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The Hubris of Tim Leiweke: Shameless Greed, Foolish Pride and Unbearable Arrogance

Don’t mess with Mike Antonovich – he’s the closest thing
to an untouchable politician in these parts since Kenny Hahn.

Nothing sticks to him. Many who tried to set a fire at
his feet can tell you now they ended up badly burned sooner or later.

So what kind of arrogant fool would try to besmirch his
reputation and use his wife to do it,  the beautiful Chinese actress Christina Hu,
the mother of his two children?

Who else but the man who brought all 18 elected LA city
officials to their knees, who spit in the face of the city-county-state
appointees to the Coliseum Commission and now has laid down the law to the entire
Legislature of the great State of California.

The foolish pride of Tim Leiweke knows no bounds these
days. He drools like a starving man at the prospect of feasting on the billions
in profits from owning a football stadium with two pro teams and a college
team, running the nation’s fifth largest convention center, filling thousands
of his hotel rooms with visitors on company credit cards, and packing his
overpriced restaurants and bars.

The hubris of it all, it’s gone to Leiweke’s head. He
dismisses critics as “crazies,” competitors he calls “liars,” everybody else
from ordinary citizens to non-profit do-gooders to elected officials are
nothing but beggars with their hands out willing to sell out to him for a penny
on the dollar.

King Tim’s latest bombshell came Tuesday and got this
headline on the LA Times front page: “Stadium foe backs down in the face of a

“Intensifying its push for an NFL stadium in downtown
L.A., entertainment conglomerate Anschutz Entertainment Group launched an
unusually direct and public attack on one of the most prominent critics of the
proposal,” the story begins.

What Antonovich was proposing to his colleagues on the
County Board of Supervisors where he has served for 31 years was what they
supported two years again when Gloria Molina opposed AEG’s rival and former
partner Ed Roski effort to get the legislature to exempt his stadium project in
the City of Industry from the California Environmental Quality Act.

What Antonovich got was a letter from Leiweke’s lawyer sent
all over town accusing him of a conflict of interest because his wife has a bit
of a dispute with AEG or rather its Chinese spinoff which hired her as a
consultant and she says didn’t pay her something like $200,000 she was owed.

As a famous actress in China and incidentally the wife of
a powerful LA political figure, Christina Hu Antonovich was sought out by AEG’s
people in Shanghai who wanted her to show them the ropes and to introduce them
to the only kind of people they respect, the rich and the powerful

The company, AEG Business Management Consulting, is based
in Shanghai-based and trying to develop sports venues, presumably in the way
Anschutz does such things with bribery, blackmail and influence peddling.

For the moment, Antonovich backed down to the bullying by
AEG, a $10 billion company spawned by the public subsidies that built Staples
Center and LA Live.

was quite surprised at the reaction of the AEG,  interjecting my wife into a situation that has
no relationship to this because her involvement was in a helping to assist in
an effort in China with a city that she was a resident, where she was born but
she is an American citizen as you all know,” Antonovich told his colleagues.

will withdraw this motion at this time but my concerns are still there. But I really
have lost — let’s say faith in people who try to interject a family member into
a policy decision that this board has had previous p
for and in working to protect the interests of the taxpayers of this county
that any special legislation that’s ever passed ought to also include nonprofit
and those vital projects like schools and libraries. They should not be victimized
and held hostage to that type of action.”

Leiweke has gone too far this time. He’s given greed a
bad name, which is no small accomplishment in an age when greed isn’t just
good, it’s like holy water providing absolution for wickedness.

Anybody who has watched Mike Antonovich over his
four-decade career in politics knows he is a patient man, a shrewd politician
who is both a formidable ally and a dangerous foe, a man who usually gets what
he wants.

What’s important to note in this case is that Antonovich
isn’t a foe of the stadium as much as someone who thinks CEQA is abused to
block or delay important public projects like a hospital in Antelope Valley in
his district and ought to be fixed for everyone, not just AEG.

Leiweke could care less.

As the Times’ article notes AEG “has become increasingly
aggressive in its arguments for the $1.2-billion stadium, putting pressure on
state legislators …  threatened to abandon its
stadium … lashed out at (Roski’s) Majestic Realty.”

“With an extensive retinue of lobbyists and community organizers, AEG sent hundreds of construction workers, high school football players and hospitality industry workers to state and local hearings on the stadium, which has a planned opening date of 2016. The company also has retained Martin Ludlow, a former Los Angeles city councilman convicted five years ago in a felony campaign finance case, to build support among neighborhoods and youth sports teams.”

Leiweke said Tuesday that his company’s recent
assertions, coming just days before the Legislature goes into recess, were an
effort to respond to critics. “Everyone is taking free shots,” he
said in a statement. “Are we trying to set the record straight so that
those that are questioning our intentions … are called out? Yes.”

Shameless and unrepentant, here’s Leiweke’s defense for
his behavior:

Ask yourselves why would anyone do business with someone
like him, with a company life AEG that buys its “friends,” bullies its
opponents and fears anything resembling an honest public debate.

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31 Responses to The Hubris of Tim Leiweke: Shameless Greed, Foolish Pride and Unbearable Arrogance

  1. Anonymous says:

    Love and politics.. I love it.
    Mike kick his ass.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “I was quite surprised at the reaction of AEG, interjecting my “wife” into a situation that has no relationship to this because her involvement was in a helping to assist in an effort in China with a city that she was a resident, where she was born but she is an American citizen as you all know,” Antonovich told his colleagues.
    Now that was a bad move by AEG as it showed a weakness in their line up.
    The comparision of the hospital, and AEG wants waivers exceptions ect., I don’t want to be especially hard on AEG during the process but the process must play out and it will be duely noted by all politicians to be mindful of certain boundaries. AEG will get no special treatment. No political favors. What kind of Democracy shall we see in LA County, California? But I must say, money aside, I never realized how difficult some make it on those who made it.

  3. Chris Rowe says:

    I would assume that Supervisor Antonovich would have to recuse himself from any project that his wife has a financial interest in due to the State Ethics laws. If she worked for AEG in China – I would call that a conflict.
    It is really a shame sometimes that those State Conflict of Interest laws must be met because the Supervisor, from what I understand, wanted the CEQA process to be followed. He wanted what he thought was best for the people.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I foresee a great fall for Liewieke because when you pile scum as high as his height, it inevitably slithers back into a puddle. The law of gravity and politics at work.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I foresee a great fall for Liewieke because when you pile scum as high as his height, it inevitably slithers back into a puddle. The law of gravity and politics at work.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I foresee a great fall for Liewieke because when you pile scum as high as his height, it inevitably slithers back into a puddle. The law of gravity and politics at work.

  7. Anonymous says:

    All our elecetds have taken AEG’s money & other freebies. They should have recused themselves too. AEG should not be dictating when there is a conflict of interest. Is there anyone left in LA who has not been bribed by AEG. Who is going to kick Lieweke’s butt?

  8. Anonymous says:

    When you have the local media touting how great the AEG plan is and then add the Mayor, City Attorney, the Unions, developers the ordinary people of this city who pay all their salaries and taxes don’t have a chance in hell. AEG has proven to be nothing more then a bunch of thugs with a Mafia mentality. From here on end you will never see me at any AEG events and I’m not spending one dime on their buildings. Everyone should do the same. BOYCOTT AEG AND WE SHOULD POST THAT EVERYWHERE. There’s an NBA lock out. AEG will lose money if the Lakers don’t play this season and serves them right. Its GUILT BY ASSOCIATION. At least I can sleep at night, these people don’t have a conscience

  9. Anonymous says:

    Instead of boycotting AEG, never elect any of the current LA politicians to another position. They are the Mayor, 15 Councilmembers, the City Attorney & City Controller. AEG has every right to ask for the moon & stars. The duty of these politicians is to safeguard the public interest and they have not done it. They can go work for AEG. We don’t want them in a public position.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I intend to boycott the AEG and vote
    new people for one term. If they deserve it, I will vote for them again, otherwise keep looking
    for somebody worthy.

  11. James McCuen says:

    Antonivich should seek State legislative action to exempt himself only from Conflicts of interest laws just as the Joint Powers Authority for the Metro Goldline extension are doing.
    (Actually he shouldn’t and neither should the Joint Authority Board). That just shows you how corrupt things are. At least Antonivich backed out. Yes he could have recused himself, but then he could not have introduced the motion in the first place.
    Leiweke is seeking a modification to CEQA that would require mediation and deny any appeals – taking away due process rights of those legitamtely questioning the impacts of the proposed project such as those impacts on traffic, air quality, green house gases.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Goes to show how corrupt the “green” movement is. They want to stick the DWP ratepayers with exorbitant bills as long as they can claim their defintion of a “green” city. They should be more concerned about AEG’s demand to by pass the CEQA process, which will be more harmful to the environment & in the precedent it will set. Most of them are shortsighted, arrogant, self-serving and selfish organizations who could care less about issues that seriously affect the quality of life. Bear this in mind next time these people twist their puppet Villargosa into forcing decisions & higher rates against the residents’ wishes & abilty to pay.

  13. Anonymous says:

    5:26 Why do you say Environmental groups are to blame here? They want CEQA followed.
    Everyone quoted, including David Petit of the NRDC, has been vocal that AEG should not get any special dispensation.

  14. James McCuen says:

    6:11 PM: You are right and I am glad for it that the NRDC is against AEG in this one.
    But the 14 LA City Council members all claim to be Environmentalists are the hypocrites and so is the “Green Mayor”

  15. Anonymous says:

    Leiweke is the Don Corleone of LA , Antonio and Councilmembers his consiglieri.

  16. Anonymous says:

    LA Slimes never liked Antonovich and has sold out to AEG. No surprise story was on front page!

  17. Anonymous says:

    The ring kisser Jim Newton has lost his mind, ethics and any understanding of laws. In his second editorial on the corrupt Mayor, Newton dismisses his acceptance of bribes as “The mayor weathered a silly scrape over accepting free tickets to events — the vast majority were for gatherings he attended for ceremonial purposes —” What lies will he feed us next. LA Times is a sick joke.

  18. Anonymous says:

    For the LA Times to dismiss that ticket scandal as “a scrape” is unconscionable.

  19. Anonymous says:

    WE all know the LA Slimes is going down the toliet. Its the newspaper in the nation’s 2nd largest city their circulation has dwindled. I’m waiting for them to go under. THey are nothing more then a PR spin for the corrupt politicians. The big stories they don’t put in print and negative stories they wait til Friday or Sat. slow news days. This week they highlighted Alarcon’s daughter. What a freakin joke!!! Never mentioned daddy may go to jail or his indictment. Then you have Daily News giving Zine kudos!!! That’s a HUGE joke. I’m happy many of us who are active and attend meetings know better then the tabloid journalists out there. Ron, start your own newspaper

  20. Anonymous says:

    The Mayor’s future belongs in the slammer. Will Cooley do LA this favor as his legacy.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is why AEG and Lieweke is pushing so hard for that NFL Stadium. No team will play until 2016 but thug Timmy can’t wait that long because NBA is in a lock out so Lakers may not play this year. Timmy has all those hotels he built and no one is in them. LA Live is not making the money because of the economy he counted on.
    “Our relationship with USC is our primary relationship. Some extraneous fantasy relationship this guy (Lieweke) is posturing about has nothing to do with us,” said Coliseum Commission president David Israel. “I’m not going to tell Tim how to run his business or what to say, even though he apparently wants to interfere with the Coliseum’s relationship with USC, but he’s got a lot of issues. He’s got a lot of empty condominiums, L.A. Live is being underused, and he’s facing the prospect of no NBA season and no Lakers and Clippers games, which can’t be good for their property.

  22. Anonymous says:

    6:11 p.m. & James McCuen, would you consider the following statement by David Petit as anything less than a sellout?
    “State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) said late Thursday that he will be the author of SB 292, the long-anticipated legislation that would restrict legal challenges to a football stadium project proposed in downtown Los Angeles”.
    “An environmental leader who was briefed by AEG officials said he might support the measure with the longer time limit and other concessions.
    “The idea of direct jurisdiction in the Court of Appeal is far from ideal but I think we can live with it if we get something back in terms of mitigation over and above what the EIR is going to call for,’’ said David Pettit, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council”.

  23. James McCuen says:

    Yes, any modification to CEQA just for AEG is wrong and anyone who was against it and is now saying that they could support it with some other concessions (and probably a donation to the non-profit environmental group) is a sell out.

  24. Wayne from Encino says:


    • Jerry Wright says:

      That is why we need to remove this crook and try the new guy I believe his name is Raj Pal Kahlon vote for him because this man is just way to crooked and what i liked about Raj was he did not take any contributions from anyone which means that there is not going to be any special interest involved. June 5th I am voting Raj Pal Kahlon for 5th district supervisor.

  25. Anonymous says:

    AEG will make a monetary donation (direct or indirect) to the Natural Resources Defense Council, then the NRDC will drop their opposition.

  26. Anonymous says:

    After reading the media on this on the national level (we all know Los Angeles and nothing but pr spinners for the corrupt politicans and tabloid journalists), they are saying legislators not to happy with Los Angeles and some in fact are speaking out. Good for Vargas from San Diego saying they don’t want LA taking their Chargers. Others are saying why is AEG getting preferential treatment and the law shouldn’t be changed just for them. Leave it to the old maid Durazo to be working for AEG as a lobbyist. Wouldn’t it be great if they socked to AEG???

  27. Anonymous says:

    “AEG officials were accompanied on visits to lawmakers’ offices Thursday by business and union leaders, including Maria Elena Durazo, who heads the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
    “We’re making our case for good jobs in Los Angeles,” Durazo said. “We’re telling them there is enormous urgency.”

  28. Anonymous says:

    First off, the LA Times is very inconsistent. Not report on the Raj hijinx and then blasting this stupid Antonovich attack. I am not a fan of the CEQA process but in this case, it needs to be done. It’s that obvious.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Another name to remember to kick out of office is Assemblyman BOB BLUMENFIELD (D-Woodland Hills), SUPPORTER OF AEG’s exemption of Environmental review. Never elect him to any public office.

  30. Wanted information on that. I wrote it off as yet another charge, but I am about to have a look at it all over again.

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