Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers
of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public
Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his
website at: http://www.SteveMiller4LasVegas.com
These Billy's give me the willies!
Vassiliadis may have plagiarized A.A. motto
Walters can make $56
million off taxpayers' land
( Re-touched photo)
MATTHEW MINARD / LAS VEGAS
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 25, 2005
LAS VEGAS - Billy Vassiliadis of
R&R Advertising, in 2003, ostensibly stole Alcoholics Anonymous'
opening and closing motto:
"What you hear
here, stays here,"
and began taking credit and tax dollars for its famous offshoot, "What
happens here, stays here."
Then there's golf
course developer Billy Walters
who bought taxpayer owned land for $5,600 per acre in 1999, and now
wants to sell it for between $300,000 and $400,000 per acre to bring
a $56 million dollar windfall!
Standing up for both these less-than-stand up Billy's is Las Vegas
Mayor Oscar Goodman who, during his career as a criminal defense
lawyer, never met a crook or murderer he didn't like.
Review-Journal photo by Cariño Casas)
For a long time, few were paying attention to
either Billy, and that seemed to be the plan. Both Billy's are pillars of the community and
multimillionaires; all that's needed to qualify for protection from the
In Vassiliadis' case, he thinks
because he secretly paid the president of the Las Vegas Convention
and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) one dollar for the trademark rights to
the "stays here" motto, he can sue anyone who uses it, or its
derivatives, without his express permission on T-shirts and other items
that advertise Vegas. To help Vassiliadis
save face in what is obviously a complete sham,
Goodman is flying
around the country at
taxpayer's expense attending hearings in
support of Billy's silly lawsuits.
But the real give away came when Mayor Goodman told
Brian Allen of Channel 8 News,
"Reputations are of course at stake
whenever these issues become
At that moment, it became crystal clear that egos were driving his
decision to go to bat for R&R, and that the issue was never
intended to become public.
Billy Vassiliadis is accustomed to getting his way and not being
challenged. This is exemplified by R&R never having to compete for
LVCVA advertising contract since his
company was first selected in 1980. However, after Billy's latest
foolishness and the revelations that followed, this may change. The
LVCVA can also revoke his $67 million per year contract on thirty days
notice, but that would take a miracle since he probably had a hand in
of most of the LVCVA board members.
But what's more intriguing is that Vassiliadis is considered the
consummate local public relations man, but his latest lack of good
judgment is causing doubt as to whether he can effectively handle his
own PR? All this bad press is not a good reference for a professional
spin doctor. Meanwhile, I fan the flames.
In Billy Walters' case, this Billy obviously thinks that because his
was reportedly a big flop on the cheap land he bought from the city, he can allegedly use the "poor
boy" excuse to try to convert it into 160 acres of cookie cutter houses, and
profit up to $56 million. To help Walters, the mayor has put his
council agenda item on perpetual
hold so the controversy will cool down before bringing it back for
the third or forth time to get the deed restriction lifted that
presently limits the land's use.
While one Billy tries to get richer at taxpayer's expense, the other
Billy objects to anyone using -- without his permission --
a clearly plagiarized slogan, while the mayor runs interference for
both. That should give you the heebie-jeebies
Incidentally, A.A. has never protested the stealing of their slogan.
Maybe had they done so, Vassiliadis might have offered them a
dollar for their trademark rights as he did the LVCVA. But they would
probably have told him to get lost.
Meanwhile, Billy Walters, according to TravelGolf.com., neglected his
Stallion Mountain golf course to the extent that few wanted to play
In both instances, Goodman is the Billy's cheerleader
and protector. Also in
both instances, the obscurely written agenda items to benefit the
Billy's were supposed to go unnoticed.
To draw attention to Billy Vassiliadis' silly claim to own the rights
to the obviously plagiarized motto, I personally began manufacturing
distributing T-shirts with "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" on
the front and back -- without his permission of course -- and I will
donate the net
proceeds to Alcoholics Anonymous. I did this to fan the flames and keep
the story on the front page.
My satiric ploy worked. Friday's Review-Journal
"The matter has been turned over to R&R's attorneys, who probably
will soon send Miller a cease-and-desist letter. 'If he persists and
this becomes a commercial venture, we'll take it more seriously,'
This threat gave me the chance to use one of my favorite retorts: "I'm
going to throw it into the closest appropriate receptacle and push the
However, the day to take it more seriously has come. The first run of
shirts were sold out* in just 24 hours. But a "commercial venture?"
The shirt is being sold by my 501c(3) non-profit corporation, and
all the net proceeds are being donated to another 501c(3) (Alcoholics Anonymous)
to try to make amends for Billy's obvious plagiarism. No business
license is needed to do this. Mail orders are received at my home
office, but all shipping, inventorying, over the counter sales, and
bookkeeping take place from a commercial place of business that has a
tax ID number for retail sales, though none is needed to sell items to
raise money for a registered charity.
This not-for-profit exercise is for the sole purpose of driving home
the fact that its time the taxpayers tell R&R they've overstayed
their welcome at the LVCVA, and others should be given a chance to
compete for the yearly contract. Also to tell R&R's protector and
LVCVA Chairman Oscar
Goodman to Go Suck Eggs!
This especially holds true since Goodman is the mayor of the city of
Las Vegas, not the Strip where R&R concentrates their advertising.
The city limits start at Sahara Ave., and the disparity between the way
the city and county is treated by the LVCVA is horrendous. Goodman's
downtown is falling apart, but he has yet to mount a protest to the
LVCVA board that the city is being completely ignored by R&R.
East Fremont St.
Downtown hooker (KVBC
TV News) Police survailiance of
In fact, it was goodman who in
that brothels would reinvigerate downtown. He didn't advocate the same
for the Strip, however.
Last week to help make my point, I asked a friend to wear one of the
T-shirts to the
mayor's press conference. To my delight, my friend's appearance
at city hall became a major news story. The stories exposed the massive
amount of taxpayer
dollars R&R, Goodman, and the LVCVA are squandering on out of state
attorneys to try to stop the slogan's use and help Vassiliadis, R&R, and the
LVCVA save face.
Friday, July 22,
Copyright © Las Vegas
slogan challenged anew
Former councilman says
shirts protest R&R's $1 deal
Wanda Suriel, left, and Chris Christoff wear shirts with the slogan,
"What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas," on Thursday during
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman's weekly press conference at
MATTHEW MINARD / LAS VEGAS SUN
As far as the other Billy goes,
on July 11, I
for the course" on AmericanMafia.com. about Billy Walters' desire
to lift the deed restriction and gain a windfall. It also developed
into a major news
story, and inspired the mayor to table the item until the heat is
off. In the meantime, I'll keep fanning those flames also.
These two examples show how powerful an influence AmericanMafia.com is
at Las Vegas City Hall. No wonder I have the willies!
What's in a name? (This time its not a Billy,
it still gives me the willies!)
Last Monday, the Chicago Tribune carried a front
page story entitled "FBI links casino, Stephens, mob -- Rosemont mayor says he didn't hold meeting to
In the story, the Tribune mentioned that a "Rick Rissoulo" was present
when mob bosses including Joey "the clown" Lombardo allegedly discussed
La Cosa Nostra control of an Illinois casino with the mayor of the town
where the casino is located.
Buried in the story is the sentence, "He said he's never
met two alleged mob associates that Mallul said were also at the
meeting, William Messino and Rick Rissoulo."
I knew that Las Vegas' own Rick Rizzolo, the owner of the protected
Crazy Horse Too on Industrial
Rd., had an interest in a topless
bar in Chicago
around the time of the alleged meeting with Mayor
Stephens and Lombardo, and that Rizzolo is close to the Lombardo
family. I also realized that if the mis-spelling of his name was
continue, he might get off. Therefore, I contacted reporters in Chicago
and Las Vegas to let them know of the error. It didn't take long to
verify it was actually Rizzolo, not "Rissoulo," and something that
would have gone under the radar became a major
, and cannon fodder for the ongoing federal RICO and political
corruption investigation of Rizzolo and his associates.
to R) Bart Rizzolo, Jon Norheim, Rick Rizzolo
(Photo by Buffalo Jim Barrier)
Rizzolo relishes being in the company of mayors and other high
, so it didn't surprise me to hear that he was
spotted dining with the mayor of Rosemont, and Joey "the clown."
Joey's brother Rocco Lombardo works at the LV Crazy Horse, and both are
well known to Sin City Mayor Oscar Goodman.
KVBC TV News
For several years, Goodman has been suspected of
protecting the Crazy Horse in Las Vegas as a favor to -- or out of fear
of -- Joey "the clown," one of Goodman's former law clients, and a
person suspected of committing at least eight murders.
In his Friday
of Rizzolo dining with mob's 'Clown' should close club's doors,"
award winning Review-Journal
columnist John L. Smith said it all:
"It does, however, tend to make a laughing stock out of the City
Council and Metro licensing investigators who, at least in theory, are
supposed to keep the wiseguy element out of our proliferating girlie
rackets. Let's just say they've fallen short of the mark on this one." "Hanging
with an infamous mob boss, albeit one who in 1999 had paid his societal
debts, is pretty cavalier for a man whose license to practice T&A
in Las Vegas is revocable."
"Allowing Rizzolo to continue to
operate in the face of all this controversy and the promise of a
federal indictment makes the City Council look particularly weak."
Goodman is in good company. Also suspected of protecting the Crazy
Horse strip joint is Clark County District Attorney Dave Roger
high ranking Metro
, and a few local judges
However, their incentive for helping to keep the place open are more in
the area of monetary or sexual favors, I am told.
I keep getting this repetitive missive from an INSIDE VEGAS reader in
Chicago: "Goodman is afraid of Joey the clown." Judging by Goodman's lack
-- I believe its true, and that really gives me the
are on sale for $19.95 ea. at Buffalo Jim's Auto and Marine Electric on
Industrial Road next to the Crazy
Copyright © Steve Miller
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Copyright © Steve Miller
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