Taking the High Broad
Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad always seems to get a reaction one way or another, and the reactions to last week's story on his discussions with the city of L.A. (in addition to the cities of Santa Monica and Beverly Hills) over his proposed art museum ("Eli's Egoland?" by Tibby Rothman, Feb. 3) are no exception.
Take this leveled approach by Crash from El Lay: "Eli Broad ruined Los Angeles by mass-producing houses far beyond the capacity of the water table or infrastructure. He can go straight to hell for all I care."
Noel D from West Hills also is no Broad fan: "Eli Broad's only motive has always been what's good for Eli, not the L.A. taxpayers, as he would like you to believe. All of his projects, including this Broad museum, have cost taxpayers money in one form or another. This museum is not going to produce any large amount of tax revenue for the city, but it will call for millions of taxpayer dollars that we don't have. For what, just to feed Eli's ego? Let Santa Monica or Beverly Hills have it."
But then, just to balance things out, a couple of readers see the plus side.
"Let's remove the personality from the issue for a moment," writes CCM from L.A. "If downtown ever wants to be taken more seriously as the rich cultural mecca it could be, the arts should be welcomed into the community with open arms. Besides, who wants another empty condo building or a hotel down there? Give L.A. residents a cultural and experiential reason to come downtown, and they will."
Will Wright also thinks the museum is a good idea, and takes the Weekly to task: "I feel the tone of this article is rather disingenuous. It's the perfect naysayer's response. Emblematic of CAVE people — Citizens Against Virtually Everything.
"If our city is to ever move forward (culturally, economically and politically), then our media coverage needs to start celebrating what works well (at least some of the time). Please quit bashing heads purely for the sake of instigating dramatic skirmishes."
Okay, Will. And now, back to our cave.
New Weekly staffer Gene Maddaus' story on L.A.'s city attorney ("Sending Trutanich to His Corner," online Feb. 5) brought a lot of ink our way, including some comments that were practically articles in and of themselves. We urge you to read them in full, but here are some highlights:
"The city attorney's office has 1,000 staff including almost 600 lawyers," writes Nancy (just Nancy). "It's a multibillion-dollar budget that is bleeding $6.5 million/month on mostly payroll, as the Times reported a few months ago in a meeting he had with their (suck-up, Jim Newton, Robert Greene, etc.–dominated) editorial board. Even Rocky let 50-60 lawyers leave over the previous six years to comply with budget reductions, which every other department including council and mayor's offices have. But none come close to this staff and budget, and if he can claim all are 'essential,' certainly the field deputies who deal with constituent services — while their bosses are in council listening to Zuma Dogg and John Walsh — are, too."
Charles (just Charles) has this: "Say what you like about the new city attorney, his presence in City Hall has caused grievous embarrassment to the mayor and the council, who really are not used to having a qualified professional in their midst. The successes that Trutanich has achieved stand in stark contrast to his predecessor Delgadillo's lack of legal experience, and have also shamed the council with their inability to pass a simple marijuana-shop ordinance for four and a half years before Trutanich came along and showed them how to do it. Now in his seventh month, Trutanich's record of success after success is pissing off a few of the do-nothing-but-photo-ops council members as well as the mayor.
"All of them see their buddy system seriously threatened by Trutanich, and they have good reason. Perhaps the one with the most to lose is Jan Perry. She has been plotting her ascendency to the mayor's office when she is termed out in 2013. She's built a powerful, secretive and highly lucrative relationship with AEG and sees that threatened by Trutanich, who first revealed Perry as the person responsible for allowing the city to fund AEG's dead Michael Jackson show, and then he forced Perry to hold an open council session where she had to lead the council to give AEG 18 digital billboards when there was a citywide ban. Perry is counting on AEG to bankroll her mayoral campaign, and as Trutanich chips away at her cozy relationship with AEG, more and more questions are being asked about Perry, and the answers are ugly.
"But Perry has a lot more to fear from Trutanich than him simply outing her pay-to-play candidacy. Trutanich has a close working relationship with District Attorney Steve Cooley, and an executive staff made up principally of former district attorneys; Carter, Livesay, Mangan and Berger are who Perry fears more than anything else. Much of Perry's financial past remains buried and she wants it to stay that way. Awkward questions about her finances could torpedo her candidacy, and now Trutanich's prosecutors have access to records that could reveal embarrassing facts about Perry.
"Small wonder, then, that there was a serious but ineffective attempt to silence the city attorney this week. It's no secret that Perry and Villaraigosa hate each other, but as both are being revealed as ineffective and poorly advised, they may have joined forces to try to take out Trutanich. They may also be seeing their political careers flushed down the toilet by the one man in City Hall who is not a politician and not an insider."
Finally, this from Gargantua (yes, just Gargantua), regarding Doug Harvey's review of the Mercedes Matter exhibition at Pepperdine’s Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum: "What a great piece of writing! Thanks for not being full of shit."
No, thank you, Gargantua.
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