Conflicting tones on Pellicano case
The L.A. Times writes that with the government's lack of new indictments and trouble deciphering sleuth Anthony Pellicano's recordings, "there are signs that a sweeping investigation of alleged wiretapping and other crimes might end up like most things in Tinseltown and fall short of its billing
." The New York Times, however, goes with a story outing two more Pellicano clients
: art collector and hedge-fund manager Adam D. Sender and Jacqueline A. Colburn, an ex-wife of the late arts patron Richard D. Colburn. Both reportedly told the FBI they knew Pellicano was secretly recording his investigative targets.
Confidential F.B.I. records show that the scandal's tentacles have extended beyond show-business figures to reach people prominent in the rarefied worlds of fine art and classical music....With prosecutors still struggling to produce the actual recordings they say Mr. Pellicano made of other people's conversations, witnesses like Mr. Sender and Ms. Colburn who can testify that they listened to such intercepted calls could be crucial to the government's case.
Donald Sterling wants to use his fortune to do for the homeless
what he has done for the Clippers. Make of that what you will.
New milestone in philanthropy
Warren Buffet announced he will donate most of his wealth
, or about $31 billion, to the already-rich Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It's the biggest philanthropic gift on record.
Mayor vows to prevail
more than 1,400 delegates at the OneLA-IAF assembly that his schools compromise will pass and will work to cut the dropout rate. "What we will have is an opportunity to empower parents and teachers," Villaraigosa said. "A 50 percent dropout rate is unacceptable.
Times education columnist Bob Sipchen
doesn't buy that former labor organizer Antonio Villaraigosa ever intended to force the teacher unions into actual reform.
I like Antonio a lot. Until he moved into the mayor's mansion, we were neighbors. Over the years we've chatted at pancake breakfasts, BBQs and on the sidelines when our sons played AYSO soccer together — not to mention here at The Times when I was on the editorial board.
I have no doubt that he is sincere in his empathy for students, particularly the poor Latino students whom the public schools are failing. I'm sure, too, that he's telling the truth when he suggests that reforming education is as important a challenge as any a civic leader can fling himself into these days. I'm even convinced that a heartfelt desire to make society better for kids is among the reasons he wants to be governor (come on, we all know he wants it) and then — another hunch — president.
That ambition, however, is also why I've always been suspicious of the politically brilliant mayor's stated reasons for wanting to take over the career-crippling quagmire that is L.A. Unified.
Most characters in life, as in good novels, have complex and even conflicting motives. In striking that deal last week, ambitious Antonio smacked down Antonio the altruist.
Antonio's big gamble
The Daily News goes with a piece saying of Mayor Villaraigosa's schools compromise that the bill
introduced late Friday "could get fast-track treatment in Sacramento even though, back in Los Angeles, it remains mired in controversy and a cloud of confusion." Villaraigosa counsel Thomas Saenz says that more support will build as the details become known, but the DN portrays the issue as make-or-break for the mayor's reputation. Rick Orlov adds in the Tipoff column:
If you thought the last several months of battling between Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles school officials were brutal, you ain't seen nothing yet.
The compromise worked out last week by Villaraigosa and United Teachers Los Angeles on his effort to gain more authority over the school system has a long way to go. And the continuing battle could stretch well into next year's election - when four school board members are on the ballot...
Now, the district and school board - which brought much of this on itself by rebuffing Villaraigosa's efforts over the past year - finds itself scrambling to build allies in a state Legislature where it has few friends.
Outgoing Assemblyman (and Valley mayor-in-exile) Keith Richman scotched talk that he would be a candidate against Councilman Greig Smith, saying he has endorsed Smith for a another term. (End of column
Mayor Villaraigosa's comments on the LAUSD front, as imagined
by Jon Regardie in the Downtown News.
Believe me, Los Angeles, you city of the 21st century you, that this journey was not undertaken to scope out the real estate market four years from now. And it was not, as some of the trolls in the media reported, to salvage my proposal to run our school district. I rescue, I do not need rescuing.
Any media who reported that my plan was in trouble do not believe that children are our future, and do not love children like I do.
My plan did not fall apart, and despite the reports by the trolls, I did not respond to information from the Speaker of the Assembly that my proposal was in trouble by saying "Uh-oh, spaghetti-o's."
I also did not fly to Sacramento on a jet provided by Ameriquest. I flew on another aircraft. I did that because I love Los Angeles, and mayor of this city is the only job I want.
Tinkering with term limits
The L.A. chamber of commerce and the League of Women Voters are pushing a ballot measure
to extend the term limits for elected Los Angeles officials to three terms.
Times City Hall reporter Steve Hymon proposes
that the mostly unused south veranda at City Hall be turned into a coffee shop and that a gift shop sell prints of the historic L.A. black-and-white photographs exhibited outside of city council members' offices on the fourth floor.
Council President Eric Garcetti's efforts to promote Hollywood clubs and restaurants were featured in a piece
by the Times' Small Hours columnist, James Verini.
Blogs getting venture capital money
Rafat Ali of Santa Monica-based PaidContent.org
is one of the blogs-turned-companies mentioned in the free Wall Street Journal story
. Greycroft Partners LP is investing less than $1 million for a minority stake in Ali's ContentNext Media.
In the can
The Times' Aaron Spelling obituary
carried the byline of Brian Lowry, who wrote for the Calendar section before leaving to be a Variety columnist.
The book that got away
Mark Ebner worked on
a 40-page proposal with former Playboy Mansion live-in Izabella St. James. Nothing came of it, he thought—but now her book is coming out sans
The author guests on KPCC's "Patt Morrison" to talk about his newest history, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. After 2 pm.
Interview with Kenneth Starr
The Pepperdine Law dean whose work as special prosecutor led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton spoke with
the L.A. Business Journal's Emily Bryson York.
Q: Do you have any regrets about your involvement in the Lewinsky investigation?
A: I’ve said that the matter had to be investigated, but it would have been better, all things considered, for Attorney General Janet Reno to have appointed someone else to do the investigation. At that point the Whitewater and related investigations had all been given to us. We had not simply expanded the investigation, we had been asked to take on these additional matters. Thus a public perception emerged that the investigation was quasi-permanent in nature and just seemed odd in terms of its longevity.
Q: What was the best result for you from the Clinton investigations?
A: That a very unpopular task was carried out with dignity and integrity. Lawyers are sometimes given lousy jobs that are doomed to be controversial at the very outset. The nature of the task spawns dissention and at times vociferous criticism, but the lawyer’s task is to press on and to carry out his or her responsibility regardless of public opinion.
Q: You know the first line of your obituary will mention that you were special prosecutor. Is that something you struggle with?
A: It is what it is and I cheerfully accept the fact that when one is called upon to investigate a very popular and charismatic President of the United States, that assignment will not go unnoticed.
The Dodgers head to Minnesota for the first time since the 1965 World Series, which they won.