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In The Anointed One, Nevada's foremost political reporter, Jon Ralston, argues that the power and money of the casino industry, combined with the behind-the-scenes string-pulling of a powerful and ruthless cabal of political insiders, render important Nevada elections a mere formality. Guinn had never before been on a ballot....
In The Anointed One, Nevada's foremost political reporter, Jon Ralston, argues that the power and money of the casino industry, combined with the behind-the-scenes string-pulling of a powerful and ruthless cabal of political insiders, render important Nevada elections a mere formality. Guinn had never before been on a ballot. But he'd cultivated the right friends, served on the right boards, and paid decades worth of political dues. Thus, when he decided to call in his markers, the powers that anoint paid off.
Except for moments of unexpected drama, including the eleventh-hour entrance of dynamic Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones, the anointment proved impregnable. The Anointed One isn't just the story of how an inexperienced and shaky candidate waltzed away with the highest office in the state. It's a biting commentary on the inner workings of the Nevada political machine.
....this state of affairs has remained relatively unchanged for decades. The Mob may have lost its grip, but the corporate titans who run the Las Vegas Strip maintain a stranglehold over the political system that the capos of La Cosa Nostra would envy. Despite the state's phenomenal growth, power continues to repose in a handful of men, who, through their access to the Strip and its economic and political might, are able to anoint and un-anoint candidates for public office.
Never was their exercise of power as blatant as it was with the anointment of Kenny Guinn.
Ten years ago, a study conducted after one primary election revealed that the gaming industry had contributed $1.65 million to candidates - about half the money disclosed on all the campaign reports. The debate back then was the same as it is today: how much of this is expected because gaming is Nevada's largest industry and drives the economy? And how much is a blatant purchase of political influence, subverting the democratic process?....
....Sig Rogich was certain Las Vegas mayor Jan Jones would not run against Kenny Guinn for governor. Still, Rogich didn't want to leave anything to chance. He sat down with Jones at Keuken Dutch, a restaurant not far from Rogich's house in the affluent Spanish Trail development in southwest Las Vegas. Rogich had a pitch to make to the mayor: Jones was so talented that Guinn would want her to be a part of his administration. She could, if she so desired, have the chairmanship of the state gaming commission. It was a clear quid pro quo - stay out and we'll take care of you.