On the other hand, Larry Burns raised $854,976 in campaign contributions and this landed him 147,065 votes (48.84 percent). Close — but no cigar!
Since I have a calculator nearby, I thought I would do a little math.
I figure that voters were worth $11.50 each for Lombardo. Now if further calculations are done we could figure the amount of money donated by John Langley (Langley Productions — COPS) and see how many votes he brought to Lombardo with his ‘investment’ in the future of the LVMPD. Yes–pick any contributor (individual or corporation) and you could conclude that they have ‘invested’ in the future of Metro — NOT necessarily in the future of their community.
Langley was quoted in a ‘victory’ story in the RJ. He called Lombardo a person with a ‘social conscience’ and a ‘straight-shooter,’ but I’m not sure that I would have considered either to be a qualification for the sheriff if I was to vote. Maybe this is just phrased a little differently than I am used to. If you were to equate ‘social conscience’ with SERVING THE COMMUNITY then I’m good with that. If you were to equate ‘straight shooter’ with TRUTHFULNESS and willingness to disclose information that has been suppressed by Sheriff Gillespie (i.e., the full record of the Lt. Hans Walters family tragedy), then I would be thrilled.
A straight-shooter with a social conscience sounds like the streets will be safer, doesn’t it? Lombardo can hit the target but he will consider other impacts and use restraint because he has a ‘social conscience,’ right? Maybe he will ensure that there will be no more shootings like the one that took the life of Sharmel Edwards or others that could have been prevented with more restraint.
But where does John Langley live and why is he so committed (and invested in) the current regime running Metro? I checked Clark County Assessor records and didn’t see any property owned by Langley. Does he like Las Vegas and want to see it receive the highest level of police SERVICE possible or does he just like his ‘buddy boys’ (see picture above) and the money he can make off the LVMPD while his TV shows still pander the LVMPD? There are many community-minded people in Las Vegas who have the financial resources to support the police department. They do this in many ways and are often ‘off the radar’ and don’t do it for public recognition. I’m sure some of them also don’t want their names and home addresses to show up on the campaign contribution reports where I have seen potentially ‘sensitive’ information made available to the general public.
If I had $10,000 (or more) to donate, would I want my home address made available to the public? I guess I would be less concerned with the safety of me and my family if I lived in a gated neighborhood or had security patrols. You never know who is going to try a home invasion robbery if money is the motivator. The ‘regular’ people in
Las Vegas have to rely on public police. Maybe the big donors are overestimating the response capability of the LVMPD and don’t realize that a burglary or robbery is probably impossible to prevent 100 percent of the time. The point is that I don’t think wealthy people in ‘tough’ neighborhoods would be as confident if they donated $10,000
and then realized that their addresses were made public.
PANDERER: “A person who furnishes clients for a prostitute or supplies persons for illicit sexual intercourse; procurer; pimp.” Another definition is; “a person who caters to or profits from the weaknesses or vices of others.” Let’s use this second definition as it applies to ‘supporters’ of Lombardo and Metro. Does Langley ‘profit’ from the
weaknesses or vices of others? I don’t mean to single him out… we could ask the same question of any of the hotel-casino operators, nightclub operators, topless club operators, attorneys, and other ‘movers and shakers’ that give money because it is good for their business!
The end result is the same though, isn’t it? COPS makes money because Metro has allowed video to be taken (and sold) for a profit that does NOT go to the LVMPD. Why would a nightclub donate thousands of dollars to a candidate for sheriff? How about a topless club owner who uses his name (not his company name)? I think the same holds true for attorneys and others who have the opportunity to do ‘business’ and make a profit off the LVMPD.
For the rest of the citizens in Las Vegas… you receive the quality of police service that others (voters) gave you. If anyone can convince me that the current method of electing a sheriff produces the best person for the job, then I am all ears. I’d much prefer ZERO campaign funding… and zero campaigning on duty. Who really was the best man for the job? He certainly may have been eliminated during the primary election and nobody will ever know. The bottom line is that everyone (including current members of the LVMPD) will have to live with what has been purchased for them for the next 4 years and, as reporter Mike Blasky and Francis McCabe reported after the election, “The baton at Metro has been passed.” They also noted, “With Gillespie and former Sheriff Bill Young supporting him, Lombardo benefited from an almost 2-to-1 fundraising advantage. A large portion of his financial support came from the casino industry, which has historically given money to the outgoing sheriff’s hand-picked
candidate. And that candidate almost always wins… money talks in Las Vegas. In the end, the candidate with the best funding won.
Lombardo said he would get to work on funding to hire more officers because he believes that will have a direct impact on crime. Has anyone ever thought that crime will always occur, some crime can NOT be prevented no matter how many police officers are working, and that public safety is important but many members of the public feel endangered by their own police department as much as they do by ‘criminals’ walking the streets. That is the TRUST FACTOR that is likely to continue to be ignored — to the detriment of the ‘regular’ citizens in Las Vegas.
I recently received an electronic communication from a high-ranking member of the LVMPD. After telling me how he feels ‘empty’ for how angry he believes I am, he reminded me of one time in our careers where we worked together and he did the right thing. I’ve always respected him for that and I’ve started virtually every conversation
about him by telling the ‘story’ and how I was ‘targeted’ in 2007. I appreciated simple fairness, but that should have been provided to anyone that was the subject of an investigation (police or civilian).
In other words, don’t do me any favors when it is just doing the right thing. There is also some confusion about the purpose and restrictions on writing a ‘COMMENTARY’ as compared to ‘hard’ reporting or investigative reporting. For example, I can have an opinion about Joe Lombardo’s Accelerated Executive Master’s Degree, but an
‘investigative reporter’ could have done actual research and examined records and presented this information to the voters before the election.
I recently had a long drive and time to think. I hope that I will be able to stick to my ‘after-election resolution’ to be more positive and to focus on improvements in policing. I’ve received some feedback about too much negativity and was even asked if I felt safe when writing things that are frequently critical of the LVMPD. I had to reflect on the fact that if someone is mad at me I can’t even defend myself with a concealed weapon (that I believe I earned the right to carry nationwide). That is because Sheriff Gillespie created a ‘truthfulness’ case and I was involuntarily separated and failed to get my retirement credentials and have an ‘honorable’ discharge. If I had signed Gillespie’s Gag Order (and they removed the ‘internal’ truthfulness allegation) I would have been allowed to retire and I would qualify for a retired police officer CCW. Oh well, I won’t grovel for my job and that is just what I thought about during my recent trip. I kept thinking about a DOG BOWL and how no matter how much it hurt and no matter how much humiliation Gillespie’s mafia can cause, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself to have to sneak up and
eat out of the dog bowl with the rest of them.
If anyone pays attention to the post-January 1st appointments that Lombardo will be making, if anyone listens to the ongoing gripes of street officers, if anyone examines the promotions and compares them to the money donated by current members of Metro who are going to get promoted, then they will realize that this ‘dog’ was never invited to feed out of that bowl!
Norm Jahn is a former LVMPD lieutenant, who has also served as a police chief in Shawano, Wisconsin, and has nearly 25 years of police experience. Jahn now contributes his opinions and ideas to help improve policing in general, and in Las Vegas in particular, through his weekly column in the Las Vegas Tribune.