As we mentioned in Part One of this series, Pat Whitten was indignant about the term “Stand Against Corruption” in a recent copy of the local newsprint fish wrap. I couldn’t help but chuckle about his insistence that the County of Storey has the whitest whites and the brightest colors in all the kingdom. No corruption here in “Team Storey”.
So I let my Googley Fingers do the Walking to see where they would take me. And I was, once again, not disappointed.
The internet is a harsh mistress.
I stumbled upon this 1998 article from the Las Vegas Sun where Pat Whitten carried the election thanks in part to the loving support of the ever lovely and hard loving ladies of the Mustang Ranch:
Storey County sheriff’s race focuses on prostitute’s vote
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 1998 | 11:04 a.m.
CARSON CITY — A candidate for Storey County sheriff says he doesn’t have anything against legal prostitution in the county, but he does want to stop prostitutes who are not legal residents from voting.
Charles Porchia, a reserve deputy sheriff, says women working in the two legal brothels voted en masse for his opponent Pat Whitten in the primary election. These women, he claims, are not legal residents of the county, even though they list their homes as Mustang No. 1 and Mustang No. 2, the two bordellos.
“I have no religious or moral agenda against the houses,” Porchia said. “They pay 5 percent of the taxes. But they (the prostitutes) can alter an election if it’s close.”
Monday Porchia filed a challenge with the county clerk to 195 women who are signed up as voters at the two brothels. There are 2,500 eligible voters in Storey County, according to the county clerk’s office.
Whitten disputes Porchia’s claim that Whitten received the overwhelming vote in the primary election from people in the precinct. Whitten received 72 votes, Porchia got 50 and the other candidates received 38.
The Nevada Supreme Court, Whitten said, has already ruled that women living in the bordellos can legally vote in Nevada. He added that he’s comfortable the county clerk’s office will ensure that only legal residents are voting.
Pamela Crowell, chief of elections in the secretary of state’s office, said the county clerk’s office must now notify the 195 women their vote is being challenged. When they show up at the polls, they must sign a statement that reads, “I swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that I reside at the residence for which the address is listed in the election board register.”
Whitten, who also is a reserve deputy sheriff and owns a RV park, worked for Bank of America for 20 years in California and New Mexico before moving to Virginia City four years ago.
In a field of nine in the primary election, Whitten received 644 votes to 307 for Porchia who was in second place. The top two go into the general election.
“I don’t know if there is any collusion between him (Whitten) and the houses, but there’s no question but that he got all the votes,” Porchia said. “I want to play on a level playing field.”
Come now, Charley. A level playing field?
Level ground is a rare commodity on the lode; this recall election is the latest reminder of those cold, hard facts.