Bill Boyarsky
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My unfortunate clarity deficit

I am definitely suffering from a clarity deficit. Last week, I wrote about how much I disliked the subsidies and secrecy involved in three big L.A. development projects. In response, Joel Kotkin sent me an e-mail criticizing me for liking them.

If Kotkin, who is smart and also hates subsidies and secrecy, didnít understand me, I figured Iíd better try again:

I donít like the taxpayer subsidies and backroom negotiations involved in L.A. Live, the big hotel and retail development around Staples Center. When I was at the Times, I campaigned against the secrecy surrounding Staples and I feel the same about this new project.

Same goes for the proposed development on Grand Avenue. This is the wrong use of taxpayer money. I will never go to those expensive hotels. Too much money for us aging retirees. And I certainly won't take my wife on romantic post theater walks through a park that will provide a new venue for muggers.

Same goes for the latest boondoggle, creating some sort of zone around the airport area hotels that will probably end up with a taxpayer- financed convention center. This is being done to entice the hotels to pay their workers a living wage.

I hate those subsidies. They are corporate socialism. But what I really hate is the secrecy. Because private companies are involved, government can hide its dealings behind corporate curtains. Thatís how the Staples Center project started out.

Trying to be subtle, or clever, or whatever, I didn't make my point. But the good thing about blogging is that you always have another chance.

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