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John L. Smith On Rep. Horsford, The Culinary Union And Tule Springs

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(House Television via AP, File)

FILE - In this Thursday, April 23, 2020, file image taken from video, Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Some people want Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford, D-NV., to resign after he admitted to having a long-term affair with a former intern.

Horsford openly admitted the relationship and said he was sorry. He asked to respect his family’s privacy. That might be difficult, because Gabriela Linder, the former intern, has a podcast about the on-and-off relationship that ended in 2019. 

It’s called, Mistress for Congress. She called herself “Love Jones.” 

Now there are calls for Horsford’s resignation or a House Ethics investigation. 

Is it that simple, though?  

John L. Smith is keeping a close eye on the Horsford matter. 

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“Where it could get very serious for Horsford is if there was money involved or if there was something to do with his responsibility as a congressman that got blended with some personal relationship that would speak ill of him,” Smith said.

But for right now, the affair is an embarrassment and poor timing because the revelation came during an election year, Smith said, and unsurprisingly, his opponents are looking to press the matter.

However, GOP opponents to Horsford are a little more challenged because as Smith pointed out, the Republican Party has become the party of President Donald Trump. 

He believes GOP candidates are in a way tacitly endorsing the president's character, which has been called into question, especially after the tape surfaced of the president saying he grabs women by their genitalia

“This is where hypocrisy and politics just hold hands," Smith said, "Of course, it makes a big difference to Republicans if a Democrat does it. It makes a big difference to Democrats if a Republican is caught in that situation.”

The Democrats running in the primary have little name recognition, Smith said, and they haven't raised much money but that could change now.

“It’s going to be a fascinating thing to watch to see how quickly, if indeed it does erode, how quickly things erode for Horsford or whether he’s got the strength to stand there and take few blows and deliver some of his own.”

Tule Springs Floyd Lamb Park Barn

The city of Las Vegas has already started to move some earth around at a barn at Floyd Lamb Park. The plan, championed by mayor pro-tem Michele Fiore, is to turn the barn into an entertainment area with parking, a kitchen and more.

However, neighbors are not pleased with the plan, Smith said.

“They think lighting might be a problem. Noise might be a problem. Traffic might be a problem. That might take some explaining," he said.

In addition, there is concern that the city did not talk to nearby residents about its plans.

“If you know something is going to be controversial, even if you believe you’ve got the law on your side, the spirit of upholding the office would dictate that you would go out and outreach to the community,” Smith said.

Now, there is what Smith called a "ground-swell of criticism," with the neighbors getting outspoken allies in the environmental and conservationist communities.

Also, Tule Springs is not like other parks.  

“One of the gems, certainly, is tule springs. It is one of the great gems of Southern Nevada,” Smith said.

It's a large park that was once under state purview but changed hands. It includes ponds and green space that is one of a kind in Southern Nevada. There are also federally protected fossil beds in the area.

“If this was just a vacant lot somewhere it would be different, but this is Tule Springs,” Smith said.

The Culinary Union Calls For Transparency Of Reopening Plans

“They represent 60,000 workers, families, a lot of people are involved, a lot of people have their livelihoods at stake, whether they’re corporate or whether they’re members of the union.”

Smith sees why it is a big deal for the union to find out the casinos' plans for reopening, but at this point, they're confidential.

In the union's view, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment have "put the squeeze" on workers who are out of work, Smith said. That approach also hurts the union.

In addition, the workers at a casino are front-line workers, he said.

“This coronavirus pandemic puts them right upfront,” he said.

Smith believes it makes sense to have the union involved in the planning for the safety and health of the casinos' workers and transparency would help.

"Transparency is an important thing, especially when a lot of people are nervous," he said. "Who wants to be the first in line before all these systems have been tested? I think that's where Culinary makes a good point."

Guests

John L. Smith, contributor

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