Governor Donal “Mike” O’Callaghan replaced Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Peter Echeverria with Reid in mid-1977, in the midst of the new Chicago Mafia move into town spearheaded by Agosto. As chairman, one of Reid’s first acts was to approve the sale of the Hacienda hotel-casino (now the site of Mandalay Bay), controlled by a Chicago Mafia front company called Argent Corporation, to former lounge musician Paul Lowden. Reid approved the sale despite objections from the state’s Gaming Control Board alleging the involvement of Lowden with hidden associates from a company based in San Diego. Also in 1977 Reid and the Nevada Gaming Commission initially approved the deal that allowed Agosto’s associates to skim funds from the Tropicana for two years before Reid decided to “kick the mob out of Las Vegas”. In 1978 Reid’s commission approved applications for new Reno and Lake Tahoe ventures by the Del E. Webb Corporation, named for Del Webb, a Phoenix construction contractor whose Las Vegas buildings had been used by Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky for skimming funds. After the use of Reid’s name by Agosto and his associates was reported by papers in mid-1979, Reid and the Gaming Commission approved transfer of control of the Tropicana from Agosto’s group to the Phoenix-based Ramada hotel chain, which had been founded with initial investment input from Webb.
By 1980 Reid had been cleared of Agosto’s allegations by the Carter Justice Department (then also in the process of bringing about virtually no successful prosecutions in Billygate, Koreagate, ABSCAM, BCCI, or the investigation of cocaine use by Treasury Secretary Hamilton Jordan). Since then Reid has received contributions from various donors connected with the gambling industry, including:
Reid has received contributions from various donors connected with the gambling industry, including:
--Moe Dalitz, associated with the Cleveland mob, the Desert Inn, the Stardust Resort & Casino, and Rancho La Costa.
--Irwin Molasky and Merv Adelson, who partnered with Dalitz in developing Rancho La Costa but deny any criminal associations.
--Morris Shenker, an attorney associated with the St. Louis Mafia, Meyer Lansky, Jimmy Hoffa, and the Dunes Hotel.
--Paul Lowden, who after purchasing the Hacienda in 1977 from Argent Corporation purchased the Sahara Resort and Casino in 1982 from Del Webb.
--Ed and Fred Doumani, associated with the Tropicana Hotel, the El Morocco casino, Agosto, and Joey Cusumano, former lieutenant of Chicago Mafia representative Anthony Spilotro; Agosto’s infiltration of the Tropicana was facilitated in 1975 when the Chicago and Kansas City Mafia families conspired to block a Teamsters Central States Pension Fund loan to the Doumanis; when Argent Corporation’s gambling license was revoked in 1979 Argent initially agreed to sell its holdings to the Doumanis; later in 1983 the Doumanis loaned funds to the now-bankrupt Agosto.
--Bart Rizzolo, who along with his son Rick Rizzolo operates the Crazy Horse Too strip club; associated with the Doumanis and Joey Cusumano.
--Kirk Kerkorian, owner at various times of Caesar’s Palace (built with financing from the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund), the Flamingo Hotel (sold in 1970 to the Hilton Hotels Corporation, partly financed in the 1940s by Henry Crown, who also financed Chicago mob associate Jacob Arvey, and later associated with mob lawyer Sidney Korshak), and the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (built on the heels of Kerkorian’s acquisition of controlling MGM shares from Edgar Bronfman, son of Lansky bootlegging associate Samuel Bronfman; Bronfman’s son Edgar Jr. has also been a Reid contributor).
--Steve Wynn, a casino developer who used profits from a 1970 deal involving Howard Hughes and Caesar’s Palace to purchase the Golden Nugget; described in a Scotland Yard report as a front man for New York’s Genovese Mafia family.
--Joseph Alioto, a San Francisco politician related to Milwaukee Mafia boss John Alioto; alleged by informer Jimmy “the Weasel” Fratianno to be associated with San Diego Mafia boss Frank “the Bomp” Bompensiero, a charge Alioto denied; implicated in the Koreagate Congressional bribe scandal.
--Tony Coelho, a corrupt former Congressman who in 1997 at the time of his donation to Reid was involved in a business venture with El Rancho, a Las Vegas casino formerly run by Ed Torres, an associate of Meyer Lansky.
While receiving donations from such sources, Reid has remained associated with the two attorneys involved in the Justice Department probe of Agosto’s allegations, Jay H. Brown and Oscar Goodman. Brown has been a regular contributor to Reid’s campaigns since 1982, and his law firm Singer & Brown lists Reid as a reference in one online profile. In January 2006 Reid and Goodman--now the Mayor of Las Vegas--discussed the possibility of Goodman running for Senate, with Reid describing Goodman to the press as “a very, very strong candidate”. Meanwhile Goodman had recently created a local scandal by throwing a party with a guest list which included Joey Cusumano, legally barred from Las Vegas casinos for his ties to the Chicago Mafia. Goodman’s open association with Cusumano was called by former Las Vegas FBI chief Bobby Siller “an embarrassment to the state, an embarrassment for Las Vegas and an embarrassment for gaming”. Another former Las Vegas FBI chief, Joseph Yablonsky, said of Goodman, “'Mob lawyer' is a title Goodman has relished and promoted over the years, although it's contradictory to his sporadic and inane denials that organized crime exists in the United States. The 'boys' in Chicago, Kansas City and elsewhere must be elated about their guy in Vegas. They're probably thinking 'we'll have some political juice there again.'”
Mr. Cleanface’s Dirty Laundry: Harry Reid’s Mob Money
Cosmopolitician: 1001 Reasons To Fire Harry Reid | HarryReidVotes.com