Reporters on the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a newspaper recently purchased by casino magnate and Yisrael Hayom proprietor Sheldon Adelson, have reportedly been instructed by their editors to ask local political candidates whether they support the use of public money for the construction of a new football stadium, according to ralstonreports.com.
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The single largest investor in the stadium project, which is intended to lure the NFL's Oakland Raiders franchise to Las Vegas, is none other than Sheldon Adelson. But Adelson's participation depends on local politicians agreeing to cough up $750 million in public money, to be returned by an increased hotel tax.
Las Vegas journalist Jon Ralston revealed this week that Review-Journal Assistant City Editor Don Ham sent an internal memo to reporters recently instructing them to query local political candidates on their stance regarding the use of public money for the stadium.
The memo read: "All of you who are handling state Senate, state Assembly and Clark County Commission races for the tab should make sure to ask this very timely question of the candidates. This question is NOT going to be added to the question asked of candidates for the online election package, though. Should public money, in the form of room taxes, be used to build a proposed stadium in Las Vegas. Why or why not?"
Ralston drew the reader's attention to the capitalization of the word NOT. "What in the world does that mean?" he asked. "Why ask a question of candidates that will not be used in the paper? Are they getting a head count for Adelson? Reminding candidates the newspaper could be used as a bludgeon?"
If elected, the political candidates questioned by the newspaper could well be voting on the stadium project.
In February, Deadspin reported Adelson's handpicked publisher Craig Moon has been vetting reports about the stadium to ensure that they serve the interests of the new boss.
"The new publisher has reviewed each stadium story since, and the stories have seen numerous Moon-directed edits, several sources confirm," Politico reported at the time.
"Those edits include removing key points of fact on what may turn out to become a $600 million-plus public investment in a football stadium. At least one stadium story was killed, as well, my sources confirm."