Opposing Views on "The All-About-Me Mayor" 

Also, defending Obama, community spirit and Igor's makers

Wednesday, Sep 24 2008

One Man, Two Views

Your article on Antonio Villaraigosa hits the mark [“The All-About-Me Mayor,” Sept. 12-18]. This article, which should be picked up by mainstream media, shows to what extent average citizens are locked out of the city process or plans and how special interests and the mayor’s own ambitions stand first in his agenda.

Gene Hernandez

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[Your article on Villaraigosa is] a shameful, over-the-top hit piece spiked by quotes from anti-urban L.A.-hating Valley-secessionist types like Ron Kaye, and other egomaniacs who feel their special interests have been ignored. This is Patrick Range McDonald’s most damning article since he revealed that Ron Burkle was seen at a party attended by Ashton Kutcher.

Roger Christensen
Sherman Oaks

Send letters to L.A. Weekly, 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA  90230. Fax: (323) 465-3220; e-mail: readerswrite@laweekly.com.

Oh, boo-hoo-hoo! Villaraigosa is merely a politician behaving like a politician; what more do you expect? A politician’s first priority is to get himself re-elected and ingratiate himself to powerful party members who can promote him. Is anyone even surprised at his behavior? His last quote says it all: “The city has given me more than I ever expected growing up.” Yes, he’s in it with the constant attitude of “What can I get?”

Good job on this article — again, L.A. Weekly completely surpasses the L.A. Times in journalistic quality and investigative reporting. You’ve confirmed exactly what most of us have suspected all along.

Posted by Tammy O from Lynwood on Sept. 12


Write On, Proud Papa

Marc Cooper’s letter to his daughter was EXCELLENT. I loved it. It was insightful and funny. I still do not understand why Ms. Palin is not being scrutinized under a magnifying glass by the press. Regardless of political affiliations, she is highly underqualified.

Keep encouraging more of the same!

Joe Hernandez-Kolski

Los Angeles


You mirror my feelings completely. My 22-year-old daughter is an organizer for the SEIU. The mocking comments made by Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani at the Republican Convention were very demoralizing to me and my daughter. I am very proud of the similar path my daughter took through high school and college. I am extremely proud that my daughter is working to help others who our society feels are not deserving of a livable wage and decent health insurance.

Posted by S. Kamara on Sept. 13

For more reader reactions to Range McDonald’s and Cooper’s articles, see the stories’ comments sections.


Not in the Lap of Luxury

In examining conservative African-American blogger Juliette Ochieng and her crusade to get Barack Obama to make good on an alleged promise to assist a Kenyan secondary school he visited in 2006 [“Obama vs. Baldilocks,” Aug. 22-28], the author of the sympathetic profile, Max Taves, does little to examine the basis of that crusade.

Nothing in the article’s quotes of Senator Obama regarding the matter suggests that he said his offer to assist would take the form of a monetary contribution, a specific dollar amount or even a specific time frame for doing so. It is sad that Mr. Taves gives Ms. Ochieng a soapbox to undermine Obama yet provides little context or information about whether Ms. Ochieng is sincerely trying to assist a desperately poor school or merely using the issue as a tool for conservative interests that could care less about Ms. Ochieng’s community, never mind children half a world away.

I also was struck by the use of the adjective “luxury” to describe Obama’s Chicago home. I doubt anyone in L.A. would consider a $1.6 million house a “luxury” home even if it were in a highly desirable neighborhood. If the intent of Mr. Taves was to contrast Obama’s recent affluence with that of Ms. Ochieng’s much more modest status, he would have been far more effective and judicious had he not slapped a label on Obama’s real estate suggesting he is in the same league as, say, David Geffen or Tom Cruise. I’m sure many realtors in Chicago’s Hyde Park would be offended that their far more expensive, better appointed and much more prominent luxury listings have been lumped in with Obama’s roomy but otherwise undistinguished home.

George Rheault

Los Angeles


Trash the Movie, Not Its Makers

Let me preface this note by admitting that I personally know someone involved in the production of Igor. That said, I was amazed at critic Robert Wilonsky’s reversion to callow insults about the actual people making this movie, rather than the content of their film.

Case in point: mocking the director and writer for their previous employment. I wonder how Wilonsky believes people get jobs in the entertainment industry. Unless born to a Coppola, a Paltrow, a Gyllenhaal, etc., people must work their way up through unglamorous projects before getting a shot to set out on their own. It’s the same as any other field; work is offered either via nepotism or coming up through the proverbial mailroom.

Now, I have no idea if the film is any good; I haven’t seen it. But it seems as if Wilonsky didn’t need to see it either, so eager was he to trash the production team.


Los Angeles


Oh, Crist!

Letter-writer Mark S. Tucker refers to the late film critics “Kael and Christ.” Perhaps the typo was L.A. Weekly’s and not Mr. Tucker’s, but surely that should be “[Pauline] Kael and [Judith] Crist.” Or was Mr. Tucker making a comment on Ms. Kael’s messianic ego?

Preston Neal Jones


The Weekly responds: Give us this day our daily comeuppance. And forgive us our typo­graphical trespasses.

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