Mayor crushes pundit's dreams of scoring the BIG interview

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee has hurt my feelings.

I write this with Kleenex nearby, as I may burst into tears at any time. But I must sadly inform you, dear readers, that the mayor of Nevada’s near-bankrupt city will not come on my program.

I am not angry. I am not surprised. I am devastated.

So I write this not out of spite but to let you know Lee apparently is nurturing a grudge against lil ole me for, apparently, referring to him as a “backbencher” when he was in the Legislature (he was, by any metric). I think Lee, elected last spring, should come on the program and explain what he so far has failed to, including:

►What is his plan to fix his city, which is very close to being taken over by the state? He has none, apparently.

►Why did he accuse previous administrations of being dishonest but not name who he was talking about? Only KSNV's Kelsey Thomas Amber Dixon appeared to press him, and he replied he can "generally catch (sic) a wide swatch (sic)" but wouldn't name names.

►What will he do about union contracts? They were part of the problem.

Much more, too, including why he would say this about crime in his city in a KNPR interview:

“I don’t know anybody who has had their house broken into.  I don’t know anybody who’s been assaulted. I don’t know anybody who’s been robbed. It’s a beautiful place to live.”

Lee told my producer, Dana Gentry, this morning that he is “not going to come on and be called a backbencher.” Forget for a moment how petulant this is for anyone, much less an elected official. But why would I call him a backbencher when we would talk about him captaining the Titanic of cities?
Brief digression: It is always the danger of being a commentator and interviewer that some of the comments may offend those you want to interview. But the overwhelming number of people who have come on “Ralston Reports” (née “Face to Face”), no matter what I have said or written about them, would say I have been fair. End digression.

Lee also said something cryptic to Gentry about me not understanding the extent of his financial support and that if he were to come on, after three minutes, he would say, “That’s a clown question….and it will go downhill from there.”

Is he kidding? I would love that, and I would give him credit for chutzpah and humor.

In his Tuesday op-ed in the SunLee made an important, insightful point: “Nobody likes to be lied to.”

(Actually, if you think I’m fat or my hairline has receded, I would very much like to be lied to.)

Funny thing is that Dana Gentry and I were lied to. By Team Lee.

As Gentry told him, we were promised Lee would come on the show during his mayoral campaign and then after he was elected.

The bottom line: Yes, Lee was a legislative backbencher who always thought he should be something bigger, including a congressman, which he announced he wanted to be, then withdrew before being ousted in a primary for re-election.

Lee then was in the right place at the right time as North Las Vegas began to sink and, like a state or country, the chief executive had to wear it. So he erased then-Mayor Shari Buck.

But now he has to put up, and I don’t mean pabulum or fluff. If he is as good as he thinks, why would he not come on with this clown questioner?

By the way, the one thing Lee told Gentry that we can agree on is that he likes and respects her (as opposed to me, you know).  But if he thinks that kind of flattery will get you anywhere with her, he is flattering the wrong person.

I would go on. But my keyboard is getting wet with tears.