“The Divided Greens” [June 6–12]. Oliver Lukacs has written several articles
in various media defending Mike Feinstein against allegations of financial wrongdoing.
Those allegations stem from Mike’s deposit of a $10,000 check — written to the
Green Party of L.A. County — into an account only he controls, without the knowledge
of the GPLAC. Mike then failed to make the necessary legal filings reporting
that he had received and spent that money.
Like Lukacs, the Green Party is grateful to Mike for his considerable work
building the party. Unlike others, this political party is based on inclusion
and transparency, so our group-decision process is critical. Though perhaps
not always efficient, consensus is valued by Greens for including the diverse
opinions and perspectives of those affected. By contrast, Mike has an independent,
get-it-done style. His solo style may sometimes be efficient, but there is no
group consensus. There is no group.
The core issue is this: Mike received and spent $10,000 that was not his.
He did not ask the intended recipients — the L.A. County Greens — how they
wished to use their money to build the party, as the donor had intended.
Mike chose how to spend the Greens’ money, and did so. Now, having made that
deposit into his account, Mike is legally required to report it. The Green Party
of California offered to do it, but Mike has not provided the necessary documents.
After nearly two years, that filing has yet to be done. This leaves several
entities at risk, but Mike alone controls the documents to make the filing.
He now faces a legal investigation of the matter. The GPCA has therefore asked
him to temporarily put aside his Green Party work to focus on quickly resolving
his legal issues.
Mike Feinstein has made significant contributions of his time and talents
to the growth of the Green Party. He is a friend and mentor to many Greens,
and will be heartily welcomed back to Green Party work after he has settled
—Beth Moore Haines
Green Party of California spokesperson
Micah Penn’s letter
[June 6–12] in response to Harold Meyerson’s “Which Black L.A.?” article
began strongly, detailing key issues that seriously need addressing. Parts of
his argument, however, have to be commented on:
1. L.A.’s social and political problems aren’t only ethnic-based, but class-based
even more so. Whether it’s the MTA’s reluctance to ante up an injury settlement
to a 97-year-old woman who sued them, city government’s confused methods of
solving the homeless problem by attacking the homeless instead of the problem,
or Korean restaurant workers protesting the questionable business practices
of their Korean bosses — all us Angelenos who aren’t movers and shakers are
in the same boat, regardless of color.
2. Penn’s dredging up the old saw about “Latinos and illegal immigrants getting
all the jobs” to put across his point about racism toward blacks can itself
be misconstrued as a racist statement, even if it wasn’t intended as such. Isn’t
it time we evolved from utilizing the same tired clichés to confront our societal
3. It’s a home truth that Jim Hahn was elected partially because of his father’s
legacy of dedicated service to the black community. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny?
There are some in that community, disillusioned by Hahn’s mayoral performance,
who’d disagree. It’ll require time and hindsight to determine Martin Ludlow’s
effectiveness just as it would any other politician’s. If he fails, all we can
do is try again.
4. The increasing usage of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” and the
constant bickering and finger-pointing between those two camps have reached
overbearing proportions. At the risk of sounding too metaphorical, let’s throw
those labels out, find a new road, and search for a better way of communicating
with each other, rather than at each other.
Individuals like Micah Penn, who expresses apprehensions about the changed
political landscape in L.A., need to understand and appreciate one thing: Latino
workers who now constitute a majority in local service industries did not displace
anyone. They simply accepted work that no one else wanted to do. Mr. Penn asks
if Antonio Villaraigosa will assist in the desegregation of the local food-and-beverage
industry. I want to know if Maxine Waters will assist in the desegregation of
USMC combat units, which are “shockingly” Latino. I think not.
If Mexican, Central American and other Latino immigrants, legal or undocumented,
have gained anything in America, it was because of their own hard work, their
willingness to focus their energies, and their willingness to do anything that
is moral and legal to succeed in their pursuit of the American Dream. If that
reality offends anyone, they need to check themselves and not attempt to degrade
people like my grandparents, my parents, or my brother, who just got back from
frontline duty in Iraq.
Allen Park, Michigan
Re: “Giving Up
the Ranch” [June 6–12]. Kudos to Greg Goldin. His writing shows us that
this is not an isolated issue. I live in south Santa Cruz County, and we are
facing a similar encroachment — albeit on a much smaller scale — in an unincorporated
area skirting the city of Watsonville, called Buena Vista. The issues are much
the same: traffic increases, population density, environmental and ecological
effects, geological considerations, water quality, increased local housing with
few local jobs, and the changing quality of life in general.
Also, thanks for having the L.A. Weekly online, since I can’t always
pick one up in person.
However correct John Powers may be about the multiple
failings of The New York Times [“Weapons
of Mass Distraction,” On, June 6–12], he is wrong about the Jessica Lynch
story not being mentioned until May 29. In fact, the Times had the only
story about her hospital stay on April 16, long before BBC said anything. The
Times reporter interviewed the two doctors who cared for her before liberation.
They told of giving her very special treatment, even having her in a private
room until they moved her into a ward so that the Iraqi police wouldn’t find
her. They said that the Iraqi troops pulled out and that the doctors loaded
her into an ambulance and headed for American troops so they could turn her
over, but were turned back by Americans. They said there was a lot of gunfire
when Americans came to get her, but the Iraqis had been long gone.
I kept the article for a couple of weeks so I could compare it to the story
the DOD would put out after her recovery, which so far has not happened. The
piece was an “inside” story, and I neither saw nor heard any reference to it
later by anyone — including the Times.
—Barbara R. Diamond
Robert Scheer’s Los Angeles Times column on Jessica Lynch was published
May 29, not May 22, which may account for John Powers’ inability to find it
archived. I did find it in the Factiva database.
Red Bank, New Jersey
THE EDITOR REPLIES: Robert Scheer wrote two articles about the Jessica Lynch
rescue. The column of May 29 was the second, and can indeed be found in both
the L.A. Times archive and on Nexis. The missing column is the first
one, which ran in the Times on May 20 and was reprinted on May 22 in
The Record from Bergen County, New Jersey (which is where John Powers
found it on Nexis). As of this writing, that column cannot be found in either
the Times archive or under the Times listings in Nexis.