 1, 1998, it will signal the
end of the longest strike in the country. The Culinary Union is making
union recognition at Hilton's two Reno hotels a condition of a new contract
covering the Las Vegas Strip.
resurgence also provides a convenient fundraising tool for the GOP. Just
as California Gov. Pete Wilson (R) needs enemies to demonize, so do his
counterparts elsewhere. It's just good business - it generates business
among current GOP political high rollers is J. Patrick Rooney, chairman
of Golden Rule Insurance Co. On Dec. 8, the Chicago Sun-Times noted that
"Indiana insurance magnate Rooney, a conservative activist, helped
finance the California petition drive and said he wants to take the issue
has billions at stake on this bet. He is the father of the Medical Savings
Account which critics say will skim the healthy client out of Medicare,
facilitating the death spiral of the system. For an exhaustive study of
Rooney, his plans and activities, see the January/February 1996 edition
of Mother Jones magazine. "MediKill"
by Robert Dreyfuss and Peter H. Stone takes the reader "inside Newt's
plan to gut Medicate and enrich one of his biggest contributors."
March/April 1996 issue of MoJo lists Rooney at no. 224 on the Mother Jones
400 list of largest political bankrollers, but that understates his importance
and closeness to one major Republican.
has funded Gingrich's campaigns and his think tank, the Progress &
Freedom Foundation, and gave at least $150,000 to GOPAC," Mother
the GOP Congress took over, an investigation into Golden Rule was canceled
by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), a major GOPAC fundraiser. More importantly,
the 'Medical Savings Accounts'
championed by Rooney became a centerpiece of the House Medicare bill,
putting Golden Rule in a position to make millions," MoJo reported.