Several times during the Clark County Republican Convention on March 8, Chris Comfort reminded the delegates to support the sponsors.
For a party that has been swimming in red ink, any help should be recognized.
Still I thought it a little fancy that I was given a one-inch wide bright red lanyard -- a cord worn around the neck -- to go with my press badge. The Democrats handed people a string.
But as I was escorted through several layers of security to an upstairs viewing booth, I never realized the sturdy lanyard actually put the joke on me.
Wrapped around my neck was a brightly-colored ad for a not-so-discreet Web site.
Who knew that this, the so-called party of family values, the party whose platform keeps veering to the right to appease the Bible thumpers, would be strutting out the porn?
But there I was, advertising www.elegantangel.com.
And I wasn't alone. All media members got them. But so did volunteers and so did authorized guests.
County Chairman Bernie Zadrowski, a deputy district attorney by day, was sporting one. So was Comfort, the "thank our sponsor" convention chairman.
Apparently the lanyards weren't noticed by most of the 3,000-plus delegates spread across three rooms at The Orleans. Most were too busy haggling over two words in the rules. At one point, a delegate asked for a definition. Comfort jokingly riffed on the famed Clinton line parsing the definition of is.
Well, you don't have to be able to define pornography to know that what Elegant Angel is -- is.
Turns out one of the attendees realized the party chairman was a walking billboard for smut at about 11 a.m. - two hours after the meeting convened. After the invocation and after the rousing rendition of "Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Democrats."
When informed, Zadrowski quietly removed his lanyard and told several others to do the same.
The message never got to the press box. I didn't discover Elegant Angel until late last week while cleaning up my desk and considering whether to keep the lanyard for another purpose.
It crossed my mind: What is this company? The next thing I knew, I was perusing porn at the office.
Elegant Angel is a Canoga Park, Calif., firm owned by Patrick Collins, a porn director. If you want to check out the site yourself, be forewarned. It's not for the squeamish or those under 18, or pretty much anyone who wrote the family platform planks at the convention.
Comfort said he finds this all an embarrassment. "Somebody apparently dropped off a box of lanyards," Comfort said. "We don't know who supplied it. It must have been a frat-like prank by the Democrats."
Puh-lease. The Democrats? The party which couldn't organize its own county convention has time to trip up the GOP with porn?
Comfort said he figured Elegant Angel was a lingerie supplier when he donned his own lanyard. Both he and Zadrowski firmly denied the county Republican Party had accepted swag, or sponsorship, from a porn company. Zadrowski even asked me if I had confirmed that the company was pornographic.
I pretty much confirmed it right away. It's pornographic and unbiased to boot. Not only can you purchase "Big Wet Asses," you can get "Big Black Wet Asses," too.
Zadrowski said he doesn't know how the party got the lanyards. "I saw them in the county party office about three or four months ago, before I was chairman. ... I thought at the time, we could reserve those for another use."
In order for this to be a prank, he said, someone would have had to infiltrate the county party office months ago and know some unwitting officials would grab them to use for press, guests and volunteers at the convention. "I'm not a conspiracy theorist," Zadrowski said.
But they did end up at the county party office. And they did end up around the necks of, who knows, 50, 60, maybe even more, people.
"I can't imagine a good Republican bringing these by," Zadrowksi said. "A good Republican wouldn't purposely bring that."
Lately it's been said that all things Republican Party in Nevada travel through The Venetian.
The same can be said of the lanyards.
Elegant Angel was a sponsor of the Adult Entertainment Expo at the Sands Convention Center Jan. 9 to 14. When I e-mailed the company's representatives asking how their lanyards might have gotten to the Republican convention, they were confused, to say the least.
"No, we did not sponsor the Clark County Republican Convention," wrote Travis Graham of Elegant Angel. "We sponsored the AEE convention in Las Vegas ... earlier this year and we provided lanyards."
It's not every day a porn company gets to do public business with the Grand Old Party.
"I am wondering how this came about?" Graham wrote.
If only the conversation was live I could report whether he said that with horror or glee.
Lastly, he asked, "Do you have any pictures?"
Wow. One mention on Drudge and one minute on Fox News would sure boost sales.
Seems to me the pipeline from The Venetian extends to its Sands Convention Center. Someone probably brings by all kinds of leftover goodies that may someday help the party. Pens, notebooks. Who knows what else the party's got?
Zadrowski said he takes responsibility for not checking the Web address.
But the just-elected chairman shouldn't worry. Nobody's complained. Maybe they're all too busy supporting the "sponsors."
Contact Erin Neff at (702) 387-2906, or by e-mail at email@example.com.