NV Democratic lawmakers want McCarran statue removed - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

NV Democratic lawmakers want McCarran statue removed

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Current Democratic lawmakers are calling for a statue of former U.S. Sen. Patrick McCarran removed from the U.S. Capitol. Current Democratic lawmakers are calling for a statue of former U.S. Sen. Patrick McCarran removed from the U.S. Capitol.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

One of the most famous senators from Nevada may have his statue removed from the U.S. Capitol.

You might not know Sen. Patrick McCarran, but you know his legacy. McCarran was responsible for Las Vegas international airport, changing the future of airports and the airline industry.

Despite this, current lawmakers in the Silver State want his statue gone, because they believe his legacy is racism. 

"I wrote a letter to the state legislature. That's where the action has to happen," said Rep. Dina Titus, D-NV, who, along with other Democratic lawmakers in Nevada, wants the statue down.

"McCarran did some things, good things," Titus conceded. "But, he has taken racist, xenophobic positions. we get 3 million visitors from all over the world. Let's put our best face forward."

In Titus' letter to Gov. Brian Sandoval, she writes, in part, "We should strive to honor leaders and people who emulate the American values of compassion, inclusion and diversity."

There is a bit of irony in the move coming from current Democrats, as Clark County Museum curator and historian Mark Hall Patton points out.

"He was always a very proud Democrat," Patton said.

According to Patton, the former lawmaker pushed through the McCarran Act, which set up camps for disloyal Americans. McCarran also pushed for the tightening of immigration and introduced a law to deny immigrants based on their politics, Patton said.

Patton said McCarran was also a successful lawyer and a chief justice of the Nevada Supreme Court.

"The fact is Patrick McCarran - first native born senator from Nevada - (is) hugely important in Nevada history," Patton said. "He did a lot for the state. Without him we wouldn't have the airport."

Despite McCarran's calls for banning immigrants based on political beliefs and internment camps for non-patriotic Americans, none of those proposals came to life.

McCarran served as U.S. senator from 1933 until 1954 when he passed away in office.

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