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August 31, 2014

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Jon Ralston:

Adelson’s riff, Reid’s flexibility and Sanson’s embarrassment

Gondolier Numero Uno Sheldon Adelson says Newt is sinking faster than Venice, Meddler-in-Chief Harry Reid pays back Byron Georgiou for obeying him, and a phony special interest exposes itself (twice) — here’s your Friday Flash:

• Sheldon sugarcoats the GOP presidential race: The Las Vegas Sands chairman was caught in a rare moment of political punditry recently (it was pretty good, so my job may be in jeopardy!) by the Jewish Journal, which posted a video of him distilling the Republican race for the White House even as he entombed his longtime friend Newt Gingrich as being at the “end of his line.”

The widely circulated remarks from Adelson displayed the unvarnished candor that can only come if you are worth $25 billion, most of your business is in Macau and you really don’t care what anyone thinks.

In just a few minutes, besides his Gingrich burial, Adelson said Rick Santorum was “too social” and “I don’t want him to run my country.” He said Mitt Romney is not a “bold decision-maker” and compared him to President Barack Obama as an Illinois state senator when he “didn’t want to establish a record for himself for either partisan or nonpartisan issues.”

As for the man he and his family invested $16.5 million in this cycle, Adelson said of Gingrich: “Mathematically he can’t get anywhere near the numbers, and it’s unlikely to be a brokered convention.”

So whither the Adelson fortune now, besides Macau and Spain? GOP Chairman Reince Priebus had dinner with Adelson and others a week ago, according to various reports. But I doubt he needed to do his “We love you, Sheldon” shtick. Adelson seems committed to defeating the president — and I didn’t need his “Obama Oy Vey!” button to tell me that.

(A full transcript of Adelson’s remarks is here. )

• That was then, this is now: Consistency is the hobgoblin of less flexible politicians than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

When Congress was investigating the financial meltdown a few years ago and entrepreneur Byron Georgiou was an ambitious guy with a lot of (campaign) money, Reid gave him a plum assignment to an oversight panel. But after Georgiou had the temerity to stay in the 2012 U.S. Senate race despite the entrance of Reid’s anointed choice, Rep. Shelley Berkley, the majority leader unloaded on Georgiou and wished he hadn’t appointed him. Check out this brutal Reid evisceration of then-candidate Georgiou here.

Georgiou eventually saw the light — don’t they all? — and bent to Reid’s will, bowing out of the contest to make way for Berkley. And, so, Thursday on the U.S. Senate floor, Reid told his colleagues: “One of the (people) I’m going to visit next week is a man by the name of Byron Georgiou, who has developed a company for electric cars. I’m looking forward to that. They are manufactured there in Nevada. It’s programs like this that we need.”

There you have it. Byron Georgiou went, in Harry Reid’s estimation, from qualified appointee (not running for Senate) to horrible reprobate (running for Senate) to energy visionary (not running for Senate).

Imagined conversation: “Hey, Byron, get out and I not only won’t stop smearing you, I’ll hype your business for you.”

No one — and I mean no one — does this stuff better with a straight face than Harry Reid.

• The unmasking of Veterans In Politics International continues: It does not cease to amaze me that anyone regards the group run by Steve Sanson with anything other than derision or why anyone would think this amateur outfit confers the imprimatur of veteran support.

Two examples from this week are stark.

First, Sanson sent out a news release on behalf of ex-Henderson Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion, making claims that were either patently absurd or false. (For instance, the release claimed she had been exonerated by a polygraph on allegations of misusing charity funds. Later that day, the polygrapher sent out a release saying she had never been asked about it.)

Second, and even more astonishingly, Sanson issued a missive announcing candidate interviews for Veterans In Politics International’s Assembly endorsements. And who will be moderating these interviews? Republican Assemblyman John Hambrick.

Yes, you read that right. Sanson has enlisted a GOP assemblyman to “interview” candidates for the Assembly. You couldn’t make this stuff up, folks.

I can’t imagine many Democrats will show up, although some have confirmed judging from the release’s list of those who “confirmed their attendants (sic) to be interviewed.” So they can bring their attendants instead of appearing themselves?

One last note: Who did Gov. Brian Sandoval’s “Office of Veterans Services” honor as March’s “Veteran of the Month”? Steve Sanson.

• Correction: Last Friday, I erroneously wrote that Michael McDonald was recalled from the Las Vegas City Council. I should have said “ousted” (by Janet Moncrief, who was later recalled). Mea culpa.

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  1. Ralston and I have had a personal difference that goes back about six years.

    Assemblyman John Hambrick is the moderator (Master of Ceremonies) for our Assembly Interviews this Saturday.

    Assemblyman Hambrick will not vote on the endorsement of any candidates. Ralston is making it a point that Hambrick is a Republican so any candidates that are not a Republican should run away.

    I am sure that's how we should resolve our States' problems (by running away).

    For the Record:
    During the Special Election for Ward 2 Las Vegas Councilman Steven Ross was the moderator a Democrat and former Henderson Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion sat on the panel another registered Democrat, but has no allegiance to one party over another.

    During the Ward 6 Special Election this year we had Ron Futrell a former Channel 13 anchor as the moderator.

    At our Veterans Valentine's Day Ball & Gala held at the Plaza in February our speakers were Las Vegas City Mayor Carolyn Goodman an Independent and former registered Democrat, former First Lady and Nevada Legislator Dawn Gibbons a registered Republican, former Nevada State Legislator and US Senate Candidate Sharron Angel a registered Republican, Alana Lee Miss Nevada a Registered Republican, her father Nevada State Senator John Lee a registered Democrat and our Keynote Speaker was Congresswoman Shelley Berkley a registered Democrat.

    Last year when we interviewed the Municipal Elections we had Chris Miller Clark County Democrat Chairman and former President of the Stonewall Democrat's sat on our panel.

    If you take a look at our endorsements throughout the years you will see for yourself that the Veterans In Politics International supports and endorses candidates in all political parties.

    Ralston is always projecting and always prints half truths.

    Ralston supports or attacks candidates who will increase his ratings and supports candidates who will advertise with his employer.

    If you take a look at the candidates that runs for office Ralston picks who he wants to interview.
    The VIPI interviews all candidates, we make recommendations and we video tape and inform the public to be knowledgeable on all candidates that are running for office.

    We always say if you don't like our endorsements make an educated decision.

    Ralston mentions my nomination by the Republican Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval as Veteran of the Month, but failed to mention my Congressional recognition by Democrat Congresswoman Shelley Berkley or my Letter of Recognition by Independent Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, all was presented at the same time.

    In closing:
    Veterans In Politics International supports and endorses the "Best Candidate" that we feel would support our values for the good of our State and Country despite; political, religious, gender, financial, popularity, or creed.

    If you are new to Nevada politics be careful around opportunist Jon Ralston!

  2. I've been warning candidates and electeds to stay away from Steve Sanson's sham/scam for years - the guy has no serious standing in the larger Veterans Community! Veterans In Politics INTERNATIONAL is a pathetic little group of poorly educated vets that Sanson cons into supporting HIM - and he keeps getting away with the scam by bullying candidates and electeds to show up for his one-man show, only occasionally joined by his most recent victims!

    The opportunistist here is Steve Sanson - and it's good to see Jon Ralston finally exposing Sanson and V.I.P. INTERNATIONAL as a the phony group it is - sadly! There are thousands of these groups that have sprouted up over the recent decade - all creating the appearance of being philathropic, but all you have to do is take the time to follow-the-money and check the facts!

    As for the politicians that have gotten involved, every one of them has done so reluctantly because Steve Sanson has a nasty reputation of going on his little rinky, dinky, radio show (that he pays for himself) - and talking trash about anyone that doesn't show up for one of his "interviews" - so, they participate to avoid any conflict with this extorionist!

    Just tune-in and listen for just a few minutes to a V.I.P. INTERNATIONAL radio show will be all it takes to quickly realize what a pathetic poser Sanson is - even after years of practice! Frankly, don't take my word for it - ask any retired professional officer or NCO that is well informed and knows Sanson or the V.I.P. INTERNATIONAL reputation - and they'll have nothing substantially impressive to say!

    Others will just shake their head in silence! That's the real deal - people fear Sanson for being nutty enough to say anything - so, they try to appease him in hopes that he will say something positive, or better yet - nothing at all!

    I wonder how long it will be until someone finally calls for a full audit of V.I.P. INTERNATIONAL books, and I'm sure he has several sets that need close scrutiny!?!

    BTW: There are a few other phony vet groups in town that are doing a magical job of pulling the wool over the eyes of the public - and they're claiming to have raised millions for veterans, when it's really just an effort to publicly build their own personal fame and wealth! It's sad, Sad, SAD!

    Do you research people, there are a number of good causes that are transparent and easy to check out the factual record on - and donate your time, talent and money to them!

  3. Oh, and just to be clear, my comments are directed at the public to warn them off - as Jon Ralston's integrity is in tact and doesn't require my defense!

    For the record, Sanson allegedly served honorably, briefly, in BOTH the Army briefly (which didn't work out as a career), and in the Marines briefly (which didn't work out a a career either), but he allegedly served Honorably - so, we all thank him for his service - then!

    Now, if Sanson would just go back to serving truly faithfully again - I'm sure the entire Veterans Community would be better off and much appreciative of him learning to utilize his 5th Amendment Right - it's especially handy when a person has no idea what they're talking about (and during audits and police interrogations)!

    No response is desired Sanson - just stop embarrassing veterans PLEASE?

  4. I've met Steve Sanson, received far too many "Veterans In Politics" press releases, from what appeared to be a completely disinterested secretary, and every time I'm reminded that the only veteran being represented in politics is Steve Sanson himself. His techniques and methods are the same bully tactics being used to great success by men like Chuck Muth and Rush Limbaugh.

    Nonetheless, Ralston's portrayal of him is correct.

    If anyone wants to see a rap sheet of Nevada's Republican Party alumni just pick up Steve Sanson's candidate endorsement list. It's probably quicker though to just visit the NVGOP website itself.

  5. Steve Sanson "has worked many hours a week" to promote Steve Sanson, and as far as Veterans issues go - he usually has no idea what he's talking about, because he is a simpleton that doesn't do his research - he's a pathetic poser!

    I know dozens of people that have been conned by Steve Sanson into thinking he was a "playa" in "politics" - he's an embarrassement to himself and the entire greater Veterans Community!

    Just do your due diligence and research folks, you will quickly see Steve Sanson is not worth your time, talent or money - PERIOD!

    I think it's past-time that an investigation been done into these phony groups using the emotional tug on the hearts of veterans and military families to gain personal fame and profit!

  6. BTW: Any guy that claims he has an "INTERNATIONAL" group might be immediately suspect of being a very over-the-top ego-maniac!

    The history of the V.I.P. INTERNATIONAL is pathetic - it was one guy that was a nut-job, and half-a-dozen others that sat around whined, sniveled, complained and got drunk! It never accomplished much, so, finally Steve Sanson became the "leader-of-one" and just haplessly promoted himself for years!

    Really folks, don't believe me, just do your own research and you'll see!

  7. Since we have so many confused, misinformed Democrats (that think being buddies with Republicans is a good idea) - I'm going to join Steve Sanson's little, inky, dinky, group of radical, right-wing, neo-con, nut-job T.E.A. (Talked Enough Already) Party Republican Veterans In Politics INTERNATIONAL!

    Yes, YES! Soon, V.I.P.I. will be the most powerful veterans group in the entire world - and not even James Bond and Her Majesties Secret Service will be able to stop Sanson - once he lets me join and bring all the resouces of SPECTRE to bear! MuHahahahahahahaa!!!!!!

  8. Adelson blew a few million on a loser who supported his Zionist beliefs. Who cares? I do agree with his non-support of religious/social engineer freak Rick Santorum. When it gets down to it, who cares what Sheldon thinks? A businessman who does a very profitable business in Communist China has no credibility.

  9. Not sure how having a sitting Republican assemblyman conduct interviews for a private organization lends credibility to that organization's endorsement.