Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 9
Roski Catching Flak for Political Gifts
Money talks, but why must it nauseate? In October, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill clearing away legal and environmental barriers to the $800 million stadium that Los Angeles developer Ed Roski Jr. wants to build in the City of Industry. One of the teams he wants to attract is the Chargers. The legislature passed a bill exempting the stadium from land-use laws that have been in force for almost eight decades. Bloomberg News quotes Peter Detwiler, staff director for the state Senate Committee on Local Government, saying, "I know of no other law that exempts a development decision from state land-use laws." Bloomberg points out that the proposed new stadium will purportedly produce 6,735 permanent jobs and 11,964 temporary ones in construction.
A group called U.S. Term Limits points out that Roski donated $300,000 to a proposed ballot measure that would lengthen term members of California state legislators. "This is Mr. Roski's payback to California lawmakers who created a special exemption so he could build his stadium, and it stinks,"says Philip Blumel, president of the Fairfax, Virginia-based U.S. Term Limits group. The Los Angeles Times points out that the $300,000 is part of $505,000 that Roski gave to California political campaigns in the second half of 2009.