To the Editor: Vegas intervention on local race?

As discussed many times earlier, has the detailed community report 150-plus pages that tell the complete casino story in Ridgecrest from A to Z. And it reads like a crime novel — because it is. Data below is just the very latest in a long, long list of illegal or near illegal actions by the out-of-town Vegas developers to force this casino into town. now has 2,500-plus visitors and “the word has been out.” People are alarmed, have seen the light and are demanding that this be stopped. This is why the casino gang is desperately scrambling at the very end to disrupt something. If this nightmare continues in our town, all the most recent illegalities will be added to the ongoing list for our attorneys.

The Vegas casino gang wants to remove anticasino Wallace Martin from the council by discrediting him so they can put Scott Leahy in, so the casino can control the council. It’s just that simple. This is their casino playbook and done in towns around the country. In fact, their plan is revealed via one post on Facebook today. I’m not going into detail here; you can see the lies yourself on Facebook. The truth is, anything concerning Martin is simply a pro-casino ploy and backed by the casino gang to discredit good public servants who happen to be against the casino. Leahy and several others have been viciously attacking any elected official on Facebook who speaks out against the casino for the past two years.

The Vegas casino gang is backing Reese Hogg III “out of the blue.” The out-of-town Vegas developers now appear to be backing Hogg via formal endorsement (according to their brochure at the fair). Peggy Breeden and Mike Mower backed Steven Morgan, since he brags about bringing the casino in years ago, but in the end, even the Vegas boys

didn’t want him. So they switched at the last minute to a relatively unknown person in town, Reese Hogg III. And right after the endorsement, what do you know, “someone” just formed an out-of-town group from Sacramento to help fund Hogg. Expensive flyers were mailed to the entire town. The Sacramento reference is printed at the bottom. How ironic, and all the while Hogg himself denies any connection to them. He says he refused support from a “special interest group” and that he just wants to “unify” the town. Truth is, the entire reason the town and council are at each other’s throat is because of the casino that Mr. Hogg is now supporting. In short, it’s all inappropriate and near-criminal nonsense. The casino gang screams that other candidates have influence from our county seat in Bakersfield, while the casino now has “secret” influence from unknown investors in Sacramento under hidden names supporting Hogg. The hypocrisy is rampant.

Land-sale escrow was supposed to expire this Sunday. So, what happened? More casino tricks at Halloween. And on the land-sale escrow, we learn that the pro casino gang orchestrated and changed the escrow dates that were formally approved by the city council. The dates were extended from the end of September to the end of October. This is not lawful and again a breach of contract. Council did not approve the new dates. Not only that, but even the extended escrow just expired this past Sunday. Period. End of story. It’s been two years with no action. Sadly, for the rest of us, the average citizens, expire means expire.

But as of [Wednesday], we have not heard one word publicly. Have you? Both newspapers need to do extensive research and get the full and truthful story immediately from the city. My guess is that this is simply more legal trickery and more delays until after the election, so that Breeden and Mower will not get damaged in the election for “extending” yet again. If they did, the public would seriously protest.

So my guess is that in typical casino playbook fashion, they will quietly wait until the Nov. 21 meeting and then go against the will of the people yet again by voting to extend the escrow, right before the new anti-casino council takes over. This is what they did in 2016. Or, they will likely come up with some other legal technicality scheme to continue this disaster. This highly contentious casino issue should have been put on the ballot in 2016 and also on the ballot in 2018. Two council members requested it again this year, but Mower, Breeden and now even Pastor Thomas all denied the request.

In closing — go vote! On other more important topics, I strongly encourage everyone to go to the polls next Tuesday and vote for the only anti-casino candidate in the race … Doc Hayman. He will help move our city in the right direction. I am really looking forward to 2019 with the casino in the rear-view mirror!

Tom Rafalski

Story First Published: 2018-11-02