Louisiana Voting Tips

October 29, 2008

I did the early voting thing today – phew! I only waited an hour and they did a great job in Covington (St Tammany Parish) putting you in a holding room and then in line. I was out of there in about an hour and a half. A friend came up to me while I was in my final short line, thinking it was a real short wait. Hated to inform him, but it is like Disney World where they try and trick your mind into believing the line wasn’t what it seemed. Anyhoo, wanted to arm you with some voting tips for November 4th:

1. Download your sample ballot from the SOS’s website here.
2. For candidate information click here.
3. To make sense of all the Constitutional Amendments in the state, click here. It is done very well.
4. St Tammany Voters, get a breakdown off all the candidates here.
***Check your polling station location – sometimes they move!!! It would be awful to wait and realize you have to go somewhere else.

**c/p at Kiss My Gumbo

CATHY (Caller): Hello.

CONAN: Hi.

CATHY: Hi. I went to school and grew up in Las Vegas and graduated, oh, in the early ’80s, and I went back, oh, maybe two years ago, and I almost didn’t recognize the place. It has changed so much from the time I grew up there until a few years ago, and I don’t like it as much now as I did then.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CATHY: I think the character of the place has changed significantly, and it’s nearly doubled in size, and I think the sense of a smaller town community is really gone.

CONAN: Doubled in size, Michael Green, might be putting it mildly.

Prof. GREEN: Very mildly. see here college of southern nevada

CATHY: Yeah.

Prof. GREEN: We have just about doubled in size with every census for the past century, but now we’re up to a million-seven, and most of them are on the freeway…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Prof. GREEN: …listening to this, probably sitting in traffic. But, you know, there’s a tendency to say, `Oh, the good old days were always better,’ and one time, I was saying that in a Nevada history class, and a woman raised her hand and said, `Was it better for women?’ I woke up. That took care of that theory.

CATHY: Oh, that–I don’t think …(unintelligible).

Prof. GREEN: But, you know, one of the problems we do face, of course, is that we grow so fast that we can’t even keep up with it. The projection is that we’ll be to three and a half to four million in another two decades. Well, that suggests we need to double everything we have right now, so there’s supposedly more growth coming, and I do wonder what the pioneers would be saying today. They’d be saying we did our job too well.

CONAN: Cathy, I heard you trying to get in there.

CATHY: Well, I was saying that I don’t necessarily think that it was better in all respects. Especially when I grew up there, Vegas was going through one of its bust periods when a lot of–the unemployment was really high and, you know, there was pretty significant difficulties to living there at the time. But you kind of–I suppose you knew your neighbors better. Everybody worked in the casinos, if they had a job, but it was viewed more as, well, that’s just their job, you know. You still had a life outside of the typical–you know, the stereotypical glitz that people perceive Vegas as.

CONAN: Oh…

CATHY: But now it seems like even the residents of Vegas think of nothing but the glitz.

CONAN: Well…

(Soundbite of audience reaction)

CONAN: …we’re going to be hearing more about that, Cathy, but as you hear, it’s not a popular point in the audience, but thank you so much for the call. We appreciate it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CATHY: Thank you.

CONAN: Boom and bust, of course, has been a cycle in Las Vegas, I guess, ever since the beginning, Michael. Let’s get a call in from the audience–a question.

Mr. JEFF BURBANK (Audience Member): Yes. Hi. I’m Jeff Burbank. What is the most misunderstood aspect that people have outside of Las Vegas about the town’s history?

CONAN: Most misunderstood, Michael. What do you think?

Prof. GREEN: Oh, how many hours do we have? go to web site college of southern nevada

(Soundbite of laughter)

Prof. GREEN: I think one of the most misunderstood is, in fact, the mob, and I’m not saying that there wasn’t organized crime here. But one of the things that people don’t understand is that Bugsy Siegel, for example, was not the rule. He was the exception. Bugsy Siegel was a thug. He killed people. Most of the guys who built this town were businessmen. They were mob businessmen, but they were still businesspeople. And one of the gaming regulators here in the ’50s used to call them silk glove men. They didn’t make the hits. Maybe they ordered some, but they didn’t do that. And so I think everybody tends to think that this town was built by a bunch of killers and then, in turn, that all the rest of us must be mobsters, too.

CONAN: Instead of the Wild West shoot-off in the streets, there were cars driving by with Tommy guns rattling out the window.

Prof. GREEN: Exactly. Well, actually, they used to say nobody gets killed in Las Vegas, and so Bugsy Siegel, when he was finally the victim of a hostile takeover, and it was a very hostile takeover…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Prof. GREEN: …he was killed in LA. Another guy who was involved in gaming here who they wanted to get rid of, he was killed in Phoenix. They tried to keep the town clean.


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