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September 22, 2014

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TV station owner accuses mining industry of blackmail

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Las Vegas Sun

Chancellor Jim Rogers talks about issues other than education that are impacting Nevada’s budget crunch during a town hall meeting on education Monday on the UNLV campus.

Television station owner Jim Rogers has accused the Nevada Mining Association of “blackmail” and “bullying” over a news series critical of the mining industry.

The Nevada Mining Association canceled its advertising contract with KSNV Channel 3 after the station ran an investigative four-part series on the mining industry and how it pays state taxes.

“These people are unbelievably rich and they are unbelievably powerful and they’ve got no trouble using the power,” Rogers said in an interview. “They tend to have a kneejerk reaction to everything and they seem to have the attitude of ‘how dare you question what we do?’ If you even question it, you’re going to be punished, and they picked the wrong guy to do that with.”

Rogers released a statement Thursday saying “these are the tactics of an industry that uses 1950s bullying to get its way. Those tactics would never have worked against us and never will.”

The Nevada Mining Association decided to pull the ads Feb. 25, the Monday after the series ran, said industry spokesman Tim Crowley. The cancellation affects three weeks of ads, the tail-end of the association’s contract with the news station.

“Channel 3 was highly critical of our public awareness ads,” Crowley said. “It became an easy decision to no longer run them … we said, if you’re critical of our ads, we won’t run them.”

The investigative piece zeroed in on the public awareness ad campaign launched by the industry this year to boost its public image in the run up to the legislative session, where a bill to remove its constitutional tax position is under consideration.

Rogers said the ads were worth $9,000 but did not specify what revenue the news station would have earned if the mining association had renewed its contract.

The series, which aired Feb. 18-21, shows Channel 3 reporter Reed Cowan saying the Nevada Mining Association is “pumping big bucks into big ad campaigns to convince you they are good for the state. That’s the message hitting at exactly the same time as a piece of legislation threatening to take mining out of the state constitution.”

The legislation, Senate Joint Resolution 15, proposes to remove the mining industry’s separate tax rate from the state constitution.

After the first part of the series ran, Channel 3 vice president of news Bob Stoldal said Crowley called the station’s attorney and said the station could lose advertising with the series.

Crowley said he did talk to Doug Hill, the station’s attorney.

“I’ve known Doug for years and asked him his impression of the first show,” he said. “I did not ask him to stop the series.”

The series aired during the Legislature’s first month in session.

Amending the constitution as the legislation proposes to do requires the measure to pass the Legislature twice before subsequent public approval on the ballot.

The measure passed the Senate and squeaked through the Assembly on the last day of the 2011 legislative session.

Two years later, the measure has yet to see action during the first four weeks of the legislative session. Proponents of the legislation fear that the mining industry has used the interim to persuade legislators not to pass it.

“Nevada legislators too often have backed down on legislation that would have made the mining industry pay the true value to the state of Nevada for what it takes from the state,” Rogers said in the televised statement.

Former Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, was featured in the Channel 3 series as a critic of the mining ads and a booster for the mining legislation.

She and former state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford drove the legislation to passage during the 2011 session.

“They never like it when a spotlight is shown on mining taxation,” she said.

Rogers said that while he’s upset with the decision, the station will continue to do “fair and straight” stories about the mining industry.

“They’re way off the mark and completely out of line,” he said. “I find it offensive and repugnant. At some point, the issue is over, that’s the end of it. They did what they did and we did what we did, and that’s the end of it.”

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  1. I say the Nevada mining industry is not that powerful as everyone thinks they are. Mainly because they can't continue to follow along with a strategy of buying everyone off.

    Everyone knows they are ripping off the State of Nevada, taking what they reap out of the ground not only outside the State, but outside the country as well.

    The problem is that the more the people become aware, the more our Governor runs interference for them. After all, Governor Sandoval worked as a lawyer for a mining lobby firm (Jones Vargas) before he was elected into office. Guaranteed he's in their pockets and would never sign one single piece of paper that would authorize the mining companies to pay their fair share.

    Having said that, put this on the ballot. Let the people decide.

    Call it unfair. Call it what you want.

    Put it on the ballot.

    Let the people have their say at the ballot box. Take the biased Governor and our State Government out of this equation. It's our State. It's our Government. Not theirs.

  2. When someone like Mr. Jim Rogers get's an organization upset by showing people what that said organization does to the set of Nevada and pulls there advertising money, that's a interesting story in it self.

    Mr. Rogers may have some issues about cretin things but this is not one of them. This issue effects all Nevadan's. Mining has not paid is share in taxes since the inception of this state. KSNV Channel 3 did a great job in showing that many people in Carson City that are elected individuals appear to be in the hands of the mining industry. That was brought out in the news. I am hoping "shame" will be brought to bear to the legislature when it come to the industry.

    Thank you Mr. Rogers and the folks at channel 3

  3. Gee, what cry babies! Rogers and all the rest of you lefties! Not doing business with those you dislike or would harm your interests is done on a daily basis. I know. I do it. There are companies I will not spend a dime with because I do not like either the way they do business or whom they support. There are actors that I wouldn't cross the street to see in a film or on TV because they nauseate me with their socialist agenda. I rarely watch anything on Channel 3 or NBC because of their overtly leftists sop. Kudos to the mining industry for flexing what muscle it has in opposing Rogers leftist agenda. Hitting him in the pocketbook shows just how big a hypocrite the guy is. He whines and cries like a child who's toys are witheld for bad behavior.

  4. Seems to me Rogers is the bully here. He owns a TV station and uses it to slap whomever he disagrees with. He doesn't want to pay higher taxes than the mining industry so he tries to brainwash people that mining is bad.

  5. While I admire Mr. Rogers for standing up and exposing this fact is the Mining industry is not really the one at fault here.

    Long before any of us, including Mr. Rogers was born the constitution of Nevada set up the rules for the mining industry. They are following those rules and not paying much to the state for all the gold they are taking out of the state. They are profiting big time right now.

    Mining does not have to buy legislative clout, they have the constitution on their side at this point. Will the elected officials step up and change that? No, they have no reason to stir the pot. The people of Nevada have to step up and put this on the ballot and get the constitution changed so they pay as many would say "Their Fair Share."

    Mr. Rogers stepped up and stirred the pot and now it costs him money. He can afford it but he has done more than anyone posting here on either side of this argument, he brought it out into the sun light for all to see. Damn him if you will but fact is this man has done a lot for Nevada, our schools and our valley. Most posting here can not say the same.

    Are you ready to get off your put and change the constitution or just sit back and complain about others trying to make things right?

  6. The Nevada Constitution MUST be changed in regards to MINING.

    When the Nevada Constitution was first written, MINING was there in full force, to insure protection for themselves at the cost of everyone else here in Nevada, including depleting the state of its treasure, sending that treasure out of state and out of the country, and paying a pittance in return for it.

    Nevada Legislators have been "backed" by MINING since, and they do MINING's bidding, protecting MINING's interest in taking all they can from Nevada and returning next to nothing.

    Nevada has never been able to consistently care for its infrastructure, because of this "sweet deal" MINING has for nearly 150 years.

    Commentor ColinfromLasVegas has it right with, "Put it on the ballot.

    Let the people have their say at the ballot box. Take the biased Governor and our State Government out of this equation. It's our State. It's our Government. Not theirs."

    IF MINING ever paid an average of what MINING pays to the other 49 states in the USA, our state would be doing much, much better. Let's make it happen!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  7. Turnabout is fair play, Mr. Rogers. You preach and admonish Nevadans as if we're your kids. Grow up and initiate fair play. All Rogers does is preach to increase funding on public K-12, broken K-12 that money will not fix. Further bankrupting our economy is NOT going to help anyone--except maybe teacher salaries and old-school economics that do not work.

  8. Quit whinning about what all these mining companies are making and go get your fair share of the GPD that tanker is yappin about. if you want to make a lot of money go work for one of the mining companies and reap the benifits.Jim Rodgers wants to take mining dollars and put in his pocket and then wants to trash talk the mining industry!
    Whats that saying about cake?
    All of the mining companys are hiring all of the time and they have jobs all around the world for those willing to learn a trade.
    Some people are makers and some are tankers, some are sucsessfull and then some are not.

  9. Unless a person is killed in Nevada's mining industry...mining complaints are not investigated by NV or the Feds. Both NV MSATS and MSHA are in the paid for protection racket business!

    The NV AG issued an opinion in 2012 to the Silver Peak Ad Hoc Advisory/Nevada Children, unequivocally stating that caustic hazardous toxic process errs flowing across NV SR 265 into a children's playground (that is already contaminated w/mercury from past mining operations above nearby) with play fixtures paid for by Esmeralda taxpayers and within 200 feet of homes, people, gardens, and animals is ok fine. Does this sound as if our top NV elected officials care or even give a hoot about anyone's health or safety except their precious own situation?

    I believe mining is important to sustain modern living today, however no investigations for timely reported pollution, safety, health and harassment violations in Nevada Mining Industry continues to enrichen certain aristocrats while causing hardships and misery for all Nevadan's including past and present working shift miners and or unsuspecting children playing in pollution who's state's highest officials are paid off with campaign donations and or political favors while continuing to NOT see hear or investigate ANY violations in Nevada's Mining industry.

    Thanks Governor Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Katherine Mastos-Cortez for being so invisible on important issues and showing ALL Nevadans who you really are"

    PRupp using PO Box 125 SP NV 89047

  10. 1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

    5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    Sent to me from my Mom, from some internet posting and thought I would share it with UALL.
    50% of this households dollars are from mining.

  11. Being poor, uneducated and powerless can be an excellent character builder.

    Blame the parent, the educator or the individual, but dont blame the Big Mining companys.

  12. When will the educators take responsibility for their failures?
    I think I had a teacher called Joe Lamy!

  13. Nevader's relationship with the mining industry...

    Willful ignorance.
    'We can't tell em' what to pay us! They might run away!'

    Not only did they write their own laws to allow MAXIMUM absconding of our precious resources for a MINUSCULE tax, NO ONE in the state hierarchy bothered to keep them even remotely honest in regards to paying those meager, token remunerations...they CHEATED their butts off!

    A state that relies largely on 2 industries to pay the freight... allows them both to decide how much they'll pay...in part because folks like fink think that THAT'S GOOD!

    Nevada should be FLUSH with cash; awash in the stuff...
    but, NOOOOOO! 'Principled' people like fink think that it's heresy to 'take money' from the Captains of Industry in Nevada...we might OFFEND THEM!...because theoretically, they could go steal gold & silver and con tourists out of their cash somewhere else!
    HA!!!

  14. "Let me get this straight"
    When will the politicians take responsibility?
    As soon as you quit voting for the ones that promise to give you everything under the sun that they did not pay for, thats when.

  15. So politicans should not provide any money for services to the citizens of Nevada.

    Politicians do not provide a dime to the citizens in the state of nevada, they take it from the citizens.
    I would feel better if the citizens were employed and paying their fair share of taxes.
    When is the last time you received somthing from a politicion worth bragging about.
    Schools, another subject by itself. Mismanagement, cost over runs, unions, bad students, bad teachers you could go on about this forever.
    state education is running on empty like the federal government.
    Healthcare---No excuse for not providing it to any and every US citizen.
    Big Mining and Mining Employees pay a substancial amount of taxes in the state of nevada and to the federal government.
    Over regulate it and it's done for the employees of the mines.
    You want money and the politicians of nevada. passed on yucca! now there is a case of stupid, nevada could have been the most federally funded state in the union

  16. We should vote for Barrick Mining to run the country, as they have proved themselves to be more proficient at producing jobs and profits in the world theatre than the federal government.
    Imagine a government that could pay it's expenses before it incurred them.

  17. Tank
    put down the kool-aid, I was responding to U from
    your 2:59 opinion.

  18. Tank
    I have to call B.S. on this one, Can you provide a video....Please!

  19. Tank
    I was joking around with you.
    Sorry for my sense of humor.
    I am very well aware of the mining industry, as i have family members who work for Barrick and I have moderate investments with them.

  20. Of course Jim has never used his power as the owner of a major television station to get what he wants. He may be the biggest bore in Nevada.

  21. There's not one big business out there that pays there fair share. Mining , gaming, and the rest of them all have lobbyist in Carson City wining and dining the state officials to go with the status quo and leave things alone, it's always been that way and always will be because we will never have honest legislators that work for the voters.

  22. Commenter fedup2here, truly said it,"
    There's not one big business out there that pays there fair share. Mining , gaming, and the rest of them all have lobbyist in Carson City wining and dining the state officials to go with the status quo and leave things alone, it's always been that way and always will be because we will never have honest legislators that work for the voters."

    And until we eliminate the 2 party political system, voting won't fix much of anything. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. That's it.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star