Bill Raggio Governor of Nevada 2011
Expanded from the 1-24-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 4-25-2010 and 11-7-2010
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions —new power to the people on the public airwaves

The program was available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The show appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the event, commercial TV greatly expanded its distribution.

Thus began what an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV, where you may also access the show on your desktop.

You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your contribution will help fund the distribution of the Dec. 6 program as well as a new regional, non-corporate community radio station.

You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.


Be well. Raise hell.


Barbwire column on the depredations of Charter Communications and the Reno City Council wins 2009 Nevada Press Association first-place award

The Barbwire TV/web simulcast will return as soon as new studio construction is complete. Your contribution will be most welcome. Keep an eye on the Barbwire print edition for updates.

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest. A button for older shows is being installed. You may also search by date — M-F for the past year save holidays.

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15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
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It's been largely ignored by the northern mainstream media, but has anyone noticed that if former federal judge Brian Sandoval wins the governorship this year, it means that State Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, becomes de facto CEO of Nevada?

Local wags have been chuckling that Sandoval's recently announced plan to save the body politick is comprised largely of Raggio talking points. Raggio's law firm is Sandoval's current employer, providing him with a place to perch and from which to campaign.

Anyone familiar with the revolving door realities of politics as practiced by the Silver State's large juice law firms is familiar with such arrangements.

One image will suffice to show how the game is played. If you get invited to a meeting in the imposing law library or cherry wood conference room of some of the biggies, you can't help noticing the prominently displayed photos of former members of the firm who sit in judgeships or other high offices.

An officeholder becomes a permanently brokerable commodity. Once you're in, you don't get out. You just return home at the conclusion of your public service. As the Eagles once put it, you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.

Raggio supporters may try to sell the idea that increasing his power is good for northwestern Nevada against all that dastardly power from Gomorrah South.

Actually, Raggio has consistently sold out his constituents on major issues, from losing local tax money to Las Vegas to sending legislative seats southward, diminishing northern influence at the legislature.

I've documented all this many times over the decades and will continue to do so even if others continue to ignore the fact that the man whose bust graces our local airport terminal has been a bust for those he purports to represent.

LIGHT-GUV MAY LIGHT OUT for greener pastures. The jungle has been rumbling that Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki may jump into the crowded Republican primary for the right to face U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., this fall.

Atty. Gen. Catherine Cortez-Masto crashed and burned a couple of weeks ago in trying to explain why her office's indictment of Krolicki was thrown out by a Las Vegas judge.

In an interview with Sam Shad on KRNV TV-4's Nevada Newsmakers, Cortez-Masto gave a rambling law class lecture and never got to the point.

Without the legally required legislative approval, then-state treasurer Krolicki divertted more than a million dollars which should have gone for Nevada university tuition and spent it on TV spots featuring his wonderfulness.

Other powerful Nevada pols have done the same, a way to make yourself a household name on the public dime just in time for your next move up the political ladder.

Krolicki's successor, current state treasurer Kate Marshall, uncovered the scam and brought it to the proper officials. Apparently, the wording of the grand jury indictment was deficient, so Krolicki walked on a technicality.

What is not generally known is that those cute kids who appeared with Krolicki on the publicly funded TV campaign were not his but actors hired for their looks.

Got a hunch this may become an issue in the next few months.

ADIOS. The Nevada labor movement lost one of its most colorful individuals last month. Rob Chambers, former Northern Nevada Central Labor Council delegate from American Federation of Government Employees Local 2152, died suddenly at his home in Spokane, Wash., on Dec. 31. He was 61 and retired from the Reno's Ioannis A. Lougaris Veterans Medical Center. Remembrances may be sent to his wife, Patti, care of Hennessey-Smith, 2203 N. Division, Spokane, WA 99207.

THE SONG GOES ON. American music lost a voice that touched millions of hearts last week with the death of silver-voiced country-folk singer Kate McGarrigle. A victim of a rare form of cancer, she died at her home in Montreal at age 63. I first saw her perform with sister Anna on Saturday Night Live some 30 years ago. I only heard their slightly bawdy folk-spiritual once but never forgot it because of the McGarrigles' heart-piercing harmonies.

Long may you run, lady.

COMMUNITY MEDIA UPDATE. Sierra Nevada Community Access Television is on the verge of doing some great things, including the launch of a new full-power fm community radio station. But times have been tough all over.

New management is beginning a long delayed and very necessary fundraising campaign. I'm aboard, as are the station's many longtime producers and supporters. We need all the help we can get. If you'd care to volunteer, please let me know. Watch this space and ReSurge.TV for details.

If you would like to donate to the community radio and TV project, go to ReSurge.TV or send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV , P.O. Box 10034, Reno, NV 89510. If you are in business, I can provide deductible advertising expense options. If you need to donate through a non-profit organization, that's also available.

This is important. Fewer and fewer communities are blessed with non-commercial grassroots media.

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, second vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?


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 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008

...and more ammo

BARBWIRE Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
Barbwire 8-14-2005

Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund at our PayPal-enabled ReSurge.TV Consumer War Room

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.

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
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
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Copyright © 1982-2010 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as second vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

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