1998: Year of the Pig
It's morning in America. Prepare a pig's breakfast for the unholy Year of
Our Lord 1998 wherein greed will once again serve as holy grail in the land
of the big buffet. Would it not be ironic:
If Boomtown decided to build its new casino complex in Sacramento.
If the Reno Gazette-Journal bought the Daily Sparks Tribune.
If they use the existence of the Reno News & Review against accusations
If they then continue their campaign to put this paper out of business,
thus eliminating all competition.
If lack of political competition sinks Kenny "The Bankroll" Guinn's
campaign for governor. (The adonis from Vegas has so far been willing to
give only name, rank and serial number as qualifications. With $2.4 million
in the bank, need he say more?)
If African-American State Sen. Joe Neal (D-North Las Vegas) takes
advantage of Guinn's run-out-the-clock complacency to engineer Nevada's
biggest upset since an unknown named Mike O'Callaghan beat another
gubernatorial shoo-in 28 years ago.
If Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Rollan Melton became an election-year
Jean Dixon. Last week, Melton opined that another Joe, Assembly Speaker Joe
Dini (D-Yerington), could win the governorship by campaigning to increase
Nevada's lowest-in-the-nation gambling tax. As Dini owns a casino and would
lose his lock on the speaker's gavel, his candidacy looks unlikely. Neal
proposed an increase in the gambling tax during last year's legislative
session and has already endorsed a similar petition by angry Las Vegas
If all of this moves None of the Above from wishful joke to hardcore
reality. For 22 years, Nevada has placed "None" on the ballot in statewide
races. As I've proposed since 1982 when I chaired the None of the Above for
Governor Political Action Committee (NAGPAC), should "None" beat all
comers, the office in question should be filled by random drawing among all
residents of the affected district. If no challenger emerges to Kenny
Megabucks, NAGPAC will reorganize to change the law. [Editor's note: Sen.
Neal declared his candidacy after this column went to press.]
If the new year brings announcement of a revolutionary virtual reality
motion picture system so cheap that any home can afford one and so
realistic that people will never want to go to a movie theater again.
(Listen for the splattering sound as Mayors Griffin and Breslow hit the
pavement after a joint leap from the roof of the Mapes Hotel.)
If the aforementioned casino-created Gov. Guinn should somehow get
religion right after the election and decide that it's time for the people
who cause the problems to pay a fair share toward solving them via
reasonable increases in gambling and mining taxes. (Nevada is the cheapest
place in the world to mine gold, whether from a mining pit or casino pit.)
Handsome Kenny is well-fixed for life but loves to tell of his humble
roots in a family of California farm workers. Should he try to make it more
than just another teary-eyed campaign tale, that would count as the height
of irony for 1998.
Be well. Raise hell.
© Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a member of CWA Local 9413. He is a Reno-based syndicated columnist, a 29-year Nevadan, and editor of U-News. Send an E-mail.
Barbwire by Barbano has appeared in the Sparks Tribune since 1988. This column was originally published in the Reno News & Review 1/7/98.
Reprints of the UNR financial scandal newsbreaks remain available
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Nevada Instant Type in Sparks and both Office Depot Reno locations.