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BallotBoxing '18: Maximum confusions & contusions
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 10-17-2018 Sparks Tribune / Updated 10-19, 10-21 & 10-22-2018 GMT / Expansions in blue

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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

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If you have not received your sample ballot, press the panic button and call the Washoe registrar of voters at (775) 328-3670. NOW.

Nevada Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske has employed Kansas SOS Chris Kobach's bounced-postcard disqualification scam. Cegavske was the queen of voter suppression when she served in the state senate. She has not changed.
International investigative journalist Greg Palast reports that 90,000 Nevadans have had their registrations nuked because Cegavske used Kobach's horrendously flawed database. Great way to keep blacks, browns and seniors from voting. Cegavske is in serious need of purging by Democrat Nelson Araujo.
BALLOT BOXING. As usual, some readers have demonstrated very questionable judgment asking me for guidance. Here are pointers upon which I will greatly expand at

Q1-NO. It's not a victims rights measure. It will enrich lawyers and the bail bond and for-profit prison industries. It was proposed so that Republican legislators could have another tough-on-crime brochure bullet point.
Q2-YES. Exempts feminine hygiene products from sales tax, the most regressive of taxes in the most regressively-taxed state. We love taxing necessities.
Q3-NO. As I have noted, it's a clash of rapacious billionaires foisted upon us by Sheldon Adelson and his casino mogul buds who want to forever saddle small ratepayers with their electrical transmission costs. On the other side is NVEnergy monopolist Warren Buffet who destroyed the rooftop solar industry. We must stick with the devil we know and push for much stronger regulation of NVEnergy and a greatly expanded consumer advocate's office.
Q4-YES. Exempts medical devices from sales and use taxes. Long overdue. We love taxing necessities.
Q5-YES. Automatic voter registration via the Dept. of Motor Vehicles unless you opt out. Vote-suppression types hate this sort of thing.
Q6-YES. Requires 50 percent alternative energy by 2030. A great insurance policy should Q3 pass (heaven forfend). Because of all the media confusion, Q3 might take Q6 down with it. If Jamal Khashoggi receives justice in no other way, replacing Saudi oil with renewable energy will hurt those murderous Saudi bastards in the only area that truly matters to them: their petty wealth.
WC1-YES. Tax increase for flood control.

I am incensed that people who don't subscribe to the Reno Gazette-Journal or have a computer have little or no way to get copies of the full texts of the ballot questions. You can't trust TV commercials. Greg Palast, call your office. [UPDATE: The ballot question texts were mailed separately from sample ballots. At my house, the latter arrived before the former which, if you're not looking for it, just looks like more junk mail to throw away. Kinda like Ms. Cegavske's postcards.)

TIGHT RACES: I'm supporting non-partisan Heidi Howe for sheriff against Republican Darin Balaam whose principal qualification is that his daddy held the job for one term. Go to, watch their recent debate and judge for yourself. They also appeared on Old Tales of Nevada last Sunday. URL with this column at
BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS ME. Organized labor mistakenly endorsed two Republicans, Balaam and school board candidate Andrew Caudill.*
Caudill can't have it both ways, telling unions what they want to hear then doing the same with Sharron Angle's hyper-conservative Nevada Republican Assembly outfit which is both anti-union and anti-public education. (I have written about them since 1998. Archive will be linked to this column.)
Caudill's opponent is incumbent Dr. Debra Feemster, an old friend and my only professional relationship in this election. She has paid me a total of $1,000 over the past two years to maintain her website and occasionally consult. This is no contest where qualifications are concerned. Mr. Caudill is a recent UNR grad and assistant to the athletic director.
As with Mr. Balaam, he is beloved of the jockocracy and the good ole boys. In the school board at-large race, novice Jacqueline Calvert is worth the nod over education destroyer Jeff Church,* another Angle acolyte. The mercurial Ms. Angle's outfit also supports County Commissioner Kitty Jung's opponent.
The complete list of Angle's moonhowlers will be linked to this column at See
STATE ASSEMBLY. If I lived in his district, I'd vote for my old friend and union brother Richard "Skip" Daly, D-Sparks. His perennial opponent Jill Dickman* is likewise an Angle re-run.
FOUR HORSEMEN. The Rail City version of the Addams Family has fielded four candidates in various races, most prominently former Tribune columnist Ira Hansen,* an overt racist. You will find my huge archive of smoking gun proof linked to the web edition of this column at See
STATEWIDE. I've worked for and supported a few good Republicans in my checkered 50-year career. Not this year. Although the top of the ticket is somewhat weaker than it could have been, lower office candidates Clint Koble, Kate Marshall, Aaron Ford, Catherine Byrne, Zack Conine and Araujo are worth consideration.
PROPS. Washoe Assessor Mike Clark* is a charlatan, winning election in 2014 by strongly hinting that he could cut property taxes. No assessor can (unless he's willing to doctor phony property assessments understating market value, thus risking serious jail time). Support Chip Evans.
SUING: Sean Laughlin's 18-day wrongful imprisonment in Lyon and Nye counties caused him to lose his career as a cruise ship entertainer. He's represented by Terri Keyser-Cooper, well known to Sparks and Yerington city halls. She recently dismantled the Lyon County School District and Yerington PD (see Mississippi West at right—>) in federal court for overt, endemic racism. Laughlin is the son of Nevada talk radio legend and Tribune columnist Travus T. Hipp (1937-2012).
SWAN SONG. This year not only brought my 30th anniversary with the Tribune but also Dr. Martina Young's 30th in Nevada. I'm not going anywhere, but the internationally recognized ballerina, choreographer, author and educator presents her last Nevada work this Thursday. She then tiptoes into the sunset toward Italia or perhaps Australia. (Aussies need all the cultural help they can get.)
"Black Swans, An Opera Poem" with Young and six interdisciplinary artists has its last performance at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Riverside Artist Loft 502 in downtown Reno. Limited seating. Tickets: $64 at
[10-16 BARBWIRE PREVIEW ONLY: A performance is also scheduled for Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.]
SWAN SONGS SUNG. Died: Union legend Stanley P. Jones, 95, former Nevada labor commissioner under Govs. Laxalt-R and O'Callaghan-D, and 2011 César Chávez Hall of Famer. Details as they arrive at Allen, 65, co-founder of Microsoft who acquired northern Nevada cable systems when he formed the unlamented Charter Communications, now Spectrum...Jamal Khashoggi, 59, employment terminated with extreme prejudice by the Saudi royal family in Istanbul, Turkey. Anybody know if he was related to wealthy movie producer and arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi (1935-2017) who resided in a Lake Tahoe mansion for many years? Adnan and former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos were acquitted of racketeering and fraud by a Manhattan federal jury in 1990.
Khashoggi is now a frontrunner for the most prestigious prize in journalism, the George Polk Award, named after the US journalist murdered in 1948 while covering the Greek Civil War.
[10-17 UPDATE: Jamal Khashoggi was indeed related. He was Adnan's nephew although he did not share in his late uncle's wealth. (New York Times national print edition 10-15-2018 page A8) I had not read the 10-15 edition before the Tribune went to bed. So there is indeed a Nevada hook to the Jamal Khashoggi murder story.]
Be well. Raise hell.  Esté bien. Haga infierno.
* Endorsed by Sharron Angle's organization

Be well. Raise hell.

Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.) / être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.) / Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of and BallotBoxing.US and and As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988 and received its ninth Nevada Press Association award and 6th first-place at the 29 Sept. 2018 NPA annual convention in Las Vegas. (That trophy and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.)


Great Depression 2.0: Sure cure for what ails us
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 10-10-2018 Sparks Tribune

50 shades of rape: Tales of future past
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 10-3-2018 Sparks Tribune

THE BIG 3-0. Sunday, August 12, 2018, marked 30 years since the first Barbwire appeared in the Rail City's newspaper of record since 1910. "The Chilling of Hot August Nights" brought the first of nine Nevada Press Association awards. I'll add more memories of the early days of the Barbwire as time, space and the political season allow. (See above right. —>)

Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the
Barbwire in August of 1987

Tempus fugit.

Sore-oppressed Soul-Sister Cities:
Menlo Park and Reno-Sparks-Fernley share similarly sad high-tech stretch marks

"All humanity has left the area": paying for Tesla's Gigafactory
Barbano and Nevada conservatives decry corporate welfare depredations

By Rory Carroll / The Guardian 7-3-2018

Editor's Note: The Guardian publishes 180,000 newspapers daily in London and environs and generates ONE BILLION monthly web page views. (I should live so long.)

"Facebook is taking everything": rising rents drive out Silicon Valley families
Property companies advertising their proximity to Facebook’s campus are giving low-income residents a choice: pay a huge rent increase or move out
By Sam Levin / The Guardian 6-20-2018

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For all the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now: Tell your friends and friendly enemies to subscribe to Barbwire Confidential for warm laughter, cheap thrills, hot scoops and occasional cold logic at BallotBoxing.US/ Cheap at twice the price. (Hush Hush!)

Last year's dark foreshadowings unfortunately became reality. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/ It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment. Thank you kindly for your support.

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)

Smoking Guns—> Barbwire 30th Anniversary Trilogy
Now well into a 4th decade of equal opportunity harassment of the rich, famous & powerful

Part 3: Biting the hand that feeds me
GOP '18 upsets: Déjà vu all over again
Laxalt and Heller favored to win in November
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 9-5-2018 Sparks Tribune
Part 2: Biting the moonhowlers
Good reasons to lie to those pesky pollsters
Heller eats sheep balls to get the courage to perpetrate guilt by association
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 8-29-2018 Sparks Tribune
Part 1: Bitten by my buds
Machine Gun Michele and her low-caliber, low-cut friends
The censored Barbwires of the 2015 legislature finally see ink and my fantasy fiancée bares all
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 8-22-2018 Sparks Tribune

30 Years before the masthead: Barbano remembers the Barbwire's greatest hits
By Kayla Anderson / Sparks Tribune 8-22-2018

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years
A mass murderer becomes famous on TV a century later

How come nobody noticed 'til now?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners Max Blank and Isaac Harris. Is not Mr. Harris eerily familiar to television junkies?

From the Emmy-winning opening slate of the blockbuster "Cheers" television series. Combined with its "Frasier" spinoff, it lasted 20 years.
The "shirtwaist kings" immigrated from Russia and made a fortune manufacturing "Gibson Girl"-style blouses. (Photo, "The American Experience"/PBS)
The Emmy-winning opening slate of the "Cheers" television series before the "slate" of creators is superimposed. Looks like Mr. Harris' dead ringer (at left) is having a bloody good time.

"Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx disguised as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup" (1933)
Back to the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist holocaust

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Copyright © 1982-2018 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is the executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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