Politicians show their cards in Las Vegas

nearvideo snow falls in Las Vegas for the second time in a week

Raw video: people take photos in the vicinity of the legendary “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign as snow falls.

When I travel, I often say, the legislature, I am directed to their home state or district. I often suggest we meet for a coffee or Breakfast sometime. As a reporter, it is a helpful contrast to see house members and senators in Washington – and also on your journey home.

It helps me to understand them better, to get an insight into the issues that are important to you and determine what makes you tick.


Years ago, I casually mentioned to the staff rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., I was on my way to the Congressman’s district, to a wedding. A few weeks went by and I give it no more thought. Much to my surprise, Frank even called back the day before I left with suggestions for restaurants and Restaurants. He also gave me a brief introduction about the culture in his district.

Most of the legislators love to hear if you come to your County or state. You know every corner and every angle. You know the people. The Places Of Interest. In one of the restaurants. And they love to show the place that you represent in Washington.

I’ve never been to Las Vegas until a few years ago. In this instance, I wanted to say, all the members of the Nevada delegation, I was on the way to silver Status. But when I came back, I ran into then-Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., in a corridor just off the House floor. I told Berkley, I had visited recently, Las Vegas.

“Where were you?” interested members of the Berkley asked.

I then told Berkley, I stayed at the Venetian, the legendary hotel and casino known for the replication on the canals of Venice, the Doge’s Palace and the Rialto bridge.

It is also operated by business magnate Sheldon Adelson.

“Oh, Chad,” Berkley she chided gently with a smile on your face. “They stayed in the union hotel on the Strip.”

Las Vegas is a union town. And Adelson is known to be against the labour movement.

“Well,” continued Berkley. “Have you not lose money?”

I don’t play much. But I the numbers have taken a couple of times on the roulette wheel, and had running some of the best on slot machines.

“We actually,” I Berkley said.

She grimaced a little. On the one hand, Berkley perhaps hoped, that I had won, and so enjoyed myself and would come back. On the other hand, maybe Berkley was concerned that my luck was bad for the Las Vegas economy. It was still struggling at this point after the financial collapse of 2008. Many residents were upset, some stinging remarks dished out by President Obama.

“Do not blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you try to save for college,” the former President once said, stirring the wrath of the locals.

“Well, Chad,” sighed Berkley. “Do you have any shows?”


I hesitated to answer for a moment. Yes. I had. But I was worried about Berkley answer.

“We went to see Jersey Boys,” I said to the Congressman, “But I’m afraid you’re going to tell me, you are against health care reform.”

Berkley laughed.


Fast forward to the government shutdown of 2013. It’s a Saturday evening, and the Senate was only for the day. No end to the shutdown in sight. I was the last reporter to leave the Capitol. When I came to the first floor, the entrance to the elevators near the Senate, Senate majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., materialized. Also, he was on the way home. Reid had known, I Vegas by had visited a couple of times, point. I asked how he was doing, and mentioned that I needed a vacation once the government was funded again.

I said Reid was from one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas: Lotus of Siam. It is a well-known Thai restaurant is located away from the Strip. The restaurant is in a different place now. But busy at the time, Lotus of Siam is a location in a rundown strip mall. The entrance to the restaurant refuted the culinary magic inside. The walls were plastered with pictures of Hollywood types and rock stars, all who patronized Lotus of Siam, if you visited Las Vegas.

Reid went on to say to me, Lotus of Siam was one of his favorite restaurants. I asked which dishes he liked it. And with that, the Senate majority Leader whipped out his cell phone dialed his wife, Landra, asks for the name of a dish that is enjoyed the two of them often.

“Honey, what the court asked you like so much at Lotus of Siam,” Reid, his wife. “It is with the pumpkin?”


Wendy Sherman was one of the highest-ranking personalities in the State Department in the year 2014. Sherman and other officials, to lead the traveled on Capitol Hill, a Senate-wide briefing in the basement of the Capitol Visitor’s Center on North Korea’ s nuclear program.

– TV networks is positioned, a bank of cameras in the Senate of the U-Bahn station, in the hope of grabbing a few senators, as they came and went from the briefing. I asked to treat a colleague, the Stakeout and directed, cups, a coffee shop in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building. My plan was to have a Cup of get coffee and then cut over to the U-Bahn-station staking on the route to the Capitol Rotunda. This is where I was scheduled to meet a source.

Just as I walked up to the Stakeout, Harry Reid appeared on a small escalator leading to the metro station and in the vicinity of where the senators would get their briefing. I had not spoken to Reid directly in a while. He waved Hello. We met at the top of the escalator. I told Reid that I read the heading to Vegas again in a couple of weeks during the upcoming Congress of the Pause.

We have, for a moment, ear-to-ear. Of course, all the cameras on the Stakeout focuses on the two of us talking, we would share important information about Pyongyang.

“Where are you staying,” asked Reid.


I told Reid that we stayed at the Bellagio and Mandalay Bay. But we were not sure, but this time.

“Stay at Wynn,” Reid said, without missing a beat.

“Wynn” is a Strip hotel/casino complex at the Northern end of the Las Vegas. Casino Mogul Steve Wynn ran the place, until you are forced to last year due to sexual misconduct allegations. Reid was, to me these years, before anything was known publicly about the Wynn’s alleged violations.

Reid, Reid, was always frank in his assessments of most situations. Also when it came to hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.

“Steve Wynn is an asshole, but a friend,” Reid said of Wynn. “But he has the most beautiful place in Las Vegas.”

I thanked Reid for the suggestion and direction of the rotunda. Reid went in the other direction, in the direction of the North Korea briefing.

By the time I reached the rotunda, my email exploded with questions from reporters at the Stakeout who discovered the escalator exchange, but couldn’t hear what we said.

“What did Reid say about North Korea?”, you will be asked all.

“Nothing,” I said.

“Come On, Chad. What did he say?” probed, a colleague in disbelief.

Finally, one of Reid’s aides reached, the are curious as to what was said the majority of the leaders.

Reid’s assistant was busy and wondered if he needed to brace for a juicy report on North Korea.

“He told me to stay at Wynn,” I answered.

No specific information on Pyongyang. No intelligence of the Senate parliamentary strategy. No information on Reid’s political future.

Only unsolicited a hotel recommendation.

Stay at the Wynn.



Perhaps one of the most interesting manifestations of democracy that I have ever seen in Las Vegas during the 2016 presidential caucus in Nevada. forms Most of the hotels and casinos granted to workers for an hour or so off-the-clock, to attend a conference. The lines of the caucus-goers represent a fascinating cross-section of any kind of employment possible in Las Vegas. Those who were in line, dressed in full work regalia – only to make a few moments your voice heard: – Blackjack-dealer. Bartender. Hotel page. Showgirl. Custodian. Limo Driver. Cooking. Dishwasher. Housekeeper. Security Guard.

All political party meetings and primaries reflect the States or cities in which they take place. But that was a presidential caucus in Las Vegas. And those attending a conference in Las Vegas were to cut a very different figure as caucus-goers in Iowa, Colorado, Hawaii, or Kansas. It is the signature of Las Vegas.

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