This is the last of three articles profiling the brothel industry’s legal crusader and lobbyist in Carson City, George Flint.
Flint’s Principle of
In my interview, George Flint revealed what I believe is a fundamental principle of politics and a real weakness of democracy. I call it “Flint’s Principle of Political Exploitation.”
Flint said that the biggest problem when it comes to legal and humane prostitution is not found with the public or the voter. He said, “The biggest problem is the political opposition.
“If a politician shows strong support for prostitution, an opponent is likely to use that against him at election time, saying he’s a pimp or he’s soft on crime or he supports infidelity in marriage.”
Flint said a few years previously, he went to a certain state legislator and asked, “Would you support my bill for Clark County?” The legislator looked at Flint and smiled. He said, “Not if I want to get re-elected.” Flint added, “And he wasn’t talking about the electorate. He’s talking about how in a campaign, the opposition uses that to beat you up,” to damage an opponent.
This, interestingly enough, is what happened with Yucca Mountain. Most Nevadans weren’t that opposed to Yucca Mountain in the first years of the project. But, over time, clever politicians with loud voices used the issue to beat up on those who spoke in favor of Yucca Mountain, and in doing so gained political power.
Stories from George Flint
George Flint is one of the best storytellers I have ever met. Some of his stories relate to prostitution in Nevada. He told me about an assistant district attorney from a major city in the upper Midwest who was visiting Reno in connection with the National Judicial College. He was staying at the Nugget in Sparks.
One evening he called the bell captain and said, “Listen, good buddy. Tell me how to get out to the Mustang Ranch.” The bell captain replied, “Why? Do you want a woman?” The guest replied, “Of course. I kind of would like that.” The bell captain replied, “You don’t need to go out to it. I’ll send one of our best up to your room.” The guest asked, “That’s okay?” The bell captain said, “Of course it’s okay.”
About 15 minutes later, a gorgeous long-legged blonde showed up at his door.
Afterwards, he fell asleep. When he woke up, his Rolex and all his cash were missing. The man called John Ascuaga, the owner of the hotel, on the phone. He was probably in his mid-70s at the time. The man explained the theft and Ascuaga replied, “Oh, you must be mistaken. We don’t deal that way here. This is a family operation.” The man replied, “Well, it may have been, but not as far as the bell captain was concerned.”
But the guest didn’t let it drop. He went to the Sparks Police Department to file a complaint, at which time the police set him straight.
He was told, “You know, she committed a crime, but so did you by having her in your room” and paying her for sex. The man ended up being demoted from senior assistant district attorney.
Flint also tells numerous stories regarding his career in marrying couples. He said a fellow called him on the phone and said, “Reverend, you married me a couple of years ago and I have a question for you.” Flint replied, “Go ahead; what’s your question?” He said, “If you never constipated the marriage, is it still legal?” Flint, not believing what he had heard, said, “What did you say to me?” The man repeated his question. He said, “We never constipated the marriage.”
Flint replied, “What are you trying to tell me?” The man said, “We never had sex.” George Flint said he did not correct the man’s failure to use the intended word, consummate, and responded,
“Whether you had sex or not doesn’t affect whether it’s legal or not.” He added, “There’s lots of us that don’t have sex.”
Staying honest with lawmakers
George Flint is very proud of the fact that he’s never lied to a legislator. He has never conned one. “I’ve never embarrassed him or her.”
After saying that, he told the following story:
It seems that one of his favorite political leaders had been in the state assembly and was turned down in the primary so he decided to run for an open seat in the senate. An assemblywoman, it seems, was also turned out, and had decided to take the man on. Flint knew both of them but felt closer to the man.
One day during the election campaign, the woman called Flint and said, “George?” Flint replied, “Yeah, Pat?” [not her real name] She replied, “Tell me something. How many times have you comped my opponent at the whorehouse?”
Flint replied, “Pat, ask me that again. I don’t believe you said that.”
She repeated her request: “I want to know how many times you comped [the individual] to the brothel.”
Flint replied, “Well, you know, I’m not going to tell you I’ve ever comped him at all. But if I had’ve I wouldn’t tell you, any more than I would tell you I comped your husband.”
The man beat the woman overwhelmingly in the election.
Bob McCracken has a doctorate in cultural anthropology and is the author of numerous books in the Nye County Town History Project, including a history of Pahrump.