Friday, April 25, 2014

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE


Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie recently made national news as a “peacemaker,” who brokered a deal between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and a recalcitrant Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy. Backed by hundreds—possibly thousands—of supporters committed to preventing arrogant, heavily armed federal agents from driving his family off leased grassland, Bundy refused to knuckle under to government use of force.
While Gillespie was mugging for the cameras, flanking a tight-jawed Cliven Bundy, the sheriff’s gunned-up, battle-ready SWAT team was on the other side of the gate. Those officers were milling around with armed BLM agents, Nevada highway patrol officers, and hired-gun mercenaries, obviously ready to support the feds, if the agents decided to shoot civilians. In televised accounts on Fox News, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s black, armored SWAT vehicle was clearly visible among dozens of federal SUVs and cop cars. 
In his remarks to the media and Bundy supporters, Gillespie stated that he was committed to enforcing “federal law,” but brokered a BLM stand down and retreat to avoid bloodshed. I commend him for that. However, the sheriff also was violating his sworn responsibilities to the people of Clark County, NV—those who had elected him. As usual, Gillespie claimed to be on the right side of “law,” but was on the wrong side of right.
Gillespie had absolutely no compulsion to reflexively assume the federal government’s claims were legitimate. An honorable sheriff would have given the benefit of doubt to Bundy—especially when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was behind the assault. Based on long years of precedent and federal court rulings, Dougie definitely was not justified in sending his trigger-happy SWAT team to back federal agents threatening and abusing Clark County citizens. In fact, as sheriff, he was compelled to do the opposite.
On June 27, 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not commandeer state or county officers to do the feds’ bidding. The ruling stated, at least three times, that the states were “not subject to Federal direction.” Justice Scalia wrote for the majority, stating, “The federal government may not compel the states or the counties or local officials to enforce a federal regulatory program.”
If THE RIGHT SHERIFF had been wearing the Metro badge now stuck to Gillespie’s chest, he would have been intimately familiar with that 1997 court ruling, which empowered county sheriffs across the nation. He also would have read and understood the principles outlined in Sheriff Richard Mack’s superb book, The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope.  
As Mack explained, the 1997 Supreme Court decision freed “each sheriff in this country to stand tall and to protect his constituents from ‘all enemies, both foreign and domestic.’ ...The sheriff and police are, indeed, the last line of defense between the people and the criminals, both from the streets and from the federal government.  ...It will be up to the sheriffs of America..., who have the guts and dedication to tell the feds that we will no longer tolerate their intervention, control, meddling, mandates, or criminal behavior.”
Further, America’s county sheriffs “have the authority, the power and the duty to be the ultimate check and balance...to defend [American citizens] against all local and federal criminals,” Mack said.
Obviously, Clark County’s sheriff failed to exercise that authority and power, during the Bundy Ranch standoff with the federal BLM. Doug Gillespie refused to honor his duty and protect his constituents. Instead, he ordered his Metro SWAT unit to gun up, don battle gear and hunker down with the feds’ agents. 
Once again, Sheriff Doug Gillespie has demonstrated three glaring truths: He does not serve the citizens of Clark County. He’s an integral element of an incredibly venal and malfeasant Cartel of Corruption that controls the county and has tentacles into the federal leviathan that chips away at Americans’ freedom every day. Finally, Gillespie routinely genuflects and does the bidding of the county’s chief political marionette, Senator Harry Reid.
I have reason to believe that Harry Reid and his son, Rory, are intimately involved in the BLM’s heavy-handed campaign to drive ranchers off private and leased lands throughout Nevada, clearing the way for other, obscenely profitable uses. Fifty-two ranchers reportedly have succumbed to federal pressure already. Bundy didn’t.
Using Harry Reid and his former staffer, Neil Kornze (who conveniently now heads the Bureau of Land Management), the federal government is taking control of most ranch land, despite already “owning” 87% of the state. For what purpose is still a matter of speculation, but three logical possibilities have been posed by investigators:
• Building massive solar farms.
• Mining and extracting rare earth metals, which are critical to national defense.
• Securing water rights, always an objective of insatiable Las Vegas and its corporate power brokers.
I suspect Harry Reid and his billionaire backers are going after rare earth metals, such as yttrium, lanthanum and neodymium. Seventeen of these elements are used in lasers, special magnets, nuclear devices and myriad military weapon system sensors. China cornered the market on rare earth elements (REEs), but, in recent years, has been limiting exports. Consequently, prices for REEs have risen sharply, and large corporations are actively pursuing rare earth deposits throughout the West.
Whatever the grand plan, hatched in secrecy by corruptocrats and wealthy moguls, Gutless Gillespie and his taxpayer-funded hired guns aligned themselves with the federal government. Every single Metro officer should be embarrassed and ashamed.
Hopefully, Clark County will elect THE RIGHT SHERIFF this year, an honorable lawman, who can be depended upon to stand on the right side of right. If county electors cast smart votes, future egregious, overreaching power plays by federal thugs will be met by a courageous sheriff and professional officers, who refuse to shoot and kill their Nevada neighbors to enforce dubious federal regulations, regardless of legal double-talk spewed by greedy political hacks.
William B. Scott

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FOLLOW THE MONEY



As any experienced investigative reporter knows, the first tenet of uncovering corruption in public "officialdom" is "Follow the Money." That dictum applies equally well to separating Clark County sheriff candidate(s), who have been bought and paid for by the Las Vegas "Cartel of Corruption," from those who would break the Cartel's hold on Southern Nevada and clean up a demoralized, broken police department.

By law, Sheriff candidates are required to file periodic Campaign Contributions and Expenses Reports with the State of Nevada. These provide at least a smidgen of insight into who is backing which candidate, and who's writing sizable checks that normally ensure their guy pins on the sheriff's badge.

The most recent reports are telling. As of Jan. 14, 2014, candidate Joe Lombardo reported a campaign war chest totaling $503,900. Front-runner challengers Larry Burns and Ted Moody are well behind, but still attracting noteworthy donations. The key question voters should be asking is: From whom are those donations coming? And what has been promised in return?

When deciding which sheriff candidate has sold out to the Cartel of Corruption—millionaires, gaming industry billionaires, "king maker" advertising firms, the district attorney, certain judges, and a host of commercial vested interests—look no further than those Campaign Contribution reports. They're in the public domain. A bit of reading between the lines of Joe Lombardo's January 2014 report is revealing: 

• All but one of Joe Lombardo's heavy-hitter donors forked over MORE than $100; most were in the $5,000-10,000 range. Who was the sole $100 check-writer? Joe, himself.

• Why would Santa Fe Station, Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Boulder Station, Palace Station, Golden Gaming, Konami Gaming, Boyd Gaming and Mesquite Gaming  hotel-casino-resorts each give Lombardo $10,000, the maximum allowed?

• Other gaming companies and hotel-casinos popped for $5,000 each, including Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Edgewater, Colorado Belle, Sugar Factory and South Point.

• Among TV, movie and entertainment big donors, three members of the Maloof family coughed up a total of $20,000 for Joe. Ultimate Fighting Productions, Sunrise Productions and Langley Productions each gave $10,000. Could they be buying access for "Cops" and other TV "reality" shows? Surely not!

• A batch of corporations signed $10,000 checks to Lombardo. These include Murphy Electric and Murphy Electric Pools ($10,000 each); Lucca Real Property; R&S Leasing, and Southern Highlands Marketplace. Taxi and "cab" companies poured thousands more into his campaign chest.

• A virtual alphabet soup of nontransparent entities ponied up $5,000-10,000 for their friend, Joe: KMB LLC; Zuffa LLC; Forza LLC; Territory, Inc.; PT Corp.; HH Holdings LLC; Jam III LLC; CJGAGP LLC; SWG, Inc., Duffers LLC and SW Golf Reservations LLC.

• Well-heeled individuals and trusts also signed over tens of thousands to support Lombardo.

• Interestingly, former Clark County sheriff Bill Young pried $2,500 from his healthy Station Casinos paycheck to support his fellow lawman.

• Media and public relations "king makers," such as The Rogich Communications Group ($5,000) and F&M Advertising ($5,000), are solidly aligned with Lombardo.

• Why would Motorola Solutions give $5,000 to Joe's campaign? Could a new police department communications system be earmarked for any particular company? 
Just a coincidence, right?

• How many of these groups, companies and individuals are fronts for a handful of gaming-industry barons, who are funneling blatantly illegal contributions to their anointed candidate? Only those inside the Cartel know for sure.

Any thinking citizen will find an irrefutable correlation between all these VIP donors' largesse and Lombardo's early statements that he would closely follow in Sheriff Doug Gillespie's footsteps, ensuring virtually no changes to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's current policies, procedures, practices and training. Of course, that's code for: "Let's continue propagating the same old culture of corruption, skyrocketing officer-involved shooting rates, rampant abuse by thug cops, and free rides in police helicopters (if you're a celebrity), that we've become accustomed to over the past few decades." 

Thanks to a long string of sheriffs, who sold their honor and souls to ensure billions of dollars continued to pour into specific coffers, Strip mega-millionaires and Las Vegas underworld power brokers have been assured Metro's relatively small cadre of killer-cops and low-IQ goons will get rid of bodies and "take care of business," when dictated by the Cartel of Corruption. These same moneyed elites apparently have been assured Joe Lombardo will continue to serve their interests without question. Hence, they've written big checks to his campaign.

Within the next few weeks, Las Vegas-area citizens will be barraged by TV, radio and newspaper ads urging them to vote for Joe Lombardo. His face and vacuous promises to "stay the course" will dominate screens and air waves, because he's the only candidate with enough money to buy expensive advertising.

Smart citizens will see that for what it is, though: Gaming money and powerful king-makers buying votes. Falling for fancy, high-dollar advertising blitzes is a guaranteed path to keeping badly screened, poorly trained, excessively paid, arrogant Metro cops on the street to shoot and kill innocent "civilians." That's what the big-money candidate—the man who guarantees Doug Gillespie's gutless "leadership" practices will continue—has promised.

Further, smart citizens will ignore Joe Lombardo's TV ad avalanche. Instead, they will seek out and listen carefully to an alternate candidate for sheriff, one who shows up at neighborhood meetings and talks to concerned residents and angry citizens fed up with Metro's "cowboy cops." Then they'll grab a handful of brochures and yard signs, hit the streets, and start ringing doorbells. Their grassroots message will be one of warning: "Don't elect yet another corrupt miscreant and gangster as your sheriff, or we'll all suffer the consequences."

Finally, it's time Clark County citizens face up to a hard, unpleasant economic truth: Electing the wrong man as sheriff will put YOUR job at risk. What the Strip's big-money magnates know acutely well, but are refusing to tell Clark County citizens, is this: The world is no longer going to Las Vegas for fun and gambling. Gaming revenues in Macau, China, now far exceed those of Las Vegas. Macau's revenue continues to climb at astronomical rates, while that of Las Vegas is flat (Figure 1). One unmistakable reason is Las Vegas Metro PD. Americans and foreign would-be visitors have heard that Metro cops are trigger-happy and kill at rates far above other cities.



Thousands of people now are afraid to visit or live in Las Vegas. Millions of dollars being spent by the Las Vegas Visitor and Convention gurus to lure visitors and new residents can't overcome the flood of negative publicity incurred by Las Vegas Metro's egregious, senseless shootings of Trevon Cole, my son, Erik Scott, Stanley Gibson, Tanner Chamberlain and dozens of other innocent victims. 

Yes, the moneyed elites of Vegas are pouring thousands of dollars into one candidate's campaign, hoping against hope that advertising noise will somehow overshadow perceptions that Las Vegas is a rotten, corrupt and dangerous town. But it's too late. The word is out, and it's spreading like wildfire across America, Asia and Europe: Vegas cops kill and abuse.

If you want to keep your job, and if you want your city to prosper again, cast your vote for The Right Sheriff. Only he will take the difficult, necessary steps to clean up Metro and destroy the cancer of "officialdom" that is decimating your city and county. The only way those visitor numbers will return to "normal" is to destroy the Cartel of Corruption and sweep lawbreakers from public office.

Elect The Right Sheriff.

William B. Scott

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NEW SERIES: "THE RIGHT SHERIFF"


The upcoming election will decide who will wear Clark County's sheriff badge for the next four years, overseeing a half-billion-dollar annual budget and more than 2,600 sworn police officers. Voters will decide whether the county and Las Vegas continue to be plagued by a sheriff beholden to city/county power brokers and big-money elites, or one who serves all of the community's citizens.

How does a Clark County voter determine who is the right sheriff, the candidate worthy of holding the most powerful elected office in Southern Nevada? If voters rely on TV, radio and newspaper advertising, they virtually guarantee that the candidate with the most campaign money will win. If citizens believe vicious attack ads, misleading propaganda and outright lies pitched by arrogant, self-serving unions, bought-off politicians and Las Vegas Strip billionaires, who routinely use outlaw police officers as "enforcers," I guarantee the county and Las Vegas will continue to be ruled by the most venal, deadly Cartel of Corruption in America.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be writing and posting a number of opinion pieces in a series entitled "The Right Sheriff." These will cover a broad spectrum of issues that may help Clark County's voters cut through campaign rhetoric, ask hard-hitting questions, and, ultimately, elect a professional lawman dedicated to serving and protecting you, Metro's real employer. 

Subjects to be covered in detail will include:

• Follow the Money.
• "Endorsed By..." — Telling Evidence
• Politicos and Power Brokers
• Who Gets the PPA Union's Love & Kisses?
• Who's the Target of Slander, Lies and Scaremongering?
• The Company He Keeps: County Commissioners are a Clue
• Special Favors...like Free Helicopter Rides?
• Attacking Metro's Miserable Morale
• Officer-Involved Shootings: Minimizing, Investigating & Finding The Truth
• SWAT: Reigning-In Wannabes
• SWAT Versus CIRT: Who's in Charge?
• Law Enforcement vs. Peace Officers
• Metro's Motto: Partnership Pablum or Protect & Serve?
• Academy Training: A Far-Overdue Update
• Constitutional Rights: Smarter Cops = Fewer Lawsuits
• Bodycams & Dashcams

• Integrity & Trust
* Credibility: How to Regain It?
* Earn It!
* Third Party Investigations or "Cops Investigating Cops & Reporting to Cops"
* Memo to District Attorney: Do Your Job
* Zero Tolerance: You Lie, You're Gone
* Drug Testing of Officers (Including for Steroid Use)

• Hiring: Psych Evals, Background Checks & Intelligence Testing
* Hiring Military Veterans: Caution Advised

• Rid the Ranks of Rogues

• Honor or Anarchy? It's Up to You

As I recounted in "The Permit," a novel based on Erik Scott's Murder-by-Metro,  Americans are under siege by outlaw, rogue and militarized police officers, who routinely brutalize and kill innocent citizens. "Civilians" are fed up with bad cops—and their local, state and federal "official" allies, who routinely protect badged killers at the expense of citizen taxpayers—and are ready to revolt. 

Across the country, honorable, professional lawmen, who are dedicated to excising the cancer of corruption, thugs and killers from their forces, had better be elected this year, or the nation will erupt in armed rebellion. And the initial explosion of violence could happen in Southern Nevada...if voters fail to elect "The Right Sheriff."

William B. Scott