(Chuck Muth) – It’s almost like we’re living in the Upside-Down universe of the next season of “Stanger Things” …
- Two deadly viruses continue to ravage the country: COVID and TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome)
- Nevadans remains under semi-lockdown and virtual house arrest
- Businesses are closed or on the brink of bankruptcy
- Workers have lost their jobs and thousands STILL can’t get their unemployment checks
- Classroom doors remain locked and students are killing themselves over it
- The state budget is in a hole deeper than the Grand Canyon
- Local and city governments are just as bad, if not worse
And with all these problems staring them in the face, what pressing issue will Clark County commissioners put at the top of their priority list at this Tuesday’s meeting?
Wasting millions of dollars to change the name of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to Harry Reid International Airport.
This is the living embodiment of “stuck on stupid.” Is it any wonder politicians are even less popular than jock itch and gonorrhea?
This same ridiculous issue came up before the Nevada Legislature four years ago.
A Las Vegas Review-Journal poll at the time showed only 14.4% of the people supported it. The RJ also reported that the idea was “the second most unpopular proposed during the 2017 legislative session with 3,151 public comments against renaming McCarran and only 63 public comments in favor.”
The bill got a hearing that session but was never voted on. It died a well-deserved death. But, unfortunately, not at the hands of a wooden stake through the heart. As such, Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom is trying to raise this corpse of an idea from the grave.
And get a load of this…
One of Tick’s colleagues on the commission, Justin Jones, isn’t supporting the idea because Harry Reid is such a wonderful person. No, no, no.
He’s supporting it because he and his wife have personally benefitted from Sen. Reid’s “Political Favor Factory.” But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what he sent in a text to a vocal opponent of the name change earlier this week…
“I have known the Reid family since I was an 18-year-old college student, serving with (Reid’s son) Josh as Chair and Vice Chair of College Democrats at BYU. Senator Reid gave my wife an internship in DC when she and I were just married, and then hired her right out of college while I was in law school. My wife has worked with or for Senator Reid for much of her career, including his last 3 campaigns.
“Senator Reid was instrumental in my getting a prestigious federal judicial clerkship and aiding my career and interest in public office. (Harry’s son) Rory threw me my first fundraiser when I was a green 27-year-old running unsuccessfully for State Assembly. Needless to say, my family owes a lot to Senator Reid. But beyond that, I just think it is right thing to do at the right time. I hope you will understand that.”
Yeah, we understand alright.
This isn’t the “right thing” to do for Las Vegas and his constituents. This is the “right thing” to do for political payback. It’s sickening. At the very least, Jones should be required to abstain from voting on ANYTHING having to do with this proposal.
And then there’s the Accidental Commissioner, Ross Miller.
Miller is only on the commission right now because he supposedly “won” the seat in November by 15 votes in an election marred by 139 widespread “discrepancies” the Clark County Elections Department self-admits to and can’t explain or fix.
That race is still being contested in the court system. A lawsuit calling for a new election is pending before the Nevada Supreme Court. As such, Miller, too, should abstain from voting on this proposal until the legal challenge is resolved.
With everything going on right now, the LAST thing commissioners should be pushing is a highly controversial proposal to change the name of the Las Vegas airport. But if the Commission is dead set on doing so, there are far better alternatives. For example…
1.) No one has done more over the last 30 years to re-make and re-build Las Vegas as the entertainment capital of the world than Steve Wynn. Steve Wynn International makes far more sense than Harry Reid International.
2.) Want to honor the heart and soul of Las Vegas’ tourism industry? Then naming the airport after “Mr. Las Vegas” himself makes a heckuva lot more sense. Wayne Newton International Airport, danke schoen. Or maybe Siegfried & Roy International Airport?
3.) Intent on naming the airport after a political figure? Then naming it after Las Vegas’ unofficial Ambassador of Tourism rather than a DC swamp creature is far more appropriate. Oscar Goodman International Airport? I’ll drink to that!
Of course, all of those suggestions would stir controversy, as well. Not as much as Harry Reid International, but why add ANY additional and unnecessary heartburn to our lives than what we’re already suffering right now?
But if commissioners want to insist on a silly name change because of controversies surrounding late Sen. Pat McCarran, there’s only one new name that makes any sense whatsoever. Frankly, it’s a no-brainer, as explained here by Randy Walker…
“As the longest serving airport director in the history of the airport, I do not agree with this proposal. I am not opposed to changing the name of the airport, but I think the best solution would be to name it the Las Vegas International Airport. … The community has spent countless millions branding the name Las Vegas and we should support that effort. The three-letter (designation) for the airport is LAS…and the airport is almost universally referred to as the Las Vegas airport.”
What he said.
But let’s be clear. This is NOT an issue the Clark County Commission should even be talking about right now. It’s accomplishing nothing more than fueling the already hyper-partisan divide in our community.
Indeed, this decision shouldn’t be shoved down the throats of 2.267 million Clark County residents, or the rest of the state, by seven partisan politicians. If they think Sen. Reid is such a wonderful and beloved person deserving of such high honor, then put the proposal before voters in 2022 and let the people decide.
If you agree, there’s no time to waste. The issue is expected to be voted on this Tuesday. So contact the members of the county commission immediately and insist that the people who will have to live with this controversial decision have a say in it by putting it on the ballot.
Here’s their contact info…
- District A Commissioner Michael Naft: firstname.lastname@example.org
- District B Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick: email@example.com
- District C Commissioner Ross Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org
- District D Commissioner William McCurdy: email@example.com
- District E Commissioner Tick Segerblom: firstname.lastname@example.org
- District F Commissioner Justin Jones: email@example.com
- District G Commissioner Jim Gibson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be firm, but not profane. Like these…
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“I believe that Commissioner Justin Jones should abstain from voting on the issue of the airport naming. It seems clear that concerns from his constituents have not played a role in his decision to vote in favor of the renaming.” – Denell Hahn
“So what I hear Commissioner Jones say is he is paying Harry back for all of his personal gain. Well done Justin. Any other debts we can help you with?” – Mark Cram
“Rebranding the airport name is a ridiculous idea at this time, and naming it after another politician is even worse. If you truly feel that the name of the airport should be changed, then allow the voters to have their say and put it on a ballot. Meanwhile, leave it as McCarran International Airport and save the political paybacks for election time.” – Lynn M. Starr
“To consider renaming our airport after a man as divisive as Harry Reid is to make a mockery out of half the county. I implore the commission to do the right thing. Don’t name a facility that everybody uses after a man that only half the people admire.” – C. Pete Peterson
“Our country is now very divided. To name the airport after (Harry Reid) will add fuel to the fire. This would also anger tourists coming to Las Vegas. There is no benefit to this action. It won’t make people happier, more prosperous, more proud of their public officials…nothing.” – Denell Hahn
“I don’t believe it is appropriate to make this change at this time, without giving the citizens of Nevada the opportunity to let all of their voices be heard. Without the input of the voters, I don’t support changing the name of McCarran International Airport.” – Bob & Sandy Ellis
“The People must be given the chance to participate for the well-being of Clark County.” – Miguel Barrientos
“My main opposition to the name change is it should be decided by a VOTE of the PEOPLE, not by seven Clark County Commissioners. We want our voices heard. Put any name change of our airport on a ballot and let voters from Clark County vote and decide!” – Marvin & Judy Schmidt
“I believe ‘Las Vegas International Airport’ is more appropriate since Las Vegas is a worldwide famous tourist city. No one knows McCarran or Reid. … Commissioners should not make this decision without voters’ consent.” – Antonia Ying
“From all the correspondence I’ve received, I think most people would simply prefer: Las Vegas International Airport.” – Las Vegas Review-Journal editor Steve Sebelius
“I don’t understand much about politics…” – Blubber-blogger Jon Ralston, 1/2/20
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs at MuthsTruths.com