[COMMENTARY] From “Rat Pack” to “Wack Pack”…What Happened to Las Vegas?
I suppose there are still many people out there that remember the “good old days” in Las Vegas. Late-night lounge shows, and of course, The Rat Pack. The early 1960’s version of the group included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. Marilyn Monroe, Angie Dickinson, Juliet Prowse, Buddy Greco, and Shirley MacLaine were often referred to as the “Rat Pack Mascots.”
(Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)
The Rat Pack helped make Las Vegas one of the greatest entertainment hubs of the world. Today, Las Vegas is known for its many megaresorts and high-rise casinos that now tower over the skyline. It all started with the legendary Bugsy Siegel, who allegedly built a criminal empire that was accused of engaging in everything from gambling, bootlegging, extortion, and brutal assassinations. After being acquitted of murdering fellow mobster Harry Greenberg in 1942, Siegel headed to Las Vegas where he opened up the Flamingo Hotel and Casino.
Whether or not Frank Sinatra himself was involved with the mob still remains a mystery, but Frank Sinatra was known to associate with many well known Mafia figures, including Sam Giancana. The legends surrounding the Rat Pack persist to this day, and there are many colorful stories of how the Rat Pack dominated the talk of the town in Las Vegas.
Fast forward 50 or so years, and Las Vegas no longer has a Rat Pack. Las Vegas now has what they are referring to as “The Wack Pack.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, three local politicians have emerged as being amongst the most controversial politicians Las Vegas has seen in recent years. Let’s take a look at the new “Wack Pack,” shall we?
Mayor Carolyn Goodman
The Mayor of Las Vegas is Carolyn Goodman. She rose to the mayorship on the heels of her husband, former mob lawyer, and former Las Vegas Mayor, Oscar Goodman. While listed as an independent, Goodman, a former Democrat, has been an active COVID denier continually demanding that the city “open up,” even offering up the citizens of Las Vegas to act as a control group for COVID research during an interview with Anderson Cooper. See the interview below, and meet the first member of The Wack Pack:
How could we forget about Ex-Mayor Pro Tem, Michelle Fiore? Forced from her seat as Mayor Pro Tem, this Wack Packer made headlines for such racially charged statements such as, “my white ass is more qualified than somebody’s black ass,” and I wish that were all, but it didn’t stop there. She went on an anti-masking tirade, and either put lingerie on her face or her grandmother’s doily…either way, she has been a total embarrassment and still has some influence in the Republican Party in Clark County, Nevada. Her tweet was “cute,” but offended many, as it was clearly just more mockery from another Wack Packer.
Who can forget this legendary takedown of Fiore and her statements, viewed by many, with ridicule?
I’d like to take a pause to recognize that two black women yielded their time to me (a white man) so that I could finish. #BlackLivesMatter
PS – this is what it looks like when power is afraid of action. https://t.co/MdIUAwbX1e
— dan rolle (@danrolle) June 17, 2020
Katie Williams Melton
Perhaps the most troubling of all is the rise of newly elected Clark County School Board Trustee, Katie Williams. Her clear connection to the Proud Boys has yet to be denied, despite multiple photographs of her with Proud Boy Leaders and her connection to multiple Stop The Steal rallies here in Las Vegas. Williams, a 30-year-old, with no political experience, but with an active Twitter account, has attacked Parkland shooting victim David Hogg, spread COVID misinformation, and has created an environment that has caused a huge divide within the educational community, as well as the district that she serves. Efforts to recall her are underway. Yeah, she serves on a School Board, and associates with well-known white supremacists, but will not deny, nor condemn.
Daily reminder to Buy A Gun!#Resist
— Current Occupant of District B (@realkatiejow) November 17, 2020
So if you’re longing for the good old days in Las Vegas, I understand why. Things have gotten “wackier” than ever!
What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay here anymore, people get to see the real going’s on here!
Peace out, y’all-BDG