Las Vegas Mayor: What’s Invading My TV [New Ads]

(Also at Nevada Progressive)

[Note: This year, we will be voting in municipal elections in cities throughout Clark County. Las Vegas will be voting for Mayor (Oscar Goodman is termed out) and three city council seats. Henderson and North Las Vegas will also be voting for three city council seats each. And all cities will also be voting for local judges. Clark County Elections only occur in even numbered years.

Carolyn Goodman is the wife of outgoing Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, the founder of the prestigious private Meadows School, and a registered Nonpartisan. Victor Chaltiel is the Republican being backed by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Larry Brown and Chris Giunchigliani are both Democrats and incumbent Clark County Commissioners.]

What do you think when you see this?

And this? (

(Yay! Brown’s new ad is now on YouTube!)

And what do you think when you see this?

And this?

So what did you get out of those? That Larry Brown and Chris Giunchigliani are serious about getting Las Vegas out of the economic doldrums and into a brighter future? That Brown and/or Chris G care about regular Las Vegans? That they’re “just like us”?

Now take a look at this.

What do you see here? “V for Victory”? “V for Vendetta”? Apparently, Victor Chaltiel for Las Vegas. So I guess that’s what Sheldon Adelson’s billions buy you these days?

Now take a look at this.

What did you get out of this? That we love Oscar? That Oscar has to “say goodbye”? Who’s “good enough” to follow up his great act? It seems like Carolyn Goodman is taking a different approach in her ads, engaging with some playful nostalgia instead of the typical promises to do this or that.

Sadly, many voters’ first impressions of the candidates will likely come from these TV ads. Do they convey the messages these candidates want to send? Or might voters eventually hear a different tune from what everyone else is saying away from commercial time?

I can definitely see different strategies at play with these various ads. Larry Brown and Chris G want to be taken seriously as practical problem solvers, and that’s why they play up the general policy outlines and mix them up with “feel good” promises. Victor Chaltiel is trying to play the “businessman outsider” card a la Arnold Schwarzenegger v.2003, and it seems he’s just trying to take advantage of whatever “tea party” fervor Sharron Angle left over with a vague “elect him, not a ‘politician'” message.

And Carolyn Goodman? Well, what else can I say about that ad? It’s original! 😉

15 thoughts on “Las Vegas Mayor: What’s Invading My TV [New Ads]”

  1. Larry Brown — start with ’80’s porn music? followed by sleepy blah blah blah. But he’s the only one who tried to say anything.

    Chris G– good thing she doesn’t have to have a write-in campaign.

    V for Victor sounds more Italian than Brando.

    And Carolyn is certainly “different”. Perhaps she could also walk around with a showgirl on each of her arms.

  2. Larry Brown: The ads we’re lacking specifics and full of dry politician speak, i.e. “change the culutre”, “proven track record”, etc. However, that’s not unusual in political commercials. These ads seem to be generic political ads, nothing special. I didn’t really find his ads that memorable. I think Brown made a mistake here, in that your first ads often serve to increase your name recognition and get a good first impression in people’s minds. I’m left with a kind of meh reaction here; he didn’t really give a very specific or memorable reason to vote for him.

    Chris June-kil-e-ahn-ee: These were actually my favorite of the ads. I felt that they had a good mix of different factors: some humor with the name thing to make the ads memorable, enough seriousness to make sure the name ad didn’t have a totally jokey feeling, and some feel-good optimism thrown in too. She really came the closest to all these people of laying out a specific policy agenda, which I liked, even though these ads didn’t sound as dry as Brown’s. Not the best ads I’ve ever seen, but the best of these ads.

    Victor Chaltiel: He’s definitely going for the early, get-your-name-out-there ads that people will remember. There were no real specifics here, but I can see that people will remember him (the French accent probably helps, too). I also think the “businessman outsider” thing, as you called it, is an interesting tactic. I think he has to walk a fine line between sounding like Michael Bloomberg and sounding like Sharron Angle here. Will be interesting to watch.

    Carolyn Goodman: This was the worst of all the ads, IMO. Politicians often try to tie themselves to popular predecessors, or on the flipside tie their opponents to unpopular predecessors. This can be extremely effective if it is done well, but if it is done poorly like this it can be terrible. This is a transparent I-deserve-this-because-my-last-name-is-Goodman message, which is a terrible first impression to give to voters. Personally I think Carolyn’s biggest challenge here will be to articulate a reason for people to vote for her other than her last name, and she failed miserably here.

  3. would be very, very fun to show to some British people.

    The V sign is a hand gesture in which the index and middle fingers are raised and parted, while the other fingers are clenched. It is an obscene gesture meaning “f*ck off” when performed with the palm facing inwards in the United Kingdom and some other English speaking countries.

    All I could think about watching that ad. And yeah, I hope he gets an Angle endorsement. Is hard teabagger support enough in Vegas to get him a spot in the runoff (where he would presumably crushed by any other candidate)?

  4. Does Clark county have several commissioners, or just one? Because if there is only one comissioner, Brown would be taking a demotion to be mayor of Las Vegas.

  5. Chris Giunchigliani’s campaign confirmed it wasn’t behind this, and I don’t see any reason why they’d post it…

    But IMHO it does illustrate the potential for backlash against Carolyn Goodman’s quasi-incumbent campaign. There’s real anger toward Oscar Goodman from the left and the right, and both the teabaggers and progressive activists are getting motivated. Carolyn may need to ask her campaign team if a “Vote for me if you like my husband” message will be enough to motivate people to vote for her.

  6. Perhaps Carolyn Goodman can walk around with Chippendales or Thunder from Down Under boys if she gets elected. 😉

    It’s funny to see the interesting dynamics of Las Vegas living at play in the mayoral race. Goodman is running a “stay the course” campaign that looks to keep the traditional LV power players happy. Ross is running as the “working class hero”, and lining up union and LDS support. Brown is running as the “fiscal watchdog” appealing to the Summerlin set. Giunchigliani is running as the tried-and-true progressive (she’s probably the only one who would remotely please the DKos/PCCC set). And Chaltiel is Sheldon Adelson’s lapdog.

  7. Carolyn Goodman’s dilemma. How does she inherit Oscar Goodman’s popularity without inheriting his baggage and seeming like she’s out to continue some “Goodman Dynasty” in Vegas? She’s definitely been the frontrunner ever since announcing early this month, but her win isn’t inevitable and she will probably have to go to runoff against one of the other candidates in June. And unless her runoff opponent is Chaltiel, she will have to find a way to build beyond her establishment base to get past 50%.

    It seems like Chaltiel is trying to project a Bloomberg-esque “practical businessman” image while trying to inherit all of Angle’s teabagger support network. While anything may theoretically be possible in a low turnout election like this one, Las Vegas is typically too much of a Democratic city to elect a hard-right teabagger as Mayor (even moderate Republicans like Former First Lady Dema Guinn are backing Goodman), so he will have to find a way to broaden his support to have a chance should he make the runoff.

    And then there are the commissioners. Brown and Giunchigliani definitely can’t be counted out, but they do have an uphill battle in trying to stop this election from becoming Goodman’s coronation. And interestingly enough, both are taking somewhat of an anti-establishment message. Brown’s hitting from the center-right with the fiscal responsibility message, while Chris G is hitting from the left with the community empowerment message. We’ll have to see which one better resonates, and whether it’s the Summerlin set (Brown’s base) or Downtown denizens (Chris G’s base) that makes the difference against Goodman (who has ties to both ends of town).

    And btw, Steve Ross doesn’t have TV ads yet, but he’s also running. He’s a current city council member, a local union leader, and the candidate positioning himself as “Mr. Blue Collar”.

  8. Why wouldn’t he know that? Or does he just think most of us are too stupid to know?

    In some ways, the Las Vegas Mayoral Race is reminding me of the CA-36 special election happening in LA right now. Over there, Janice Hahn is hoping Marcy Winograd and Debra Bowen will split the “wine track progressive” vote, perhaps even enough to allow for an easy, breezy runoff against Republican and Redondo Beach City Attorney Mike Webb. Over here, Carolyn Goodman might be hoping Chris Giunchigliani, Larry Brown, and Steve Ross split the Democratic/progressive vote so much that Victor Chaltiel slips into the second runoff slot and she can unite everyone against the teabaggers in the runoff. Perhaps it’s possible, but I have a very hard time seeing Brown, Giunchigliani, or Ross endorsing Chaltiel over Goodman.

  9. What we call our County Commission is just like what California Counties call their Boards of Supervisors.

    Brown currently represents the Summerlin area on the commission, while Giunchigliani represents Downtown Las Vegas and The East Side.

  10. So I’m focusing mostly on our own election. 😉

    (I’ll probably post something here soon on it. We have two Democratic council members up for reelection, and one open seat being vacated by the the one Republican currently on the council.)

  11. More are supposed to follow. Same goes for Larry Brown, who apparently wrapped up filming a series of ads last week. It looks like Victor Chaltiel won’t have the airwaves to himself for very long.

  12. No, Chaltiel actually isn’t the only GOPer running. George Harris used to be Clark County GOP Chair, and is now a Downtown restaurant owner, “Alien Tequila” investor, and co-founder of “The Tequila Party” (a GOP attempt to draw votes away from Democrats, after they accused The Tea Party of Nevada of being the reverse). He’s also running for Mayor, but generally isn’t expected to make the runoff. Still, perhaps there’s a chance he’ll gather enough support to deny Chaltiel a chance at the runoff?

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