Vegas provides a stage for entertainers, look-alikes, crafty pols

It’s Tuesday, and everyone is entitled to my opinion:

I see that affable felon Joe Scala is running a spirited campaign for mayor in Henderson. Frankly, I like his style.

And it’s always refreshing to meet a Nevada politician who went to prison BEFORE running for office. …

The Searchlight Wind Energy Project is not without controversy, but the approximately 370-megawatt facility appears to be proceeding as planned. It will be located not far from the Searchlight home of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

I suppose if you’re seeking a perfect place to harness an inexhaustible wind, you might as well go to the source. …

Although the politicians and key players were ecstatic over the sale of the eyesore Echelon casino site by Boyd Gaming for $350 million to the Malaysia-based Genting Group, I will bet the guy most glad to see the embarrassing scrap heap disappear is its Strip neighbor, Steve Wynn.

Wynn has had choice words for the enormous junkyard, or as I like to call it, “Sam Boyd & Son Salvage.” Now Wynn figures to have big competition right across the street. …

It’s interesting to learn that the Clark County Commission is considering eliminating the office of Las Vegas constable because its current occupant, John Bonaventura, is such an unmitigated screw-up. He’s thoroughly incompetent, they say.

Of course, if competence were the benchmark, many doors of government would be slamming right now all over the valley. …

As crazy as it might sound, don’t write off controversial developer Chris Milam as he attempts to secure 480 acres in Henderson through the Bureau of Land Management. Despite the fact he failed in his attempt to land a major sports franchise for the site and also failed to hold onto a major funding source for his stadium proposal, he could emerge victorious against the odds.

If he’s successful, the brazen big idea man should change his name to Danny Ocean. …

It wasn’t enough that Henderson firefighter Dwight C. Jackson was paid nearly $800,000 from 2004 to 2009 to battle blazes in a community not exactly known for its high-rise structures. Then he had to go and evade more than $130,000 in taxes.

The now-retired firefighter was convicted of tax evasion and is set for sentencing today in U.S. District Court. …

Well-meaning state Sen. Richard “Tick” Segerblom is attempting to update the legislative process and increase lawmakers’ pay. He wants the Legislature to start meeting annually.

Segerblom’s idea makes a lot of sense, but his effort also calls to mind a line attributed to a young Mark Twain back when he was the legislative correspondent for the Territorial Enterprise of Virginia City: “It’s far better the legislature meet every 60 years for two days than every two years for 60 days.”

Although former state Archivist Guy Rocha questions whether Twain actually wrote those words, I’ve yet to hear anyone argue the truth of the message. …

Finally, another St. Baldrick’s event has come and gone. Locals turned out in record numbers on Saturday to participate in the head-shaving fundraiser that supports the remarkable childhood cancer charity.

My daughter, Amelia, once again took the clippers to her old man’s noggin to help raise donations and to celebrate another year of being cancer-free.

In the wake of her tonsorial effort, some say I now look strikingly like the star of a major motion picture.

Unfortunately, it’s Billy Bob Thornton in “Sling Blade.”

John L. Smith’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. E-mail him at or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at

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