What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas -- even at the Nevada Caucus?

What did happen in Nevada, are any of us really sure yet?
Both of the Democratic front-runners, Clinton and Obama, are claiming victory. Hillary is claiming the popular vote and Barack is claiming he received more delegates. Along with this disagreement, there are allegations of shenanigans at caucus locations -- particularly in Clark County.
The Washington Post reports:

Aides for Sen. Barack Obama, who lost the first-in-the-West contest, announced they would ask the state Democratic Party to review reports that Clinton caucus organizers had sought to block entry to certain sites a half hour before the official deadline, as outlined in a Clinton campaign caucus manual.

Obama officials said they weren't contesting Clinton's victory and were seeking the review to prevent confusion in future caucuses. But Obama campaign lawyer Bob Bauer said the early closing times appeared to have had a "clear-cut disenfranchising effect."

The Nevada caucus is a snapshot of not only the influence of special interests, but the lengths the campaigns will go to for "victory".

Beyond the clearcut and bloody rivalry between Clinton and Obama, there was another factor at work in Nevada. In addition to the Union endorsements, Clinton also had the backing of the gambling industry. She is quoted as describing gambling industry:

[snip] as an "economic development tool"

and continued by likening the

potential social costs of gambling to the costs of other industries that pollute or leave toxic dumps, saying that the impact "depends on how well-regulated it is."

Historically, Obama had been very vocal about his views on gambling:

"moral and social cost of gambling, particularly in low-income communities, could be devastating."

But as the Nevada Caucus approached he had altered his rhetoric to champion Las Vegas as a shining example of "regulated gambling" and openly courted endorsements from casino unions.

Nevada was a tough nut to crack for John Edwards. His stance on gambling, specifically gambling on college sports, did not make him a favorite for the gambling lobby or casino owners in Las Vegas. Edwards crossed the aisle and formally co-sponsored the bill in 2000 that even Harry Reid called "anti-Nevada". The bill failed, but it is an "on the record" black mark for former Senator in Nevada.
Hawaii and Utah are the only two states that don't have some kind of legalized gambling. Whether it is lottery tickets, poker machines, or casinos the other 49 all have one or more.

Back in 2002 Stateline reported:

Deep budget deficits, and the need for significant program cuts or tax increases to balance them, are leading many state lawmakers to consider an alternative revenue source expanded legalized gambling as a way to raise money without raising taxes.

Over the last several years new casinos have been popping up all over the US.

The question is, will the individual candidate's stance on gambling -- economic development tool or contributing factor in poverty -- have an impact on the primaries beyond Nevada?

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Comments

never did make a smart. At least one of those candidates needs to publicly announce an "issues only" campaign. The electorate is angry, frustrated, and has no tolerance for childish behavior - especially when exhibited by people who are asking to be hired as President.

I am pretty sick of all of it ...

Would really like to vote for a grown up.

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If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

I think it takes more than being a grownup -- I suspect it takes some smarts and careful thought. Plus a new look at America's mission. If all the grownups agree that the United States has an imperial mission and their are simply shades of different opinion on how to achieve this, I's rather have an idealistic kid in office. Probably would be caught up in the same maelstrom but maybe, maybe not.

carol

to manipulation. It would be really nice to have a look see behind this kid's idealism...nourishing him..wife, religion, environment, friends... There's that saying about the devil we know.....

True too.

carol