John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Viva Las Vegas

Posted on March 11, 2009

Viva Las Vegas


According to news reports, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported 340 event cancellations in the past 90 days, a situation it said has cost the local economy about $131.6 million in lost spending.


Why are conventions steering clear of Las Vegas?


Because of overheated rhetoric from the new puritans, better known as the Democratic Party leaders, who love to go after anybody who is perceived to be having too much fun.


Conventions are an essential part of many business operations.  They help to sell new products, they help build new business relationships, and they get teams working more effectively together.


Las Vegas is well known for gambling and has a well-earned reputation as Sin City.  But it is also one of the few cities that can hold big time conventions, because they have a lot of hotel rooms. 


And that is the real reason so many industries have their conventions in Las Vegas.


Harry Reid, who is facing a tough reelection fight and dismal popularity ratings in his home state, represents Las Vegas.


But he has been strangely silent when it comes to sticking up for his hometown.


While many of his Democratic colleagues have attacked evil big business for taking trips to towns like Las Vegas for their conventions, Reid has said nothing in their defense.


Imagine if Reid had said something like, “Companies should continue to plan and participate in conventions.  My colleagues are scoring cheap political points in ways that are hurting my constituents.”


Had Reid said something similar to that, this mindless cannibalism of the travel and tourism industry would come stop.


Instead the cannibalism continues and Reid’s hometown suffers.


Harry Reid doesn’t have an opponent yet, but that doesn’t mean he is out of the woods.  By not defending his constituents, the Senate Majority Leader may find himself out of a job – just like them – a year from November.



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