The IRS -- "It Really Sucks"
Film Producer Readies Race
For Nevada Governor Chair

by Steve Miller
copyright (c) 1997, Electric Nevada

Nevada's next governor could turn out to be a long-time Hollywood producer with a flair for the dramatic and a passionate interest in the defense of individual liberty.
Aaron Russo -- whose production credentials include the films Wise Guys, Trading Places, and The Rose, among others -- has authorized Nevada supporters to begin laying the foundation for a campaign to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Electric Nevada has learned.
Russo himself, after flying into Reno Friday, appeared at a Carson City GOP Lincoln Day event the same evening. A full-blown announcement of his candidacy is currently scheduled for March 22, sources say.
Famed political consultant Lyn Nofziger -- assistant to President Reagan for political affairs from 1981 to 1982 -- is in line to serve as the campaign's chief strategist, according to one source close to Russo.
"That's a 95 percent done deal," the source said.
Nofziger is currently president of Nofziger Communications, a Washington consulting firm. He began his career as a newspaper reporter and later became press secretary for Ronald Reagan's first race for Governor in 1966.
Russo first began appearing on Nevadans' radar screens last year. That was when a number of conservative and libertarian activists in the state became



interested in Russo after seeing a video he had produced early in the year in Southern California.
Originally intended as a television show pilot, sources tell Electric Nevada, it was turned into a for-sale video when Russo found the interest Disney had in the project was contingent on that company's complete control and ownership.
The front cover of the videotape jacket is emblazoned "Aaron Russo's Mad as Hell Video," the letters gold, red, white and blue, atop a cartoon-graphics explosion. On the back, a picture shows Russo at a desk, proudly beaming, from behind a television Emmy he was awarded.
"It's time to stop complaining about our politicians," says the text. "If you're tired of the government and the way it's behaving, join Aaron Russo in his "Mad as Hell" crusade to restore the Constitution to its proper role as the law of the land.
"Aaron says it doesn't matter whether you're a Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, Black or White, Christian or Jewish. The emergency we're all facing is that America is


 
turning into a totalitarian country -- a police state -- and it must be stopped. This is happening through the destruction of our beloved Constitution and the principles of freedom to which it is dedicated [emphasis in the original].
"The free America we all love is quickly disappearing. Aaron feels we cannot allow our forefathers' struggle to be in vain," concludes the cover message.
The video itself opens with black and white footage of a chunky early-teens boy, shadow-boxing. Russo, in a voice-over, tells how, even as a poor, young, Brooklyn kid, learning life on the streets, he's always hated bullies.
As the narration continues, he recounts way stations on his career -- opening a rock 'n' roll nightclub in Chicago, managing Bette Midler, founding the Manhattan Transfer rock group, producing the already-mentioned films and receiving an Emmy, a Tony and six Oscar nominations.
But nowadays, because he fears for his country, says Russo, he is appearing before the camera. And onto a red, white and blue-lettered stage set, before a television studio audience, Russo strides out.




At the time the video was made, the producer looked very much the entertainment industry impresario -- with wavy black hair down to his shoulders, a pendulous pearl earring in his left ear, and dramatic black clothing.
After greeting his audience several times with the prayerful gesture Hindus use to acknowledge the godhead in everyone, Russo begins to walk back and forth, and voice his concerns about the direction America is going.
His topics are wide-ranging -- from now-departed Food and Drug Administration head Kessler, to Social Security, to the IRS -- "It Really Sucks" Russo cracks -- to number of others, including GATT.
Pointing out that the Congressional legislation committing the United States to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade is some 22,000 pages long, Russo asserts that fact obviously means none of the U.S. Representatives or Senators who approved the legislation had any idea what they actually were authorizing. And he illustrates by having an assistant bring out a wheelbarrow -- loaded with thick government volumes comprising the


 
legislation, apparently -- and dump it all on the middle of the stage.
"No one has read it!" he declares. "They don't know what it says!"
One powerful segment of the show goes outside the studio set, to explore the topic of the government killing of Donald Scott in 1992, and the general scandal of federal and state asset forfeiture laws.
Scott was owner of the Trails End Ranch near Malibu, California, which National Park Service officials long had wanted to add to their holdings, which already almost entirely surrounded the $5 million ranch. While Scott, according to his surviving widow, did not want to sell, he did predict that the Park Service would find a pretext to try to take over the land.
Scott was subsequently shot to death,




in front of his wife, by two L.A. County Sheriff's Department deputies who had burst into their home. They were part of a five-agency state and federal surprise "drug raid" on the ranch -- a raid which was later found to have had no probable-cause justification. It was also a raid where deputies, operating under asset forfeiture laws, were later found to have arrived on the scene with real estate appraisals in their "search documents" specifying the value of adjoining properties.
The 'Mad as Hell' video is available from Mad as Hell, P.O. Box 27740, Las Vegas, NV 89126. Individuals seeking further information about the Russo gubernatorial effort can call 702-329-5057.


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