Las Vegas talk-radio host Alan Stock claims the version offered by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian about their altercation at a GOP event on Friday is “absolute crap.”
“The slant he put on it was an absolute exaggeration and a twisting of facts,” Stock told Vegas Confidential in an interview Saturday.
The conservative host at KXNT-AM 840 said Tarkanian was “manhandling me, grabbing me by the arm” during a tense discussion.
As the emcee of the monthly First Friday gathering of conservatives at Stoney’s Rockin Country bar and dance hall, Stock’s job was to introduce the candidates to a crowd of 700-800.
Stock said he saw Tarkanian heading toward the exit and caught up to him to let him know he would be allowed to speak.
In fact, Stock said he had direct orders from his KXNT boss to make sure Tarkanian be given the opportunity because someone had complained to the station that he was being shut out.
During their conversation, Tarkanian, who was heading for a Las Vegas 51s game to throw out a first pitch, kept insisting "they are not going to let me speak,” said Stock.
"I said three times I’m going to get you on,” said Stock. “When I turned away, that’s when he grabbed me. This goes under the heading of no good deed goes unpunished. Instead of a thank-you I basically got a screw-you."
Others in the media have witnessed Tarkanian’s temper. On one occasion, a veteran local journalist said he saw Tarkanian “go to DefCon Four for no reason. He’s got a real short fuse.”
Stock said it was not the first time Tarkanian got confrontational with him. About two months ago, Stock said Tarkanian lost his temper after a KXNT studio sitdown with Sue Lowden and Stock.
On that occasion, both candidates agreed to a coin flip to see who spoke first. Tarkanian won the coin flip, and “I made sure Sue got the last word,” said Stock.
“But he got pissed off. I said you got to go first. He said, ‘my first word was a policy statement and her last word was a personal attack, a personal statement.’ I said, ‘What’s fair is fair; you got first, she got last.”
Tarkanian got angry and "took me by the arm again and pulled me down hallway into the kitchen to tell me how pissed off he was, how unfair this was…he was ticked off because he didn’t get his way.”
Stock said he has concerns about Tarkanian’s "thin-skinned" behavior. "He’s so easy to anger. If challenged I could see him losing his cool in Washington. I think that would be embarrassing to the state of Nevada. This guy has anger issues. He’s big, he’s lanky. I guess he thinks he can intimidate people."
Tarkanian gave this version in an e-mail late Friday to R-J political reporter Laura Myers: “On my way out of Stoney’s, Alan Stock stopped me and asked if I was leaving and if I planned on speaking. I told Alan they would not let me speak early.
“ Before I could get to early, Alan raised his voice and said ‘that is not true, you are lying, I have you on the list to speak.’
“Because Alan was raising his voice I approached him and put my arm around him and asked him to speak with Heather Kydd who knew the story. He pulled away and yelled louder don’t touch me; I then left Stoney’s.”
Asked to comment, Tarkanian’s campaign manager, Brian Seitchik, e-mailed this response: "While Danny disagrees with Alan’s view of the events, Danny has known Alan Stock for a long time and he is a fair host who even held the first radio debate of the campaign. He didn’t mean to offend Alan in any way and will be reaching out to him to address any misunderstandings."
–NORM CLARKE, Vegas Confidential