Political Corruption In Las Vegas?
Recent headlines in Las Vegas about the so-called G-Sting scandal have promoted the theory that Michael Galardi, former owner of Cheetah's topless club, is at the center of bribery efforts which corrupted politicians Dario Herrera, Erin Kenny, Lance Malone, Michael MacDonald and Mary Kincaid. While Galardi has admitted bribery on a large scale, careful analysis shows that G-Sting was never central to political corruption in Las Vegas and is just a sideshow meant to distract attention from the kingpins who directed the big money bribery.
Indeed, there has been for many years a larger ongoing conspiracy by a triumvirate of political consultants as well as two central political figures which turned LasVegas politics into a lucrative payoff racket. Yet these insiders are presently positioned to escape unscathed from the G-Sting firestorm even though their actions clearly fall under the Racketeer Influenced andCorrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Title 18, United States Code,Sections 1961-1968
As you trace through the stories of political corruption in Las Vegas, one finds disturbingly frequent threads to five central characters
- Kent Oram, OIZ Advertising : Political consultant to most of the characters involvedin the G-Sting scandal:
- Erin Kenny
- Lance Malone
- Michael MacDonald
- Mark James
- Oscar Goodman
- the sherifff's office and many others in law enforcement
- Sig Rogich, R&R Advertising and Rogich Communications Group: Involved in Treasures Strip Club, Republic Silver State corruption as their PR firm, close friend of Oram and backroom dealbroker.
- Billy Vassiliadis, R&RAdvertising: Partner to Rogich, friend of Oram, monopoly advertiser for Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority, political PRfirm
- Mayor Oscar Goodman: Well known mob lawyer, connected to political bribery in other states, connected to Oram and Paladin Advertising
- Senator Harry Reid: The Democratic minority leader in the senate and acknowledgedpolitical chess master, whose ties to the G-Sting scandal and many other corruptenterprises are little known.
While Michael Galardi is no doubt guilty of trying to bribe some politicians for business advantages for his topless bars (he has pled guilty to these charges), there is no evidence that he orchestrated widespread and continuous political corruption over a number of decades and regarding countless issues in the way the above characters have. Galardi had no incentive to bribe anyone on anything other than his topless business. However, it's clear Herrera, Kenny, Kincaid, James, MacDonald, Malone, Jan Jones and other politicians were being bribed not only by topless joints (including Treasures and CrazyHorse2 as well as Cheetahs), but also were taking under the counter money from developers like Jim Rhodes and Triple Five, and money from the trash hauler Republic Silver State. Galardi's sins were the promotion of a ten million dollar topless business, while the land developers and trash haulers represented billions of dollars of motivation. Moreover, the tale of political bribery by Las Vegas power brokers extends well beyond Las Vegas and San Diego to Kansas City and New Jersey.
If Galardi was only a bit player among many, one has to either assume that
1) each of the above tainted politicians (none of whom were ever known as bright bulbs) decided independently to take bribes from the same recurring sources all on their own initiative,
2) neophyte Lance Malone, former policeman and County Commissioner (hired as a lobbyist by Galardi), figured out on his own how to corrupt multiple politicians in Vegas and San Diego with little previous background in "the game" and no pre-preparation of the political turf.
3) that the political corruption was directed by some central organizing force, a conspiracy by the real powerbrokers who run Las Vegas, who were and still are after billion dollar deals and not penny ante titty bar ordinances.
As one researches the last four decades of events, uncoordinated corruption of Las Vegas politicians becomes completely unbelievable. The fall guy for the corruption has come to be Galardi's middleman Lance Malone, but one would have to be incredibly naive to believe a former COP turned councilman like Malone could have set in motion all the bribery that occurred without some major players having plowed the fields of corruption long before him. To believe Herrera, Kincaid, McDonald, Kenny and others suddenly decided it was safe to take bribes without there having long been a climate of such activity is to believe in the tooth fairy.
However, if dim-bulb Malone wasn't the major organizer, and Galardi wasn't much of a kingpin (being preoccupied with his titty bars and not land deals), and the local politicians were too stupid to know how to tie their shoes much less coordinate large bribes, one is left with a much greater problem. Bluntly, one must conclude a core of political consultants coordinated the large scale long term corruption, meaning this larger conspiracy falls more under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act than small town crime.
In this scenario, Michael Galardi, Lance Malone, as well as perhaps some of the politicians, become pawns in a larger chess game played by Machiavellian masters of deception.
If Galardi and G-Sting wasn't the focal point of bribery, but a sideshow to Oram, Vasilliades, Rogich, Goodman and Reid, are there other cases which go beyond the realm of titty bar protection to major political corruption? Easy enough, here's a short list of some of the other games played by the Vegas Power elite, both in town and around the nation:
- Republic Silver State Disposal - benefited with a $3 billion 15 year monopoly contract. Republic contributed heavily to most of the politicians caught up in the corruption charges. Their political manipulations first worked to to drive other competitors out of business (see US Enviromed) and finally to secure their monopoly status.
- e-Ventures - Mayor Oscar Goodman was part of what can only be concluded was the bribery of Sen. Torrecelli of N.J. Senator Torrecelli's $5000 investment in e-Ventures online gambling startup quickly became $200,000. e-Ventures was run by Goodman and a corrupt programmer who IN 1985 had been involved in a $25 million Bank irregularity, and this was likely a prototype for money laundering from Belize. Torrecelli left office after multiple instances of bribery were uncovered.
- The Capitol Queen - The Beckers, formerly owners of Arizona Charlie's and business partners with Kent Oram, were attempting to start a riverboat gambling venture called the Capitol Queen in Jefferson City Missouri. Missouri Speaker of the House Bob Griffin ended up spending jail time on a variety of bribery charges. Griffin's consulting group was tied with Oscar Goodman and stood to benefit $6 million if the riverboat deal went through. The Capitol Queen deal collapsed because Missouri Gaming uncovered these details and the fact Goodman had represented mob boss Nicky Civella in Kansas City.
- Developer Jim Rhodes, who stood to gain millions through zoning near Red Rock, benefited a number of politicians with homes (Erin Kenny, Mark James, Harry Reid), and employed James as a lawyer. Kenny was hired by Rhodes immediately after her failed run for lieutenant governor. Mark James was not only on Rhodes' payroll, but that of Republic Silver Stateas well.
- Triple 5 developer, put $200,000 into a slush fund for Erin Kenny.
- Cheetah's Topless Club - Mike Galardi has admitted to paying money to Erin Kenny, Dario Herrera, Mary Kincaid Chauncey and Lance Malone to influence rules regardinG lapdancers and zoning.
- Treasures Topless Club - connected to Sig Rogich, Michael Mack and the creation of a church to prevent it's operation.
- Crazy Horse 2 Topless Club - Run by Rizzolo, with ties to Goodman, Joey Cusumano and the mob. Rizzolo has financed numerous campaigns, contributing not only to former mayor Jan Jones, but many councilmen and judges. To believe Rizzolo was not part of the system of bribery is absurd.
- Payoffs at McCarran airport, some involving Sharyn Brown (wife of Jay Brown, former partner of Goodman) for a coffe house franchise that involved Commissioner Yvonne Atkinson Gates, who coincidentally was being lobbied by Jay Brown at Galardi's request.
- Sweetheart land deals with county land. Airport land was sold mostly to Scott Gragson, son of the former mayor. Much more went on behind the scenes than is currently in the news.
- Harry Reid's connections through lawyer Jay Brown to Goodman, developer Rhodes, Indian gaming, development land near Searchlight Nevada - a web of connections to crime and bribery and land deals with county land. Reid has kept a very strange group of friends if he wishes to retain his holier-than-thou POLITICAL image.
It would take a book to detail all that has happened, and that manuscript is in the works. The current trial of Herrera and Kincaid however has made clear that larger fish need to be held accountable, thus the need to put things in a more global context with this document. The object here is not to provide definitive proof of corruption on any one issue (that's the job of the FBI and law enforcement), but to show that there is a web of corruption in Las Vegas going far beyond Galardi and driven by a focal group of characters who have acted for decades.
So, G-Sting and the Galardi story is merely a diversion slowing the exposure of a larger premeditated organized network of corruption. In fact, because of the incestuous ties of the FBI, the police department and the media to the inside players and politicians who have escaped the tempest, one can argue G-Sting is actually being used as a firewall to save a number of people from prosecution. In this scenarion, Dario Herrera, Erin Kenny, Mary Kincaid, Lance Malone and others are the sacrificial lambs being thrown into the fire to stop the big boys from taking the heat. While this sounds at first unbelievable, there is an extensive amount of documentation that will be presented that shows links far beyond the petty political grifters all the way to the mafia.
Most notable of those being shielded are Senator Hary Reid, Kent Oram (OIZ Advertising), Oscar Goodman (mayor of Las Vegas and mob lawyer), and the political pawn Mark James (former state senator, lawyer who worked with Oram, Republic Silver State, and Rhodes), none of whom have taken any heat for misdeeds which far exceed those of Michael Galardi. Galardi's corruption is million dollar stuff, the big boys are involved with land deals and service contracts worth billions.
The reason these four are being so transparently shielded and tipped off is because if they crumble, ever larger circles of corruption will also be revealed. Unlike Galardi, these other layers have had their hands in multiple political scams, but as professional grifters they weren't stupid enough to use the phones and allow themselves to be wire tapped (they'd already gone through that fire drill back in the 70's and 80's, notably with the wiretaps of Tony Spilotro). While the big players don't leave billboards pointing to their corrupt acts like Galardi's amateurs did, they do leave a paper trail in the newspapers and public records which allows us to reconstruct how they manipulate Las Vegas politics for large sums of money. The only way to break the Gordian Knot of interlocking corruption is a global document such as this tying together the known facts. Heaven only knows what else has gone on that never hit the papers.