Rory, Rory, quite contrary
Expanded from the 9-19-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated and corrected on 9-22-1010; updated 9-27-2010
HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins third straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

SUING FOR SCHOOLS: Click here to view the new Barbwire show on your desktop

Currently rerunning on Boulder City cable. Go to and then go to the BCTV link.

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

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

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

Thus began 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.

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 and Feb. 21 programs as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a 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

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest TV programs. You may also search by date — M-F for the past year save holidays.

Click here for on-demand re-runs
from the 2009 legislative session

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

The brown hills of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream are littered with the bones of popular local officials who ran statewide and lost.

Reno mayors Pete Sferrazza and Roy Bankofier, Sparks Mayor Jim Spoo, Gomorrah South mayors Bill Briare and Oran Gragson. All failed as statewide candidates. Current Reno Mayor Bob Cashell served as a university regent and Democratic lieutenant governor before running for local office.

As I predicted months before they made it official, Cashell and LV Mayor Oscar Goodman opted out of the 2010 gubernatorial race after milking it for all the publicity they could get. They probably got some interesting polling data, perhaps like that below.

Clark County officials like Hank Thornley and Lorraine Hunt have likewise faltered statewide. In Mrs. Hunt's case, she backed into the lieutenant governor's job but lost in the 2006 GOP primary to current Gov. Jim the Dim.

The Clark County Commission is the most powerful political body in the state because it holds life or death power over the Las Vegas Strip casino overlords.

As the 1998 election loomed, Mrs. Hunt pulled what I call a George Franklin. The late former Clark County district attorney, a magnificent rogue who never went to law school, had a habit of holding a series of election year breakfast meetings with Strip casino moguls. Ole George would solicit funds for his next campaign and then, likely as not, never file and keep the money. Campaign laws were a tad looser back then.

Mrs. Hunt updated the scam. She raised a few hundred thousand for her 1998 county commission re-election campaign, then decided to run for light guv. She reportedly sent letters to her fat cat contributors announcing her statewide move and offered to send their money back. She noted that she intended to fill out her final year on the powerful commission. Surprise, surprise, her campaign remained very well funded.

Mrs. Hunt did a very credible and responsible job as lieutenant governor, but when she tried for the governor's job in 2006, she crashed and burned.

Which brings me to Rory Reid. Senator Harry's kid suffers from the same malady as his old man: Neither looks like the kind of macho stud that Nevadans like to elect. Despite all his flaws, dumb statements and bimbo eruptions, in 2006 Gov. Jim the Dim was elected over Sen. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, because he looked like a governor and she didn't.

Nevadans vote on cosmetics.

There are three positions in American society where the public wants daddy to tuck them in at night with assurances that all is safe, well and warm: governor — not U.S. senator — president and network news anchor. Which is why NBC's Brian Williams will always have the advantage over his lovely competitors.

Rory Reid can rightly say that as chairman of the Clark County Commission he has all the governmental experience needed to run the state. I don't know the man personally but public officials who have worked with him say he's very good at the nuts and bolts of the job. Alas, he looks like an untenured geology professor. Worse, he's got the wrong experience in the minds of the voters.

I paid for that knowledge the hard way. Back in 1982, incumbent Republican Gov. Robert List was as besieged as defrocked Gov. Gibbons today. Attempting to avenge his only electoral defeat from 1974, Democratic Atty. Gen. Richard Bryan filed against List the Lustful. The public reacted with a yawn, largely because of the bland sameness of the two major party nominees, a couple of colorless lawyers and career politicians. (I founded NAGPAC, the None of the Above for Governor Political Action Committee, to not only lampoon them but to get them to take some substantive positions. Compared to this year's crop, List, Bryan and Libertarian Dan Becan were philosopher kings.)

In 1981, senior citizens advocate Barbara Bennett had beaten the good old boy system to win election as mayor of Reno in the biggest upset in the city's history. She was wildly popular with a deep reservoir of good will.

I wondered how she'd do as a candidate for governor. I commissioned a poll which included Her Honor. Anyone seeing the list of questions would have thought her name was inserted as filler among a bunch of heavy hitters.

We only polled Reno registered voters, testing the heart of her strength. She got killed by Bryan, Cashell and Randolph Townsend. In fairness, please keep in mind that she had been mayor less than a year at the time.

Pollster Brent Tyler's conclusion: Her own constituents, while absolutely loving her, simply did not view dear Barbara in gubernatorial light. They could not make the leap that local experience translates into qualification for the state's top job. (The only mayor I know who made it, former Reno Mayor Richard Kirman, won the governorship in 1934, many years after leaving local office.)

Therein lies Reid the Younger's dilemma. How well he addresses it will be the measure of his fitness for office.

BARBWIRE.TV. I'll be producing a new statewide TV series just in time to drive a few powerful people crazy. Here's a hint about what may be in the first edition: Middle eastern satellite network Al Jazeera is coming to Nevada because they consider us, along with (aack!) Florida as typifying this year's elections.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW DEPT. "Ever since the 1930s, something very much like the tea party movement has fluoresced every time a Democrat wins the presidency: a reverence for the Constitution, a supposedly spontaneous uprising of a formerly nonpolitical middle-class activists, a preoccupation with socialism and the expanding tyranny of big government, a bitterness toward an underclass viewed as unwilling to work and a weakness for outlandish conspiracy theories." — Kevin Drum, Mother Jones Magazine, Sept-Oct 2010.

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, second 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 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 on Sept. 18, 2010.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.
Next year, we go for the sombrero.

The winning entries:

Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck
Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Click here to view the show on your desktop

RED flags flying low over Sparks
Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The wrath of self-righteous racism
Expanded from the 11-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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 Corporate Welfare Archive

From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP

BP/ARCO: The greasy root of our evils

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-10-2006

The awful truth — Read it and weep, fellow suckers

Labor Day 2009: Rise of the Vampire Corpobots
Expanded from the 9-6-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

Angry Americans and Freudian fraud
Using war to market cigarettes
from the 8-23-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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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