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Burke: The problem with trying to make Dennis Hof ‘mainstream’ figure

The 2017 playbook for Dennis Hof to appear more “mainstream” and have a more positive profile seemed to be a rather simple and predictable set of action steps.

Join a major political party, put up billboards letting everyone know that you joined, write articles touting individual freedoms that appeal to our residents, make some donations to local organizations, and appear to be more involved with the community. Try to downplay the whole high-profile brothel owner issue.

Unfortunately for that playbook, Mr. Hof is first and foremost a self-promoter and that works against his efforts to be mainstream. Expecting him to change reminds me of the fable of the frog and the scorpion.

In the fable, A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both.

When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies that it was in its nature to do so. It is Mr. Hof’s nature to be a self-promoter. It’s a part of his DNA. He is exceedingly good at it and has the wealth and notoriety to back it up.

In his press release announcing his new Nye County brothel he states the following: “I’ve had a license for a seventh brothel near Las Vegas for some time now, but I was waiting for the right time to launch another house of debauchery, …the Raiders coming to Vegas will mean big business for me, so my next sex den will honor the ‘Men in Black’ and their ‘Raider Nation.’”


He goes on to state that: “Pirate’s Booty will have the magnificent ‘Darrell Russell Hall of Dames,’ named after the late-great Raiders defensive tackle and well-known Bunny Ranch patron.”

For the record, Darrell Russell was suspended by the NFL for multiple drug infractions. Russell’s positive drug test in 2004 was his seventh infraction of the league’s policy.

Russell missed a year-and-a-half while serving two league suspensions before he played in eight games in 2003 for the Washington Redskins. He had frequent run-ins with the law, including a DUI and in 2002, Russell and two friends faced 25 rape and sex charges.

Alameda County prosecutors later asked a judge to dismiss all counts, citing a lack of evidence to support accusations by a Sunnyvale woman that the three men drugged, raped and videotaped. His last NFL experience was in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp in 2004. In 2005, he died in a car crash near Los Angeles along with his former USC teammate Michael Paul Bastianelli.

Wow, even more fabulous.

The moral of this modern fable is that despite his best stated intentions, Mr. Hof is a self-promoting brothel owner. For us to expect anything else is a fantasy.

It does cause me to pause and wonder what he will do for the 2018 Nye County elections. Does he choose to run again or does he instead elect to back a hand-picked candidate of his choice? Which brings to mind the phrase “birds of a feather…”.

Tim Burke is a businessman, philanthropist, educator and Pahrump president. Contact him at timstakenv@gmail.com

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