Del Webb Upset by Revelations of
What It's Been Up To with Harry

   By Del Tartikoff
   copyright 1997, Electric Nevada

That loud bleat you heard in Glitz City last Thursday was Del Webb Corporation, all upset that the Las Vegas public is finding out about $50 Gs the company channeled to Senator Harry Reid in 1995 -- apparently for services rendered.
Revealed in Electric Nevada
last week, the mega-developers' love offerings at the feet of King Harry had followed the senior senator's heavy-handed pressure on federal Bureau of Land Management officials to okay the transfer to Del Webb of some 5,000 acres of federal real estate -- worth at least an estimated $50 million -- on the outskirts of Las Vegas.
BLM officials say that Reid -- the U.S. Senate Democrat with the most power over the federal agency as of 1994 -- began insisting late that year that they grease the skids for Del Webb's acquisition of the land, even though all the developer had to offer in exchange was some Churchill County ranch land of dubious value, plus a pledge to find additional, other, land not yet acquired.
On Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nevada Seniors Coalition consultant Dr. Larry Paulson, interviewed by KNEWS radio, discussed the Del Webb campaign contributions story in Electric Nevada, and the next day learned -- via a call from the station -- that Del Webb representatives, irate, had called



representatives, irate, had called the station to complain.
Thursday, KNEWS asked Electric Nevada about the Federal Election Commission reports documenting the mega-developer's sudden, out-of-the-blue contributions of $54,000 to the Reid campaign organization in 1995. That was after the company had contributed nothing at all to Reid in 1990, '91, '92, '93 and '94, and before it returned to a no-contributions mode in 1996. EN directed KNEWS to the
Environmental Working Group F.E.C. information website, which has all the info...
Land swaps like the $50 million goodie for Del Webb that Reid has been pushing are just one of the ways Nevada taxpayers are being made to subsidize private developer interests in the Las Vegas Valley. Not only will Nevada and U.S. taxpayers lose the higher price the BLM land would bring if put up for competitive bid, they also, points out Paulson, are being set up to pay a big chunk of the cost of providing the property with water. That's because the Southern Nevada Water Authority's proposed $1.7 billion treatment / transmission facility -- which goes to that same Del Webb swap


 

property and others (see accompanying map) is already producing water rate increases and major momentum for a 1/4% increase in the Clark County sales tax. Even before the Nevada Legislature was to open Monday, assembly speaker Joe Dini(D-Yerington) was announcing he thought it was going to pass....
The Los Angeles Times has found documents showing that controversial Democratic fund-raiser John Huang had an Asian affairs policy role in the Clinton adminstration's Commerce Department at the same time he was spending lots of time on the phone to his longtime Asian employer and also raising money in the Asian community for the Clinton reelection campaign. Clinton administration spokespersons had denied what the latest documents show, asserting instead that Huang's duties while in the U.S. Commerce Department were largely administrative....
In 1992, when the Nevada Supreme Court purchase some $800 Chippendale chairs for its new building, some Nevada legislators were critical. Now the




Legislature has gone and pruchased over 200 fancy new high-back, red leather chairs for the Senate, the Assembly chambers and all the committee rooms.
"You can't get a cheaper chair than that," said Loren Malkiewich, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau. But if the Legislature had purchased its chairs where most state agencies have to shop -- a Corporate Express catalog -- the top-of-the-line chair would have only been $524.....
A new rule passed by the U.S. House last week requires that anyone from outside the government who testifies before the House has to disclose how much money in grants and contracts his or her group received from the federal government during the previous three years.
Called "Truth in Testimony," the rule was designed in part as a check on federal spending and would affect an estimated 3,000 grant recipients and contractors whose officials testify before the House each year, says the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Not only military contractors and other major corporations involved in government work would be affected, but hundreds of nonprofit -- often liberal -- organizations that receive taxpayer money.
"The political subtext," said New York Times reporter Katharine Seelye, "is that the rule will disproportionately affect some of the liberal advocacy groups simply because there are more of them. Liberals tend to believe in using


 
federal money for what they call public interest purposes, unlike conservative groups, which tend philosophically to oppose using taxpayer money, relying instead on private donations."....
Nevada Wildlife Commissioners Friday indicated some "areas of concern" regarding the job performance of Nevada Division of Wildlife Administrator Willie Molini, but took no disciplinary action.




Asked if he would mind elaborating on what the commissioners' concerns were, Molini replied, "Yeah, I think I probably would."
Molini said no mention was made of the Sept. 27 incident in which the NDOW chief admitted fighting and driving a state vehicle after drinking at a bar in Fallon.
Molini's ribs were broken during the fight.


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