It looks like Senator Reid read my recent articles (here and here) where I equated the GOP leadership to gangsters. Reid penned an editorial for Tom Delay’s hometown newpaper entitled If We Can Beat Mob, We Can Fight DeLay-Style Politics.

In 1977, I was appointed chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission. It was a difficult time for the gaming industry and Las Vegas, which were being overrun by organized crime. To that point in my life, I had served in the Nevada Assembly and even as lieutenant governor, but nothing prepared me for my fight with the mob.

Over the next few years, there would be threats on my life, bribes, FBI stings and even a car bomb placed in my family’s station wagon. It was a terrifying experience, but at the end of the day, we cleaned up Las Vegas and ushered in a new era of responsibility.

My term on the gaming commission came to an end in 1981, and when it did, I thought I had seen such corruption for the last time. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. It is not quite the mafia of Las Vegas in the 1970s, but what is happening today in Washington is every bit as corrupt and the consequences for our country have been severe.

Our nation’s capital has been overrun by organized crime — Tom DeLay-style.

Senator Reid knows corruption when he sees it. And he knows how to prevail over organized crime. His take on the GOP has credibility.

The gangsters are the lobbyists, cronies and lawmakers who have banded together and abused their power to serve their own self-interest. The casinos are the Capitol, which has had its doors thrown open for special interests to waltz in and help themselves, and the victims, of course, are the American people.

There is a price to pay for the culture of corruption, and we can see it in the state of our union.

These comparisons of the GOP to the mafia are amusing, but they are also accurate. Daniel Hopsicker puts it colorfully:

Writing a quarter million dollars worth of checks (for no discernible purpose) to Mafia hit men who are later charged with the murder of the check-writer’s biggest enemy in the whole damn world is just another in a long line of “freak coincidences” in South Florida, a place where things have always been a little… different.

‘Big Tony’ Moscatiello and two second-rate mobsters were charged with the murder of Sun Cruz Casino magnate Gus Boulis in September. It is a case in which Jack Abramoff and his henchman Adam Kidan both have massive and totally obvious criminal exposure.

The Gambino hit men were paid $250,000 (ostensibly) for catering services and security. We know how that goes. One day Abramoff is giving a guided tour of the West Wing, the next he is hanging out with Anthony ‘Big Tony’ Moscatiello and Anthony ‘Little Tony’ Ferrari. The day after that he is on the phone with Tom DeLay and Karl Rove. So, it is not too much of a reach for the Senate Minority Leader to compare the GOP to the mob.

If we could kick the mob out of Las Vegas in the 1970s, we can change the culture of Washington and give America a government as good and honest as the people it serves.

And now for a flashback to a fictional Nevada senator, who thought he could tell the mafia what to do.

MICHAEL: Senator Geary, I speak to you as a businessman who has made a large
investment in your state. I have made that state my home; plan to raise my children here. The license fee from the Gambling Commission costs one thousand dollars; why would I ever consider paying more?

SENATOR GEARY: I’m going to squeeze you, Corleone,
because I don’t like you; I don’t like the kind of man you are. I despise your masquerade, and the
dishonest way you pose yourself and your fucking family.

MICHAEL: (quietly) We’re all part of the same hypocrisy, Senator. But never think it applies to my family.

SENATOR GEARY: All right, then let me say you’ll
pay me because it’s in your interests to pay me.

And we all know Senator Geary woke up hungover next to a dead underage prostitute.

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