You didn’t think Oscar Goodman, who has done nothing quietly in his life that I know of, would go away quietly from the Las Vegas Mayor’s office, did you?
Goodman is term-limited in 2011, but the longtime mob defense lawyer has never let a silly thing like the law stop him from making a persuasive argument. If the guy had accepted the status quo of reality, he would have starved as an attorney and certainly never would have run for office.
But he did run and won in memorable landslides. Even his worst critics would have to give him begrudging respect for his efforts at downtown redevelopment and in promoting the sizzle of Las Vegas to the outside world.
As ever, Goodman is looking for an angle that gives him the best of it and another four years in office.
Beyond the fact the position mainlines his ego, and Goodman admits he’s addicted to the “adulation” that accompanies the duty that pays him annually about what he used to spend on suits and boots, his attempt tells you a couple things.
First, he doesn’t want to quit without completing downtown redevelopment. The Union Park plan might go forward without him, but it will surely move at a greater speed with him doing the brokering.
Second, he doesn’t want to leave Las Vegas and run for lieutenant governor. And, third, his wife Carolyn Goodman is wisely having some doubts about whether she wants to enter the political spotlight.
The key here is a 1996 attorney general’s opinion that essentially limits term limits to those who have a legislative component to their duty. Electeds without that legislative duty are not subject to term limits.
Of course, the mayor’s job has a legislative component. Goodman would have to persuade the Legislature to change the City Charter and redefine the mayoral duties in Las Vegas. It’s a long shot, in my mind.
But then I thought creating a Mob Museum was the edge of insanity. I thought downtown redevelopment was a bridge too far for Glitter Gulch. I thought Goodman would never survive the gin-and-showgirls shtick long enough to complete his first term, much less be seen going strong and looking for four more olives in the oversized martini glass of his political career.
Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley has suggested Goodman run for lieutenant governor, and if that makes perfect sense you’re not Oscar the Great, World’s Happiest Mayor.
Lieutenant governor? In Carson City?
And quit show business?