On Las Vegas ethical standards

Las Vegas ethical standards

Rossi Ralenkotter (via LinkedIn)

There’s an interesting story in today’s Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Rossi Ralenkotter, the CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, is upset an RJ reporter knocked on the front door of the gated-community home of one of Ralenkotter’s executives. I’m sure his outrage has nothing to do with some recent investigative reporting about his governmental agency by the paper, which happens to be owned by the family of a rival convention center operator.

But here’s the passage in today’s story that really caught my eye. The reporter “violated ethical standards that we in the business community of Las Vegas respect and uphold,” Ralenkotter is quoted as saying.

I have three observations here:

1/ Although I am still New To Las Vegas, it is far from clear to me that the city’s business community has much in the way of ethical standards (i.e. see the Las Vegas connection to the recent Panama Papers scandal). After all, a fair amount of the economy is grounded on vice and bribery.

2/ I immediately thought of the book-turned-movie “All the President’s Men,” which recounted considerable efforts by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward knocking on residential doors and meeting people after business hours. Their activities helped lead to the resignation of a U.S. president.

3/ What Ralenkotter really ought to be most upset about is the possibility that RJ reporters approached at their homes other LVCVA employees, who did not report those visits to him.

The LVCVA is the proud owner of the famous slogan, “What Happens Here, Stays Here,” which cheekily encourages behavior in Vegas that many might find offensive or unethical. Ralenkotter is already discovering that what’s reported here, doesn’t stay here.

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