Las Vegas Sun

July 30, 2014

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Barbs of Carolyn Goodman keep mayoral roast simmering

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Oscar and Carolyn Goodman share the love after his mayoral roast at Green Valley Ranch in February.

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The mayor, in a safe haven behind his martini shrine.

It was a night of giving, and Carolyn Goodman gave until it hurt.

The occasion was the roast of Carolyn’s husband, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, at Saturday night’s Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth fundraiser at Green Valley Ranch. Goodman watched from the stage, dressed in the colors of his favorite ball team when he was growing up, the Brooklyn Dodgers. Customarily, he was surrounded by a shrine of martini tumblers and two Dodger-blue bottles of Bombay Sapphire gin. The mayor was in glad spirits, as it was after 5 p.m.

The crowd of 230 was asked to wear fuchsia shirts, as that is the mayor’s favorite color. Yes, the mob attorney prefers fuchsia, which was news to his wife, who borrowed a scarf of that color from her daughter Cara because her lavender top clashed with the theme.

There’s your wardrobe report.

A slick R&R Partners-produced video, featuring a satire of the old “Saturday Night Live” “Coffee Talk” skit (a spoof of a satirical sketch, in short) led off the program. Some good stuff in that, featuring a mock phone call to the show from some make-believe President Obama. The Obama-esque voice said, “I’d like to say I’m sorry to Mayor Goodman. (Comedic pause) I’m not really sorry. Kiss my a**.”

But on a night that featured the comic stylings of Councilmen Larry Brown, Gary Reese and Steve Wolfson, Carolyn Goodman was without peer. Small praise, perhaps, but she can handle herself in front of a crowd no problem. A sampling:

“As you probably know, Oscar has just come back from Washington, D.C., to take on our president, Barack Obama, and bring the conventions back to this city. This is for President Obama’s, perhaps, throwaway comments, ‘If you are taking tax dollars as support from our initiative, don’t waste it on going to Vegas or the Super Bowl.’ So I said to my husband, when he came home outraged, ‘You know, it’s just a throw-away comment. He’s new to the job. He doesn’t understand the power he has in his words. He’s wonderful, but he made a throw-away comment.’ And Oscar says, ‘That’s outrageous!’ And I said, ‘How about, cutting off peoples’ thumbs? How about taking to fourth-graders at their school, making a comment about what you would take to a deserted island?’ I would have thought the first thing he would have said was, ‘My darling, beloved wife.’ The second thing I might have hoped for was for him to say, ‘I would have taken the Old Testament.’ But no. What did he say? Bombay Sapphire gin!”

And:

“While Oscar was in law school, he took on a job so he didn’t have to ask me for money. He took a job in Philadelphia for the then-assistant district attorney, who happens to be Sen. Arlen Specter, and Oscar was earning one big dollar an hour so he didn’t have to ask me for money. It’s a male thing, I understand. … And Oscar had made one visit to Las Vegas, and he asked me, ‘How would you like to move to the land of milk and honey?’ My parents were right! How could I be so dumb as to marry someone earning a dollar an hour who wants to take me to Israel?”

Order that woman a (rim)shot!

Ex Zac-tly

Before last week, the last time I was in a conversation with Zac Moyle, we were loudly discussing party issues. Not the Republican Party, for which Moyle at the time was the executive director. It was a CineVegas Film Festival after-party at Tao nightclub at The Venetian. Moyle left his post this month after serving his chosen party for 4 ½ years. What’s he doing? He’s working his way up the corporate ladder (shocker) for a national movie rental and electronics company. Moyle is not saying which it is, for the record, as the company is not eager to willfully publicize that it has a former executive director for any political party being fast-tracked for an executive slot. But Moyle is working at a local movie-rental outlet during a training period of sorts, and you might well run into him when you’re renting the third season of “Sex and the City” or the only season of “Greg the Bunny.”

Says Moyle: “At the end of the day, it’s all about sales. Whether it’s in politics or in retail, you’re trying to sell something.” He was dogged hawker in his former post, even with a defective product. The Republicans will be lucky to find someone to match his loyalty to the cause.

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Elizabeth Foyt, on the scene.

Elizabethian honor

I have worked with Elizabeth Foyt for more than a decade with this company, and that doesn’t even cover half of her tenure as the society editor of the Las Vegas Sun, and today for our new team, Greenspun Interactive. I don’t know anyone who has approached his or her role in the community with more zeal than Elizabeth, an ace glimpser of newsmakers at any event of import in Las Vegas. Fittingly she was honored, among many others, Friday at the 11th Annual National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Women of Distinction awards luncheon at The Rio. Elizabeth was honored as the Woman of the Year in communications, joining honorees Sandy Dunham (Education), Debra Nelson (Gaming, Hospitality and Convention Services), E. Lavonne Lewis (HR and Training), Jerrie Merritt (Professional Services), Jennifer Dehaven (Retail and Business Services), Laura Jane Spina (R/E and Construction), Virginia Knudsen (Glass Ceiling), Dawn Hawle (Rising Star), Tami Belt (Entrepreneur of the Year) and Dee Ladd (Philanthropy, Community and Government Services).

Said our Elizabeth: “I have been blessed. I was hired directly by Hank Greenspun, and I have been with the family for more than 25 years. I have the best job on Earth.” Nice job, Elizabeth. See you in the office.

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Betty Willis autographs prints of the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign last week at a local art gallery. She refers to her creation as "the little sign that could," and keeps three replicas at home.

Whither Betty?

Word last week that the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign moved closer to being placed in the National Register of Historic Places reminded me of some recent information that has been passed along about the sign’s designer, Betty Willis. Betty no longer lives in fabulous Las Vegas, having migrated to Overton -- Fabulous Overton. She’s telling friends she has retired from talking to the media about her wonderful work, which still stands and shines on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Mandalay Bay. The sign has been replicated on Boulder Highway and Las Vegas Boulevard as you make your way to downtown Las Vegas, but the original still draws the crowds. That’s why a parking lot was finally built on the heavily traveled site, not a moment too soon.

I hope Betty has at least one more interview in her. But you always want that one more, eh? Here’s the last time we saw her talking about the sign, last year at a Friends of Classic Las Vegas event at Springs Preserve.

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