So, how do you like political campaigns now that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate campaign contributions? Do you enjoy all of the phone calls from outfits like Crossroads GPS, funded by massive contributions from rich guys like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson? And how about the nonstop TV ads, each one slimier than the one that aired 30 seconds earlier?
I realize the presidential race is going to be close, neck-and-neck even, maybe decided by just a few votes in a swing state much like our own, but I somehow doubt the Obama campaign is crying in its beer because it “lost” Greg Anthony’s vote. The former tough-as-nails UNLV point guard is getting more airtime these days than during his playing career or his stint as a sports commentator — but is his political ad believable?
You’ve seen the ad, right, in which an earnest Mr. Anthony tells about how much he loves Nevada and how it seemingly pains him to have to vote against the candidate he supported in 2008? It really seems unlikely that anyone at Democratic headquarters was counting on Greg’s vote this time around, and more than a few folks have serious doubts that he ever voted for Barrack Obama, as he claims in his ad. See, Greg Anthony has always been a Republican. Check his Wikipedia page if you doubt it.
He’s been talking about having a career in politics ever since his college days, when he was a muckety-muck in young Republican groups, an elected officer, in fact. Try as I might, I can find no public record of Greg endorsing Obama in 2008, though he claims to have cast his ballot for the Democrat. However, I did find a blog written by former R-J publisher Sherm Frederick, dated April 17, 2008, in which Frederick referenced a TV appearance by Anthony. Greg was chatting with former LV sportscaster Colin Cowherd, and he compared the NBA playoffs to the tough Democratic primary under way at the time. Quoting from Sherm’s blog:
Cowherd asked whether this analogy meant that Anthony was predicting a win for (John) McCain in the general election.
Without hesitation, said Anthony: McCain may “very well” win.
Greg’s got this one figured out.
Self-proclaimed lifelong Republican Greg Anthony didn’t exactly chime in to explain that he would be supporting McCain’s opponent at the time. Guess he missed his chance to stand up for his man. Instead, he predicted good things for the guy he was supposedly opposing. The only indication that Anthony has ever voted for a Democrat is his statement in the TV ad. As my colleague Jon Ralston has already reported, there is no record showing that Greg Anthony has recently voted in his beloved Nevada, including in 2008. Not for Obama or anyone else.
Needless to say, we should all take these political ads with a heaping helping of salt, especially in the final stretch of the campaign, which is traditionally when an already sleaze-filled slimefest could really turn nasty.
Poor Steve Wynn. We’ve read that he is so upset with Obama that he turned down a chance to participate in a billion-dollar casino project in Las Vegas. Wynn told Ralston and others that there’s no way he will launch any business ventures while Obama is president (excluding the piles of investment dough he is pumping into that bastion of freedom and political stability, Red China.) Wynn’s company earned a mere $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012, according to R-J columnist Steve Sebelius, so it’s no wonder the billionaire casino man could only afford a measly $70 million apartment in Manhattan. If not for Obama’s oppressive policies, maybe the Wynns could have bought something in a nicer neighborhood — a house, even? … It seems that if the R-J is going to run a fluffy pucker piece about Ayn Rand, there should be some sort of disclaimer attached. The paper’s recent butt-kisser profile of the wacky novelist was so gushy that I almost had to wipe unidentified bodily fluids off the newsprint. Since Rand is the official deity of the R-J, and since Atlas Shrugged is the holy scripture, couldn’t the rest of us get some sort of warning before the paper unleashes another burst of love juice? … The story last week about the bust of outcall owner Manny Varagiannis sure has set tongues to wagging. Others familiar with this sleazy industry insist that Manny had a partner, a man whose name has yet to surface in public documents. And there is talk that if the IRS and Metro continue efforts to nail the owners of outcall prostitution fronts, maybe elected officials will finally grow some cajones and force outcall companies to obtain the same kind of restricted licenses required for the owners of topless clubs. It is a simple change, and it would give law enforcement more leeway in getting the worst offenders under control. … By the way, wouldn’t it be something if the much maligned sex industry itself came up with a solution to the problem of ubiquitous handbillers and unsightly newsracks on the Strip? Don’t be surprised. … The County Commission seems poised to give private ambulance companies a device called an Opticom, which will allow private ambulance drivers to manipulate traffic signals. But see if anyone has an appetite for this very simple, common-sense addition to this deal — how about requiring the ambulances to also carry a GPS device, so fire departments will be alerted to where they are at all times, you know, so we don’t have an ambulance slam through an intersection and smash into a fire truck? It makes absolute sense to make this a condition for receiving the Opticoms … which is exactly why it will never happen. The private ambulance companies are never going to allow local governments to track their ambulances, or to know how many are on the streets at any given time. Because if the public knew the true picture of how many ambulances are out there to protect our lives, there would be hell to pay.
GEORGE KNAPP is a Peabody Award-winning investigative reporter for KLAS Channel 8. Reach him at email@example.com