Campaign winners: labor, Latinos; losers: billionaires, pollsters

It’s champagne cocktails at the Winners’ Circle Saloon and Pepto punch at the Losers’ Lounge. With a toast to some and a roast of others, we say salute and sayonara to Campaign 2012.

First stop, the Winners’ Circle Saloon:

LABOR PAINS: Organized labor caused major migraines for the Republicans and helped keep the wheels on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s impressive Democratic Party machine despite a rough economy. Nevada AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Treasurer Danny Thompson and departing Culinary union Secretary-Treasurer D. Taylor can lift their victory glasses high with just a tear in their eye over the defeat of Shelley Berkley in the U.S. Senate race.

LATINO LOVE: Democrats again took advantage of their superior appreciation of the current clout and political potential of Nevada’s growing Latino population. The interweaving of union strength within the Hispanic community was a powerful force in an election year that could have easily gone very differently for the Democrats.

Time to push for passage of the DREAM Act, or those loyal Latinos might just stay home next time.

Republicans, meanwhile, mostly continued to deny the undeniable about the importance of quitting the race-baiting rhetoric over immigration. The GOP’s comical Latin outreach, which must have cost a fortune, was real crash-and-burn stuff. A few so-called “experts,” at least one of whom didn’t even speak Spanish, sold the state party and Team Romney a very pricey emperor’s new sombrero.

COWBOY ARBORIST: Voters learned this year that when tree-shooting Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins says he’s making a stump speech, he’s actually speaking to a stump.

Cowboy Commissioner Collins proved once again that he’s crazy like a mildly rabid fox. He rolled to victory over Ruth Johnson despite the controversy surrounding his unmade bed of a personal life. We also hear Collins locked up so much money on the Strip that Johnson couldn’t get a Circus Circus buffet comp.

IN THE CORNER: Popping corks, there’s Larry Lomax and his team at the Clark County Election Department, and successful congressional candidates Steven Horsford, Dina Titus and Joe Heck, who survived relatively unscathed.

Now it’s down to the Loser’s Lounge:

MR. MONEYBAGS: Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson vowed to spend up to
$100 million – “whatever it takes” ­- to defeat President Barack Obama. Estimates vary, but we know Adelson dumped more than $50 million into the causes of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Republican candidates in Nevada and elsewhere.

Perhaps now Adelson will don a T-shirt that laments, “I spent $53 million on Campaign 2012, and all I got was Dean Heller.”

LEGISLATIVE COUP: Republican moneymen also embraced a strategy to shake up the Nevada Legislature with help from state senator and attorney Michael Roberson. Net effect: Democrats still rule the Assembly and Senate.

In the words of the late umpire Ron Luciano: “Steeerikeout!”

Republicans will take a seat, but not in the majority in Carson City.

RE-VOLTING CHARGE: Just hours before Election Day, Assembly District 9 candidate Andrew Martin’s residency was declared invalid a District Court judge. Evidence collected by private investigator Tom Dillard conclusively showed the Democrat was charging his Chevy Volt at his longtime residence and not at his more recently acquired condominium inside AD 9.

Martin prevailed at the polls, but is about to be reminded of a famous line from the noted philosopher Kermit the Frog.

“It ain’t easy being green.”

IN THE CORNER: Mumbling to themselves, there’s Danny Tarkanian, who read the SurveyUSA poll of 4th Congressional District and believed it, and pollster Jay Leve, who is hard-pressed to credibly explain its lack of accuracy. … And there’s political junkie and longtime oddsmaker Wayne Allyn Root, who not only predicted a Romney landslide but endlessly marketed that nonsense. … Luckily for Root, he always will look reasonably sane as long as our national embarrassment Donald Trump insists on opening his mouth.

Have an item for Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at

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