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Skinny dipping with the devil
Expanded from the 7-20-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 8-7-2008

Because of chronic gerrymandering and logrolling, the winner of a Nevada party primary is often guaranteed victory in November. Such a sad scenario applies in the case of Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno. The lone Democrat in the race is running on a platform of anti-immigration racism, so Big Bad Bill's real fight comes in next month's primary against yahoo former assemblyperson Sharron Angle.

Sharron Angle spurns offer to debate Raggio on Nevada Newsmakers
Barbwire calls her bluff

11:12 a.m. PDT


Thanks for the offer but my schedule is full between now and Tuesday election.

Bill Raggio

Thanks. It could'a been a great fight.

Be well. Raise hell.


12:11 p.m. PDT

To: Sharron Angle
From: Andrew Barbano
Subject: two-hour TV debate offer

Dear Ms. Angle:

Sam Shad informs me that you declined his offer to debate Sen. Raggio on his show, favoring a longer format at SNCAT.

Reiterating my offer published in the July 20 Sparks Tribune, I'll give you both two hours, 2-4 p.m. this week or next Monday. We will take phone calls from the public.
Please let me know ASAP.

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano
(775) 786-1455

ec: Sam Shad, Bonnie McCorkle, Ray Hagar, Les Smith, Lisa Jansen, Sen. Raggio



She has the intellectual depth of a bantamweight flea, but is very presentable on television and knows how to engineer an effective door-to-door campaign.

The Republicans have a tough choice in that race between a taxophobe who will lead the state back to the stone age and a guy who has consistently sold out his constituents.

The old warhorse has proven masterful at snowing local media with the idea that he is the protector of the north against those dastards from Gomorrah South. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On last week's Nevada Newsmakers, Angle told Reno Kazoo-Journal reporter Ray Hagar and program host Sam Shad that Raggio had given three northern assembly seats to the south. Later in the week, Raggio blamed assembly Democrats.

Ms. Angle was quite correct about the assembly seats, but should have added one senate position. Raggio allowed the venerable Jake Jacobsen, R-Washoe-Carson-Douglas, to be redistricted out of office, as well as his own law partner and fellow railroad trenchie, Greg Brower, whom Angle then went out and beat in a consolidated district.

In 2001, Raggio had a deal cut to expand the ledge to its full constitutionally allowed size of 75, preserving northern seats. He reneged when the White House ordered him to remove some Democrats from the new southern Nevada congressional district. (Thank you, former Sparks schoolboy Karl Rove.)

Raggio's blaming of assembly Democrats was a terminological inexactitude. (In the British parliament, a member may not call another a liar, so Winston Churchill began accusing prevaricators of terminological inexactitudes. There's a lot of that still going around in these parts.)

Raggio was also responsible for the permanent loss of tax revenue to the south starting in 1991.

Assessor Bob McGowan was rightly criticized for mis-reportage of local property values. He and his staff did not remove the value of construction work in progress from the bottom line of finished construction, thus overstating the appraised value of new projects and resulting in a loss to Washoe County.

McGowan blamed it on a poorly worded state form and said other county assessors had made the same error. But it came at the worst time, making incoming majority leader Jack Vergiels, D-Las Vegas, and the boys from down south mad as hell at Raggio.

They extract their revenge on your wallet to this very day.

In 2002, Raggio and his minions used his greatest sellouts of his constituents to defeat Democrats, blaming them for what he did and getting away with it.

Only this column printed the truth. The Donkeykongs lost the game by rolling over and playing dead as usual. (See below.)

The choice for current Washoe voters is thus between the devil and the deep blue sea. I suggest skinny dipping with Sharron Angle who will, as Raggio noted to Shad and Hagar, be reduced to crocheting hopeless legislation from the back of the senate bus. (My analogy.)

That's better than we're used to.

Both candidates have agreed to debate face-to-face on a future Shad show, which will give them 22 minutes. I'll give them two hours on my show, and the offer is hereby tendered.

Stay tuned.

Barbwire 10-27-2002: BIG BAD BILL'S BIGGEST BUST. Apparently, the private investigators the Republican Party sicced on Sen. Maurice Washington's, R-Sparks, opponent came up dry. There's just nothing scandalous in Democrat Joe Carter's background.

I think they needed to dig back further. Two of Carter's ancestors served on the Washoe County Commission in the 1870's. I'm sure there's some dirt to be had there.

That would be about as good as the bullshit negative campaign Maurice and his hitmen have been running against the railroad engineer. They took some still frames from a TV debate and distorted them. Then they accused Carter (who has never held office) of siding with them dirty liberals from Gomorrah South to send Washoe tax money to Las Vegas. They even use a quote from former Assemblyman Ken Haller, D-Reno.

From 1991.

The truth is otherwise.

LV did hit Washoe's treasury hard in 1991 after Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, raised the specter of a southern Nevada fiscal raid in a misguided attempt to save Sen. Erik Beyer, R-Reno. A Beyer victory in 1990 would have preserved Raggio's position as majority leader. Beyer nonetheless lost to Democrat Diana Glomb.

Raggio's demagoguery of the north-south fair share issue inflamed Las Vegas Democrats and Republicans alike. Las Vegas has long been the tail that wags the dog, producing revenue which the state distributes to Nevada's northern counties. At the same time Raggio was pouring on kerosene, the Washoe county assessor discovered a tax sharing error in Las Vegas' favor. The southerners would have overlooked it had Raggio not enraged them, so Washoe County had to pay the money back to the state treasury over many years. That's why Reno streets went unrepaired for so long, among other things.

Now, in a desperate attempt to save Washington, Raggio is using one of the greatest screwups of his own career to smear Carter.

Barbwire 10-13-2002: GERRYMANDERING FOR GOD AND THE GOP. At a (videotaped) debate sponsored by the Vestal Virgins League of Vague Politics, Democrats, Republicans and fringies alike decried the loss of legislative clout for the north, which saw three assembly seats and one senate seat removed to sprawling southern Nevada. None dared state the reason why. Caving to pressure from the White House, Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, sold the seats to Las Vegas in exchange for the removal of 8,000 Democrats from the new southern Nevada Congressional District 3. Watch that show tonight and see if anybody dares cross the vindictive Raggio.

Nobody has the guts.


Be well. Raise hell.

Smoking Guns...

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?

...and more ammo

Barbwire.TV: 15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file


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.

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 | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
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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, and the Reno-Sparks NAACP. 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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