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Mustang Ranch owner wins Nevada election (yes, he's a Republican)
Lance Gilman is a thriving businessman with dozens of employees. That those workers include a good many prostitutes didn't faze the people of a rural Nevada county who recently elected him as a Storey County commissioner by a wide margin.
The Mustang Ranch brothel owner is the first such owner to win election to public office in Nevada since prostitution was legalized here in 1971, Nevada historian Guy Rocha said. And he's believed to be the first to do so in the state's 148-year history.
'He's in rare company,' Rocha said. 'Of course, it's going to be rare because the business of selling sex for money is illegal in every jurisdiction in the United States except in rural Nevada.'
Some two dozen brothels legally operate in 10 of Nevada's 17 counties. Prostitution is illegal in the counties that include Las Vegas and Reno, the state's population centers.
Gilman, 68, a self-described 'dye-in-the-wool Republican who loves American values,' said he encountered few objections to his Mustang Ranch ownership during his campaign in the county of 4,000. He won with 62 percent of the vote on November 6.
He is a married father of four with nine grandchildren. All but one of his children, including one of his daughters, work in the family business.
His claims that his bordello, located along Interstate 80 some 10 miles east of Reno, has contributed more than $5 million to the county's budget over the past decade. It has 44 full-time employees, and 30 to 80 working girls, depending on the season.
'To 99 percent of the voters, they view it as just a business,' Gilman told The Associated Press. 'It's a prosperous business that's helped the county.'
Gilman attributes his victory to his entrepreneurial experience. Mustang Ranch is only a small part of his business empire, which includes business parks, a Harley-Davidson dealership and master planned communities in California and Nevada.
'People want to focus on the brothel issue ... (but) I've had a wonderful 43-year record of business success that I bring to the commission,' Gilman said.
Mustang Ranch became the state's first legal brothel - and most infamous - under former owner Joe Conforte. Heavyweight boxer Oscar Bonavena was slain there in 1976.
The cathouse operated until 1999 when the federal government seized it after guilty verdicts against its parent companies and manager in a federal fraud and racketeering trial. Conforte is now a fugitive in Brazil.
Gilman bought the gaudy pink stucco buildings that once housed the bordello in 2003 and moved them a short distance next to his Wild Horse brothel. He assumed ownership of the Mustang Ranch trademark when he bought the buildings from the government.
His current operation, which includes the two houses of prostitution, two restaurants and a nightclub, now operates under the Mustang Ranch name.
'His election speaks to the acceptance of prostitution in rural Nevada, where it's just understood,' Rocha said. 'It goes back to a longstanding libertarian tradition, and laws reflect that. It's different in urban Nevada, where prostitution is a mixed, controversial bag.'
Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, took aim at the world's oldest profession, telling state lawmakers the time has come to have an adult conversation about Nevada's legal sex trade if the state hopes to succeed in the 21st century.
When the nation thinks about Nevada, Reid said, 'it should think about the world's newest ideas and newest careers - not about its oldest profession.'
Gilman maintains illegal prostitution is rampant across the country, and it makes more sense to legalize and regulate it. He said bordellos pay significant taxes to rural counties and the women are regularly checked by doctors.
'I use the term caregivers for our industry,' Gilman said. 'The public has no idea, but so many of the men we deal with are damaged or widowed or in need of kindness. The industry is so much more about providing care and human nurturing than anything else.'
- Meet another Republican "state's rights" asshole trying to kill off wild horses so his cows can ravage the public lands:
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Tensions bubbled over on the range in a turf battle that has been simmering for decades over one of the icons of the American West and scant forage on arid, high desert lands from Nevada to Wyoming.
With the presence of wild horses continuing to pit animal advocates against ranchers, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which is caught in the middle, on Saturday began seizing hundreds of cattle from a longtime rancher that it says are trespassing on public land in southern Nevada. The action came a day after the agency agreed to remove horses from the range in southwest Utah after Iron County commissioners threatened to take matters in their own hands.
Wild-horse protection advocates say the government is rounding up too many mustangs while allowing livestock to feed at taxpayer expense on the same rangeland scientists say is being overgrazed.
Ranchers say the government refuses to gather enough horses in the herds that double in size every five years while moving to confiscate cattle on lands where their ancestors have operated for more than a century.
The BLM says it's doing all it can, given budget constraints, overflowing holding pens and a distaste for the politically unpopular options of either ending the costly roundups or slaughtering excess horses. The agency started taking cattle Saturday from Cliven Bundy, who it says has been trespassing on U.S. land without required grazing permits for over 25 years. Bundy doesn't recognize federal authority on land he insists belongs to Nevada.
"These people are thieves," Bundy told The Associated Press on Saturday. "I haven't even started fighting yet. You think I'm going to lay down and just give up. I'm going to fight for the Constitution and state sovereignty."
Asked what actions he planned to take, Bundy replied, "Why don't you wait and see. As I told the BLM and county sheriff, 'I'll do whatever it takes.'"
BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon, in a media conference call Saturday afternoon, said her agency was implementing two federal court orders to remove Bundy's cattle after making repeated efforts to resolve the matter outside court. Plans call for the removal of some 900 trespassing cattle from 1,200 square miles of land in southern Nevada managed by her agency and the National Park Service over the next three to four weeks, she said.
A federal judge in Las Vegas first ordered Bundy to remove his trespassing cattle in 1998. Similar orders were issued last July and again in October.
"(Bundy's trespassing) is unfair to the thousands of other ranchers who graze livestock in compliance with federal laws and regulations in the West," Cannon said, adding the agencies are working with local and state officials to ensure the removal occurs in a safe manner.
She declined to comment on the number of personnel involved, and was unable to provide a cost estimate for the operation.
Bundy, who said he owns about 500 cows, estimates at least 100 federal agents and other personnel, many of them armed, gathered around the ranch his family has operated since the 1870s southwest of Mesquite a few miles from the Utah line.
"I've tried to stop them for 20 years. I've tried to be legal in the courts. I've tried to do it politically and through the media. Now, it's about down to having to do it as 'We the people,'" he said.
It's a battle that has raged since the 1980s when the Sagebrush Rebellion challenged federal ownership of Nevada rangeland ranchers said was rightfully theirs. During the past 10 years, horse advocates have been more the aggressors, asking courts to block roundups they say violate the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act of 1971. But in recent months, ranchers have again gone back on the attack.
- The Nevada Farm Bureau Federation and Nevada Association of Counties sued the government in U.S. District Court in Reno in December seeking to force the BLM to step up roundups and, if necessary, sell excess mustangs for slaughter — something they say is allowed under the law but that the federal agency has resisted.
Earlier this week, a federal magistrate judge in Reno granted horse advocates' request to become a party in that case based on their argument no one else involved — including the BLM — has the horses' best interest in mind.
In Utah, Iron County commissioners had threatened to gather up hundreds of mustangs themselves, saying the horses threaten livestock and wildlife on rangelands already damaged by drought.
"We will take whatever action we have to take to reduce those numbers immediately," Commissioner David Miller told the Salt Lake Tribune.
But BLM State Director Juan Palma, in an email sent Friday to Miller, said he is committed to working with the county in developing a plan to reduce the number of horses, The Spectrum of St. George, Utah, reported.
"Both the BLM and Iron County have a shared interest in the well-being of the range and all who rely in its health. ... Additionally, (we have) our shared interest in the well-being of sustainable populations of our wild horses," Palma wrote.
The LA Times also has a recent interview with this Cliven Bundy asshole and his wife.
For two decades, Bundy has waged a one-man range war with federal officials over his cattle's grazing on 150 square miles of scrub desert overseen by the BLM. Since 1993, he's refused to pay BLM grazing fees, arguing in court filings that his Mormon ancestors worked the land long before the BLM was formed, giving him rights that predate federal involvement.
Bundy also likes to say he "fired the BLM," vowing not to give one dime to an agency that he says is plotting his demise. The back fees exceed $300,000, he said.
The father of 14 insists that generations of his family have ranched and worked this unforgiving landscape along the Virgin River since the 1880s. He says government overregulation has already driven scores of fellow ranchers out of business in sprawling Clark County, leaving him as the last man standing.
For years the rancher has insisted that his cattle aren't going anywhere. He acknowledges that he keeps firearms at his ranch and has vowed to do "whatever it takes" to defend his animals from seizure.
"I've got to protect my property," he told The Times last year. "If people come to monkey with what's mine, I'll call the county sheriff. If that don't work, I'll gather my friends and kids and we'll try to stop it. I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws."
- The public encourages heterosexual males' sex drive. Heterosexual males are needy for women's sex and care giving. I've known it for a long time but it really struck me when I watched hoarding shows or extreme obesity shows. Even in those conditions heterosexual males have female companions.
- [quote] Gilman, 68, a self-described 'dye-in-the-wool Republican who loves American values,'
Hmmm...last time I checked, running a brothel wasn't part of those values.
- Interesting reverse of the typical order: A Republican using his ladies' box to control the ballot box.