McCourt’s memos on NFL bid unify Coliseum backers
With the Rose Parade set for today and the big game on Wednesday, local officials had plenty of time to indulge themselves. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa planned to spend the first day of 2006 traveling around the city and working at a shelter for battered women. In doing so, he passed up an invitation to attend the second-term inauguration of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who attended Villaraigosa’s inauguration. For City Council President-elect Eric Garcetti, considered one of the council’s wonks, it was participating in the 25th annual Renaissance Weekend in South Carolina, the event started by former President Clinton to bring together different sorts of folks to mull public policy issues. Garcetti was assigned to talk about how to make cities more livable and to come up with some political predictions. Speaking of politics and presidents, a Democratic candidate for the state Assembly seat being given up by Fran Pavley might have the endorsement of perhaps the nation’s most popular former president. Kelly Hayes-Raitt has picked up the backing of outgoing President Jed Bartlett. Well, OK, it’s actor Martin Sheen – who might have more political opposition than the character he plays on the “West Wing” – but it’s still an endorsement. Hayes-Raitt said she met Sheen in 1993, and the two have worked together on various issues involving the homeless and living wages. The district she is running for includes portions of the West San Fernando Valley and Ventura County. The beginning of the year marks a time for starting with a clean slate. Jim Alger, the neighborhood activist and Democratic candidate for state Assembly, issued a statement recently to try to clear up what has been a whispering campaign against him. Alger said he had been convicted 10 years ago for incorrectly filling out a driver’s license and the charge was later dismissed. Alger said the problem occurred because he had been adopted and legally changed his name. He failed to check a box that he had a driver’s license under another name. “Everything I did was done legally except in filling out a form in haste and making this seemingly innocuous mistake,” Alger said in the statement. “The conviction was later set aside and dismissed by the California Superior Court. “While most people in my life are aware of this mistake, now at the very beginning of the campaign seemed like the appropriate time to put this matter where it belongs, in the past.” Alger is running for the seat centered in Granada Hills that is being vacated by Republican Assemblyman Keith Richman. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The dustup last week over whether Dodgers owner Frank McCourt was trying to undercut the organized effort to bring professional football back to Los Angeles has strengthened the delicate coalition backing use of the Memorial Coliseum. Even as McCourt and other Dodgers officials insisted that they, too, are behind the Coliseum effort, the leak of memos outlining a potential bid for an NFL team at a new Chavez Ravine stadium served to energize local officials – and also expose the ongoing problem with the National Football League. The league likes parity on the football field. It likes competition for the right to get a franchise. Those are among the reasons Los Angeles has been without professional football for 10 seasons and why the city is constantly used as a bargaining chip against other cities. It was the case when the league was able to drive up the costs for a Houston franchise by using Los Angeles as a competitor. It is the case now, as the NFL debates the future of the New Orleans Saints beyond next season. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson In the most recent effort, the NFL has been delaying a decision on Los Angeles for months as it has looked at other local venues, from Carson to Pasadena to Anaheim. All of which has resulted in high anxiety among Los Angeles officials, who were close to having some dramatic in-fighting until the McCourt memos surfaced. But the McCourt revelation allowed officials to bang the drum for their efforts at the Coliseum and, at the same time, beat up on McCourt and the Dodgers. And, if McCourt wants to win his way back into the good graces of local officials, his best efforts are probably not with football: He will get all sorts of accolades if the Dodgers start winning. How did you spend your New Year’s Day?