If I were a gambling man, I’d be betting on Vegas right now. As we are about to experience unprecedented growth. Las Vegas has finally made it into the big leagues. Many of us old timers, who grew up in a major market, always felt the only thing missing in Las Vegas was a major-league sports team and now we’ve got 2 – NHL and NFL and this is only the beginning.
This is big folks! Las Vegas is about to explode and grow to the next level. Just watch and see this gigantic transformation develop in and around our city. I expect NBA and MLB to follow the Raiders within the next 5 years. We came close to getting a major-league team a few times. Back in the early 2000’s, the Oakland A’s were looking for a home and Vegas was at the top of the list. Then, in 2004 when the Montreal Expos were facing bankruptcy seeking a city, Las Vegas was in the top 3, losing to Washington and the now Washington Nationals, because Washington, D.C. was willing to provide public financing. Many of you may remember in ’83-’84 when the Utah Jazz played 11 home games here at Thomas and Mack and they even considered leaving Utah at that time. That was then, we’ve grown up and we can handle MLB and NBA today.
Having a team is great for our city in so many ways, including what it will do for our economy. The jobs will be plentiful, ancillary businesses will benefit, including restaurants, lodging facilities, and most important CONSTRUCTION.
Growth brings more growth and Las Vegas is back on the upswing. The dark days of the national recession are now behind us and Las Vegas will again emerge as the big winner. This is an exciting time to be here in this great town and the best is yet to come. Recent Census data tells us that we are at a 5-year high in people moving to Nevada. We are entering a new era in Las Vegas as our population nears the 2.2 million mark, I expect that to skyrocket and hit 3 million in the next 10 years. Good for jobs and our economy.
What makes our city great is our entrepreneurs – We are fortunate to have some of the greatest minds in the world here in Las Vegas and here’s the good news, they are ready to ready to double down and bet on Vegas.
Mark Hutchison has introduced legislation in the State Senate that could haves a dramatic effect on our economy. The bill SB-26 directly combats the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and its global network of individuals and organizations who aim to isolate Israel politically, economically and culturally. The vitriol of those who support BDS goes beyond simply severing business ties. It also calls for the boycott of Israeli academics, cultural figures, and businesses, based solely on the criterion that they are Israeli. As such, it is widely seen as being discriminatory. Furthermore, as the BDS singles out and demonizes the world’s only Jewish state, and in practice often targets Jewish supporters of Israel, it has also frequently been described as anti-Semitic.
For that reason, sixteen U.S. states, as well as Congress, have passed legislation aimed at combating BDS.
This Legislation, SB26, seeks to ensure the State of Nevada is not a party, with taxpayer funds, to any discrimination in a state-awarded contract. SB26 also seeks to further Nevada’s longstanding, deep, and broad economic and business partnerships with Israel, something that BDS would directly harm. THIS IS about opposing discrimination and encouraging job creation, investment, and economic opportunity.
To be clear, this bill does not affect anyone’s First Amendment Rights.
It also doesn’t increase any kind of burden on the state in either administration or enforcement. Nor does it impinge on American foreign policy, any potential peace negotiation, or federal prerogatives. SB26 is very simply this: a statement that Nevada will not be a party to, discrimination in state contracts.
It says Nevada won’t use public dollars to fund discriminatory action that discriminates on national origin.
In addition, SB26 aims to cement – and even strengthen – Nevada’s business and commercial partnerships with Israel.
Nevada is the first State to sign an MOU with Israel specifically on Water-Tech. Israel has solved their water problems and Israel is now water positive. Nevada is the only state to sign an MOU with Israel with the Governor’s WaterStart program. Nevada someday hopes to be water positive.
Just this year the Ashalim Solar Power Plant, the world’s 5th largest, went online in Southern Israel. That plant was developed in partnership with BrightSource Energy – the very same firm that was instrumental in the development of the Ivanapah Solar Plant.
BDS will simply cause Israelis and their businesses to take their business elsewhere.
Conversely, by denying state contracts to any business or entity that engages in BDS against Israel or Israelis, SB26 will send a strong message to Israeli companies, researchers, academics, and businesses that Nevada is open for business.
By now you’ve been exposed to fake news in one form or another. It was a campaign talking point in the 2016 election and today it is even part of President Trump’s stump speech. As a matter of fact, CNN and the New York Times, and other more liberal media outlets have been called fake news media outlets by this president. But, just what is fake news and is the news we watch and read today, really fake?
Over the years, journalism has been gradually taking a turn for the worse. The days of watching Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News and never doubting a story or bias from a news department are long gone. But, let’s be fair to journalism and define what fake news really is.
Fake news refers to a news agency deliberately publishing hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news. This started in social media and different websites and was designed to mislead, rather than entertain or inform readers. These fake news sites appear all over the world, including Germany, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sweden and many originate from Russia, Macedonia, Romania and the U.S. There is a difference from fake news, as Donald Trump likes to call out CNN and the failing New York Times and actual hoax news operations.
The news media in general has become careless over the years in the rush to be the first to report a story. Too often the news media will run stories from an anonymous source, or only get one source for a story without getting both sides. I blame ALL media outlets for this, not just CNN, or the New York Times, who have gone overboard trying to discredit this president. Fox News is also guilty of going too far to the right in defending Trump’s policies. The blame goes both ways and neither side is perfect. Bias is normal, but hidden bias misleads and divides us.
Media is desperately attempting to salvage its reputation. The major networks ABC, CBS and NBC rank highest in credibility, while the cable news outlets continue to decline with MSNBC and CNN leading the decline. The most-preferred media outlets of liberals, according to a Pew study, are the New Yorker and Slate. Fox News’ viewership is most preferable for conservatives and is considered moderate compared to Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck or Breitbart.
So, whether you are a liberal, moderate, conservative, or independent and you are looking for an objective position on the issues, first look at the source of the story, then knowing that source, or writer, draw your own conclusions. I think at the end of the day, we all want to be better informed and have tolerance for those who oppose our views. Being better informed, makes us all better people in the end.
Donald Trump is doing exactly what the left had feared he would do when he campaigned, which has mainstream media and liberal Democrats up in arms. Although, just as the public became weary of the Obama administration’s left leaning policies, a large percentage of the country has forgone the traditional honeymoon period a new president enjoys and has engaged in an all-out crusade striving to limit this president to one-term.
Trump campaigned on closing our borders, eradicating ISIS, restoring our military and changing politics as usual in Washington. We are now seeing the results of those campaign promises. Liberal America never embraced Trump during the campaign and now that he has been elected, they are even more disgusted. This president has moved the country from the far left to the far right and many on the left and some in the middle are not happy.
Trump campaigned that radical change is needed, that we need to “drain the swamp” and clean up the mess Obama created. But, the question many of us are now asking is, did he move too far to the right and will the same radical shift that happened in 2016 shift the other way in 2020? The Democratic party for the most part is in a bit of disarray, but are the Trump radical policies enough to bring the party back together?
Speculation of an Elizabeth Warren presidential candidacy is beginning to gain steam. The Massachusetts Democrat has become the liberals favorite. Many from the left wanted to see Warren jump in and run against Clinton, but after advisors started planning fundraisers, Warren decided not to run and wait. Warren was the favorite in a recent poll ahead of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker.
The Real Clear Politics average shows Trump with a 44 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval rating. Trumps initial Gallup approval rating had him at 45 percent, which was lower than that of each previous president going tack to Dwight Eisenhower. Two former presidents, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, each had a 51 percent approval rating, 6 points higher than Trump.
Trump supporters will quickly tell you that polls mean absolutely nothing, as reflected in the recent campaign, where Trump showed no evidence of beating Clinton. Nevertheless, are we seeing signs that the greatest upset in political history may result in a one-term presidency?
It’s way too early to start looking at 2020 and how voters will feel in 4 years. But just as the country shifted from left to right, it could just as easy swing back in the other direction.
2016 may have been the most talked about election year in history. It was a year none of us will ever forget. But, just when you thought the elections were over, here come the city elections. City elections always take place in odd years for local government, such as mayors, councilmen and city judges. 2017 municipal elections will take place April 4 for the primary and June 13 for the general election. If any candidate receives 50% plus one vote, they are automatically declared the winner.
Filing begins January 24 and lasts for 2 weeks, as names are now beginning to surface. There are a couple of big Las Vegas City Council races starting to gain attention, with the biggest being Ward 6, soon to be vacated by Councilman Steve Ross who will be termed out. Kelli Ross, the wife of the current councilman has been raising money for some time now and early expectations had many political experts picking her as the easy winner. But, in the last month a couple of formidable opponents have thrown their hat in the ring to make this race one of the most competitive of this cycle. Enter Former Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore and Chris Garvey, a Clark County School Board Trustee.
Fiore, who gained national notoriety in the Nevada Legislature by loosening legislation for gun laws, co-sponsoring bills authorizing the storage and carrying of firearms made headlines when she headed to the Bundy ranch to offer support for the ranchers in 2014. The colorful Assemblywoman, coming off a loss finishing a distant third in her recent run for Congress is outspoken and has a great deal of support in Ward 3, which overlaps with the Assembly district she represented.
Garvey was elected to the Clark County School District Board of Trustees in November 2008 and is a native Nevadan. Garvey knows grassroots campaigning and with a low turnout expected to be no higher than 12%, a good ground game could turn out to be what it takes to win this race.
Ross has the advantage of name ID. With her husband having been in office for 12 years and having been on the ballot in 4 regular elections and a recall election, also knows grassroots and has assembled a top notch political team who specializes on low turnout elections. Three strong candidates so far will make this race perhaps one of the most competitive in this year’s city elections. No predictions yet, but expect to see plenty of fireworks soon in this race.
Megyn Kelly’s recent move to NBC has raised a few eyebrows in political media circles. Kelly now has access to a much larger audience on a major broadcast network. Limited details about Kelly’s new role at NBC have been revealed. Early reports say her multi-year agreement consists of anchoring a new Sunday evening news magazine show, contributing to NBC’s breaking news and handling political and special events coverage. NBC says she may be part of a daytime program, which could replace longtime soap opera, Days of Our Lives, but, I seriously don’t believe daytime TV makes sense, as it has failed in the past for high profile news people. Katie Couric, former Today show co-host lasted two years in a daytime slot on ABC. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper only lasted two seasons on daytime TV. Megyn Kelly is too good and too high profile to be hidden in the daytime.
Kelly fits best on NBC’s showcase show, Meet the Press. MTP in the longest running program in U.S television history, which debuted in 1947. The show debuted during the second official network television season in history. The program has been hosted by 12 different moderators, beginning with creator Martha Roundtree, the only female to date. But, none of them with the superstar status of Megyn Kelly.
Megyn Kelly will make close to $15 million a year at NBC, which puts her in the same income bracket as Today co-host Matt Lauer. To put her in a low rated daytime slot after Today Show simply does not make sense. So, just where do you put her? Lester Holt has good ratings and Kelly is not a news reader. There’s been talk of replacing Savannah Gutherie on Today Show with Kelly which could make sense, but the place where her talents best match up is Meet the Press.
Megyn Kelly, despite her disagreement with Donald Trump and tense exchanges with Bill O’Reilly, has a reputation for promoting right wing views. Plus, when you add another former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, who is moving to MSNBC, one could easily see the network making this rightward shift.
NBC is still looking for the success enjoyed when Tim Russert hosted Meet the Press for 16 years, when MTP garnered the highest ratings ever. Ratings are everything in television and Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director, has over 3 million viewers and does not appear to be in any immediate danger, but when you have Megyn Kelly warming up in the bull-pen, Todd seems most vulnerable.
Nevada will elect it’s 30th Governor in 22 months. Far from post time, the maneuvering for starting gate position is underway. With a wide-open field and some expected late entries political handicappers are already predicting early favorites. Foreseeing an election almost 2 years out, is as difficult as picking the winner of a horserace when you don’t know the horses, but saddle up, I’m going to take a stab, with my early line, which will surely change before we come down the back stretch:
County Commissioner Steve Sisolak – Close to $3 million cash on hand and money talks in politics. Current Clark County Commission Chair, former Regent, would be first County Commissioner elected governor and first Democrat since Bob Miller in 1999 – 7–1.
U.S. Senator Dean Heller – the early front runner, could win in a breeze if he wants it. Has perfect resume – U.S. Senator, Congressman, Secretary of State, Assemblyman, grew up in Carson City, lived in Nevada since 9 months old, been on statewide ballot and can raise tons of loot. 9-1.
Adam Laxalt – Republican Attorney General rising star propelled by the 2014 “red wave.” A purebred – grandson of former Nevada Governor/U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt and son of former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici. Favorite to win Republican primary, but on sloppy track in general will have difficulty getting crossover vote. Great closer 10-1.
Mark Hutchinson – Lieutenant Governor elected in 2014. Moderate Republican who will appeal to Democrats strong at 11-1.
Aaron Ford fast rising Democratic party star, becomes Senate Majority Leader this session. May consider a run for Attorney General instead of Gov. 25-1.
Others mentioned, but have not publically stated interest in running:
- Former 3 term Mayor Oscar Goodman – All landslide wins. Ranked as most popular political figure. Pollster John Zogby had Goodman in dead heat in possible match-up against Heck and Cortez Masto for U.S. Senate. 15-1.
- North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee – great political pedigree – Assemblyman, State Senator and Mayor. Just won the super trifecta for turning North Las Vegas around. 19-1
- Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson Never lost an election – 22-1.
- Economic Development Director Steve Hill – for his maiden race – tough track – 30-1
It’s a high-stakes race and a crowded field, expect a fast track. Get your bets down, the flag is up and they will soon be off and running.
Full disclosure: The author of this story has represented Mayor Oscar Goodman and currently represents Mayor John Lee through his PR consulting business.