Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Every Vote Counts

The job is not as powerful as you might think:
  • Most of "Las Vegas" is outside city limits
  • A manager runs the city, not the elected mayor
  • The mayor chairs, not controls, a city council
  • There aren't that many ribbons to cut anymore
But it had fringe benefits for former mob lawyer Oscar Goodman.

Often pictured with showgirls on each arm, or a martini in hand, his 12 year administration is ending because of mandatory term limits.

If voters had their choice, the self proclaimed "world's happiest mayor" might well have the job for life. But Tuesday's preliminary election narrowed the field of 18 candidates down to 2, guaranteeing the next mayor would be one of two women with the same initials.

Carolyn Goodman: vivacious wife of the outgoing Oscar, short on substantive political positions, long on name recognition.Chris Giunchigliani (say June-killy-Annie): former teacher, union leader & state legislator, current Clark County commissioner.

But the more interesting story belongs to two of the also-rans... Candidates whose campaigns could not have been more different.

County commissioner Larry Brown went door to door in an old fashioned grass roots effort. Although his reputation is that of a budget hawk, he was derided as a big spending liberal in the sole big budget TV campaign, for immigrant businessman Victor Chaltiel.

Commissioner Brown fell short of making the final ballot by 15 votes.

Victor, who spent more than a million of his own money in his vanity campaign, finished 4th @ 14%... But many are left wonderring how many votes his mischaracterization cost Larry Brown in the end.

Off year/off season voting almost guarantees the lowest turnouts of any electoral process, but magnifies the importance of each individual participant... Making it never more true: Every vote counts.

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