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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

Vegas Voters May Decide
the Presidential Election

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
September 29, 2008

LAS VEGAS - The nation can finally relax! The free world is in good hands if an ABC News prediction comes true.

According to ABC, Nevada is the state that may hold the swing votes to determine who will be elected the next President of the United States.

Three quarters of Nevada's registered, and soon-to-be registered, voters live right here in Vegas. I know them well, and take pride in telling the real story about their town, warts and all.

No matter what the rest of the nation thinks, the voters of Nevada (i.e. Las Vegas) are solidly uncommitted and proudly holding on to their undecided status. No matter what's happened on the campaign trail, Sin City voters either aren't paying attention, or just can't make up their minds, according to all national polls.

As a life long Nevadan, let me share a few statistics that will surely soothe the nerves of voters in the nation's more decided states.

         Nevada's Current Leaders:

Top - L to R: Senator Harry Reid, Mayor Oscar Goodman

Bottom - L to R: Jan Jones, Terri Lanni, Sig Rogich and Billy Vasiliadis

Three quarters of Nevada's registered voters reside in the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

Nevada is the state that gifted our nation with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Las Vegas has three times elected Oscar Goodman -- a mob lawyer -- to be its mayor.

Las Vegas is a sanctuary city, and was recently referred to as "North East Los Angeles."

Most of our state's leaders don't live here.

The average Las Vegas resident has lived here for less than three years, and almost half of our most recent arrivals don't read or speak the English language.

Nevada (Las Vegas) has the third highest population in the nation of persons who lack a high school diploma.

Nevada has the third lowest expenditure per pupil, some of the most crowded classrooms, and one of the highest high school drop out rates in the nation.

Las Vegas has one of the highest crime rates in the US, along with one of the lowest voter participation rates.

Nevada is the only state that does not have video cameras installed in police and highway patrol cruisers.

And, Las Vegas has more smokers per capita than any other US city along with the highest incidence of lung cancer.

Both political parties are working overtime registering new voters in Las Vegas. Reno is a much smaller metro area, and its voters are mostly well educated conservatives who've lived in Nevada for generations, so they're being ignored by those who want change.

But in the southern part of the state, our nine Spanish language TV channels, two newspapers, and six radio stations are making a fortune running presidential campaign ads for those who recently immigrated to Las Vegas, lured here by low paying jobs in the casino industry -- jobs once held by American citizens at higher pay scales.

Nevada is ripe for this kind of political advertising because having to prove legal status in our country is usually met here with protests from the local American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claiming civil rights violations.

Only a health permit and a Bank of America check cashing card is needed in order to register to vote in LV, and neither the Clark County Health Department nor B of A will verify legal status for fear of challenge by the ACLU.

Most of the casino bosses run their Las Vegas resort properties from their beach homes in Southern California. They fly to Vegas in thirty minutes via corporate jets  to address their employees at corporation sponsored political rallies, always with the help of translators. Then they fly home for dinner.

I'm always amazed when local TV political pundits invite Laguna Beach residents including MGM CEO Terri Lanni and Harrah's VP Jan Jones to Channel 8's LV studios to discuss local issues such as amnesty (for their underpaid workers); how to fund our states' grossly under funded schools; and who to vote for.

Also, often seen on Channel 8 is political campaign manager Sig Rogich who runs Nevada's Republican campaigns, and his business partner and best friend Billy Vasiliadis who runs Nevada's Democratic campaigns. They pretend to be rivals when encouraging voters to elect their clients -- clients  who invariably favor not raising the gross gambling tax to fund education.

Mr. Lanni is the head of the corporation that just sold 50% of its stock to the United Arab Emirates. Jones is mainly involved with building competitive to Nevada Harrah's casinos outside Nevada in cities with faltering economies. Inside our state, Rogich, Vasiliadis, Lanni, and Jones are considered patriots, and experts on almost all subjects that affect our quality of life.

It's good to know they're watching over us.

Senator Reid may have a 10% approval rating nationally, but in Nevada, he's considered a home town hero. And almost everyone in Southern Nevada adores current Mayor Goodman and former Mayor Jones.

Ms. Jones, Mayor Goodman,  and Senator Reid's son Rory (left) are considering runs for Nevada governor in 2010. A race involving such popular local politicians would be too close to call, especially after thousands of first time Nevada voters are being registered for this year's election.

With the above background, qualifications, employers, and advisors, we Nevadans have the luxury of taking our time to decide whether to vote for John Sidney McCain, or Barack Hussain Obama.

And if ABC News' prediction is correct, and if we remain the last last swing state, America can sleep tight knowing Nevada voters are in good hands with advisors like Reid, Goodman, Rogich, and Vasiliadis, and employers like Lanni and Jones espousing their views every time we turn on the TV or read the LV SUN.

If we are the swing state, you can bet Las Vegas voters will be well informed by the people named above.

We'll be ready and able to decide your future on November 4.

Trust us!

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