LaCanada-Flintridge Democrat Anthony Portantino is being taught a lesson this week by his fellow Assembly Democrats — they are cutting off funding for his staff for daring to vote against their phony budget that already is running in the red.
Specifically, his motion for the full Council to take jurisdiction asks “AEG to make a presentation on
its proposal to the full City Council, and allow the City Council to ask questions
about the proposal in open session.”
It instruct the Chief Legislative Analyst and City Administrative Officer to brief the Council on its “current set of negotiating instructions, and allow the City Council to
discuss and amend those instructions” and calls on the City Attorney to brief the City Council on what
flexibility it will have to amend or change a proposed Memorandum of Understanding with AEG when it is
That really isn’t asking too much, is it?
After all, the mayor has been dealing with AEG in secret on this for more than two years and it’s going on most of a year since Leiweke first declared the terms of the deal in public: The city gives the land, naming rights, signage rights and tax revenue to AEG and borrows $350 million to tear down half the Convention Center and rebuild it so AEG can run the whole “events center” and reap what it claims will be huge profits.
Apart from the bills, the city gets to hope super-salesman Leiweke is right and this is the first and only football stadium in America to generate significant indirect economic benefits.
The same pitch has been made time and again with regards to the Convention Center yet it remains a white elephant tearing a whole in the city budget — a total cost that has never been tabulated.
The mayor and most of the Council got aboard this rotten deal no questions asked.
What Rosendahl has done is to turn this into a litmus test for City Hall: They are either going to look after the public interest in this stadium deal or they are going to be exposed as nothing but stooges for special interests.
There is no in-between. If the downtown stadium is a good deal for the city, the benefits must be direct and tangible and that means getting a significant share of all the revenue streams that pay off the $750 million in Convention Center debt as well as provide funds for parks, libraries and fire and police services. .