'Intangible benefits'
Financing Goodman’s
sports fetish

Sports arena scheme would socialize costs and privatize profits

By Doug French
Nevada Policy Research Institute

No taxpayer is safe if a Task Force is meeting somewhere. Such is the case in Southern Nevada today, now that a Special Events Center Task Force has handed over its final report to Clark County Commissioners and the Las Vegas City Council.

The task force is comprised of Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events, Clark County Manager Virginia Valentine, Las Vegas City Manager Doug Selby, Karlos Lasane II, regional vice president of government relations for Harrah’s, Boyd Gaming President and Chief Operating Officer Keith Smith, UNLV Vice President of Finance & Business Gerry Bomotti and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Rossi Ralenkotter. They found the Thomas and Mack Center to be woefully inadequate.

The T & M is just too old, too small and lacking in parking to compete for major events, argue the task force members. On the other hand, they say, a new $405 million state-of-the-art arena would make money.

So, since a new arena would be such a money-maker, some developer is likely on the verge of putting one up, post haste, to reap the benefits, right?

[continued]


Masks
Guinn’s real legacy

A grease spot and a scar

By Steven Miller
BusinessNevada

As Kenny Guinn prepares to depart Nevada’s gubernatorial stage, his “legacy,” predictably, is the topic of much media discussion.

What’s notable in the discourse so far, however, is how little attention is being paid to the actual record. Yet that record is one that, for good or ill, will have important long-range consequences for the people of Nevada.

A significant but almost universally ignored part of that record took place right at the beginning. Seeking Republican voters’ backing in the 1998 party primary, Guinn and his strategists sent all eligible GOP voters statewide a large, expensive and slick campaign mailer.

Titled “An Interview with Kenny Guinn: Nevada’s Next Governor,” the mailer had a front-page photo of the candidate speaking into someone’s hand-held microphone. Then six large pages of “interview” quotes followed.

Guinn’s mail piece — aimed directly at the party faithful’s deepest desires — presented him as a solid, low-tax, limited-government Reaganite conservative.

“When You Elect Kenny Guinn Governor,” announced an exceptionally prominent headline, “You'll Be Protecting Nevada's Low Tax Heritage.”

[continued]


Statism
Judge to rule on smoking ban today

Taverns: 'Resorts after our customers'

By Valerie Miller
LV Business Press

Nevadans will find out this afternoon the immediate fate of Question 5 – the law banning smoking in bars, restaurants and convenience stores.

District Court Judge Douglas Herndon postponed a decision on preliminary injunction until Wednesday at 3 p.m. State officials, who were among the defendants in the suit filed two weeks ago by the bar and tavern owners and slot route operators, seemed to be preparing for a possible injunction to halt the enforcement of the law at the end of Tuesday’s session.

[continued]


Acquisitions
Harrah's closes the deal

LV Business Press

Harrah's Entertainment finally ended all the guessing and speculation Tuesday when it confirmed that it had reached an agreement to be acquired by two private equity firms -- Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management. The deal is an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $27.8 billion, including the assumption of approximately $10.7 billion in debt.

[continued]


Equity buyout
Stunted Station?

By Bob Shemeligan
LV Business Press

If the mooted purchase of Station Casinos by the private equity partnership of Colony Capital and a management group led by Station CEO Frank Fertitta III is approved, some experts believe the explosive growth of the locals' casino chain could be greatly curtailed.

A special committee is currently weighing an $82-per-share bid by Colony and a group of Station insiders.

[continued]


Law
Judges hold onto
fundraising role

By Stephanie Tavares
InBusiness Las Vegas

The Supreme Court of Nevada unanimously rejected a proposal to ban judicial candidates from soliciting campaign contributions at a hearing Dec. 5 in Carson City.

The proposed changes, which mirror recommendations established by the American Bar Association in 1990, have been accepted and implemented in 37 other states. Washoe District Judge Brent Adams, who asked that the changes be considered by the court, has proposed the change a number of times since the early 1990s. He said he was disappointed by the court's decision.

"I couldn't have lost worse," he said.

[continued]


Luddism
Cal teacher unions fear
e-education t
echnology

By Daschell M. Phillips
School Reform News

Although California is a technology leader, teacher-union political power appears to be retarding the state's embrace of new educational technologies.

That's one of the suggestions of a new study of virtual schools and education technology released this fall by the University of California and the California Department of Education.

[continued]


Innovation
Utah cuts income tax, offers flat tax option

But may increase local tax burden

By Mike Jerman
Budget & Tax News

The Utah Legislature passed legislation this fall cutting individual income taxes by $78 million per year and allowing counties to raise local sales taxes by about $100 million per year.

The result is a net tax increase of $22 million per year if all major counties (Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, Washington, and Weber) approve the sales tax hike.

[continued]


 

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A service of NPRI

December 20, 2006
Vol. 2, No. 17

Also in this issue:

Guinn’s real legacy

Judge to rule on
smoking ban today

Harrah's closes the deal

Stunted Station?

Judges hold onto
fundraising role

Cal teacher unions fear
e-education technology

Utah cuts income tax,
offers flat tax option

Commentary:

Losing the war, as
well as the battle

Negotiate with Iran?

You can succeed
despite your stumbles

A Reagan strategy
for Iran and Syria

 

 

Iraq
Losing the war, as well as the battle

By Fareed Zakaria
Newsweek

It's relatively easy these days to point out all the ways in which George W. Bush has been ill-informed, misguided and wrong about Iraq.

And in case you run out of examples, the president provides fresh ones continually. But on one central issue, Bush has been right. He has argued from the start that a modern, liberal democratic Iraq would be an example, an inspiration and a spur for progress in the Middle East.

The trouble is, the Iraq of today is having precisely the opposite effect. If Bush wants to save his freedom agenda, he needs to decouple it from Iraq..

[continued]


Iraq

Negotiate
with Iran?

How many Americans do they need to kill before we get the point?

By Andrew C. McCarthy
National Review

The Iraq Study Group’s call for negotiations with Iran and Syria as “a way forward” has been widely derided.

It is, abjectly, a return to September 10th thinking — to the days when terror masters like Yasser Arafat were feted as statesmen at White House galas, when terror organizations like al Qaeda operated with impunity from well-known safe havens, and when our government’s idea of countering atrocities was the filing of indictments against a handful of savages.

[continued]


You can succeed despite your stumbles

For investors, reward means taking a little risk

By Bill Fleckenstein
MSN Money

Two seemingly disparate companies can join together to drive home a singular lesson about the role of chance.

Acting as "guest lecturers" this week will be a couple of companies that I care about: Pan American Silver, of which I am a director, and Nastech Pharmaceutical, which makes formulations of delivery for drugs.

Now, to lay out the geological-biological connection: In the current issue of Gold Stock Analyst, John Doody included a write-up of Pan American's (PAAS, news, msgs) early November Mexican mine tour (with a picture of yours truly holding a 50-pound bar of silver).

I bring up the story because (a) it provides an in-depth background on two of Pan American's mines, and (b) to share lessons I have learned, as a director of Pan American, that are applicable to Nastech Pharmaceutical (NSTK, news, msgs).

[continued]


Iraq
A Reagan strategy for Iran and Syria

By Abraham D. Sofaer
Wall Street Journal

The Iraq Study Group's recommendation that the Bush administration drop its preconditions and negotiate with Syria and Iran has been praised as a "no-brainer" -- and condemned as an improper effort to reward rogue regimes.

Neither reaction is correct. Negotiating with enemies can be a useful aspect of effective diplomacy. But successful negotiations with enemies result not from the talks themselves but from the diplomatic strategy that accompanies them.

The Group's recommendations deserve support, but must be effectively integrated into President Bush's strategy of ending state-sponsored terror.

The arguments against negotiating with Syria and Iran were also made against negotiating with the Soviet Union, and by some of the same people.

[ continued]



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