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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.

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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

 

 

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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.

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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

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.


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.

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. 

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FABULOUS LAS VEGAS!


Thursday, October 11, 2012
  6:00pm until 10:00pm

The Consulate of the PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO in Las Vegas and The Consulate of the REPUBLIC OF POLAND in Las Vegas invite you to:

FABULOUS Las Vegas: to benefit the Liberace Foundation for the Creative and Performing Arts.

VENUE: Thriller Villa at Hacienda Palomino, the former residence of Michael Jackson in Las Vegas. http://www.facebook.com/thrillervillaAn evening of celebration of performace, to benefit the foundation created by Mr. Showmanship, at the mysterious mansion of the King of Pop, in the heart of the most visited city in the world.Artistic performances by renowned Liberace scholars and others.Culinary performaces by legendary Las Vegas chefs.

Many surprises. No auction.

$150. advance purchase only. Purchase instructions will be sent to those who join this event by clicking in the upper right.

Thriller Villa a private residence. No ticketing will be done at the event, you must be on the list to enter the gates.

Dress: FABULOUS

Parking: Valet only

The Liberace Foundation for the Creative and Performing Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission of the Liberace Foundation for the Creative and Performing Arts is to help talented students in Southern Nevada pursue careers in the performing and creative arts through scholarship assistance and artistic exposure. http://www.facebook.com/theliberacefoundation

Exclusive update from Liberace’s Living Protege Steve Garey! 

Steve Garey now serves as the Senior Vice President and resident curator of the Liberace Penthouse Event Center and Museum in Hollywood. HBO is currently filming Behind the Candlelabra at the penthouse right now. Once the production is complete the property will be put back in order ready to operate by fall 2012. 

When the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas closed three heart broken friends: Steve Garey, Bahman Sedighan, and an un-named private benefactor came together with the goal to ensure that the legacy of their dear friend Lee would live on for the next 500 years!

Steve has personally reached out to every performer still alive who worked with Liberace over his life to contribute more items for their display cases. Kay Ballard, Phyllis Diller, Debbie Reynolds, Shecky Greene, Joanne Wurley, and many others have come through to show their support by loaning items from the collection. The estate of the Queen of England has provided gifts Liberace had personally given to her. The Reagan Museum Foundation has further supported the project with items from Liberace’s friendship with the former President.

The tragic untimely death of business partner Bahman Sedighan in July 2012 has only strengthened Steve’s resolve to see his dream realized of an events center with a private museum that would pay tribute to their friend. Mr. Sedighan’s family is in full support of the project. Mr. Sedighan purchased the home for $2.55 million shortly after Liberace’s death. 

The penthouse is 5500 square feet of living space.  It features the only rooftop private pool on the west coast.  The 360 degree view is only as Liberace could do it. This venue can hold up to 200 people.  In fact it has been used in past years as a gifting suite before awards shows for celebrities to pick up gift bags featuring extraordinary products.

Check out this program from 2007 when it was used as an Oscars gift suite.

You should also check out the tour provided online from Bob’s Liberace World – Hollywood Penthouse Tour. 

Do yourself a favor and become a fan now of the Liberace Penthouse Event Center and Museum on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. 

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On PBS Liberace’s legacy lives on through the program Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook.

It appears that Michael has a better opinion of Lee than his cat. 

Check out this episode online.

Watch Saloon Singers on PBS. See more from Michael Feinsteins American Songbook.

TV4U Presents Another “Rising Stars With Denise Clemente” TV Show at the Italian American Club in Las Vegas on February 12

The local singing icon presents the finest young talent in Las Vegas for a show that appears Saturday mornings at 10:30am on local Las Vegas station KTUD-TV 25 (Cox 14) and nationally on KSHOTV.Com.

Las Vegas, NV, February 04, 2012 –(PR.com)– TV4U.Com, the 48 channel IPTV free internet television network, will return to the vaunted Las Vegas Italian American Club on Sunday, February 12 to telecast another episode of ‘Rising Stars With Denise Clemente’ for broadcast and IPTV.

The show features the top young talent in Las Vegas as coached by the show’s host, iconic Las Vegas singing star Denise Clemente. Denise Clemente has been singing at virtually every major Las Vegas Casino since she arrived in the 1970’s to star at Frank Rosenthal’s Stardust Hotel and Casino. She has also appeared on the Tonight Show, Merv Griffin Show, and Dinah Shore Show. For many years she opened for Liberace, and has opened for dozens of Las Vegas legends such as Bill Cosby, Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett, and David Brenner.

The show has been airing on a video on demand basis on KSHOTV.Com since April 2011. KSHOTV.Com, which features all Las Vegas themed shows, is one of the 48 IPTV channels located on the TV4U.Com IPTV network. Now, the show has started it’s broadcast syndication, beginning at KTUD-TV 25 in Las Vegas. It also appears on Channel 14 on Cox Cable in Las Vegas.

Each half hour episode showcases several of the top young ‘Rising Stars’ in Las Vegas. Many of these youngsters have moved on to professional careers in Las Vegas and Hollywood.

“I grew up in the Philadelphia area watching Al Alberts and his ‘Al Alberts Showcase’ on WFIL-TV,” said Denise Clemente. “The show inspired me to carry on that wonderful tradition with the youngsters in Las Vegas. It is very rewarding – and a lot of fun.”

The show is broadcast from the Sorrento Room of the Italian American Club in Las Vegas. The Italian American Club is the oldest Italian Restaurant in Las Vegas. It features five star chef Franco Spinelli and the finest Italian Wines, Beers, and Foods. Monthly, it has revived the Las Vegas Dinner Show, with Denise Clemente joining Lou DeMeis in the December Show, and Las Vegas legend Jerry Tiffe just completing a show for PBS syndication in January.

“We are very proud to have Denise Clemente host her wonderful TV show here,” said IAC President Angelo Cassaro. “We support our youth with many athletic, entertainment, and scholarship programs and are always honored to have a star the magnitude of Denise Clemente grace our stage.”

“Rising Stars Starring Denise Clemente” is one of 25 different TV program series currently being produced by TV4U via it’s TVS Television Network division. The TVS Television Network is the fourth oldest commercial TV network in the USA, having been founded in 1961. It has produced major sports and entertainment events for TV including major college basketball, college football bowl games, Portraits of Power, Po Bowling, Pro Golf, Pro Tennis, major concerts, and talk shows.

TVS Television Network, TV4U.Com, and KSHOTV.Com are all owned by Margate Entertainment, a Henderson, Nevada based independent audio, video and print content provider.

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