By CRAIG HIGGINS
It wasn’t exactly like the sun not rising, or the roof of your home catching fire. But Dennis Hof is the Republican nominee for the District 36 State Assembly seat.
Hof of course is a minor celebrity in the communities outside of Las Vegas, albeit not for anything anyone would brag about at a dinner party. By his own admission he’s a pimp. The biggest brothel owner in America, made famous from his multiple bordellos, his HBO Cathouse reality TV series and specials, and even a book. Hof certainly brought a level of notoriety to his campaign. National reports reveled in the ‘Trump of Pahrump’ as a legitimate candidate. To them, the American Pimp is this humorous, harmless figure, a bald, hulking raconteur fond of American flag-themed short-sleeved shirts, always accompanied by a bevy of beautiful women.
But some things are best seen from afar. Up close and personal, Hof’s candidacy for the District 36 seat has definable features. Out here in the rurals we face the consequence of having such a man represent us in Carson City. Fortunately, Mr. Hof has provided some real snapshots of his personality and outlook on politics and life from his campaign literature, which has shown up in the form of his ‘Hof-ington Post’ mail-outs.
Ever thought you would wake up to the day you’d have correspondence from an internationally notorious brothel owner? Yeah, me neither.
The first time I opened one of his letters I thought it was a joke, a publicity ploy by an amoral con man. But, the more I began to read his musings, the more I understood his perspective. After all, its one thing to try to judge somebody by a carefully-edited clip off Youtube – it’s another thing to get it from the source.
And, what a source Dennis Hof is!
What struck me as interesting about Hof’s approach was the way in which he attempted to paint his primary opponent James Oscarson as being this subversive tax-and-spend career politician, his rhetoric shot throughout with schoolyard bully taunting. He claims Oscarson is guilty of raising taxes, but where does Hof ever give any direct evidence of this? There is a mention that Oscarson voted “…for the largest tax hike in Nevada history but made excuses for breaking his word in order to get more public school programs.”
So, is James Oscarson a liar because he voted for taxes to fund education? And was he fibbing to his constituents about why? Or is Hof just throwing around buzz words in an attempt to demonize his opponent?
In another mail-out Hof calls Oscarson “The Big Selloutski” (what does that even mean?) and then spends time explaining the obvious contradiction of some of his employees promoting a Hookers for Hillary drive in 2016, an unpopular sentiment in the region. But it’s all cool, explains Hof – he had other workers put their support behind Tarts for Trump. Rather than fess up and admit he was playing both sides of the fence he instead blasted Oscarson for belaboring the obvious.
Of course, the primaries are all water under the bridge now, and Dennis Hof is the nominee.
It’s possible that Hof won’t get the gig. He still has to vanquish Democrat Lesia Romanov, an educator and assistant principal; I leave it up to the reader to decide what odds to place on Romanov trying to out-fund-raise and out-campaign such a high-profile figure in a very conservative political district.
I’m still at a loss as to who these people were who felt comfortable pulling the primary lever for Hof. Personally, I’m reminded of the feeling I had when infamous ex-Klansman and white supremacist David Duke nabbed the GOP nomination for governor in my home state of Louisiana in the early 1990s. Some voters thought this would be good, and they supported the former Grand Wizard until the bitter end. His opponent, former governor Edwin Edwards, benefitted from a popular bumper sticker that was prevalent on the backs of vehicles in the months prior to the election.
It read: “Vote for the Crook, It’s Important.”
That may not be the best advice this time around.
Still, he shouldn’t get too comfortable while scheming to conquer Carson City. Nevada voters may ban prostitution in two counties where its legal, and if that happens Hof can kiss his empire of dirt goodbye. Shoot, maybe that’s why he’s getting into politics: he can still be in the spotlight even if the state puts him out of business.
The question remains: Who voted for this man?
I think it’s an important question.
After all, what sorts of people are usually represented by pimps?
And how does that relationship usually work out?
Craig Higgins is an educator, husband, and Logandale resident. Born in New Orleans, LA and with 15 years of misadventures in Texas under his belt, he has settled in the Moapa Valley area with his amazing wife Kenna and dog Helen. He enjoys reading, exercising, and running.