First do no harm: Goodman attempts to repair the image of Las Vegas

Mayor Oscar Goodman is being chided for pulling a publicity stunt in his pursuit of an apology from President Barack Obama for a perceived slight to the delicate image of Las Vegas.

With Goodman, stagecraft and statecraft are Siamese twins. But I think he’s serious about taking after the president for his recent comment on the subject of the federal bailout: “You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.”

Obama was clearly talking only about companies that accept federal bailout billions, but Goodman says the public isn’t drawing the distinction.

“When the president of the United States says something flippantly, perhaps not with any malevolence, it gets people listening,” Goodman said. “If we keep losing meetings and conventions, it will have a real impact on our community.”

What is measurable is the amount of media attention Goodman’s antics, I mean outrage, generated. By Thursday afternoon, approximately 500 articles with “Obama, Las Vegas, and Goodman” were compiled by Google News.

Is all publicity really good publicity this time?

Has Goodman finally gone too far in attempting to defend the image of Las Vegas?

Can you actually harm the image of Las Vegas?

At his Thursday news conference, Goodman downshifted from his apology demand.

Perhaps he’ll settle for a commemorative plate and a photo opportunity to be named later.

MR. MOB: True-crime writer Michael Newton has put the finishing touches on his latest book, “Mr. Mob: The Life and Crimes of Moe Dalitz.” It’s set for release in late spring and is being touted as the first biography of Dalitz.

Las Vegans who considered Dalitz a benevolent ex-racket boss won’t like the portrait much, I’m guessing.

From the McFarland & Co. publishing Web site: “As a major architect of the United States’ national crime syndicate, Dalitz was active in various fields of organized crime from 1918 until his death, all while spinning a web of myth and mock-respectability around himself so dense that even now, two decades after his demise, most journalists mistake the legend for reality.”

Others will remember Dalitz as the fellow who used his formidable connections to help finance a generation of building in Las Vegas both on and off the Strip.

POST HASTE: It may seem like a small thing, but the residents of the Del Webb Sun City community are reeling from the news that the small post office inside their Longs Drugs will be closed now that the store has been purchased by CVS.

Many of the residents don’t drive much. Others get around in golf carts. The closest post office is located at Town Center and Summerlin Parkway, an unwise trek via golf cart.

Residents have begun a letter-writing campaign and have enlisted the assistance of Ward 4 City Councilman David Steinman, who is also the vice president of the homeowners’ board of the Sun City Summerlin Community Association.

“They have said they intend to close up the post office, and that’s causing a little bit of havoc in our community,” Steinman says. “We’re trying to do everything we can to put the heat on because of the age of the people who use that facility.”

ON THE BOULEVARD: Attorney Harold Kuehn informs me the Nye County Public Defender’s Office didn’t represent accused kidnapper Stephen James Alarid in a recent court appearance due to a conflict. Alarid was represented by private counsel when, to the chagrin of waiting sheriff’s deputies, he walked free from Pahrump Justice Court despite being wanted on multiple criminal warrants.

BOULEVARD II: On the cover of Thursday’s Review-Journal, a photograph captured Mirage dealer Donald Hampton shuffling the cards. Fans of Hampton called to remind me there was a time Hampton made news in the local sports pages as a star running back at Las Vegas High. Today, he saves his best moves for the green felt.

BOULEVARD III: If it gets a marketing boost, the documentary series “Blood Brothers Betrayed” looks like a sure winner. It explores the life and crimes of Anthony Spilotro and his childhood friend and fellow criminal Frank Cullotta, who later became a witness for the government. … ABC’s “Nightline” has finished its feature on the Las Vegas mob museum and has scheduled a Friday segment on the concept of taxing prostitution in Nevada.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at

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