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Mayoral candidates go negative in televised debate

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Leila Navidi

Las Vegas mayoral candidates Carolyn Goodman and Chris Giunchigliani debate on “Face to Face with Jon Ralston” inside the KSNV studio in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.

Updated Wednesday, May 18, 2011 | 8:11 p.m.

Mayoral Debate

Las Vegas mayoral candidate Carolyn Goodman debates with Chris Giunchigliani on Launch slideshow »

Face to Face: Mayoral Debate

Mayoral debate on Face to Face

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  • Mayoral debate on Face to Face
  • Mayoral debate on Face to Face
  • Mayoral debate on Face to Face
  • Mayoral debate on Face to Face

The gloves came off Wednesday night during a debate between the candidates for Las Vegas mayor.

Chris Giunchigliani slammed Carolyn Goodman for lacking substance and ideas, while Goodman blasted Giunchigliani for what she described as her failed County Commission record.

The women faced off during a televised debate moderated by Sun columnist Jon Ralston on “Face to Face” on KSNV-Channel 3. It was the last mayoral debate before early voting starts Saturday.

Goodman took a noticeably more aggressive tone during the conversation, likely in response to a negative ad Giunchigliani debuted earlier in the day. In it, she accuses Goodman of riding her husband’s coattails and of being unprepared to be mayor.

Goodman called the ad misleading, then jabbed at Giunchigliani.

“Of course I’m proud of what he (Mayor Oscar Goodman) has done over these past 12 years, but I have operated a business, which my opponent never has,” Goodman said.

Giunchigliani shot back, “Running one elite private school does not create the opportunity to be able to walk in on Day 1 to the mayor’s office and be able to take over that job.”

Ralston then turned the tables on the candidates and aired a new commercial Goodman will soon begin running. In it, she slams Giunchigliani for being a “typical politician with a hostile reputation.”

The ad focuses on a meeting in which Giunchigliani cursed at a nurse, and quotes UMC adviser Jim Rogers saying Giunchigliani’s behavior will have a chilling effect on business.

“To be effective, the mayor must be a consensus builder,” a voice in the ad says. “That’s not Chris Giunchigliani.”

Ralston appeared surprised at Goodman’s ad, asserting that it was far more negative than Giunchigliani’s. Goodman, from the start, had promised to run a clean, positive campaign.

Goodman said she decided to run the ad in response to Giunchigliani’s ad. She said she had been warned about Giunchigliani’s reputation for running negative ads.

“I came into this so innocent, just wanting to do the job and go to the voters,” Goodman said. “My skin has thickened a little bit. I had been warned, and I was not going to be caught shy.”

Giunchigliani denied that she directed the curse at the nurse, then noted that it was one mistake in a 20-year history.

Goodman also accused Giunchigliani of failing to find budget savings in the county and criticized her for seeking the mayor’s job before her commission term is finished. “You had no leadership,” Goodman said.

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  1. Chris demonstrated in this debate that she is by-far the most qualified candidate to run our city and present an exciting educated energetic face to the nation as the face of Las Vegas.

    No one wants to close their eyes and think of Grandma while they are in Vegas.

    She handled the curve ball of Goodman's schmaltzy commercial seeing it for the very first time live during the debate in studio. Seriously if all they have on her is that she used the F bomb in a meeting several years ago (which would NEVER be an issue if she was a man) then Goodman is dying here.

    Qualifications over dynasties - time for substance and sunlight to purge out Oscars cronies. (Sorry Michael Mack)

  2. Carolyn again was confused about issues.

    My favorite part was when she explained that the mailer sent out by the city was supposed to inform the public about how the City was saving money. Only it cost probably $80,000 to send out. IRONY!

  3. It was good to see them both speak out and say what was on their mind.

    Best thing you can do before you get out and vote it to get out and meet them both face to face. Ask them your own questions. Ask them about things that are important to you. Bottom line is this is your city and you need to know who is going to be best for you to live here.

    John did a good job but always best to get first hand knowledge to make an informed decision.

  4. Like Michael Vick would say, I don't have a dog in this fight (since I live in NLV.) But if I did, I would have to keep in mind that Chris G. has never seen a union contract in her life that she felt was generous enough.

  5. I can't vote in this election, but I still have No Idea specifically where either one of them stands on Specific Issues: Arena, Major Medical Hospital, Road Systems, Thousands of Homeless on the Edge of Town, Crime, Transit, Revitalization, etc... And NOW we get the Negative Ads - So blah..blah..blah.. who really cares about either of them?

  6. Carolyn Goodman's candidacy is an insult to Las Vegas residents. The elephant in the room is Oscar Goodman's representation of Mob active criminals and Mob connected clients and associates. No one in the media will mention this fact. Carolyn Goodman's campaign is largely finances by Mob money. The Meadows School, financed by Mob money. Yes, the Mob is still in Las Vegas, they are not hard to find, just visit City Hall any day of the work at the Mayor's office. Las Vegas needs to move on from the past criminal actions of old school Mob connections, the status quo being kept alive by Mayor Goodman. Oscar chose to represent Tony Spilotro. Oscar chose to listen to and be in the inter circle of criminals and knowing of criminal activity in the Las Vegas community, and chose to defend criminals who terrorized the Las Vegas valley. We experienced the good old days of street Mob rule during Oscar's campaign against the homeless when many homeless people were terrorized by beatings and unexplained killings of homeless people and not one media outlet in the city reported the real muscule behind the homeless campaign. Anyone with half a brain knew where the orders were coming from.

    Las Vegas needs to move out of the criminal spotlight and into the real world. Its time to replace the Goodman name at City Hall and the Goodman past criminal associations, the status quo of Las Vegas.

  7. I was so impressed with Chris' extensive knowledge of the issues and the inner workings of the local government systems. I was even more impressed with the number of things she's already been doing to help facilitate many of the budget neutral ideas she has.

    I have heard Giunchigiliani called a "union shill." It isn't too often that you hear a supposed union shill go back to those same unions and tell them they're going to have to cut back on their demands at the negotiating table.

    Giunchigliani is clearly the best candidate in this race. Not only is she the best out of the two, but she's an outstanding candidate. I'm voting Chris because she has a plan in place containing ideas I like, and she's ready to hit the ground running from day one.

    As far as the "F" bomb goes? Even preachers do it.

  8. I have listened carefully to these two candidates for weeks now, and I can say without a single doubt that Carolyn Goodman is an absolute embarrassment for this city. Her lack of understanding of even the BASIC mechanics of GOVT' is truly mind boggling to me.

    Governing is hard work, and our city needs people with experience to help navigate us through these difficult times. It should be crystal clear to anyone with a brain that Chris Giunchigliani is infinitely more qualified than Carolyn Goodman to be Mayor of this city. I'm counting on the voters to make the right decision on this one.

  9. Goodman has been spouting sexist rhetoric from day one and the second that Chris G points out that her only qualification is that she is #oscarswife, she just happens to have a mean and very sexist commercial ready to release. She also just happened to have a full campaign staff at the ready on the morning she just happened to decide to run for office.

    You lie.