Las Vegas mayoral candidates Carolyn Goodman and Chris Giunchigliani faced off Wednesday in a business debate for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Local political pundit Jon Ralston moderated the one-hour event at the Four Seasons Hotel. Mrs. Goodman touted herself as an outsider, at one point calling herself a “learning politician,” and later saying she has “learned so much as part of this process.” Giunchigliani, a county commissioner and former Assemblywoman, was more policy-focused and repeatedly talked about being a “good listener.” At one point, Giunchigliani told the gathering of business leaders “I don’t have all the answers…you do.”
On the issue of collective bargaining for public employees, both candidates said they want more transparency in the process, but Giunchigliani stopped short of supporting the opening up of all collective bargaining talks to the public. Chris G also was in favor of binding arbitration in collective bargaining, while Mrs. Goodman said she would be open to ending the process because the arbitrators are often outside parties who are not elected or accountable to the public.
On creating jobs and economic development, Mrs. Goodman took a big picture approach, pledging to continue her husband’s efforts to bring in outside industries and businesses. Specifically, she talked about discussions she’s already had with Hollywood directors who have expressed interest in bringing more motion picture filming and production to Vegas. Chris G said she’d rather focus on businesses that are already here, pledging to reduce regulations, bureaucracy, and red tape that is making it tougher for small businesses to succeed and hire more people.
Mrs. Goodman’s husband, current mayor Oscar Goodman, was in the audience at her table. At one point, she was having trouble recalling the name of a business when the mayor called out the name. Ralston jokingly said “No more helping, mayor,” drawing laughter from the crowd.