Some mobsters are peacefully decomposing in corn fields; others are unwillingly lending their frames to help support the Hoover Dam. But for Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, an ex-mob lawyer, those resting places are merely a mobster purgatory. If the mayor has his way – and he usually does get his way – the City of Las Vegas will reincarnate the good ol’ trigger-finger-boys for their last stand- right into the annals of true Las Vegas history- or should I say folklore?
Mayor Goodman, in his last term of office, is definitely not a lame – or whacked – duck, rather he is fighting like a possessed madman on an energy drink I.V. to establish the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (translated: Las Vegas Mob Museum).
And it doesn’t matter one iota to headstrong Goodman when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and others, like Newt Gingrich, recently said his idea is a shining example of a pork barrel project gone very bad- and one that should definitely not be part of Obama’s economic stimulus package.
Hizzoner fervently counters, saying the museum will attract 250,000 visitors a year to Las Vegas, adding, “Nobody’s going to come to downtown Las Vegas to look at paintings. They’re not going to look at watercolors. They’re not going to look at porcelain. They’re not going to look at miniature trains.”
Goodman steadfastly believes that Las Vegas and a mob museum marriage is a natural fit.
Perhaps, yes. Perhaps, no. But, regardless, it will be a tough upward climb to sell the idea in a sour economy if the $50 million mob museum project opens in 2010, as planned. Since 2001 the project has only coughed up $3.6 million- and that was composed only of federal grants, and from matching state and local money.
If you don’t believe there are enough “silent” mobsters still kicking around in Las Vegas that are rich enough to build their own museum, just wait until you see who digs deep in their pockets when the museum fundraisers kick off later this year.