And the Oscar for political theater goes to … Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group for a brilliant performance running circles around LA’s politicians and bureaucrats and bamboozling the public with a fantasy of football, jobs and prosperity.
In the climactic scene of a two-year “drama” over what always was a done deal, the City Council voted unanimously Friday to give AEG entitlements to build Farmers Field and rebuild the white elephant Convention Center (which it is sure to operate) without any significant direct benefits coming to the city.
Clearly, it was something to cheer about. Junior Council members Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino, the reserve cop and the ex-cop, high five each other in joy at the thrilling historic moment and Buscaino salutes Tim Leiweke sitting at the end of the front pew.
Then, Council members and top bureaucrats rush in a line for the chance to shake the man with the golden hand and congratulate him for how he managed to get them to vote for a project that commits all tax revenue to pay its costs, requires huge public expenditures for infrastructure and leaves eight critical environmental areas — including air quality and traffic congestion — with significant unmitigated impacts.
While indicted felon Richard Alarcon throws a football to the audience, a single Councilman remains seated and doesn’t even look up from his papers during the festivities — former Police Chief Bernard Parks — while the architect of the approval stands nearby basking in the glory.
Beautiful! Don’t you love LA?
AEG MOVIE ACT 4 “The Pitch”: “LA — Open for Business or Up for Sale”
AEG MOVIE ACT 4 “The Vote”: “LA — Open for Business or Up for Sale”