When it comes to influence in 2010, Las Vegas and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid had it.
The city and the Senate majority leader made separate top 10 social media lists put together by a California-based company called Klout, which analyzed Twitter feeds from last year.
Reid, a Democrat, was in the news because of his difficult re-election bid. He beat Republican challenger Sharron Angle by nearly 6 percentage points, but it wasn't easy.
As a result of all the national attention -- both positive and negative -- Reid came in No. 7 on the top 10 list of most influential politicians who were the topic of tweets.
President Barack Obama topped the list, with Sarah Palin right behind him at No. 2. The conservative Republican is a hot political subject thanks to her reality TV show and speculation that the former vice presidential nominee might run for the White House in 2012.
Others on the list, in descending order, include former President George W. Bush, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Reid, President Ronald Reagan, Vice President Joe Biden and President Bill Clinton.
The founder and CEO of Klout said his company uses a matrix of measures to make its list, including the number of mentions on Twitter but also how well known and powerful the tweeter is.
"We actually weigh how influential the person is who made that tweet," said CEO Joe Fernandez. "One tweet mention by Oprah Winfrey has much more impact than somebody tweeted by me."
It's not all wine and roses, though. Fernandez said a lot of conservative tweeters were calling for Reid's defeat. At the same time, Democrats tweeted support for the Senate leader.
Las Vegas, also was a hot Twitter topic, reaching No. 6 on the most influential cities list, mostly because it's a top tourist destination, entertainment center and convention spot.
In October, for example, the city hosted the BlogWorld & New Media Expo convention. And this week, Thursday through Sunday, the Consumer Electronics Show is expected to attract 126,000 people. During the same period, the Adult Entertainment Expo expects to host a crowd of 30,000.
"You've got the biggest nerds in the world tweeting about hanging out in Vegas at these consumer and BlogWorld conventions," said Farmlands, a Las Vegas native who plans to come to town for the electronics show. "When people come to Vegas they have fun. Tweets are the postcards of today, telling all of your followers and friends that you're in Vegas having this great time."
London was No. 1 on the top 10 city list, followed by New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Boston, Austin, Texas, and Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
-- Laura Myers
Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval is sticking to his stance in favor of Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law, SB1070.
During a news conference last week in Las Vegas, Sandoval reasserted his support for the law, a stance that helped turn a majority of Hispanic voters against him during his campaign against Democrat Rory Reid.
But he tempered the support by adding he doesn't think a similar law is needed in Nevada.
"I do support the Arizona law; that is no secret," said Sandoval, who is set to become Nevada's first Hispanic governor when he is sworn in today. "I felt that Arizona had a very severe public safety issue that it had to respond to."
Sandoval defeated Reid in a landslide but did have trouble with the Hispanic vote, in large part because Reid turned Sandoval's stance on the immigration law into a wedge issue in Spanish-language media and with voters.
While Sandoval sticks to his support for the law despite the political price in the Hispanic community, he doesn't appear eager to sign a similar bill into law in Nevada.
He said so-called 287(g) agreements between the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and county sheriffs to assist with immigration enforcement appear to be working in Nevada.
"We may not need an Arizona-style law," he said.
Assemblyman Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, has submitted a bill draft request for a similar law in Nevada.
But it appears Republican leaders are willing to help Sandoval and the party avoid getting entangled in a debate over the issue, which would surely be contentious and hurt the party's already troubled relationship with Hispanic voters.
Incoming state Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, says he doesn't anticipate immigration ranking high on a legislative agenda that includes balancing the budget, redistricting and setting the table for economic recovery.
"Anything that divides people, sets them apart, is probably not a good thing," said McGinness, responding to whether such a debate would be good for Nevada. He said that in Arizona the debate "didn't seem to be helpful for relations between Hispanics and everyone else."
-- Benjamin Spillman
There is no question Democrats are extremely frustrated over delays in the U.S. Senate caused by Republican filibusters and other strategies that block or stall legislation. But only days away from the start of a new session, it is unclear what they will do about it.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, his Republican counterpart, were said to be negotiating alterations in Senate rules that could be put in place on Wednesday, the opening day of the 112th Congress.
If those talks fall through, a group of junior Democrats are preparing to force debate on a series of changes to unclog the pipes.
The calls for change are borne out of frustration from a near-record number of confrontations that were forced in the past two years. Reid filed 136 cloture petitions, and the Senate held 91 cloture votes, in the face of threatened filibusters. Sixty votes are needed to bust a filibuster.
Before they adjourned, all returning Democrats signed a Dec. 18 letter to Reid urging him to consider changes to the filibuster rules. Reid also convened a senators-only caucus meeting to discuss specifics.
While Reid has not tipped his hand on what he would favor, one idea is to bring back old-school filibusters that force senators to stand up and talk at length, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" style, if they want to debate a bill to death. Another is to do away with secret "holds" that allow a single senator to hold up legislation.
The most far-reaching idea is to lower the cloture threshold below 60 votes on some procedures. It is uncertain whether Reid would support that. When Republicans were in the majority and tried to invoke a similar change in 2005, Reid fought hard against it, saying it would diminish the institution.
Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Michael Bennett of Colorado are among the Democrats pushing for rules changes. Republicans are warning Democrats not to pull a power play over Senate rules. After all, Democrats might find themselves in the minority again some day, they said.
Reid's office on Thursday did not comment on the reported negotiations.
Aide Zac Petkanas said Reid "understands the concerns of senators and the American people about the ability for a small minority of the minority to prevent the Senate from legislating.
"This is an issue that Senator Reid will continue to look at and he will continue to call on Republicans to work with us to strengthen our economy, create jobs and protect middle-class families," Petkanas said.
-- Steve Tetreault
Contact Laura Myers at lmyers @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Contact Benjamin Spillman at bspillman @reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at email@example.com or 202-783-1760.