Las Vegas Sun

May 1, 2016

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J. Patrick Coolican


Why Nevada Democrats' Fun Tax is the New Coke of politics
May 10, 2013
The Mini-Golf Tax. The “Iron Man” Tax. The Burning Man Tax. I’m pretty sure most Nevadans enjoy one or more of those activities, which means if Democrats in the Legislature pass their new Nevada Entertainment and Admissions Tax, every Nevadan will curse them when they try to enjoy themselves on the weekend after a long workweek.


Why Nevada needs to look at Dotty's one way, sports book kiosks another
May 8, 2013
With the Nevada Legislature seriously discussing gaming policy, I've got some thoughts about Dotty's, and about sports betting kiosks in neighborhood taverns.


To citizen legislator Mo Denis: Don't forget about the rest of us citizens
May 3, 2013
Catching up on the news after a little vacation, and, oh, look, it’s like I never left -- a state senator has offered up some cheesy legislation that would help his old boss.


Ever get the feeling the Las Vegas cab industry is long-hauling regulators?
April 24, 2013
Welcome to Las Vegas. Now I’m going to steal $10 from you. That’s the message we’re sending to thousands of tourists every year who get in a cab at McCarran International Airport and are taken to their hotel the long way. At least when the hotels take the tourists’ money, it’s based on a bet whose odds are well known. But the cabbies are just flat-out stealing, and our political system is so inept that it refuses or is unable to act.


Why legal pot is coming to Nevada, and why we need to prepare
April 12, 2013
It was no great feat, but as I predicted last October, Colorado and Washington have legalized pot, and Nevada is now in danger of losing our rightful place as the capital of forbidden fun. Thursday, a Nevada legislative committee approved the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries. And last week, the Nevada Legislature took up a bill to legalize recreational marijuana. It’s not going anywhere, but I applaud the Assembly Judiciary Committee for giving it a hearing.


The Nevada way: A lawyer leads the transportation board
April 10, 2013
The next time you need heart surgery, we’ll send over a lawyer to open you up. How would that strike you? Ridiculous, right? So why is the attorney general on the board of the Nevada Department of Transportation?


After stadium boondoggle, what's next for Henderson after Andy Hafen's re-election?
April 5, 2013
With Henderson voters -- or the 12 percent of them who bothered to turn out -- giving Mayor Andy Hafen a second term, can a marching band of 76 trombones be far behind?


The Steven Brooks saga points to much bigger problems
April 3, 2013
The unfortunate truth is that story of expelled Assemblyman Steven Brooks, sad as it is, could have been even more tragic.
Photographer documenting homeless families finds no place like Las Vegas
April 1, 2013
Craig Blankenhorn has spent most of his professional life on film and TV sets — “Sex in the City” and “The Sopranos” among them — shooting photos for the big advertising displays you see in newspapers and magazines. But now he’s also traveling the country, documenting the lives of homeless families. In Las Vegas he met Tom, Angela and little Kaleb, who is one of 1.6 million homeless kids in the United States, and he won't soon forget them.


Why the construction defect fight is likely to get nasty this session
March 21, 2013
As my colleague Anjeanette Damon reports this week, the Groundhog Day legislative battle over construction defect litigation has broken into the open, with state Sen. Michael Roberson using some legislative legerdemain to move his bill from a hostile committee to a friendly one.


Why lobbyists are confused by what one Nevada lawmaker is up to
March 19, 2013
Here’s the question everyone here at the Legislature is asking: What’s Michael Roberson’s game? The question arises because twice in just the past two weeks the Republican Senate leader has taken on powerful interests.


Why I'm bothered that the chancellor has silenced college bosses
March 15, 2013
Dan Klaich, chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, has told college and university presidents to be publicly silent about their misgivings with the proposed funding formula to divide up state money for schools.


Where are the Democrats in extracting more taxes from the mining industry?
March 8, 2013
The surprise move this week by Nevada Senate Republicans to offer up a mining tax increase as an alternative to the business margins tax offered up some fascinating political theater and intriguing questions.


The tragedy of Stanley Gibson's death began days before he was shot by police
March 7, 2013
Reading accounts and watching the video of last week’s public fact-finding panel on the Metro shooting of Stanley Gibson was like watching a brutal car accident while being helpless to do anything about it.


Hey governor, please allow us 15 miles of toll-free interstate down here
Feb. 27, 2013
A free road for the north, a toll road for the south. Someone with a sharper wit than I came up with it, but the metaphor neatly encapsulates Southern Nevada’s raw deal compared with the rest of the state.


J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican was born in Connecticut to a large, Irish Catholic family and then studied dead white male authors at the University of Notre Dame. He started his career during the 2000 presidential campaign, writing for a Web site he created with two friends. He's written for The Seattle Times, The Nation, LA Weekly and, since early 2006, for the Sun.


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