Oct 13 2006
I began to note that Reid’s efforts on behalf of Del Webb in 1994 were linked in BML records to the Red Rock’s conservation proposal from Bill Clinton. I was not seeing the connection until I ran across this:
“Give you Vegas for just about anything,” seems to be President Bill Clinton’s pitch.
What Clinton and his environmental advisors had in mind is still not clear.
It was first reported as the swap of some unidentified federal land worth at least $65 million to Crown Butte Mines Inc. for their promising gold strike just outside Yellowstone in Montana. But it now appears that Clinton may not have had any particular properties at all in mind when — during a vacation visit to Yellowstone in August — he made his electioneering announcement.
In fact, it turns out a federal search team from the Bureau of Land Management wasn’t even organized to look for possible swap sites until 17 days after the announcement. That’s the word from BLM Deputy Director Matt Millenbach.
Just how Clinton was even able to pull off the deal, and what promises may have been made, seems part of the mystery. Four of the mining company’s board members resigned shortly after the announcement, complaining they were never even informed negotiations were going on.
So what does the President have to offer in return for a campaign plank built in the Wyoming breeze?
The usual, it appears: richly sought-after and often-claimed development sites around Las Vegas identified by Millenbach as up for trade.
This is apparently the same slice of BLM-owned land near the booming gaming capitol that has already been claimed in part by the Del Webb Corporation in return for farms it and the Nature Conservancy bought this year from embattled growers near a proposed wetland outside Fallon, Nevada.
It’s also apparently the same Las Vegas BLM property the American Land Conservancy refers to in its still on-going swap deal for a 140-acre mansion and estate on Lake Tahoe.
And although the President was just as vague in Arizona about what he had done in Utah, the federally-owned Vegas property also seems to have been part of the carrot offered to trade out coal leases on his newly-proclaimed Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Are these connections valid? Was a desparate Clinton trying to do whatever he could to win re-election? Were deals made that would normally be rejected by the liberal base because they meant giving lands to developers and others. As I stated earlier, this deal has produced nearly a billion dollars a year in commercial activity around Las Vegas. The more you dig the stranger (and smellier) this hole deal looks. Where are the super sleuthes from the drive-by media on this??? I am just googling.