Born Oscar Baylin Goodman (July 26, 1939)In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Haveford College and then received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. In 1965 he passed the Nevada Bar (This would be the last bar Oscar would ever pass without stopping in for Bombay Saphire.) That same year, Oscar became an Assistant Chief Deputy Associate Public Defender for Clark County, Nevada.
During his career as a defense attorney, Oscar represented several Organized Crime figures including Tony "The Tongue" Caliguia, Who was accused of stalking and then licking tourists. Pauly "The Knife" Andretti who was accused of under reporting sales taxes at his knife sharpening shop. Frank Sinatra AKA "Chairman or the Board" accused and convicted of over shadowing Dean Martin, and Joe Pesci Accused of acting over the top in the movie Casino.
Goodman was a senior partner in the law firm of Goodman, Skrewham, Good and Hard. Goodman was elected mayor of Las Vegas on June 8, 1999, receiving 32,765 (63.76 percent) votes while his opponent, received 18,620 (36.24 percent). Goodman was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2003, defeating five opponents and receiving 29,356 (85.72 percent) of the votes. On April 3, 2007, he was re-elected to a third and final term with 26,845 votes (83.69 percent), again defeating five opponents.
In 2003, Goodman was voted the Least Effective Public Official in the Las Vegas Review-Journal's annual reader's poll, yet somehow, he garnered 83.69% of the popular vote the same year leaving everyone to conclude that the Review-Journal is the least effective news agency in Nevada.
Seeking Higher Office
Goodman briefly entertained challenging presidential son Jack Carter for the Democratic nomination to run against incumbent Republican U.S. Senator John Ensign in 2006. However, upon learning that the job paid "peanuts" Goodman announced "I feel there is no one better suited for the seat then a member of the Carter Family." John Ensign won the 2006 election.
In early 2010, Goodman fueled speculation that he might run as an Independent in the 2010 gubernatorial race against embattled incumbent, Katie Rees against Rory Reid, Son of Harry Reid. The Las Vegas Review-Journal and Host of Nevada Week in Review Jon Ralston both report that Goodman would not be able to cary the vote outside of clark county and so would not be able to cary the state, and so speculated that Rory Reid would win the election. As about 300,000 Navadans live outside of Clark County and more then 2,000,000 live within Clark County, and the Mayor had been re-elected two time with over 80% of the vote, Jon Ralston's Nevada Week in Review becomes the second least effective news reporting agency in Nevada.
You can't go to Las Vegas!!!
In an early 2010 Town Hall Meeting in Indiana, President Barack Obama Repeated a gaff from late 2009 where he told people they can't / shouldn't go to Las Vegas. The timing seemed odd as the president was scheduled to visit Las Vegas the very next week to help raise money for Harry Reids re-election. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman blasted back at the Presidents comments in a televised conference "“He’s not our friend. I don’t know about Nevada, but Las Vegas, he’s sure not our friend,” Goodman said. “He has a real psychological hang-up about the entertainment capital of the world.” “Everybody says I shouldn't say it, but I've got to tell you the way it is. This president is a real slow learner,” Goodman, an independent minded Democrat later sent a 2 page letter to President Obama explaining how damaging his comments about the city of Las Vegas were to the local economy. In a town hall meeting the following week at Henderson, Nevada's Green Valley High School, President Obama clearified his position. "What I meant to say is you can't go to Las Vegas... Unless you're raising money...for Harry Reid... Then it's okay. My mom likes Vegas. My wife likes Vegas... Harry Drives through Vegas on his way to the Airport... Next preselected, softball, Slow pitch question... You sir..."
Gin in the School Cafeteria
On March 3, 2005, Goodman spoke to a group of fourth-graders at Jo Mackey Elementary School. When asked what he would take with him if marooned on a desert island, the mayor replied, "A showgirl and a bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin." When a student asked about his hobbies, the mayor said "Drinking Bombay Saphire Gin (Can't make this stuff up.)
Following an outcry by parents, the mayor said "If the kid didn't want to know the answer, he shouldn't have asked the question."
Thumb amputation and caning
On November 3, 2005, Mayor Goodman suggested that those who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television. Goodman, appearing on the "Nevada Newsmakers" TV show, said, "In the old days in France, they had beheading of people who commit heinous crimes", "You know, we have a beautiful highway landscaping redevelopment in our downtown. We have desert tortoises and beautiful paintings of flora and fauna. These punks come along and deface it", I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb", and "That may be the right thing to do." (Can't make this stuff up)
"I also believe in a little bit of corporal punishment going back to the days of yore, where examples have to be shown," Goodman Continued. "I'm dead serious. Some of these (children) don't learn. You have got to teach them a lesson, and this is coming from a criminal defense lawyer." But, he added, "they would get a trial first." (Can't make this stuff up.)
Prostitution is legal in rural counties in Nevada where the population is under 400,000 people. Therefore, it is unlawful in Clark County and the city of Las Vegas. Mayor Goodman supports legalizing prostitution in the city's downtown area as a revenue generator and tool for revitalization. In a pole conducted by the Review-Journal (So it's probably wrong) A majority of Nevadans oppose the mayors proposal.