While AEG was busy gutting the heart of California’s environmental protection law with the help of business, labor and environmentalists, competitor Ed Roski’s NFL football team was rounding up support from the Boards of Supervisors of.neighboring Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties as well as officials of many cities east and south of downtown LA.
The officials, and former NFL players at the event, sound a lot like promoters and backers of AEG’s plans\ — 20,000 jobs, more tourism to boost the economy, the joy of football — with some differences, namely that millions more people will be able to reach the stadium in a real amount of time, seats will be cheaper and they will be able to tailgate all day long.
Angeles County and all our residents will benefit tremendously from
Majestic Realty’s proposal because it is the only plan on the table that
presents zero risk to taxpayers or the general fund,” said Los Angeles
County Supervisor Don Knabe. “This plan will create nearly 19,000
desperately needed jobs and serve as a direct revenue stream for Los
Angeles. When the Super Bowl and other events take place it will be our
hotels, our restaurants and our stores that will be full of tourists.”
National Football League is too big and its return is too important to
limit the benefits to only 14 acres,” added Chairman of the Riverside
County Board of Supervisors Bob Buster. “Majestic has a plan on the
table that will create jobs and generate growth in a way that spreads
benefits to the millions of people who live in the four corner region.
Since the NFL departed the population has shifted east. We are one of
the fastest growing regions, and we should be the next home of the NFL.”
proposal which includes a new state-of-the-art stadium and a retail
campus will make a tremendous impact on our regional economy,” said San
Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt.
The stakes are high in terms of who gets the jobs, which communities get most of the economic benefits and which billionaire gets the bragging rights.
AEG’s lobbyist team of Armbruster, Goldsmith & Delvac — recipients of nearly all of the $1 million AEG has spent in the last year to influence City Hall in LA — have been doing a lot of bragging in their own right after spending a month in Sacramento drafting and selling the legislation fast-tracking AEG’s stadium through the environmental review process and opening the door to other massive projects to minimize the amount of review they face from the public and the courts.
An email blast from the firm boasts that they drafted the legislation, brought together legislators of both parties and key environmental groups “for the first time in decades” to initiate “major California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) reform aimed at
avoiding unnecessary delay while keeping legitimate CEQA review intact.”
The bills — AB 292 solely for AEG and AB 900 expanding the weakening of CEQA to other major projects — are awaiting the governor’s signature of veto. They bypass the Superior Court if EIR approvals are challenged and give the Court of Appeal. just six months to revolve what are inherently complicated cases based on thousands of pages of detailed documents.
“We prepared the draft legislation at each step, and worked for months
with leading environmental groups, legislators, unions and the business
community to craft legislation that would meet each group’s requirements,” the lobbyists said in their email.
help make this bill a reality, one of our partners spent the last solid month
in Sacramento on the drafting and advocacy, while other partners provided
detailed support on important legal and technical issues from Los Angeles. All
of this hard work paid off ..”
They humbly credit these legislators for their fine cooperation: Speaker John Perez, Sen. Alex Padilla, Assemblymen Michael Feuer, Bob Blumenfield and Wesley Chesbro and Sens. Alex Padilla, Fran
Pavley, Joe Simitian and Senate President Pro Tem Darryl Steinberg.
You might remember their names come election season, particularly City Attorney wannabe Feuer and West Valley Councilman wannabe Blumenfield.
What’s iinteresting is it appears that Armbruster, Goldsmith & Delvac were acting in Sacramento as lawyers since there appears to be no reports to this point of AEG hiring them as legislative lobbyists or the firm reporting it was paid for lobbying.
The firm does confirm what Feuer and others have been whispering — the legislators intend to further “reform” CEQA to speed developments in the name of creating jobs as long as there is any kind of fictional narrative about how “green” the project is. Since the heroes they lobbyists credit for undermining CEQA — something long-sought by business — are all Democrats, you can see how hard it is to tell the difference between them and Republicans.
“The work-and opportunities for greater reform with AB 900-will continue
into the next year’s legislative session with a follow up bill,” the email blast said.
In other words, just say “green” and there will be a green light.