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April 18, 2014

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Goodfella Goodman: “I am not going to allow anyone to ruin the party”

That was Mayor Oscar Goodman's attitude this morning when my producer, Dana Gentry, asked legitimate questions about the terms of the deal the city had made with Zappos to move to downtown Las Vegas. Goodman even went so far as to try to dissuade Tony Hsieh of Zappos from answering another perfectly reasonable question -- as you can see below, he did answer and showed those stories about Zappos leaving the state were, apparently, just leverage to get a deal with a city whose motto is: "Whatever the developer wants, the developer gets."

Goodman, in his typically thuggish manner, will brook nothing from the media but seal-like behavior, as most of the outlets usually oblige and generally have on this story. But judge for yourself whether Gentry's questions about the terms of the deal -- putting city taxpayers at unusual risk and paying off the Cordish folks $2.55 million to build an arena on Symphony Park -- were unreasonable. Forget whether the deal ultimately helps downtown -- too early too tell. The mayor's goonish performance should not be ignored.

Gentry: Mayor can you tell me why did you decide to subordinate? You have been very critical of Mr. Donner's performance on the Lady Luck. Why would you put the city, the taxpayers, in the second position?

Goodman: I don't choose to answer your question.

Gentry: Why not?

Goodman: Because this is a day of happiness, this is a day of joy...

(CROSSTALK)

(CONT)...this is a day that is very very special for the city of Las Vegas

Gentry: I am just asking a question, why did you decide to subordinate?

Goodman: As I said, I am not going to answer your question.

Gentry: Mr Hsieh, can you tell me why you were considering leaving southern Nevada?

Goodman: I don't think you have to answer that.

Hsieh: I can say that Las Vegas has always been our first choice, we never actually considered leaving Southern Nevada -- the only reason that would ever happen is if we did not have access to a large enough employee base to support our growth. Otherwise we have no plans...

Gentry: So you are not dissatisfied with the business climate of Nevada?

Hsieh: No not at all, in fact even though we are leaving the city of Henderson, the city of Henderson has been great to us and we are very thankful for our relationship over the years. We are looking forward to a great relationship with the city of Las Vegas as well.

Gentry: Mayor can you explain why the council chose to incentivize the Cordish Companies, to move to what what you characterized as a better lot?

Goodman: Once again, I am not going to go into that today. I am not going to allow anybody to ruin the party.

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