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LETTERS: Assembly picketing bill constitutional

To the editor:

Your editorial on Assembly Bill 356 was spot on when it described the tactics of Culinary Local 226 as “reprehensible” (“Assembly bill unconstitutionally targets unions,” May 17 Review-Journal). Unfortunately, the piece is on much shakier ground when it calls AB356 unconstitutional.

AB356 addresses the issue of mass picketing. Restrictions on mass picketing are clearly within the confines of the Constitution. States as varied as Wisconsin and Hawaii have mass picketing laws on the books. These laws have been upheld by the courts. Nevada has had its own mass picketing law for years. What AB356 does is reform that law so that it conforms with constitutional speech protections and does not discriminate based on the speech’s content, viewpoint or the identity of the speaker. It regulates illegal conduct, not free speech.

Contrary to the editorial, AB356 would not prevent Culinary 226 or anyone else from making outrageous statements or picketing on the sidewalk. Indeed, the bill would not overturn the Venetian case that allows picketing on privately owned, but publicly used, sidewalks. What it will do is prohibit behavior that threatens physical harm to employees, bystanders or customers, or blocks a business entrance, which is beyond the reach of the First Amendment’s protection.

As the Review-Journal correctly notes, Culinary 226’s tactics can be damaging for the entire state. It is within the authority of the Legislature, and indeed of the Constitution, to deal with the worst of these excesses.



The writer is vice president of the Workforce Freedom Initiative at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Rock in Rio disappoints

To the editor:

A buddy of mine got two free tickets to last weekend’s Rock in Rio and asked me to go with him. Apparently, to quell any complaints from residents living around the event, promoters gave away lots of free tickets. And like most things today, this event was all about money.

However, no money was exchanged; your wristband was a computer chip. You added money to the wristband at charging stations around the event. If you wanted to buy a beer or a T-shirt, you just waved your wristband at the vendor.

Getting into the event was tougher than getting through a TSA checkpoint at the airport. There was a very long walk to the entrance and, once there, you were greeted by big dogs smelling you all over, you had to remove everything from your pockets, you were patted down in two lines, women patting women, and men patting men. They found I had a small, unfinished plastic water bottle that had to go.

After the long walk and ordeal of getting in, there was no place to sit. A regular ticket was $160, but if you wanted a place to sit, it was $500 for a VIP ticket. I eventually found a huge food area with some picnic tables. The food was very expensive, the beer was $10 and $12, and the lines were so long they seemed to end in Henderson. Money was the real music at this event. Speaking of music, what I saw was very good, but again, unless you wanted to sit on plastic grass on the ground, you had to stand or pay the heavy VIP price.

I got in free, so you might ask, what am I complaining about? I’m an old guy, and this was the weirdest concert I have ever attended. Many people didn’t seem to be concerned with the music; they were busy consuming food and drink, buying T-shirts and playing with their phones. Woodstock might have been “Three Days of Peace and Music,” but Rock in Rio was two days of cash, food and music, in that order.



Titus wants compromise?

To the editor:

Rep. Dina Titus wrote an interesting letter to the editor (“‘Cadillac tax’ repeal boosts Obamacare,” May 10 Review-Journal). The last paragraph contained a word we have not heard these last six-plus years: compromise. Now that the Republicans control Congress, Democrats have replaced “my way or the highway” with “compromise.” What a swell idea. Does that include reading the bill before it is passed?



Water galore

To the editor:

The Review-Journal has published pictures of Lake Mead’s sinking surface. I don’t have a device to measure the white ring showing how low the water has fallen, but it looks like it is more than 150 feet lower.

As I drive around Las Vegas and Henderson, I see new buildings going up everywhere. And a new casino to boot, with 3,000 rooms, creating 6,000 new jobs. I ask those at the Southern Nevada Water Authority and in the Clark County Commission: Who are you working for, anyway? I didn’t know we had so much water.

I have always taken a seaman’s shower, and I removed the grass and put down rock and planted shrubbery when I first bought my house. Seeing that we have so much water, though, I will start taking regular showers and use my full share.

I have lived here since 1987, and I have conserved water ever since. I was conserving water long before the lake got low. I sure hope that the new third straw doesn’t go dry.

Is it worth all the jobs to become a ghost town?



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