Can Las Vegas be Embarrassed?
Sin City's Standards Skewed
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
August 4, 2003
"I'll do everything
I can to see this man is punished for trying to embarrass Las Vegas
as a result
of a lie and a scam."- Mayor Oscar
Goodman, Los Angeles Times, July 26, 2003
Oscar Goodman and
Joey Cusumano and Oscar Goodman
1986 SUN FILE PHOTO
Last year, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman refused to pursue administrative
action against the violence plagued Crazy Horse Too owned by the "very
best friend in the world" of Oscar's former client Joey
Cusumano. But last month, in a nationally televised tirade, Goodman
vowed to punish a practical joker for "embarrassing" Sin City for
staging hoax Bambi hunts! What gives?
Bambi was a spoof orchestrated by promoter Michael Burdick. It
gained national publicity for its' ridiculous claim of providing naked
women as prey to be shot at with paint ball guns by "hunters" willing
to pay $5,000 to $10,000 for the safari experience. Most laughed it off,
but the Mayor of Las Vegas took it seriously.
However, during the summer of 2002, Oscar did not take seriously the
and state laws that prohibit teenage strippers in city liquor bars
including the Crazy Horse, a topless joint
that received 737 recorded police responses in three years followed by
an FBI organized
crime raid. Now, Oscar says Hunting Bambi has "embarrassed"
his city and wants to bring the operator before the City Council in a business
license revocation action,
something he refused to do when much more egregious problems involved his
former client's adult business, problems including alleged credit
card fraud, coercion,
Referring to the Bambi hoax while ignoring the teenage stripper problem,
Goodman grandstanded before network TV cameras saying, "We have jail
space and judges who take this kind of conduct seriously in the city of
Las Vegas." In response to a reporter's question, he said he is "not
going to tolerate any violence toward women. ... We're not going to let
people assault and batter women."
"Assault and batter women?" What about the experience teenage
girls have behind closed doors in the VIP room of his buddy's topless bar?
The "Bambi's" shown being paint balled on TV news programs were
anything but fawns, some looked like they had been "hunted" for
several decades. The Mayor was outraged! But when it comes to exploiting
teenagers, the Mayor looks the other way - its not "embarrassing"
as far as he's concerned.
When Clark County Commissioners began enforcing the state law that prohibits
18 year olds from being present in liquor serving establishments, then
vanishing into VIP parlors with patrons to sell lap dances, etc., Goodman
was not embarrassed to go to the defense of the Crazy Horse and other city
adult venues that exploit teenagers.
an adult community, an adult playland. Let's not pretend to be something
we're not. I think anything that's legal should be here." Goodman went
on, "There's no prostitution taking place, and if there was, they should
arrest them, not make some big fuss as to what some 18-year-old girl is
doing to make a living." "When you're 18, you're allowed to die for your
country, so why can't some young lady or young man perform?"
DEAN PATTI, left, attorney for
the Crazy Horse Too,
questions the language in a section
of a proposed stripper
regulation during a City Council
meeting. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar
Goodman, right, said the
regulations were unnecessary.
STEVE MARCUS / LAS VEGAS SUN
But when it comes to old guys in kakis shooting paint balls at naked
ladies in the desert, Oscar was truly embarrassed for the sake of his city.
(I wonder if he would be so embarrassed if one of his cronies had come
up with the idea?)
Speaking of embarrassing our town, Goodman in 1999, was spotted entertaining
"Charlie Moose" Panarella at City Hall. Panarella who is listed in
the state's Black Book is reportedly a member of the Colombo crime family
and was convicted nine years ago on drug money laundering that involved
a Vegas casino. When a story about the get
together appeared in a local paper, Goodman threatened the reporter
saying, "I'm going to bar you from City Hall if you keep asking questions
like that," I'll bar you from City Hall." Goodman was not embarrassed
by his actions.
In November 2000, Goodman got mad at one of his Councilmen. After having
a few martinis, Goodman was confronted by TV reporters
, with his speech slurred Goodman burst out with, "He's a government rat,
a wimp, vermin, a piece of garbage, the lowest form of human being, and
a sleaze ball. I'm going to get rid of him. I have no use for him." Three
years later, Goodman endorsed the same Councilman's reelection bid. The
Mayor found no embarrassment in his actions.
In November 2001, Oscar said,
now, I'm going to urge all able-bodied constituents to go out and have
a lap dance." Even that statement did not embarrass our mayor.
In 2002, Goodman sealed a $100,000 contract to endorse
Bombay Sapphire gin and donate the money to charity. This did not embarrass
Goodman unabashedly once
said he'd rather have his daughter date Chicago mob enforcer Anthony
Spilotro than an FBI agent. Goodman was also known for saying, "There
is no mob."
In March, 2003, Goodman invited a man
listed in the Nevada Black Book to his daughter's engagement party. When
asked about the man's presence, Goodman said. "What I do at my home
is my business." Oscar's lack of embarrassment sparked this reaction
from Nevada Gaming Control Board member Bobby Siller, former head of the
FBI in Nevada, "Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman's decision to host at
his home a mob associate
banned from Nevada's casinos is an embarrassment to the state, an embarrassment
for Las Vegas and an embarrassment for gaming."
In June, 2003, Goodman was sued for defamation. The lawsuit claims the
Mayor called a man a liar on national TV and said he wanted to "whack
this guy," referring to a man who last year told authorities
he intercepted a cell phone conversation describing a planned terrorist
attack on the city during the Fourth of July holiday. The plaintiff wants
a public apology, but Goodman has so far refused. Nothing embarrassing
Now Oscar condones the exploitation of teenage girls who work in his
friend's topless bar, but this doesn't embarrass him at all.
Hunting Bambi should be the least of Oscar's worries when it
comes to embarrassing this town. Oscar's own actions are our town's foremost
embarrassment! If Mayor Goodman hasn't embarrassed Vegas to death by now
with his own outrageous and insensitive actions, then this town is impossible
Copyright © Steve Miller
email Steve Miller at: Stevemiller4lv@aol.com