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
Then there’s the city‘s control of activities in city parks ”for one or more persons, the conduct of which [might] draw a crowd of onlookers.“
What’s a crowd? the judge asked: ”Two, 10, 100?“ Three‘s a crowd, as the saying goes. Citing the statute’s wanton vagueness, Feess struck it down.
As Harold Meyerson recently wrote in these pages, Los Angeles is chronically tightfisted with public space, our need for which goes well beyond public discourse. There‘s no easy way to create the communal areas this city so desperately needs. But the ACLU, by filing suit, and Judge Feess, by striking down the dowdy assortment of restrictive laws that reigned over public activity, have given us the legal room to have our public say.
Goodbye, Standup Guy
It’s like imagining President Clinton ditching Janet Reno. That‘s how it felt to read in the Daily News that Dick Riordan was ousting one of his longest-allied and most loyal subordinates -- none other than Harbor Commission President Ted ”Tedzilla“ Stein. Who three years ago ran for city attorney on what you might call the Riordan ticket.
Stein’s harbor appointment had seemed a consolation prize for losing that race to incumbent Jim Hahn. But the appointment ran into trouble in the City Council.
The big issue then was the role Stein had earlier played, as Airport Commission president, in hiring notorious onetime Clinton associate Webster Hubbell as a city lobbyist. Hubbell was to run interference with Washington on Dick Riordan‘s bid for a bigger share of airport revenues. But Webb ended up pleading out on pending charges. Stein got all the blame, but he may have been taking the fall for inner-circle Riordandom.
Sending someone who is controversial down to the harbor is a not-unprecedented way for a mayor to get such a someone out of sight (think of Tom Bradley and Ezuniel Burts). In any case, Stein did well enough there not to attract hostile attention. End of story, you might think, with Riordan and Stein walking off into the sunset next year, hand in hand. Pals to the end.
Not quite. Riordan’s people insisted he just wanted a change. But a friendly commissioner replacement usually transfers the removee to another commission.
Not this time.
According to Rick Orlov‘s report in the Daily News, Stein says he was bounced because he’s been raising money for the mayor‘s campaign of his own former opponent Jim Hahn. And Dick Riordan is totally committed to the mayoral bid of his sidekick Steve Soboroff. (Perhaps Soboroff loyalists are not easy to find. Stein was replaced by a lesser Hahn loyalist, developer Rick Caruso.)
The News reported that Riordan now wants to give special attention to harbor-area waterfront development -- an issue that Soboroff himself has been discussing with San Pedro locals.
We’ll have a column on this development in the near future. But meanwhile, does the mayor really expect second-generation loyalty from his commission appointees -- not just to himself but to his chosen successor? That could create problems. For instance, union chief Maria Elena Durazo sits on the Recreation and Parks Commission, and county labor potentate Miguel Contreras sits on the Airport Commission. And both are strongly rumored to favor the mayoral candidacy of Antonio Villaraigosa.
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