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Fallon Star-Press
A Reno Gazette-Journal community publication

GUEST EDITORIAL: Balancing the Books

FALLON (24 Feb. 2006) – The Feb. 10 Fallon Star-Press published a front page story entitled "CC Communications, union fighting public relations battle."

It was 1,228 words long. The most generous reading shows that the paper allowed just 274 words, less than one in four, explaining the workers' point of view. The remaining 954 words presented the company's position and several outright inaccuracies.

Your article noted that KVLV radio station manager Mike McGinness "refused to run (union) ads because they contained personal attacks on Churchill County Commissioner Lynn Pearce, who is also a co-owner of KVLV and its morning personality."

State Sen. McGinness, R-Fallon, added that "If the ads were more to the issues and less personal, we may have run them."


Scroll down to listen to each 60-second spot.


The facts are otherwise and were easily accessible. Both of the radio spots have been posted at since Jan. 25. Your reporter was informed but the story failed to tell your readers of that availability.

Two minutes of listening would reveal that neither announcement makes any kind of personal attack on Commissioner Pearce. Each merely requests that taxpayers ask him to inquire into the credit card charges of CC Communications executives.

As one of his official duties, Mr. Pearce chairs the public body which oversees CC Communications for the county.

KHWG general manager Dee Gregory's allegations were news to us. He gave our representative a single excuse for turning the workers away: CC Communications is a big advertiser.

CC Communications continues its refusal to reveal the purposes for which the credit card charges were incurred. Like Churchill County and the Internal Revenue Service, the company's policy clearly requires full documentation: "When approving the bill, attach your receipts to it with the purpose and guests appropriately noted on the back of the receipt," their own rules state.

CC Comm attorney Mark Feest called our efforts "a smear." That comes far closer to a personal attack than anything the workers or their union have done.

The bottom line is respect for an honest day's work. In return for their hard and sometimes dangerous labor, CC Comm offered its employees a pay cut. Inflation has been tracking at an annual rate of about five percent. CC Comm offered only 2.5 percent. That's below the cost of living and, by any measure, a pay cut.

The employees turned down the company offer and have worked without a contract since last June.

Such disrespect does not end with paychecks. Last year at a meeting attended by CC Comm workers and Churchill County employees, a top executive forced some participants to wear dunce caps with floppy ears.

That's disrespect.

Because our members raised questions about credit card expenditures, we requested documentation. CC Comm is owned by the taxpayers. This is public information.

The company has explained just two or three of hundreds of transactions, and only in press interviews.

However, they have not acted on two requests to provide a full accounting of what the charges were for.

Perhaps if the Fallon Star-Press asked for the information, you would be more successful.

John Doran is a staff representative for the Communications Workers of America.


A partial list of vendors patronized with CC Communications credit cards.

Blue Ribbon Meats
Harmony, Brooklyn New York
Cock 'n' Bull Restaurant
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company,
   New Orleans
Lands' End
The Fontainebleau, Miami
Business Objects Crystal
Plumpjack Hotel Squaw Valley
Art Today, Inc.
Subway again
Dairy Queen
Oriental Trading Company
Sandwinds Restaurant
Subway again
Late charge (oops)

Stratosphere Las Vegas
Howlin Good Barbecue
Royal Towncar
Overlimit fee (oops again)
Baldini's Sports Casino
Mirage, Palms and Hard Rock Hotel,
  Las Vegas
Port of Subs
Sushi Boat
Round Table Pizza
Westin Maui
Leilani's on the Beach, Maui
Golden Rice Bowl
Total Fitness Athletic Center, Fallon

Information provided by the company at union request.

2.36.040 County Credit Cards:

Each county employee who is issued a county card may only use the credit card to purchase goods or services for the county. An accurate record of expenses to include duplicate receipts of all transactions must be submitted to the comptroller's office for payment. No personal transactions are allowed. Any transactions not in compliance with this section shall subject the employee to disciplinary procedures as outlined in chapter 3.52 of this code and cause forfeiture of said credit card upon an order by the board of commissioners. (Bill 2002-G, 2002)

CC Communications

Distribution: Salaried Employees
Effective Date: February 15, 1992
Revision Date: March 17, 1997
Subject: Credit Card
File Under: Administration
Page 1 of 1 Pages


    The use of a company credit card (Mastercard) for travel and business expenses is encouraged for all management, supervisory and staff employees.
    The use of this card allows for the reduction and amount of cash advances. It allows for better record keeping.
    Occasional purchases made for the company can save considerable time and effort rather than obtaining a cash advance or using your own credit card or check. These types of purchases should be kept to a minimum.
    Do not physically loan your card to any other employee.
    Receipts for charges should be kept until you receive the Mastercard bill from Accounting. When approving the bill attach your receipts to it with the purpose and guests appropriately noted on the back of the receipt.


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