By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
“Conservatives,” Cannon concludes, “need to ignore their impulse that anything the liberal establishment approves of, they must oppose. They should instead focus on this one issue: If a democratic society executes criminals with the foreknowledge that some percentage of them are innocent, are all members of that society implicitly guilty of murder themselves?”
Now, with both Gore and Bush continuing to express support for the death penalty, capital punishment still looks to be a nonissue in November. But insofar as the right wing has shown itself willing to allow for some slight movement on this front, we must, for once, tip our hat to the well-heeled opposition: You’ve come a long way, Binky!
Take My Wife, Please
Down Santa Monica way, the City Council is about to appoint a new member to the powerful Arts Commission, and guess who has the inside track? Well, would it help if OffBeat told you that Mayor Ken Genser’s sister and Councilman Robert Holbrook’s wife are up for the job? And that the two women tied 3-3 in a preliminary City Council vote? Can you say . . . nepotism?
Genser denies using his influence to help his sister, Harriet Beck, a public school theater teacher. “I have not lobbied for or against her,” says Genser.
Not so Holbrook, who nominated his wife, Jean Ann, for the single open post on the 13-member commission, says Genser. “I don’t think it looks good,” Genser opines. Hollbrook responds that although he did throw his wife’s name in the hopper, she was officially nominated by another council member.
“Why should she be penalized just because she is my wife?” Holbrook asks. Jean Ann Holbrook, a community volunteer who has worked with the PTA and the Santa Monica Historical Society Museum, has “a middle-of-the-road view on art, which is missing on the present arts commission,” he adds.
“It seems to me government structures like this are always compromised and corrupted by things like this,” counters newly appointed Arts Commissioner Charles Gaines.
“If the City Council picks them, it would definitely be a preferential thing,” agrees Margaret Silbar, one of the 20-some other candidates for the arts board.
Assistant City Clerk Beth Sanchez points out the relationships could cut both ways. “There are people who won’t vote for them, because they are related.” It’s perfectly legal for council members to nominate or appoint relatives to commissions, says Santa Monica Assistant City Attorney Joseph Lawrence.
Councilman Paul Rosenstein once abstained from voting to put his mother, Millie, on the Commission of Older Americans. Et tu, Mayor Genser? “If [my wife] is nominated, I will vote for her,” he says. The vote is set for July 11.
—Christine PelisekEdited by Gale Holland
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