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Billionaires’ Bragging Rights, Boosters’ Benefits and the Brutal Battle for Big-time Football

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.

They made their point at a press conference Wednesday at Diamond Bar City Hall with windows looking out on the graded and shovel-ready 600-acre site for stadium Roski’s Majestic Realty wants to build in the City of Industry. Their effort got quick backing from the San Bernardino Sun.

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.

“Los
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.”

 

“The
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.”

 

“This
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. 


“To
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. 

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19 Responses to Billionaires’ Bragging Rights, Boosters’ Benefits and the Brutal Battle for Big-time Football

  1. Anonymous says:

    ou are quite correct, Ron.
    These guys were lobbying in the true sense of the word and should have registered as lobbyists and AEG should have registered as a lobbyist employer.
    Why hasn’t someone reported them to the FEPC?
    Beats me. Maybe the FEPC ought ot take a look at this, since there is no statute which exempts lawyers from the laws regulating lobbying.
    Maybe it is time to test this issue? Does the FEPC have the cojones to take on AEG and the law firm?
    Stand by…

  2. Anonymous says:

    ou are quite correct, Ron.
    These guys were lobbying in the true sense of the word and should have registered as lobbyists and AEG should have registered as a lobbyist employer.
    Why hasn’t someone reported them to the FEPC?
    Beats me. Maybe the FEPC ought ot take a look at this, since there is no statute which exempts lawyers from the laws regulating lobbying.
    Maybe it is time to test this issue? Does the FEPC have the cojones to take on AEG and the law firm?
    Stand by…

  3. Anonymous says:

    All right. These people are determined to
    have their own way. What if the NFL teams do not
    want to move here? What is their alternate plan?
    Or do we still owe and owe and owe. And the beat goes on.

  4. Wayne from Encino says:

    ET TU MIKE FEUER? The guy had the City Attorney’s office LOCKED UP, but now he’s an EIR buster? Yes, we have another crook, liar, cheat, and whore making a return to L.A. City. I SHALL NAME HIM “JEWISH GAGA!” This, in comparison to the O.G. (Original Gaga) Carmen “Gaga” Dumbtanich. This whole CONSPIRACY in Sacramento on the football deal IS TO STEAL FROM SAN DIEGO THEIR CHARGERS!!! The City of San Diego should SUE FOR 1 BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGES FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND THE NFL for this ATROCIOUS AND CORRUPT CONSPIRACY to change the whole EIR process in California just to rip off San Diego’ major job creator come NFL season. As well, what is the GROSS VALUE OF THE SUPERBOWLS THAT SAN DIEGO WILL GET IF IT HAS A TEAM?
    Time for San Diego to LAWYER UP AND MAKE THESE BASTARDS EITHER PAY A BILLION BUCKS to them, or BACK THE FUCK OFF and leave the Chargers in L.A!
    Want a team in L.A? BRING US A NEW TEAM INTO CALIFORNIA. Watch the NFL: THEY WONT BRING THE STATE A 4TH TEAM, THEY WANT ONLY 3 IN CALIFORNIA. What a sham!

  5. Bob from Santa Monica says:

    Wayne, Wouldn’t San Diego be better taking the Owners of the Chargers to court (Spanos) instead of LA or Roski or AEG? Plus, Al Davis beat the NFL in court for the right to move his team. As long as the Chargers pay the remaining fees on their lease, they can leave (just like the Rams, Vikes, Raiders, etc…).
    San Diego can keep the Chargers still if the voters approve of their (future) stadium Bill. The Chargers and the Mayor of SD have already said this.
    Unless the Chargers get a new stadium or major face lift for their current stadium, they will not get another Superbowl.

  6. Bob from Santa Monica says:

    Wayne, Wouldn’t San Diego be better taking the Owners of the Chargers to court (Spanos) instead of LA or Roski or AEG? Plus, Al Davis beat the NFL in court for the right to move his team. As long as the Chargers pay the remaining fees on their lease, they can leave (just like the Rams, Vikes, Raiders, etc…).
    San Diego can keep the Chargers still if the voters approve of their (future) stadium Bill. The Chargers and the Mayor of SD have already said this.
    Unless the Chargers get a new stadium or major face lift for their current stadium, they will not get another Superbowl.

  7. Anonymous says:

    BINGO!!!! This guy gets it!!
    “I don’t necessarily think the NFL is going to come to L.A., regardless of the [AEG] deal,” Neil deMause, author of the book and companion blog Field of Schemes said. “I don’t think any team will jump on it [moving to L.A.]. They would have to exhaust all other options.”The idea of moving a franchise to L.A. may be tempting for some owners, but a brand new stadium will not make up for the over-saturated sports market (two baseball teams, two basketball teams, two hockey teams, two college football teams and a soccer team) or the disillusioned football fans who have been burned before by teams who have abandoned the city and now foster long distance relationships with their favorite teams

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wish City Hall thought as clearly as you and the person just ahead of you do. Thank you, Ron, and
    Comment-ers.

  9. Jack Northrop's ghost says:

    Here’s a thought – the USAF is currently planning to replace more than 400 advanced training aircraft, the T-38 Talon, built in Hawthorne by Northrop in the 1960s-70s. Currently, Northrop is teaming with British Aerospace to offer a US-built version of BAE’s Hawk jet trainer for the T-X.
    Rather than spending time, money, lobbying energy, and political capital trying to get an NFL team to relocate to LA County from somewhere else, why are the bright lights of political power in SoCal getting together to back the NGC-BAE bid with investment credits and political capital for location of the new assembly line in LA County?
    Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale would be an obvious site; the old Northrop plant in Hawthorne and the current one in El Segundo (LAX-adjacent), or the Douglas/MDC/Boeing plant in Long Beach all come to mind…and it is not just the USAF procurement; there are hundreds more T-38-based airframes in service aroundd the world that will need to be replaced in the future, as well.
    These would be real jobs – engineering and assemblers, not the bottlewashers and cocktail servers that the NFL will bring – and if the program came to SoCal, it would reestablish a fast jet manufacturing capability in the county with real long-term employment possibilities.
    http://www.baesystems.com/Newsroom/NewsReleases/autoGen_111819145732.html

  10. Jack Northrop's ghost says:

    Here’s a thought – the USAF is currently planning to replace more than 400 advanced training aircraft, the T-38 Talon, built in Hawthorne by Northrop in the 1960s-70s. Currently, Northrop is teaming with British Aerospace to offer a US-built version of BAE’s Hawk jet trainer for the T-X.
    Rather than spending time, money, lobbying energy, and political capital trying to get an NFL team to relocate to LA County from somewhere else, why are the bright lights of political power in SoCal getting together to back the NGC-BAE bid with investment credits and political capital for location of the new assembly line in LA County?
    Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale would be an obvious site; the old Northrop plant in Hawthorne and the current one in El Segundo (LAX-adjacent), or the Douglas/MDC/Boeing plant in Long Beach all come to mind…and it is not just the USAF procurement; there are hundreds more T-38-based airframes in service aroundd the world that will need to be replaced in the future, as well.
    These would be real jobs – engineering and assemblers, not the bottlewashers and cocktail servers that the NFL will bring – and if the program came to SoCal, it would reestablish a fast jet manufacturing capability in the county with real long-term employment possibilities.
    http://www.baesystems.com/Newsroom/NewsReleases/autoGen_111819145732.html

  11. Wayne from Encino says:

    The difference between the Al Davis vs. NFL suit and the proposed idea of San Diego vs. California and the NFL IS that a State Government CONSPIRING with the league and possibly OWNERSHIP of a team or teams is CAUSING the cash-strapped San Diego to be forced at GUNPOINT to pay for a new stadium or pony up cash to Spanos. If the CORRUPTION of the elected officials would cease and decist, then the FAIR MARKET would decide if any team packs up and moves to L.A. But what we have here is a billion plus bucks of PROPERTY TAX MONIES AND CRA MONIES plus BRIBED IDIOT POLITICIANS forcing this propsoed move. San Diego, therefore, is acting in GOOD FAITH and like any business dealings between a state and a corporate entity (which San Diego county and city are MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS) must be accorded the same rights. They are being FUCKED out of either a team and Superbowls, or alot of taxpayer monies it NEEDS to keep the lights on. A lawsuit of this kind would SEND SHOCKWAVES around the nation that sports teams HAVE HAD THEIR LAST DAY BRIBING, CHEATING, LYING, AND STEALING their way into new stadiums. If they want a fucking new park with boxes and hotel rooms for the hookers, then THEY AND THEIR FANS WILL PAY FOR IT, NOT YOU, NOT ME, NOT RON, NOT SAN DIEGO, NOT ANYONE ELSE! I thought Carmen Trutanich would be the City Attorney with the smarts to take these kind of positions. But he took his FREE TICKETS to Lady GAGA, AND THUS BECAME ANOTHER SHILL POLITICO, THUS HE’S A GAGA! As for Spanos: He’s a Napolianic THUG just like McCourt, but San Diego needs to keep every business it can.

  12. James McCuen says:

    Bob from Santa Monica is pointing out what historically happens on Stadium deals – Team owners milk the most they can out of a City and then act like a free agent later and try to get Cities to compete with each other about how much they can take from the taxpayer.

  13. Bob from Santa Monica says:

    Listen, the Chargers, Rams, Raiders, etc have a right to move. There will be no court case. End of story.
    They will have no court time with Roski, AEG, or the City/County of LA or (if it’s an out of state team) the State.
    The Chargers just need to pay what they owe on their lease. (If San Diego “needs/wants” to keep them, pass that future stadium bill). Same with the Rams, Raiders, Vikings (which have a stadium bill already on the table), etc…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Delvac. Isn’t he that arrogant ass who goes around L.A. telling people some old war story how he “saved” St. Vibiana’s Cathedral from demolition when he used to work on the preservation side of CEQA? Since then, he brags about how much money he has made spearheading projects that tear down and diminish historic places in the City.
    Some cities and states use historic preservation as an economic catalyst to build good jobs in stable markets. Not in Los Angeles. They let Armbruster, Goldsmith and Delvac lobby without registration of their clients and lobbying activities to put a stadium in the wrong place and exempt from this state’s most fundamental environmental values.

  15. Anonymous says:

    And, I would argue that Tailgating Downtown L.A. using “what” Chocoal? GAS? The polution would suck. who wants to tailgate on the freeway? sorry, game started? What?
    And the visiting TEAM can fly IN Ontario Airport .. get a hotel and get out of the City HELLO!! They have pretty beaches Newport going South..
    I don’t know who’s worse the slashing of the EPA or what State Officials just did, because why? Now sometime on or around the time the NFL in L.A. or around L.A. is sorted out, LADWP has made it clear, they want a RATE HIKE.
    Let’s compare: More traffic, OH and those H.S. KIDS walking to school, playing football, soccer, “breath in” DAY IN DAY OUT entire life. So now you want US, to pay U, more money for a Coal Operation in UTAH? AZ?
    You bring Air Pollution to L.A. then, you turn around with some Stringent Job Crushing Law, and because it’s conducive to bring in money; YOU like it. IT SUCKS. It’s not fair.

  16. James McCuen says:

    Bob from Santa Monica makes another good point – Football teams owners can do whatever they want – within (or sometimes outside of the law until they get caught).
    But it is our flawed political system and corrupt leaders that don’t look after the best interests of the public that allow team owners to rip off the Cities and play them against each other.
    The problem is that our elected leaders never learn from history and then, in the case of Rosendahl ask “what happened?” or “I didn’t know”
    You can learn a lot from the book, “The Field of Schemes” and from the movie “The Battle for Brooklyn”
    http://www.amazon.com/Field-Schemes-Stadium-Swindle-Expanded/dp/0803260164/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316893466&sr=8-1
    http://www.fieldofschemes.com/

  17. Anonymous says:

    Tonight on Channel 2 look for the investigative report David Goldstein is doing at the 11pm hour that is going to rip the AEG deal apart. THe promo says $$$$ that is suppose to go to help poor people is being filtered to the AEG deal.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. I shall share your message as well.
    We must keep the pressure on because they need
    apathy to win. Thank you, again and again, Ron.

  19. Loraine says:

    With that plans in mind just do hope that people will go for it, and for the NFL that they really need to sit down and talk this over to its finality.

    Loraine from lampadaire extérieur

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