Skip to comments.HARRY: Money, Mob & Influence (Book in Searchlight)
Posted on 03/26/2010 6:53:25 PM PDT by DaxtonBrown
HARRY: Money, Mob & Influence
EXCERPT FROM Chapter 6 The Gaming Commission
Exclusive To Free Republic
After Reids early political career is interrupted by a failed Senate run in 1974, his next epic quest comes in 1977 when he was chosen by then Gov. O'Callaghan to run the Nevada Gaming Commission. Did Reid near singlehandedly run the mob out of Vegas as the cultivated myth seems to imply? Reids own account of his selection to chair the Commission sheds some light:
I woke today after the mayoral election a 35-year-old has been. I assumed that I was finished with political office. And then, as had been the case so often in my life, from Gov. O'Callaghan extended a hand to me. The chairmanship of the Nevada gaming commission, the most important appointed position in the state, with soon-to-be vacant, and Mike wanted to appoint me.
Did I know what I was getting into as chairman of the gaming commission the answer is no. I had no idea whatsoever. In early 1977, I became head of the five member body that regulates all gambling in the state. It would be a four year term. I would be overseeing the industry that generates the vast majority of the revenue in the state of Nevada, and what I did know was that I was determined to do a good job . . .
The Good Fight, Senator Harry Reid, page 236
Apparently OCallaghan appointed Reid to the chairmanship of the Nevada Gaming Commission not because Reid had any expertise in ferreting out gaming corruption, but as a political consolation prize after his protégé had been displaced from political office. How Reid could have been entirely clueless to the underworld nature of Nevada gaming is a mystery. Not only had Reid grown up around supposed pimp and gambler Willie Martello of the El Rey in Searchlight, but as a lawyer his office was one floor down from mob lawyer Oscar Goodman, who Reid occasionally worked with. Moreover, Reids campaign manager, Don Williams, had been right hand man to Jay Sarno at Circus Circus, and good friend Jay Brown worked for Goodman as well as for the mobbed up Tropicana casino. OCallaghan tried to bring his naïve waif up to speed:
. . . . One of the first things the governor did was schedule a meeting with my predecessor, Pete Echeverria, to harvest Petes insights into the commissions work. Pete was from Ely and was of Basque descent. He was a former butcher, and one finger was missing to prove it. Hed become one of a handful of Nevada lawyers who were world-class and was famous for his persuasiveness in court. We met at his home, a big swanky house in Reno. Almost immediately, I noticed that Pete seemed very nervous. As soon as we sat down, he excused himself, got up, and walked over to the window. He spent several minutes looking outside, but after a short while he was back up again and over by the window. Pete was visibly sweating. I didnt understand what was going on.
See there? he explained. In the parked car? Theyre watching everything I do, Harry, following me everywhere I go.
I didnt know what to think. People tracking his every move? Who was he trying to impress? I left Petes house that day thinking he was paranoid.
But he wasnt paranoid. He was frightened.
The Good Fight, Senator Harry Reid, page 236
Missing from this account is any hint that Echeverria gave Reid a list of names of those in the mob he should be wary of. Jimmy The Weasel Fratianno was getting ready to sing like a bird in 1977 and there had been a high profile hit on Tamara Rand, an investor in the Hacienda in 1975. Frank Bompensiero was shot to death at close range with a silenced .22 caliber handgun February 10, 1977. Apparently, despite being fearful for his life, Echeverria could shed no insight on mob influence by naming names, because Reid is shocked when he is soon invited to meet with the notorious Tony Spilotro. As Reids account continues, it appears he was a complete gaming neophyte.
Before my appointment with Echeverria, I was completely naïve about the inner workings of the Las Vegas casinos. I didn't have a flood of stories to tell about the nights I spent an extra roulette wheel or at the blackjack table. I couldn't recant a single one. I don't gamble, never have.
During my first week as chairman, a client of mine tried to help me learn more. Jerry May, who ran round the largest public relations firms in the state, asked me to lunch at Las Vegas Country Club with a friend who knew the industry well -- a great guy, May assured me, and someone I should know for sure. I accepted and thanked him.
The day of the lunch arrived, and in the morning I was catching up with Jay Brown, a longtime friend. I knew Jay from the time that he had worked as an associate at my firm, fresh out of law school, and he was now working for another lawyer in the same building as me. Since we hadn't seen each other a couple of weeks, Jay asked me to lunch. I told him that I already had plans.
Jerry May and Tony Spilotro.
Spilotro? A look of shock jolted Jay's face. No man. Tony Spilotro? Don't you know who this guy is?
No, Jay. I've never heard of him.
Jay knew practically everyone on the strip. When Gov. O'Callaghan was running for reelection, I recommend Jay be the campaigns finance chair, and he solicited contributions from the places where the money was: the casinos. Jay was by now representing gaming interests, loved to bet -- football, horses, really anything and was a man about town.
Jeez, Harry, there's no way you can have lunch with Spilotro. No way. The guy is a gangster. Totally.
A gangster. Organized crime, Jay said firmly I'm telling you.
I came back to my desk, reached for the phone, and quickly canceled the lunch.
Why would Spilotro want to meet me?
And what had I gotten myself into?
The Good Fight, Senator Harry Reid, page 238
Jerry May who offered to introduce Spilotro wasnt just some random client of Reids. May ran one of the most effective lobbying firms in the state and employed such future Nevada political heavyweights as Sig Rogich (who had been on the Laxalt campaign) and Jim Joyce. Thus it seems a bit odd that Reid would be taken by surprise by this proposed introduction to Tony Spilotro from a sophisticated political lobbyist like May.
Fast forward to the present and we find Sig Rogich now heads Republicans for Harry Reid. A possible quid pro quo has been Reids support for the proposed billion dollar DesertXPress high speed rail between Los Angeles and Las Vegas (a venture in which Rogich has monetary interests), but that would suggest a good-ole-boy connections between the two friends.
Reid also makes some interesting slips in his account of his friend Jay Browns warnings against meeting Spilotro:
I knew Jay from the time that he had worked as an associate at my firm, fresh out of law school, and he was now working for another lawyer in the same building as me.
Reid fails to say who another lawyer was. Jay Browns partner just upstairs from Reid was none other than Oscar Goodman. Jay Brown very well knew that Tony Spilotro was connected because Goodman was defending him. Reid also fails to mention that Jay Brown and Oscar Goodman were lawyers to Lefty Rosenthal, who would also come in front of the Gaming Commission. Perhaps those connections were never mentioned in personal conversations between the good friends either. Though Reid has been proud to be Brown's lifelong buddy and business partner going back to wife Landras father helping nurse Brown back to health after a car accident - it is surprising Reid and Brown had never before discussed Spilotro in any of their personal conversations.
Jay knew practically everyone on the strip, thats because Brown and Goodman were helping to defend some of the hoods skimming money at places like the Stardust and Tropicana and Brown had been the money collector for casino political contributions for both Governor OCallaghan and Reid.
Welcome to FR
I can picture Harry Reid being visited by Tom Hayden after he murders a hooker in a Nevada brothel.
Harry doesn’t do the murdering, he lets others do his dirty work. Ashjian is the latest example, but not the worst.
I lived in Vegas when the Spilatro thing was happening. I remember Reid for the little sick weasel he is.
Just wow. I am so happy when I see this. Thanks so much.
Way to go!
RESEARCH——FAMILY TIES: Nevada senator’s family excels in lucrative ties; [Final Edition] Chuck Neubauer and Richard Cooper Los Angeles Times. Jul 6, 2003. pg. 4.A
Abstract (Document Summary)
Reid’s sons — Rory, 40, Leif, 35, Josh, 31, and Key, 28 — work for Nevada’s largest law firm, Lionel Sawyer Collins. Rory Reid is a partner in the firm and was a Nevada lobbyist before his election to the Clark County Board of Commissioners in November. Leif Reid is a litigator who has represented mining and resort industry associations in Nevada.
Key Reid was hired to open the firm’s Washington office in 2002 and help lead its federal lobbying effort with former Sen. Richard H. Bryan, D-Nev., who splits his time between the capital and Nevada. [Steven Barringer], 47, and married to the senator’s daughter, Lana, is a lawyer, federal lobbyist and partner in the small Washington-based lobbying firm of McClure, Gerard and Neuenschwander.
Reid’s sons — Rory, 40, Leif, 35, Josh, 31, and Key, 28 — work for Nevada’s largest law firm, Lionel Sawyer Collins. Rory Reid is a partner in the firm and was a Nevada lobbyist before his election to the Clark County Board of Commissioners in November.
Leif Reid is a litigator who has represented mining and resort industry associations in Nevada. Key Reid was hired to open the firm’s Washington office in 2002 and help lead its federal lobbying effort with former Sen. Richard H. Bryan, D-Nev., who splits his time between the capital and Nevada. Barringer, 47, and married to the senator’s daughter, Lana, is a lawyer, federal lobbyist and partner in the small Washington-based lobbying firm of McClure, Gerard and Neuenschwander. Barringer and Reid’s sons declined to be interviewed by the Los Angeles Times.
Washington lobbying firms must file reports twice a year that disclose their clients and the names of the people representing them. Those reports show that, between them, Barringer and Key Reid have represented nearly every major industry in Nevada, from mining and real estate development to tourism and gambling to the city of Las Vegas. All of those clients rely on the senator’s goodwill on Capitol Hill. Reid is the Senate’s minority whip, the chamber’s second-highest Democratic leader. He is also a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee.
CIRCA 2/03 Los Angeles Times series on Reid; Harrys Henchman, his son Rory Reid: Harry Reids Mob Money, Part 2 (* Unless otherwise noted Sources: Federal lobbyist forms filed with the House and Senate by his son, Key Reid, for 2002 and Steven Barringer for 1999 through 2002; state lobbyist forms filed by his son Rory Reid for 2002 with the Nevada Legislative Reference Office; congressional bills, news releases and documents; legal records; interview with Sen. Harry Reid; interviews with clients of the Reid family.)
GAMING: The American Gaming Assn. Honored Sen. Reid as one of “America’s Gaming Greats” and hired his son-in-law to lobby in Washington.; MINING: Mines such as Barrick Goldstrike have benefited from Sen. [Harry Reid]’s advocacy in the Senate. The Nevada Mining Assn., gave him a lifetime achievement award. Industry leaders have paid his son- in-law’s firms nearly $1 million for lobbying.;
TOURISM: Sen. Reid fought Grand Canyon flight restrictions. One operator was a client of his son-in- law.; The firm that, with Sen. Reid’s aid, traded hilly land for federal parcels near Las Vegas also hired his son-in-law;
LAND DEVELOPMENT: Sen. Reid tried and failed to move a right-of-way for power lines to aid Nevada developers led by a friend who is a partner at the firm where Reid’s sons work;
REID IS UNTROUBLED: “It is not as if a lot of cash is changing hands,” Sen. Harry Reid says;
LA TIMES SERIES In Nevada, the Name to Know is Reid; Members of Reid’s family represent nearly every major industry in Nevada;their clients rely on Reid’s goodwill. Series: Second of two parts; Chuck Neubauer and Richard T. Cooper. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Jun 23, 2003. pg. A.1
Reid helped the University of Nevada at Reno secure millions of dollars in specially earmarked funds in his work on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
How much family members’ firms have been paid*: $10,000 a month to the Lionel Sawyer firm for lobbying by his son Key Reid and former Sen. Richard Bryan
The special interest: Kerr-McGee Corp.
What Sen. Reid has done: Helped the oil and chemical company get federal funds to help pay to clean up radioactive waste at a company plant near Chicago. How much family members’ firms have been paid*: Undisclosed amount to the Lionel Sawyer firm for Rory Reid and others to lobby in Nevada
The special interest: Heli USA Airways, a leading Grand Canyon tour operator
What Sen. Reid has done: Opposed federal attempts to restrict Grand Canyon tours. How much family members’ firms have been paid*: $20,000 to the Dickstein firm for Barringer and others to lobby The special interest: Air Products & Chemicals Inc.
What Sen. Reid has done: Backed a $10.8-million, public-private partnership between the company and federal government to build a hydrogen filling station for buses. How much family members’ firms have been paid*: Undisclosed amount to the Lionel Sawyer firm for Rory Reid and others to lobby in Nevada
The special interest: Nevada Test Development Site Corp.
What Sen. Reid has done: Helped funnel millions of dollars in federal funds to develop the test site. How much family members’ firms have been paid: $20,000 to the McClure firm for Barringer and others to lobby federal agencies
THE POLITICIANS’ Modus Operandi
Did Reid deliberately raise more corporate money from publicly-held corporations than he needed, then divert some of the excess in a series of generous donations to non-profit groups that, on the surface, benefited their mutual causes?
The donations to non-profits might then be illegally converted, then funneled back to Reids campaign coffers through donations by the N/P officers and their co-conspirators, or subsets of them.
These complicated transactions should draw scrutiny in legal and political circles to determine the extent to which state laws and campaign finance laws were violated in schemes that appear to launder corporate donations to a candidate, and should raise questions that should be investigated regarding whether shareholders in publicly-funded corporations were deceived, and whether the true destination of corporate money was concealed (SEC is interested in this).
Sen Reid may also have used non-profit, ethnic, hyphenated, or faith-based groups as middlemen for campaign transactions by a pattern of Reid funneling money from his family-run foundations to these different groups, that was laundered, then landed in Reid’s campaign accounts, in order to obscure, if not cover-up, the original source of donations to his campaign coffers.
Reid, his sons, his family, or his henchmen might also have directed that campaign donations be made in the names of others without their knowledge or consent. When the financial merry-go-round stopped,
non-profit, ethnic, hyphenated, and faith-based individuals-—the groups Reid needs to endorse his election effort-—end up with a lot of money, some of which was then laundered, illegally converted, then funneled back into Reids campaign coffers.
Millions of dollars in donations to Reid might never have been disclosed to campaign regulators, because the type of groups Reid used werent governed by federal law.
The public-spirited donors might not always have known where their tax-deductible money was headed, and don’t control funds once they’re donated.
Money gets transferred all the time and remains disclosed only to the extent required to be disclosed by applicable state and federal law-—this gets complicated.
Nevada's Red Light Express was supposedly one of the first recipients of federal stimulus money - to extend the historic Virginia and Truckee Rail Road and just happens to go by the brothels east of Carson City. Theres a casino and Class 3 gun shop right next door. The best of Nevadas attractions in one convenient stop.
ITEM -- Obama has already accumulated huge slush funds:
(a) 80% of the trillion dollar stim is unspent and under his control, being hoarded for Dem campaigns.
(b) June 9, 2009 Obama announced, "Several financial institutions are set to pay back $68B to taxpayers." Taxpayers assumed that would be returned to the general funds from whence it had come .......in order to pay down the debt. The truth, however, is that the money returned is finding new life in the US Treasury, as part of what is essentially a Treasury-controlled slush fund (Rahm Emanuel controls the US Treasury).
ITEM Obama's healthcare gimmicks are legion:
(A) The first four years of ObamaCare is to amass $$billions. Period. Free govt healthcare does not kick in til 2013.
(B) Pushes much of the healthcare costs from the federal budget and onto the private sector by requiring individuals and employers to purchase health insurance....or pay a hefty fine or go to jail (only illegals are exempt from this provision).
(C) When the bills force somebody to pay $10,000 to the government, the Congressional Budget Office treats that as a tax.
(D) When the government hands that $10,000 to private insurers, the CBO counts that as government spending.
(E) But when the bills achieve the exact same outcome by forcing somebody to pay $10,000 directly to a private insurance company, it appears nowhere in the official CBO cost estimates neither as federal revenues nor federal spending. Thats a sharp departure from how the CBO treated similar mandates in the Clinton health plan. And it hides maybe 60 percent of the legislations total costs.
CHICAGO MOB CON GAME Rahm Emanuel and his bro, Dr Zeke oversee the healthcare trillions including Medicare/Aid. So there you have the extortion scheme to get trillions of dollars into the hands of Ohaha and the Chicago Mob occupying our WH----Emnauel, Axelrod, Jarrett, and the rest of the "progressive" crooks.
ITEM Ohaha hid $17.5 Billion stimulus in NJ for Dem incumbent Corzine's race (he lost anyway). News reports could find no trace of the $17.5 Billion stim.
This looks good, can’t wait to read it. Harry has G2G!
There’s more stuff in the pipeline from a fellow Freeper, we will know by Wednesday. I will then have two independent sources claiming they were the money mules in bribery/payoffs to Reid. More people likely out there. Maybe get enough to take Reid down now before the elections. Still probably a month or so before we can get it out to the masses, have it on slow simmer now. Anyone have connections to Beck, Hannity etc.?
Sorry to take so long to respond. I will follow up on the other non-profit groups. Searchlight Leadership Fund is a mother lode, but only so much time to research it all.
Let the FBI, IRS, SEC, FEC check it out.
FBI TIP PAGE http://tips.fbi.gov/ (you may remain anonymous)
IRS TOLL-FREE 1-800-829-0433 (you may remain anonymous when reporting possible tax fraud). The IRS should relentlessly pursue these individuals to determine if all relevant income is reported and whether all relevant taxes are paid (stolen money is taxable).
POSSIBLE CHARGES Official acts prohibited, misuse of Congressional funds, abuse of public office, violating oath of office, misuse of government position, abuse of government power; conflict of interest; influence buying; conspiracy to deceive; misuse of elective office, collusion, conspiracy to collude.
Reid's official campaign finance records filed with the FEC, and state election commission, should be scrutinized for possible violations. Determine if names of Reid's contributors are legit and whether Reid illegally used campaign funds, and whether Reid received campaign contributions to influence Conressional votes.
Reid and Obama may have colluded and agreed to give something of value, a govt gratuity, a job, etc, in exchange for votes.
FBI TIP PAGE http://tips.fbi.gov/ (you may remain anonymous)
Charges might include Searchlight Leadership Fund accounting managers misappropriating funds to cover personal expenses, fraudulently overcharging for management services, diverting non-profit funds, then converting them to campaign accounts, or in the style of WorldCom greed spending thousands of non-profit dollars on organization credit cards for personal expenses.
A formal inquiry should be undertaken with respect to Searchlight Leadership Fund associates, co-conspirators or subsets of them, and donors, the business dealings between recipients, employees and elected and appointed officials and the extent to which influence-peddling is taking place, and more specifically the extent to which relatives, associates, and principles of Searchlight Leadership Fund and their co-conspirators or subsets of them, directed political activities from tax-free non-profit organizations in illegal arrangements.
The BIGGEST FRAUDS are non-profits writing checks to each other (the MO for laundering tax-exempt monies).
Authorities need to determine the extent to which Searchlight Leadership Fund manipulated philanthropic transactions, such as: (1) loans, the (2) sale, (3) exchange or (4) leasing of property to related organizations, and the extent to which Searchlight Leadership Fund reported (5) "excess benefit transactions" on Form 990, and, (6) the extent to which Searchlight Leadership Fund executive pay is properly accounted for with the IRS.
Searchlight Leadership Fund needs to reveal the dimension of contributions the organization may have been illegally redirected to political activity and be requested to explain:
(1) how Searchlight Leadership Fund solicits non-profit contributions,
(2) how non-profit donations are made, and,
(3)Searchlight Leadership Fund should be asked for details about who inside, and outside, these organizations is soliciting contributions, how the various subcommittees are funded, and the extent to which donors are colluding to perhaps finance political campaigns surreptitiously, and are engaging in other illegal transactions.
> IRS TOLL-FREE 1-800-829-0433 (you may remain anonymous when reporting possible tax fraud). The IRS should relentlessly pursue these individuals to determine if all relevant income is reported and whether all relevant taxes are paid (stolen money is taxable).
> FBI TIP PAGE http://tips.fbi.gov/ (you may remain anonymous)
Further evidence that HARRY did not read the news even back then ???
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