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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Katie Duncan for mayor ?


The campaigning never ends in Nevada. A little more than a month after Harry Reid triumphantly won re-election, all the yard signs and billboards have come down, only to be replaced by by those running in the Spring 2011 municipal elections. Katherine "Katie" Duncan held a press conference today to announce her candidacy for mayor, and its to her benefit that no press showed up.

The Aruba Hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard is just south of Charleston and sandwiched between Downtown Las Vegas' ubiquitous wedding chapels and cheap motels. Pictures inside the lobby remind you of the boom period of Old Vegas, when the mob ruled, money and liquor flowed freely, girls were fast and loose and Negroes had to find somewhere other than the strip to spend the night.

The building itself was colder than the 30 degree weather and unforgivably brisk wind outside. The press conference was held in the hotel's nightclub that was so dark that yes, I'll admit it, I ran into a support beam. I don't think this is the impression Duncan would want to leave our political press corps with: less than a dozen supporters in a dark room, huddling together for body warmth.

Duncan is not the only candidate in the race. Commissioner Larry Brown and Councilman Steve Ross also want to replace our garish and termed out mayor, Oscar Goodman. Unfortunately for Ross, some voters think of him as just another "union hack". He's claimed his union ties and city hall job don't pose a conflict of interest, but even bleeding-heart union-loving Liberals like me think his situation is shady.

Larry Brown has problems of his own. As commissioner he recently voted "NO" to approve changes to the Coroner's Inquest process. Changes that would give victim's families more rights and access during the inquest process and create the position of an ombudsperson. He voted no, even after telling Hispanic's In Politics meeting attendees he'd vote yes. I don't think a vote to protect police officers from the families of the victims they've killed will go over too well with Latino and Black voters.

Duncan would be the first first African American elected mayor of Las Vegas. Her name is synonymous with Ward 5 which covers most of the predominately Black and Latino historical West Las Vegas. She didn't mention her race, in her speech she stuck to palatable topics like homelessness, Veterans, neighborhood revitalization and "green projects" to create jobs.

Interestingly, she claims she wants to "continue the vision" of Mayor Goodman. The same mayor she's bumped heads with for wanting to build a wall through F and D Streets, essentially closing the the West Side off (Berlin style) from the rest of Las Vegas. And who could forget Mayor Goodman attacking President Obama going so far as to tell him he's not welcome in Las Vegas. While the "vision" may be about the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas, part of the F and D Street project was part of Mayor Goodman's revitalization. But, Duncan's cloudy message and unspectacular press conference isn't the least of her worries: she's tapped Aloha Consulting to help her with her race.

Aloha Consulting is headed by Johnny Jackson, the blond haired, blue eyed former boxer who claims to be a native Hawaiian and representative of their government. Jackson says Duncan would be the 77th Aloha Consulting candidate to win. That is impressive for someone who says they've been in Las Vegas for only four years. However, his website only lists 23 candidates under "Nevada clients" and his list of "our candidates for the 2010 election" is different from the list of "Aloha Consulting candidates who won their races in 2010".

Jackson's biggest transgression: he is a birther.

In an email I've obtained Jackson claims President Obama wasn't born in Hawaii and his birth certificate is forged. Jackson's Positions on Issues PAC unsuccessfully tried to retire Senator Harry Reid. Members notoriously showed up to several Reid events in 2010 with his Aloha Consulting crew dressed in Sharron Angle t-shirts.

This is who Duncan thinks can help her win the Mayorship in an overwhelmingly Democratic city?

ETA: Thanks to Ms Duncan's correction below regarding Jan Jones. The mistake has been fixed. In response to Mr Jackson, it's not libel when you're repeating what someone says.

And I want to make it clear, I have nothing against Ms Duncan. I have admired her since I moved to Las Vegas in 2007 and I was excited to see she's be running for mayor. I was disappointed in her choice of campaign consultant and by how poorly put together her press conference was. She deserves better.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Obama, Vick and journalists with nothing better to do

This morning Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein tweeted his disapproval of President Obama's phone call to the Philadelphia Eagle's owner. For background, check my post on This Week in Blackness.

It's hard to tell what Klein is upset about. His tweets and blog aren't too clear. Most of the anger directed at him was due to his garbled logic and lame defense. Klein seems to think that President Obama called the Eagle's owner to talk about Michael Vick, and the White House is lying when they say the president called to talk about the Eagle's move toward a clean energy stadium.

Candidate Obama promised innovation when it came to energy and the environment, but he's had a tough time building up Congressional support for his Cap and Trade energy proposal. President Obama has found an ally in Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie, and Lincoln Financial Field will be energy efficient by fall 2011; when Obama's re-election campaign comes to life. He'd be a fool not to reach out.

What evidence does Ezra have that he feels comfortable calling President Obama and the White House liars? It's a mystery he will never answer, but he managed to Google a few charts and is now thinking Obama should have fought to pass legislation to give felons a second chance.

Village Groupie (I can't remember who came up with that but *golf clap*) Ana Marie Cox weighed in on the faux controversy and provided an "anybody but Vick" argument. She claims that Vick isn't the best example to use for a rehabilitated criminal. Really? He's one of the most high profile dog fighters who has served his time and is successfully completing his process of rehabilitation. He's the perfect person to be made an example of.

Then Ana breaks off into a weird direction, claiming essentially that Black people love Michael Vick. Then gets a little wobbly, says Michael Vick's story means different things to different communities (translation: white people hate Vick, Black people love him. I hate when Obama reminds us that he's Black). Then she just gives up on the conversation.

Finally, Yunji de Nies of ABC News provides this banal report. She says the president "is a big believer in (Michael Vick's) comeback". She has no evidence that that claim is true. She reported President Obama has long been a supporter of giving felons (not just Michael Vick) second chances. Obama condemned the crimes Vick committed but praised the Eagles owner for allowing a felon to contribute to society again, despite his heinous crimes. It was an effort on her part to gin up controversy on an otherwise newsless holiday with the president in Hawaii.

ETA: How did I miss this dumbass tweet?


So now she's got a problem with people who don't have shelter dogs? Excuse Obama for seeking out a breed that won't cause his child to have an asthma attack. What is this bullshit? Is this real life? In the words of Obama "That's just how white folks will do ya"

The cultural arrogance is staggering.


Saturday, December 4, 2010



This week we’re on twice in one day! We’re LIVE from 7am-10am and rebroadcast from 10am – 1pm. (Times are West Coast)

We would love to have your questions answered. If you see someone in the line-up that you would like to ask about something, drop us an email at derekisademocrat@gmail.com / chrisisademocrat@gmail.com / or Twitter to @LauraKmm

07:23am Sue Fulton of Knights Out will give us an update of the battle to repeal DADT

07:43 JD Smith gives us the view of DADT from the inside by a service member currently serving

08:12 Rob Smith is a great writer and Veteran who writes for The Huffington Post, After Elton amongst others and is working on a book about his time in the Armed Forces

08:27 Dave Schwartz is the go to guy when it comes to the potential for the legalization of Marijuana in Nevada

08:42 Ari Ezra Waldman is our “Legal Eagle” and he’ll be updating us on all of the latest LGBT related legal issues

09:00 Rock & Roll Marathon is coming to Vegas on Sunday and we’re leading TEAM BATTLE BORN! We’ll give you all the info about this annual charity event

09:14 Mallory Cyr will discuss her activism in matters of immigration reform and issues affecting college students, especially the DREAM ACT

09:28 Michael Flores of Progress Now Nevada will tell us what he’s doing to help people in need and talk about his work on the DREAM ACT

09:43 Steve Walker is a co-chair of the Organizing For America LGBT working group. Steve will be talking to us about the Obama administrations work on LGBT issues and what’s going on in DC these days.

We would love to have your questions answered. If you see someone in the line-up that you would like to ask about something, drop us an email at derekisademocrat@gmail.com / chrisisademocrat@gmail.com / or Twitter to @LauraKmm

The Grind