Politics

Hayden has a list

HaydenAuthor and former state Sen. Tom Hayden had a strong letter in Sunday's Calendar section praising the Times for tough coverage of the Getty. But, he writes, much more scrutiny of the Getty and the city is called for—and he calls on the Times to do it. Hayden probably would have been an interesting voice on the City Council. (If you don't remember, Hayden narrowly lost to Jack Weiss in the Westside's 5th district four years ago. He lost to Richard Riordan for mayor before that.)

I only hope The Times will extend its critical look at the city as a whole.

At the beginning of the Getty, I said it was an example of "rebuilding L.A. from the top up." Putting Munitz in charge was like putting a timber company in charge of the redwoods oops, that was his role at Maxxam. Or a downsizer in charge of Cal State oops, that's what happened to the students there.

The pattern is universal and continuous. The archdiocese covering up the molestation scandal while blessing the mayor's divorce and lining up a tomb for him. The LAPD under a federal court order to reform policies going back 30 years through two blue-ribbon commissions. The cleanup of Santa Monica Bay under a 10-year federal court order with pollution not getting better. The MTA under a five-year federal court order for failure to provide transportation for the people who ride the bus the most. The LAUSD has barely survived its own corruption scandals, and schools continue to be built on dubious soils.

What have I left out? The future of downtown. Forty-four new buildings will be constructed there in the next four years, and public subsidies will pay for redevelopment with hotels, etc. If and when that task is completed, I predict a casino downtown and the leveling of Dodger Stadium. If someone cared to analyze the investors and lobbies for these projects, they would find a massive overlap with the clique that brought us the Getty.

Ten years after closing the doors on "Rebuild L.A." which resulted in a net loss of thousands of jobs in South-Central, the exact opposite of its promise the city seems to be undertaking the rebuilding of L.A. from the top up on an even grander scale.

The Times has a conflict of interest in all this, as one of the largest property owners downtown. I don't know what interests are promoting your investigation of the Getty, but I hope they begin to investigate the rest of this corrupted city before it is too late.

Since L.A. is blinding in its complexity, it really depends on The Times to scrutinize the evasions of the public interest that are, literally, the coin of the realm here. May the force be with you.

Not the first time Hayden has argued there are some things wrong with L.A. Discuss among yourselves.


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