COMMENTARY: Steve Miller
Las Vegas Tribune
July 24, 2002
"Steve Miller was someone a lot of powerful people loved to hate. It was Miller who brought down former Mayor Ron Lurie and the city manager; Miller who proposed opening competition to the sole cable television network in town, operated by Brian Greenspun, who owns the newspaper, the Las Vegas Sun. And it was Miller who attempted to halt expansion of Arizona Charlie's Hotel and Casino into the suburbs, running afoul of the Becker family, influential hotel and real estate developers." - Los Angeles Times, July 8, 1991
"He (Miller) has put down the system and has been very critical and negative of the system, which he keeps going back to with complaint after complaint after complaint." - Councilman Michael McDonald, February 2000
"Mr. Miller owns the newspaper for which he is its most prolific writer, but also fails to report the extent of Mr. Miller's interest and involvement in the lawsuits he discussed. The Las Vegas Tribune and Mr. Miller fail to disclose that Mr. Miller is the landlord of Club Paradise. Club Paradise, an adult dance establishment, is a direct business competitor of the club I operate, Crazy Horse Too. A mere glance at the titles to Mr. Miller's articles clearly reveals Mr. Miller's bias against his competitor, the Crazy Horse Too and myself, and his complete lack of journalistic professionalism. Mr. Miller, unlike the true newspapers of this city, has devoted much of his time and energy to writing articles about me and my club. What Mr. Miller omits, in addition to what he chooses to write, in these articles are tell-tale signs of Mr. Miller's agenda." - Rick Rizzolo, October 17, 2001
"The problem is, he (Miller) editorializes the events and puts his own spin on them to the point that they become inaccurate." - Tony Sgro, November 14, 2001
"It was all Steve Miller who kept bringing me in front of the Ethics Commission. They weren't real ethics complaints. They were a guy who had a grudge and the papers ran with it. That was bunk. Look what Steve Miller did with Russ Driver with his radio show. I mean if there was anything close to libel as every single day blasting elected officials, making up stories, and quite frankly, if he hadn't made the mistake of going after Steve Wynn he'd still probably be on the air today doing the same thing and getting away with it!" - Jan Jones, November 28, 2001
"I've known Steve Miller since he was 17 when I was his probation officer. He's always been a pain in the ass, but. I straightened him out and he became one of our town’s leading citizens." - Former Governor Mike O'Callaghan, December 7, 2001
"The Tribune has no credibility in Las Vegas. I appeared in court as a witness against Steve Miller, who funds The Tribune, and they have a vendetta towards me. Rolando takes his instructions from Miller, they do not report factual information." - Tom Letisia, February 10, 2002
What can I say? My critics are considered fine and respectable people. I cannot defend myself against such "Pillars of the Community" other than to elucidate that I don't own or fund the Las Vegas Tribune or own Club Paradise; Letisia never appeared in court as a witness against me; I don't give orders to Rolando Larraz or compete with topless joints; have vendettas; or make up stories. Otherwise, everything they said was true.
I fully realize that I'm someone a lot of powerful people love to hate. Throughout my life, I have inadvertently offended megalomaniacal people by being painfully honest. Knowing the maddening effect I have on such folks, I once tried to change my ways by taking the Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends and Influence People course. I failed.
I wear my detractor's criticisms as my badge of courage. I have never been proven a liar. My word is all I have to counter those who do not appreciate the results of my effort.
They say that a person is judged by whom are his enemies, and I have a lot of powerful enemies. I can accept that since I chose them very carefully. I have told the truth about each and every one of them, and truth is something they are not accustomed to hearing especially from someone who is quoted on the front page of the New York Times, in George Magazine, the Dallas Morning News, and the LA Times.
Thank goodness I have the political background to do my job with a balanced perspective. No other local columnist or reporter, with the exception of Mike O'Callaghan, can match my credentials or level of knowledge of local political subjects, and that's what really irks them - I outrank them even though I only write for a tiny newspaper and several online magazines.
The conjoined triplets, Greenspun/Ralston/German, write about public officials, but have never personally been elected to know how it feels. He/they have never had to refuse political bribes, or expose a fellow public office holder for taking payola. He/they have not been sued for telling the truth, or slandered by people desperate for power. Nor has the local media blacklisted him/them for offending power brokers. I personally experienced all of this, and I'm not discouraged. I’d like to see how he/they, if surgically separated, would fare under such pressure?
My background is in radio and television, but I proudly share my written opinions with the enlightened readers of the Tribune because some of those listed above have seen to it that my voice will no longer be heard through electronic media. Be that as it may, I carry no "grudge." I take full responsibility for, and take pride in, where I am today.
Once upon a time, the readers of the Review Journal voted me the "Most Effective Public Official in Southern Nevada." I enjoyed an 83% favorable rating in the polls and was voted one of the "Five Most Recognizable Nevadans." That occurred because I was hitting all my targets. I have always been laser accurate in my exposes' though some of the aging gangbangers quoted above wish otherwise.
If you see me "going after" a purportedly important person, please look at the notches on my gun. I do what I do out of love for our city and I never shoot blanks. Maybe they should check my record before critiquing me - I'm relentless when it comes to fighting corruption and I seldom lose. None of the other Las Vegas writers can likewise claim to be a community activist/public official turned journalist/whistleblower/crusader with a flawless track record.
I have been on both sides of the status fence. I was once the social darling of our town. As President of Opportunity Village, I presented the Man of the Year awards to Steve Wynn and Moe Dalitz. The following year, I received the same honor. Then I was named Humanitarian of the Year by Goodwill Industries at a $100 a plate dinner and received a standing ovation from many of those who now hate me for speaking the truth.
I fell from grace when I arrived at City Hall and began exposing the stealing. I have continued to expose wrongdoing, and the sentiments quoted above are homage to my efficiency. Unfortunately, one can't be both socially acceptable and a whistleblower. I accept my new social status with pride as I do not wish to be accepted in a society of hypocrites.
Thanks to the Las Vegas Tribune, the politically incorrect story is told. Though I do not own or control this fine little newspaper as some would wish in order to rationalize their hatred for me, I'm proud to call the good people here my friends – and I choose my friends as carefully as I choose my enemies. These honorable people make this humble newspaper a powerhouse by simply telling the truth and fearlessly naming names. I am honored to be part of their crew.
Michael, Rick, Tony, Jan, Brian, Steve and Tom, thanks for your quotes and inspiration, but I no longer wish to be listed in the LV Social Register alongside the likes of you.
Visit Steve Miller's website at www.SteveMiller4LasVegas.com