exploitation |ˌekˌsploiˈtāSH(ə)n| noun
1 the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work: the exploitation of migrant workers.
2 the action of making use of and benefiting from resources: the Bronze Age saw exploitation of gold deposits.
3 the fact of making use of a situation to gain unfair advantage for oneself: this administration’s exploitation of the fear of crime.
Here on May 11th I reflect on the effort to Recalling Sheriff Antinoro that ended one short month ago today.
Doing so I consider:
The stunned reaction in the community the day the petition was filed.
The instant polarization in all corners of Storey County.
The Team Gilman henchmen unleashed on the community to cajole 594 signatures from election weary residents.
The tedious signature verification process.
The “Recall Campaign”, unleashing a relentless torrent of clumsy letters, each one more remarkable than the last.
The $160,000 gushing from TRIC, Lance Gilman and Kris Thompson.
Kris Thompson’s ravings on the Highlands Chat Group.
The stunned look on the faces of Pat Whitten, Austin Osborne, Jessie Fain and other County officials gathered at the courthouse with the million dollar parking lot as Vanessa Stephens read the election results.
The jubilant cheer erupting from the crowd of Antinoro supporters as the election results were announced at the Delta Saloon.
The plea of Kris Thompson insisting we become happy shining people holding hands and pretend none of this actually happened.
It was like a bad dream you just couldn’t wake up from. And here we are.
I moved back to the Comstock I July of 2016 after a 32 year absence. I watched the 2014 election from Placer County and saw second hand the effort to discredit Sheriff Antinoro in the 2014 election cycle. I did so through the clear words of Angela Mann when The Comstock Chronicle was an actual journalistic endeavor and not a pathetic Comstock Mining Company/TRIC Public Relations pom-pom it is today. I read about the endless dissection of the handling of the Black case with all the accusations of mishandling the investigation.
Two weeks after the election I sat through the Judy Black hearing as District Attorney Langer made her case against Brett Black. Sitting through the first day of the hearing and seeing the gruesome pictures of Judy Black’s corpse, I was struck by the picture of her naked torso displayed on screen for all to see. I remember flashing on the “anonymous” smear letter containing the leaked coroner’s report and thinking, “I wonder if Lance Gilman would have hesitated for a New York second sending this picture of Judy Black in his hit piece if he had access to it?”.
Let’s be honest about the facts. Sheriff Antinoro very well may have made critical errors in his investigation at the scene. He may have been in error in not arresting Brett Black that morning. He very well may be guilty of sticking to his guns, unwilling to acknowledge a mistake, and making matters worse by digging his heels in the sand. The case could and has been made he made mistakes in his handling of the Judy Black investigation.
As wrong as Sheriff Antinoro may have been, Lance Gilman’s exploiting the tragedy of Judy Black to exact his vendetta against Sheriff Antinoro is so much more wrong.
Disgustingly. Sickeningly. Vastly. More. Wrong.
Anyone with a functioning moral compass should hold these acts as contemptible. Yet some consider Lance Gilman as he sees himself; the benevolent benefactor generously dispensing milk and honey into cups overflowing for all who dwell in our silvery slice of heaven.
To exact retribution against Sheriff Antinoro by exploiting this woman’s personal tragedy in such a recklessly inhuman manner speaks to the heart Lance Gilman’s character. As Storey County residents we must ask ourselves: does this man place the needs of the county and the well being of it’s citizens ahead of his own self-interests?
As I work on a couple of pieces digging into TRIC and Mustang I hope to bring this point into question; Who does Lance Gilman serve?