I have enjoyed each and every one of the more than 250 different articles I have written about Liberace.  Lee has been a true inspiration in my life and I will forever carry with me the fascinating lessons learned in researching his great American story. It has been wonderful to meet so many of his friends I have the privilege to call my own. I will always be committed to preserving his great legacy.

Notable among Lee’s friend it was my privilege to work for his friend Steve Rossi who was not only a legendary Las Vegas entertainer in his own right, he was also in the same Hollywood television coaching classes with Lee before they both hit it big. Steve was in Mae West’s revue and Lee was her dear friend. I worked for Steve on many of his projects and had the honor of assisting his family in his final days to his memorial service in June 2014.

I made the decision to run for office because as Lee did I believe in an America for all. I am standing up for education policies that are not one size fits all. Had common core been around when Lee was a little boy he would have been labeled a failure and pushed into remediation. Lee was a genius – just not one that would be quantified on a standardized test. I don’t believe future generations of talent need to be stifled.

Today we live in an age of equality for all. I support marriage equality and could not in clear conscience live in a district represented by someone who votes in elected office against this value I hold true. May no future generation endure the discrimination which limited choices available to Lee to balance his private and professional life.

Throughout my life I am always meeting new people and make new connections to Lee. I plan to be back after the election to resume writing. I carry a little of Lee’s spirit with me walking and knocking on doors in my district by wearing sequin and rhinestone deck shoes. At least once a day someone notices my shoes and has to drag me in their house to see their Liberace treasures. Lee really is everywhere. Liberace fans are hilarious, kind, and always the first to compliment talent.

So if you are interested check out my campaign for office. If you are in Las Vegas come on out to one of my events. May you always hold the joy of Liberace in your heart!

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As readers of this blog over the last 4 years know I am a committed community activist concerned about the issues that impact our families. When I first started writing this blog our families were struggling through the great recession, and many continue to make a slow recovery.

I have researched the issues and done my best to encourage us all to enter public comment when possible on the issues. Over the years I found that education in Nevada had become a game of “GOTCHA” politics where even those of us watching it closely were surprised by the changes made to our education system so swiftly. Unfortunately we always have had money for programs to serve corporations in their goal to make money off of our kids rather than actually listen to parents, students, and experienced classroom teachers about what will actually work for our students. Video End Bump

I attended hearings on education reform disappointed to see that these meetings were filled with special interest lobbyists at times when classroom teachers and parents busy working their jobs and raising their families never could make it to participate. The methods online to share your input are convoluted and not user friendly. Nor were lawmakers actively seeking those who would take exception to these new policies to have their voices heard. Few if any keep a blog or manage a website dedicated to constituent outreach to keep concerned citizens in the loop on important legislation that will later affect the lives of citizens.

Then I followed the money. I was disappointed to see that the same group of lobbyists have paid off both political parties to push through this agenda.

I got mad. First I tried to find a candidate to run for office. Few people want to speak truth to power no matter how committed they are to the principle because it is tremendously time consuming and for an inexperienced candidate it is both an expensive and daunting task. Given my experience operating grassroots campaigns and social media I had no other choice than to look in the mirror.

Don’t for a second pass off my candidacy as a politically naive homemaker doing this as a hobby. I have political experience and knew what this race would entail – and I did it anyway. Yes, my opponent is a prolific fundraiser and will outspend my campaign on nasty photoshopped pictures of me. He will pull out some vague half truth and try to run with it. That’s politics. What I can offer is that I will be an active force in the community my opponent had his opportunity to be his one session in office and passed on it.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about my campaign. I am not a single issue candidate. Education however was the final draw that made me file for this election cycle. I am well versed on all of the legislative issues which is why I have held my own and earned the endorsement of several community organizations.

What I will do different is to fully engage the community as I have done on every cause I have worked on. I know that parents have the right to speak up and I will bring forward hearings in our own district to make this happen. Our district is impacted by many issues that have outreach events done by legislators on the other side of town – but never in our district. That has to change.

assembly-district-13-map

If you are big enough to do it – Be big enough to own it. I will own my position as your next Assemblywoman with job number one to be a voice for our families. The economy is coming back and its important that our views be at the table to ensure the budget cuts to essential services are restored before corporate special interests get new tax breaks.

I am not the candidate hand picked by the political establishment to keep the status quo rolling of finger pointing and kicking the can down the road. I don’t owe any political favors. My job will be to represent the people of the assembly district I call home in the far northwest Nevada assembly district 13.

Please consider joining my campaign at ChristineKramar.com or on social media below:

Kramar 2014

 

 

Blog Post Candidate Disclosure

A classic piece from 20/20 about Liberace.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1441-N-Kaweah-Rd-Palm-Springs-CA-92262/18023570_zpid/

Check out this gem of an interview between Liberace and Marvin Scott as a preview to his Radio City Music Hall show April 4th.

New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV

[trib_ndn wid=1 vid=24837909]

It was a cloudy spring day in 1985 when sunshine suddenly brightened the WPIX studio with the presence of the incomparable Liberace.  His warm smile showcased teeth as white as the keys on the piano. Wearing a cream-colored striped suit, pale-blue shirt and sky-blue tie and jewel-encrusted rings on both hands, he charmed everyone in sight.

He greeted me like we were old friends as we discussed the interview we were going to do live in the “Spotlight” segment of Independent Network News Midday Edition, which I co-anchored with the former first lady of New York Donna Hanover.

Though outwardly flamboyant, this mega star was more reserved and humble as we spoke one-on-one prior to the interview.  While I had questions for him, he wanted to know about me, where I was from and how long I had been in the news business.  He seemed genuinely interested.

View original post 630 more words

Online information clearing house the Foundation Center provides the following information publicly available from the IRS regarding non-profit institutions.

Interesting facts from the returns which I have linked in the table below

Highlights of Liberace Foundation IRS Form 990
Tax form Tax Year Dates # Museum Visitors # Student grants Date Recvd by IRS Expenses Income Net Worth total grants link
2001 9/1/2001 -8/31/2002 72999 26 17-Jan-02 $901,793 $1,113,849 $13,076,459 $210,650 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200208_990.pdf
2002 9/1/2002-8/31/2003 72916 18 not legible $972,028 $1,252,033 $13,106,761 $151,000 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200308_990.pdf
2003 9/1/2003-8/31/2004 60937 25 1-Mar-05 $1,310,905 $1,197,302 $12,776,942 $234,043 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200408_990.pdf
2004 9/1/2004-8/31/2005 53934 0 5-Apr-07 $1,332,445 $1,659,772 $20,354,958 $215,386 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200508_990.pdf
2005 9/1/2005-8/31/2006 omitted omitted 5-Apr-07 $989,099 $1,027,995 $19,248,290 $211,786 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200608_990.pdf
2006 9/1/2006-8/31/2007 omitted omitted electronic file no mark $1,171,238 $1,142,432 $18,609,008 $205,000 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200708_990.pdf
2007 9/1/2007-8/31/2008 omitted omitted electronic file no mark $1,065,765 $901,595 $17,414,869 $206,518 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200808_990.pdf
Executive Compensation
Tax form Administrator Salary expense account Total link
2001 Sandra Harris $72,065 $191 $72,256 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200208_990.pdf
2002 Sandra Harris $12,376 $172,985 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200308_990.pdf
Joel Strote $62,500 $98,109
2003 Jamie James $30,000 $4,323 $213,451 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200408_990.pdf
Joel Strote $176,667 $2,461
2004 Anna Nateece $12,430 $799 $178,330 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200508_990.pdf
Joel Strote $164,150 $951
2005 Jamie James $26,250 $0 $90,417 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200608_990.pdf
Darin Hollingsworth $64,167 $0
2006 Tanya Combs $52,100 $7,578 $195,214 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200708_990.pdf
Darin Hollingsworth $124,500 $11,036
2007 Tanya Combs $72,962 $7,597 $204,051 http://tfcny.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/953/953044116/953044116_200808_990.pdf
Darin Hollingsworth $114,400 $9,092


When Liberace passed away his personal physician Dr. Ron Daniels fought to have his cause of death listed primarily as encephalitic emphysema which Lee clearly suffered from in addition to AIDS. Absent the emphysema he would have survived even back then with an AIDS diagnosis and not succumbed in the manner he did from pneumonia complicated by the pre-existing emphysema. 

From my article about the grandstanding of the Riverside County coroner making Lee’s passing an epic tabloid event it was not left to the judgement of his doctor to report for his official death certificate the cause of death. Then to add insult to injury Lee’s personal physician was prosecuted for reporting emphysema as the cause of death. Enter William Ginsburg who defended Dr. Ron Daniels.

William Ginsburg defended Dr. Ron Daniels on the basis that the disease of AIDS was little understood at that time and other diseases were present at the time of death.  Read about the trial here. 

Read William Ginsburg’s LA Times obituary here. 

I love any hip montage to Lee. Enjoy!

 

Check out this cute article about how businessman Jack Stewart donated a piano once owned by Liberace and now students get to play their hearts out on this weekend in a music competition.

Liberace loved to teach piano. You can almost see him there in El Paso looking over the kids’ shoulders and telling them how to improve.

We all know this would make Lee a very happy man! He is smiling and of course correcting!

Concert update: Students work out Liberace piano before state competition

 

This is a sweet cute story about LaVerne Crandall who grew up with Liberace and performed with him in their early years.

Happy 90th Birthday LaVerne Crandall!

Read the story about her exciting life here:

Niceville dancer, contortionist performed with Liberace

What a classic!!!! Liberace’s comedic timing with a good natured Lou Ferrigno!

Lou Ferrigno is still around you can learn more about him at his official website. 

From the Las Vegas Review Journal: 

The memory of one-time Strip headliner Liberace took another step toward obscurity on Wednesday as the Liberace Foundation for Creative and Performing Arts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Please read and comment on the entire article:

Liberace Foundation files for Bankruptcy Protection

If you have never been to a Wes Winters show you are really missing out. His program is not entirely Liberace themed but Wes sure does carry on a level of showmanship that Liberace would have loved!

Much of his show is by request so if you have a burning desire to hear “I’ll Be Seeing You” I am sure Wes will gladly perform it.

Now the Wes Winters show has moved to the Rampart Casino in Las Vegas every Tuesday night at Addisons Lounge.

Check out this article in the RJ:

Former Liberace Museum favorite brings one-man show to Rampart Casino

If you have not gotten to know Wes Winters yet you should stop by his website.  Wes is one of the hidden treasures of Las Vegas that every local and visitor alike should get to know.


Bob Nye and Liberace are having a good time talking cars, business, and showmanship up in heaven.

Take a moment and read this lovely memorial to Mr. Nye from the Reading Eagle.

Ex-cop’s second life inspired by Liberace 

Courtesy of the Nye family
Bob Nye presents his idol, Liberace, right, with one of Nye’s albums, when Liberace appeared at the Hershey Arena around 1980.

I love the episode of the Muppet Show where Liberace is the very special guest star.  It has been a thrill to share this show with my own children now.

Check out the homage to Liberace and the songs done in mention and tribute of Lee at the Queer Music Heritage blog.  This is a blog written with a whole lot of passion for many artists.

 

Lee would be thrilled to know there are ways to incorporate his fabulous legacy into every holiday.

Check out: Do It Yourself Liberace Pumpkins! 

Now excuse me while I slip into something more fabulous and warm up my glue gun!

If the Liberace Museum ever opens I think it would be awesome to have decorating contests themed after Lee’s decorating prowess!

 

This just popped up onto YouTube.  It is the opening of the Liberace show as it appeared in Las Vegas.  Liberace was one of the first performers to combine a video presentation with his stage show.

This includes appearance by Scott Thorsen so I wonder if it will be reenacted in the upcoming Behind the Candelabra film.

The Liberace Show 1981

 

This is a cute interview that includes Oprah wearing one of Lee’s fur coats! What a gem! Check it out by clicking the image below or visiting this site. 

Image

I learned an interesting factoid while watching the Bob Einstein episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee that he was the hilarious cop officer Judy who pulled over Liberace on the Smothers Brothers show.

Check out the interview with Jerry Seinfeld and Bob Einstein on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.  

I hope that Jerry Seinfeld on one of his Vegas trips goes for a spin in one of Liberace’s autos! That would be great comedy!

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