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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

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:

Oscar Goodman's Las Vegas
Mayor and University President clash over Vegas' new image

I tell people that the gateway to my city is a billboard that has the picture of a beautiful woman in a state of recline wearing a pink dress, saying that she'll come to your room. I don't know what she does when she gets to the room, but the sign next to it is advertising Viagra. So maybe that says something about Las Vegas. -- LV Mayor Oscar Goodman, CNN Newsnight, Oct. 1, 2004

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
November 1, 2004

At a time when Las Vegas is desperately trying to diversify its economic base to attract high tech industry and an educated work force, the current mayor shamelessly promotes our Sin City image, along with an unwelcome byproduct, HIV.

At first we took it as a joke, but after repeated national news about our mayor's weird plans for Las Vegas, the truth about our convoluted image began to surface, especially after Mayor Goodman's recent appearance on CNN Newsnight. In front of a national TV audience he promoted (unprotected) sex when he laughingly referred to the city's illicit out-call entertainment industry.
As a former mob lawyer, he should know that escort services are fronts for prostitution -- the kind that does not require protection from the spread of HIV. Goodman made light of it, and ended with "So maybe that says something about Las Vegas."

Not MY Las Vegas!

The mayor used his TV time to blatantly put down our city and make light of a highly illegal and unsafe activity, a growing problem he instead should be fighting along with other outlets for unprotected sex; the dozens of massage parlors, and the city's infestation of streetwalkers.

The crack head girls, they go 10. I start at 50 (dollars) and up. -- Donna Mirin - streetwalker (KVBC TV News, 10/23/03)

Goodman supporter and prostitute Donna Mirin  (KVBC TV News)

I only wish we had a better spokesman. With an ambassador like Oscar Goodman, I cannot recommend that families move to Las Vegas during the remainder of his tenure in office. The guy obviously has no morals -- he's a total embarrassment and disgrace to the many good people living here.

  Mayor Oscar Goodman and friends (LV SUN photo)

In total contrast to the classless mayor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas President Carol Harter pleads, "Las Vegas is still known primarily ... as a rather crude and unsophisticated place. Such image building does little for us in higher education and actually runs somewhat counter to our efforts, and those of the most serious of our citizens, to build a cosmopolitan and sophisticated city."

University of Nevada, Las Vegas President Carol Harter
             (Photo by Isaac Brekken, LV REVIEW JOURNAL)

This after Goodman promoted redeveloping downtown by converting dilapidated motels into bordellos a few blocks from City Hall. "It would turn old motels into beautiful brothels," the mayor told Ed Koch of the LAS VEGAS SUN. Fortunately, public outcry killed his idea.

(At the same time as his statement, it was heavily rumored that one of Goodman's law partners was in neighboring Nye County where prostitution is legal, soliciting licensed brothel owners as clients in the event prostitution was legalized in downtown Las Vegas, and to see if they had an appetite to invest there.)

University President Harter also disagreed with the mayor. "What is clearly undeveloped in Las Vegas is the particular social and cultural climate that characterizes a Madison, Wisconsin; a Boulder, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; ... Austin, Texas," Harter said.

She's right. Just look at our local telephone directory to see which way Las Vegas is going. There are 117 pages of ads for out-call dancers -- prostitutes, who as the mayor boasts will come to your room. He's disgracing our city! A city with a population approaching two million does not deserve to be treated this way. We have children living here!
Goodman reads to children during National Reading Week

And that's what concerns me most about our current mayor -- his callous attitude toward our city's youth. When asked about the city code allowing teenagers to strip and lap dance in certain topless bars, Mayor Goodman actually said, "Our ordinance is perfect." "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." "I think anything that's legal should be here," said the mayor.

To see what he considers "legal," just thumb through pages 789 - 906 of our Sprint Yellow Pages. No wonder President Harter is having such a tough time promoting higher education around here!

                             Page 889, Sprint Las Vegas Yellow Pages
    (Allowed by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the state's electric and telephone regulatory agency)

When I travel with my family including my eleven year old daughter, I'm beginning to find it an embarrassment to say where we're from. Too often, people say "How can you live in such a place?" Many look at me in amazement when I tell them how great my kids have done, and what wonderful opportunities there are here. However, after 45 years as a happy full time Las Vegas resident, I'm starting to get tired of the adverse remarks from outsiders, but mostly I'm getting tired of the moronic statements from our mayor and the crappy image he's creating after we worked so hard to legitimize our town and make it a decent place to live.

Unfortunately, that bad image won't be ending soon. Oscar Goodman is the most popular politician in the history of our city, and 117 pages of prostitution ads prove it.

So, "maybe that says something about Las Vegas."

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