"I believe we have the greatest city manager in the state of Nevada," crowed Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Barlow.
Reid used the ethics card against Laxalt by questioning the former governor's ties to billionaire Howard Hughes, who bought up casino properties on the Strip and spread his money around during Laxalt's term.
But when it came down to money, council members continued the recent trend of keeping a lid on employee salaries and didn't offer Fretwell a raise from her listed base salary of $177,975.
Reid challenged Laxalt to reveal his own and his family's finances to show exactly how he paid $7.5 million for the Ormsby House hotel casino in Carson City.
The council voted to give Fretwell an extra week of vacation that can't be cashed in, meaning she would actually need to take the time off to benefit.
A political showman, Reid held a news conference in October 1974 to distribute "a thick packet" of financial statements and tax returns for himself and his three brothers, the newspapers reported at the time. And Reid challenged Laxalt to do the same release financial information about himself and his siblings.
Reid, a former boxer growing up, continued to pound Laxalt on his finances, thinking he could corner him. The tactics didn't work and Laxalt won the race against the younger aggressor.
"Laxalt had relaxed the (gaming) licensing requirements for Hughes and I suspected that Hughes had in turn feathered Laxalt's nest," Reid wrote. "I made a real stink about it, insisting that Laxalt's whole family disclose their finances. To my embarrassment, Laxalt complied."
Las Vegas City Manager Betsy Fretwell's recent annual performance review included rave reviews from members of the City Council.
after your opponent as hard as you can. But leave his family out of it."
"Why yes, he said, my sister the nun who had taken a vow of poverty would be more than happy to inventory her meager finances," Reid remembered Laxalt's response. "It made me look bad, and it taught me another lesson: Go Under Armour Shoes Low Cut
Reid said he wanted to clear up the "Ormsby House mystery."
Reid, then a 34 year old lieutenant governor and lawyer, said his financial worth was $305,292.
Romney also challenged Reid to show any evidence he hasn't paid taxes.
More than three decades later, Reid said in his 2008 biography, "The Good Fight," that he regretted his actions.
say council members fawned over the city's accomplishments under Fretwell in the last year, a list that includes two new fire stations, median upgrades on major streets, a 12 percent reduction in energy costs and converting a $4 million anticipated shortfall into a $16 million surplus.
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"Harry Reid really has to put up or shut up," Romney said. "So, Harry, who are your sources?"
Sen. Harry Reid accusing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney of not paying taxes for 10 years based on no public evidence, doesn't know the political knife fighter from Under Armour Curry 3zero Team Royal/White
Reid has history of making dubious charges
Searchlight. Senate, Reid threw out all sorts of unsubstantiated charges against Paul Laxalt, the former Republican governor of Nevada who went on to defeat Reid by 611 votes in a recount. Laxalt turned 90 years old last week, an elder statesman who might be Reid's polar opposite in temperament.
"Any man or woman who will not be completely candid about his or her finances does not deserve to be in public office," Reid said, according to an Associated Press report out of Reno.
Laxalt, then 52, revealed his net worth was about $200,000 with the exception of his interest in the Ormsby House. He also attempted to show he had not profited as governor. He said his net worth in December 1961 was $167,000 and, when he left the governor's office in 1970, that figure had dropped to $102,000.
Romney has held firm so far. In a visit Friday to a trucking plant in North Las Vegas, the GOP presidential candidate said: "I have paid taxes every year. And a lot of taxes. So Harry is wrong."
In the current Romney case, Reid and President Barack Obama's campaign are insisting that if Romney has nothing to hide he should release his tax returns for the past decade. So far, he has revealed only two years worth.
Reid said there were years Laxalt had paid no income taxes and people should know why. In response, Laxalt said heavy investments in the Ormsby House exempted him from tax liability in 1972 and 1973.
NO RAISE FOR 'GREATEST CITY MANAGER'
That's despite the fact that Fretwell, as manager of the biggest city in Nevada, is paid less than the managers of smaller cities such as Reno, North Las Vegas and Henderson, according to a salary survey presented at the meeting. Executives in those cities make base salaries of $193,640, $180,000 and $225,000, respectively.
Reid, who said he was told by a former Bain Capital investor Romney hadn't paid taxes for 10 years, resurrected the ghost of Watergate. He called Romney, "The most secretive presidential candidate since Richard Nixon."
During their close 1974 campaign, Laxalt was dragged down already by the weight of the Watergate scandal involving President Richard Nixon, a Republican who resigned in his second term. Reid and any other Democrat running at the time rarely failed to bring up Watergate, and Under Armour Micro G Stephen Curry many a Republican lost that year.
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