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May 4, 2015

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Harry Reid: Pat McCarran’s name shouldn’t be on anything

Senator discusses airport name change, accomplishments in Southern Nevada transportation during tour


Leila Navidi

Sen. Harry Reid, right, listens as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks July 2 at a news conference to designate a high-speed-rail corridor.

Reid announces money for McCarron Airport renovation

KSNV reports that Sen. Harry Reid announces money for McCarran Airport renovation, while Terminal 3 faces long delays, Aug. 24.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has weighed in on renaming McCarran International Airport — he’s for it.

Named for former Nevada Sen. Patrick McCarran, who drafted several pieces of legislation in the 1930s and '40s that became the foundation for today’s aviation regulatory structure, the airport has become the focus of a name change debate among Clark County leaders and the local tourism industry.

But McCarran also had a dark side that Reid says makes him unworthy of the recognition.

“Pat McCarran was one of the most anti-Semitic — some of you might know my wife’s Jewish — one of the most anti-black, one of the most prejudiced people who has ever served in the Senate,” Reid said in response to questions he and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood fielded Friday at a news conference on recent transportation triumphs for Southern Nevada. “It’s not a decision I’m going to make, but if you ask me to give my opinion, I don’t think his name should be on anything.”

The Clark County Commission will be responsible for considering any name change and the associated costs of making it. Some have estimated the price tag to be more than $1 million to make the switch. The topic also was debated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which likes the idea of using a name like Las Vegas International Airport to extend the city’s brand abroad.

Reid and LaHood summarized some accomplishments for Southern Nevada transportation in a time when many proposals are in legislative gridlock. The laundry list of successes includes the opening of McCarran’s $2.4 billion Terminal 3, which Reid and LaHood toured; the designation of U.S. 93 as Interstate 11, making it eligible for funding to bring it to interstate highway standards; and the passage of a surface transportation bill and Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation.

They also received pats on the back for the Interstate 15 south design-build project, the Summerlin high-occupancy vehicle flyover, the Sahara Express Rapid Transit and Bonneville Transit Terminal projects, and progress on McCarran’s new air traffic control tower.

But one item that’s still on hold is a federal loan request to build a high-speed railroad between Las Vegas and Southern California. XpressWest, a private venture planning the proposed 186-mile system to Victorville, Calif., would connect to the California High Speed Rail line in Palmdale, Calif., through an agreement with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

XpressWest applied for a $5.5 billion loan through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program in March 2011. Reid and LaHood had little information about the status of the application.

“We have been meeting with the investors and we have a study that’s been completed,” LaHood said. “It’s a study that gives us some very good guidance, and we’re going to continue our discussions. Sen. Reid and I have talked to the investors, and those discussions are ongoing. We know about what it’s going to cost and we’re trying to work through some of the details. Once we finish our discussions, we’ll have something to announce.”

“This is a big project,” Reid said. “This is 20,000 jobs. (California) Gov. (Jerry) Brown has signed off on what we’re trying to do. Obviously, it’s a good deal for the state of California and the state of Nevada because they’ve already started the project in California. I’m very satisfied with where we are now. I wish we could move more quickly, but when you’re talking about billions and billions of dollars, it’s not that easy to finalize the project.”

LaHood also announced that McCarran had been awarded a $17.6 million grant to reconstruct two heavily used taxiways at the airport. A grant from the FAA Airport Improvement Program will be used to replace cracked asphalt with more durable concrete that will stand up to Las Vegas’ extreme temperatures and will require less maintenance.

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  1. How about the Sheldon Adelson International Airport ? it will make up for the anti-semtism but still keep an oily character

  2. How is it you say it: "He's a light skin black man?" How did you mean that, you freckled Mormon.

    So, so sad, if Pat were here today, gave you 2 cents for the train to Coyote Springs, you would not say a word about his character. If he wanted to put solar panels on the airport, you'd show him how to do that and get money into your coffers as well. Harry, this is a dirty statement, and the only way to get on with life is for the "haters" to pass on.

    You, Senator, are so negative these days, I don't get it.

  3. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  4. Oh my gosh, you Senator Reid haters are all of a sudden put in a quandary.

    You totally agree with changing the name of the airport, but you can't now.

    Because the policy of attack, attack, attack, tora, tora, tora, banzai, banzai, BANZAI, hate on him, hate him, detest him, HATE HIM on Senator Reid MUST be followed at all costs. Every single ultra-conservative in Nevada MUST toe the line at every turn. No exceptions.

    Buncha hypocrites.....

    The way you go on and on, just go ahead and admit it. You want to change the name of the airport here to "We Hate Harry Reid So Much It Causes An Aneurism" Airport.

  5. Thru his narrow prism of politics, Reid the Red sees everything as Blue or Red; Left vs. Right; Dumbocrat vs. Republicrat. I see the name change issue as an economic one; not a political one. If only politics were the criteria for naming an entity after someone, most would not qualify. I didn't see Reid the Red caterwauling to rename Floyd Lamb State Park and that guy was a convicted felon. He stands up for Harry Claiborne, another convicted felon. "People in glass houses hould not throw stones," Reid the Red.

  6. There is a failed industrial park in the southwest part of the valley named after Harry Reid. on Sunset near Durango.

    Very appropriate that it is named after Reid.

  7. Why do so many commenters boil nearly every issue of significance or insignificance down to a diatribe against Harry Reid or President Obama? I'll bet a beer that few of them can name ONE thing that either has done that affects them in any personal or financial way. Just hate, hate, hate. "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." Martin Luther King.

  8. Just Likr Mr Romney's Taxes - This has Nothing to do With Harry Reid. He's Not the Decision maker on this. The Major question is. Will Renaming The Airport be a Plus or Negative for the Las Vegas Economy, Not Your Political Presuasion. And We ALL should be interested in GREEN as we have one of the Most Disfunctional Single Industry Economies in the Country.

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  10. Comment removed by moderator. Off Topic

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  14. Using the Reid theory many airports, roads and even a few cities around the country are due for a name change.
    I do not see anything wrong with hating Harry Reid, most of the pro Reid posters hate Bush. We all have opinions.

  15. Honestly, even if the guy wasn't a world class creep, which he was, I think the airport should be named for the City of Las Vegas. It's called branding.

  16. In my humble opinion, there really is only one Las Vegas aviation hero worthy of having the airport named after him. That would be Bruce Dyer,who I believe back in the 40's was the first man to fly from Thailand non-stop to Las Vegas. You can look it up-he's an unknown local hero!!!

  17. I certainly wish commentators would take advantage of spell check and learn how to punctuate.

  18. I do not see how changing the name of the airport will make the city any extra money. I see it only costing us money. The name calling is unnecessary and unprofessional.

  19. I Did not realize that the name of the airport is keeping people from coming to Las Vegas...

    I guess that explains why ONLY 30 Million plus people come to Vegas every year.

    Can't wait to pay $80 per ticket one way to ride on a high speed train and be dumped in the middle of the California Desert! Lol..

  20. Desert-XpressWest; "a private venture planning the proposed 186-mile system to Victorville, Calif".

    Keep it a private venture funded 100% with private funding from private venture capital otherwise it looks and smells like a fascist corporatist venture between government and private entities with taxpayers on the hook for what will in all likelihood amount to another failure that only benefits politician's purses by-way of special personal side -deals and kickbacks.

    Haven't Nevadans suffered through enough buy Harry Reid, for Harry Reid deal$? If Harry Reid was a humble public servant... would he (Reid) now be a multi-millionaire?

    When it doesn't smell right, it probably is not in the taxpayer's best interests"

  21. If Desert Xpresst West is such a wonderful and sure deal, than why are casinos'/hotels/resorts not stepping up to fund this venture as they will be the beneficiaries receiving all of the revenue /tourist dollars?

    Why ask American taxpayers to subsidize these mega corporations. Who will benefit more, people earning minimum wages performing slave labor service jobs or their corporate CEO's/politician Masters?

    These chains gettin might heavy Massa"

  22. By and large International Airports throughout the USA are named after the City that it's in, i.e SFO,LAX. Your regional airports take on some rather odd names.How about the Draughton-Miller Central Texas Regional that's a mouth full !!How about the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport,Ct. ? That rolls off my tongue easy enough.Changing it,I don't believe will change our numbers as far as tourists. It'll sound better perhaps.But how many millions will it cost to do all this.Are our pockets so overflowing with funds this is a good idea now ? Frankly, how about "finishing" projects started and never completed after the bust of 2008.I feel like our politicians haven't learned a damn thing from this mess we're in. I suppose changing the name is a good idea,just not now.Our politicians need to be thinking long and VERY hard on how they're going to bring in new business and not your mom and pop stuff. We need a solid other source of income other than gambling. If the world goes through another one of these near depression situations, towns like Las Vegas will have to turn the lights off and put the FOR SALE sign on the door,we'll never survive it. All I see today is business as usual in this town...never looking past today or tomorrow.When will they all grow up? Maybe I'm just burnt out from ALL the election lies (on both sides)and I'm holding my head thinking we still have a little less then 80 days to put up with this nonsense. GOOD GRIEF!!

  23. I don't care what it's called just let the developers pay for it, not tax payers. And I'd vote for Howard Hughes International or Merle Frehner both of whom have historical value to the city and aviation. Frhner being the king of Lv, part of the history museum, a hero to downed air force spy planes and he used to service planes including for Hughes at his motor shop on Las Vegas Blvd.

  24. When you look up a flight (as a majority use the internet) you type in LAS.

    Would not a rose smell the same by any other name?

    When something is working, and money is tight, why can't a politician leave well enough alone?