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March Madness in L.A. — A Soulless City Searches for the Fall Guy for the Farmer’s Field Scandal

It’s getting harder every day to tell the players in L.A.’s drama apart — maybe they should wear numbered jerseys at least while they mourn the loss of another National Football League franchise, an unnamed one that joins the Rams and Raiders in the city’s scrap heap.

Take Michael Hiltzik, the LA Times politically correct business columnist who on Sunday fell prostrate before right-wing extremist billionaire Phil Anschutz in idolizing how he called the NFL’s “bluff” and is the greedy league’s “worst nightmare: a potentialy team owner who can call his own shots.”

I guess all the other billionaire owners are just gutless lackeys but not Phil who spent up to $55 million to bribe and buy local and state officials, unions and poverty pimps to get $2 billion in entitlements for Farmer’s Field but is “not certain that pro football would be an unalloyed plus for his enterprise,” not anyway on “our campus” as if he owned all of downtown and not just the pieces City Hall bestowed up him.

Amazingly, Hiltzik finally has come to the conclusion that Anschutz has “done city officials the favor of demonstrating this project always amounted to a pig in a poke; he’s even showing them the ‘oink.’ ” Anschutz is certainly showing them something but it’s not an oink.

Even more incredibly, Jim Newton, the Times’ star editorial columnist, suddenly noticed the real pig in the AEG story was Tim Leiweke who owned City Hall so completely he got officials to write into the Farmer’s Field contract a provision that required him to be AEG’s chief executive or it could be killed by the city.

“Leiweke got his projects done by making sure that Los Angeles’ many interests all got something out of them. That wasn’t always pretty, and Leiweke sometimes resembled a ward boss. Labor got union jobs; community groups got parks or special treats; certain interests got donations to charity or programs for the homeless; politicians, of course, got political contributions.”

Citing leftist/labor leader Madeline Janis and downtown developers’ frontwoman Carol Schatz support for Leiweke’s giving them what they wanted, Newton turns from critic to admirer despite finding Anschutz’s Staples Center/LA Live “campus” something that is “gaudy and anonymous, a collection of chain stores and restaurants you could find in Kansas City just as easily as here.”

But in his morally equivocated world, it turns out bribery is a good thing in Leiweke’s case “he got things done . . .  The ability to deliver made Leiweke powerful. Some people didn’t like it — and sometimes for good reason. But he proved that with the right leverage and the right friends, big things could get done in Los Angeles.”

In other words, the ends justify the means because the soulless space Leiweke developed created some jobs and economic activity and replaced “a few scruffy buildings and empty lots” as if strong leadership couldn’t have insisted on something far more organic and interesting with longer-term impact for the health and wealth of the community.

Strong leadership was the problem as the statements from top two cheerleaders for this rotten deal gone nowhere, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and downtown Councilwoman Jan Perry, both of them now quite happy to rebuild the Convention Center without a football stadium.

The mayor who had insisted the AEG contract was “iron-clad” now is looking for a way out as if had not completely screwed up the deal.

Writing to woebegone City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana who is required to do the bidding of the people like the mayor that Leiweke bought, the mayor said:

“We are investing over $4 billion  into LAX to finally give L.A. the welcome mat to the world it deserves: World class destinations and attractions. A modernized Los Angeles Convention Center with an expanded contiguous floor space will help us book more and larger conventions.”

Added Perry: “Our first priority as a city is to make our Convention Center a leader by modernizing our facilities and increasing exhibition space. We want to make Los Angeles competitive nationwide, attracting more convention business, tourism, and the investment that comes with it. The bottom line is we need to have a plan in place with or without an NFL team.”

So we don’t have a plan. We don’t have leadership. We don’t even have Leiweke the Fixer anymore.

All we have is Miguel Santana. So fix it, Miguel, or you’re out. Every political scandal needs a fall guy and I’m afraid you’re it.

 

 

 

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15 Responses to March Madness in L.A. — A Soulless City Searches for the Fall Guy for the Farmer’s Field Scandal

  1. Wayne from Encino says sell the Convention Center to the CHINESE! says:

    They can convert it to one of the world’s largest indoor ping-pong (table tennis) centers! Then we can sponsor ATP tennis tournaments during the year too! Imagine the tourists! Imagine the fun! Imagine all that and telling the NFL to take a hike!

  2. anonymous says:

    Oh sure. Tim was a big shot, or rather bought City Hall, with Anschutz money. Any idiot can do that.

    • Scott Zwartz says:

      When we say that “AEG bought City Hall,” let’s not forget the real mechanics that harms us. It is not the money from AEG, CIM Group, The Millennium, etc. to the judges, councilmembers and legislators that harms Angelenos; it’s the billions of tax dollars which these officials then turn around and give to the businesses.

      That is why LA is functionally bankrupt.

      There is s chance that the NFL was smart enough to realize that nothing added up in LA. It does not matter if the stadium were built on the top of a subway. The subway serves only 5% of the city — and even a much tiny fraction of the fans who would live outside city limits.

      All it takes is a 5th grader to draw a large circle and then place a stadium at the center to figure out that there is no way to get all the people from the 5,000 sq. mile area into 1 acre at game time. Remember the provision that fans will not use cars to get to the stadium. Is the county going to spend $3 TRILLION to construct a subway system? Get real.

      • LA Moderator says:

        ***Spoiler Alert***

        5% for subway is so passe, when Maglev is magically rolled out to connect the dots!

        I was going to save details for another thread…regarding how San Fernando’s may spin in vain, but the machine’s real COG’s join special districts like MTA, SCAQMD, LACFCD, LARWQCB and specifically, SCAG planning on keelhauling the historical approaches to Planning in So Cal with it’s 2% solution. It’s elementary my dear Szartz…be it Agenda 21, or just plain greed…the insider’s yearning to become/maintain the 1%…working behind the scenes with key developers, policy makers, selected groups including some unions who would benefit from rebuilding LA Babylon.

        “The Compass Blueprint 2% Strategy is a guideline for how and where we can implement the Growth Vision for Southern California’s future. It calls for modest changes to current land use and transportation trends on only 2% of the land area of the region – the 2% Strategy Opportunity Areas. Investing our planning efforts and resources according to the 2% Strategy will yield the greatest progress toward improving measures of mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability for local neighborhoods and their residents.”

        http://www.compassblueprint.org/about/strategy

        Seems like Garcetti’s vision for Hollywood…including the Millenium scrapers skirting HCP…and Woodland Hills/Warner Center Specific Plan….

        If they build it…the stadium/convention center, the Marriott and LA Live…it doesn’t really matter if they come. But there’s a blue print to make it sound convincing….

  3. RichieLee says:

    What these fools forget is that while you can buy a judge for a dime a dozen, and LA City Hall is a morass of corruption, and the legislature cannot wait to be bought, you cannot buy the laws of economics.

    The City does not have the tax income to pay AEG it $1 Billion no matter now dearly Garcetti wants to pay Asshutz. The CRA is dead and the voters rejected Prop A. Where will Garcetti get the money? Oh, yeah, Repeal Prop 13.

    • James McCuen says:

      You raised a good point which is many times missed by politicians from both parties – If you have to heavily subsidize a PRIVATE project with taxpayer dollars and special gifts of tax waivers, then you are just propping up a bad investment.

      Many Billionaire’s who preach caveat emptor and “free” markets, are the first to run to the taxpayer’s for a bailout because they are “too big to fail” – Why can’t they just learn to swim with the sharks and stop feeding from the public trough?

      • anonymous says:

        Oh, indeed…self-serving leaders/billionaire-leeches like…
        like…Eli Broad feeding at his trough on Grand Avenue…?

      • El Quixotian says:

        Does that mean Solyndra will be brought back to life to provide thin-cell solar-methadone, promulgating increased dwp rates now that we’re going cold turkey on coal?

  4. Newsreformer says:

    The Soulless City could well be the product of “Modern Education” that has been described as:
    “creating people who are smart enough to accurately repeat what they are told and to follow orders…
    …and dumb enough to think this makes them smarter than everyone else.

  5. Wayne from Encino on Lie-Weekley's parting gifts to the City Clowncil says:

    As Tim Lie-Weekly, the AEG crook/bozo moron leaves in disgrace, he gave some gifts to the Elected Officials:
    KING HERB I. : A BOOSTER SEAT
    PRINCE ERIC: An old photo taken from the 1930′s of Molly’s Hamburger Stand
    JANIS HAHN: A brain
    Bill Rosendumb: COURAGE
    Dennis Zine: Nothing, since he’s nothing
    Jan Perry: $500 gift card to BURGER KING
    Wendy Gruel: A specialty plaque that reads “Always My #2″ (whatever that means)
    and of course
    Tom LaBonge: A HEART!

  6. anonymous says:

    Hahahahaha, Riordan will advise Greuel how to ” solve the city`s problems”. God help us, if this buffoon is the one to save the City from bankruptcy. This race is going to be amusing. Hahahaha, you think there is room for both Riordan and Hertzberg as senior advisers? Poor Bob, his stock is discounting by the hour………..

  7. Wayne from Encino on Lie-Weekley's parting gifts to the City Clowncil part 2 says:

    Tim has some more gifts for more City Hall insiders:
    Mayor Riordan: A BRAIN
    Bob Hertzberg: One way Ticket to Florida to go to old folks home
    Kevin James: A Book entitled “How to Run for Office in L.A. and Lose” by James Hahn.

  8. teddy says:

    I will write Kevin James’ name on my ballot. There is no way I shall vote
    for either one of the others. They are the problem. Viva L.A.!

  9. Wayne from Encino on teddy's vote says:

    In the run-off, voters can only vote for ONE OF THE TWO FINALISTS! If you write in Kevin James, two things will happen: 1/ You’ll miss the chance to vote for my candidate Eric Garcetti, aka Prince Eric, aka GARSLUTTI and help retire Cruela-Gruela, and 2/ you’ll prove there IS A HIGHER INTELLIGENCE IN LOS ANGELES! Now we wouldn’t want that, would we?

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