Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello, the powerful capo of the Genovese family who controlled gay bars, ran gambling junkets and trafficked illicit drugs, was "a friend and hidden partner" of Kirk Kerkorian according to an FBI informant in a 1973 memo recently obtained by this blog. The FBI memo provides:
In June, 1973, [informant] advised the subject [Ianniello] is a friend and hidden partner of KIRK KERKORIAN, the head of Tracey Investments Corporation, and the largest stockholder of Metro Goldwyn Mayer stocks. KERKORIAN is allegedly planning to build the largest hotel-casino in Las Vegas to be called "The Grand Hotel."
Kerkorian died last year at 98 years old, and upon his passing Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, "who became acquainted with Kerkorian as an attorney representing the businessman's brother in the 1960s and 1970s," eulogized Kerkorian from the Senate floor as reported by the Review-Journal:
"He was just a really interesting, wonderful man," Reid said. "He is one of the personalities I will never forget. My relationship with him is one of the special things in my life. I feel so fortunate to be able to talk on a personal basis about this man. He was one of a kind."
Harry Reid long has been dogged by allegations that he was a tool of the Mafia during his former days as Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Reid was called "'Mr. Clean Face' by Kansas City mobster Joe Agosto who had turned federal witness in the FBI's case against the mob skimming of casino dollars," and "Agosto was recorded on FBI tape saying that 'I gotta Clean Face in my pocket'" as reported by John Kass for the Chicago Tribune. The good senator says he was called "Clean Face" because he was beyond reproach. Of course, that's the point of a "clean face" or a "clean name" as a tool or front: someone who seemingly is above suspicion in doing the mob's bidding.
Who ya gonna believe: the mobster or the politician?
Further reading that may be of interest: