NPRI’s ‘Piglet Book’ exposes millions of dollars of government waste in NV

Victor Joecks

The Nevada Policy Research Institute has just released The Nevada Piglet Book 2010, which details millions of dollars in government waste, including credit card theft, sweetheart land deals and exorbitant salaries.
When politicians try to tell you that they’ve “cut to the bone,” remember how they’re spending your money.

Sweetheart deals are often the province of the well-connected. In Las Vegas, this is especially true. In April 2009, former Las Vegas City Councilman Michael McDonald purchased a 3.9-acre parcel from the City of Las Vegas for $1.3 million. Then, in a second transaction that was recorded at the same time, McDonald turned around and immediately sold the parcel to a supermarket chain for $3.1 million.

City officials knew that McDonald intended to immediately sell the land for substantially more than he was purchasing it, yet agreed to sell the parcel to their former colleague for less than the appraised value.

McDonald had already been convicted of violating city ethics laws involving a land deal while serving on the city council in 2000. At that time, McDonald had pushed for the city to purchase the Las Vegas SportsPark, partially owned by his employer.

The sweetheart deal granted to McDonald by the current city council is especially significant because the city faces a reported $80 million general fund deficit for fiscal year 2011 that could potentially require mass layoffs and a reduction of services.

The Piglet Book is filled with many more examples of government waste, so be sure to read the whole thing.

And if you’re interested in hearing more about government waste, be sure to tune into Casey and Heather on KDOX 1280 AM. They’re interviewing Geoffrey Lawrence, the study’s author, today at 10:15.