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At a time of cutbacks in police, fire and other public services, the Mayor and the City Council are giving back some $640 million in tax revenue to the developers of three hotels in booming downtown Los Angeles. Is it a sound "investment" or a giveaway? Would the hotels be built anyway? Why is it that hotels in the rest of the city don't get the same deal? Also, the Lakers' season is over after the second round of the playoffs. What's next? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, what are the Republican presidential aspirants waiting for?

Banner image: Exterior of the Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Nokia Theatre and Staples Center are seen at bottom right. Photo: Ritz-Carlton

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Gary Scott
Karen Radziner

Main Topic How the 2012 GOP Field Is Stacking Up 26 MIN, 19 SEC

How the 2012 GOP Field Is Stacking UpA crowd of prominent Republicans is supposedly thirsting to run against President Obama next year, but they've waited a long time to make that final commitment. Even Republicans with double-digit support in the polls have been slow to get into the race. Today former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pre-announced that he'll formally announce his candidacy on Wednesday. Are others are finally ready to dive in?

 

Other GOP candidates discussed include:

Tim Pawlenty
Rick Santorum
Herman Cain
Mitch Daniels
Main Topic Are Hotels in Downtown LA Getting Taxpayer Money for Free? 19 MIN, 45 SEC

The LA Times reports that two building inspectors have been arrested and a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas seeking personnel records of at least 11 current and former employees. David Zahniser co-wrote the story. He also wrote a Times' story about tax breaks for massive hotels in booming downtown Los Angeles. J.W. Marriot, which opened last year, is reportedly doing well enough to produce some much-needed city revenue in a cash-strapped city. But the Anshutz Entertainment Group, AEG, will be able to keep some $270 million in taxes through 2035. Combined with two other such deals, the city could end up giving away $640 million in the next 30 years. The Mayor and City Council approved the subsidies after analysis by PKF Consulting, which calls them "incentives" and says they're common where they will stimulate new business.

Guests:
David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times (@DavidZahniser)
Bruce Baltin, PKF Consulting
D.J. Waldie, KCET

Reporter's Notebook Lakers Lose in Post-Season, but What about Next Season? 5 MIN, 59 SEC

The "threepeat" is a dream of the past, and Phil Jackson, the most successful coach in NBA history, said he would retire long before yesterday's four-day sweep by the Dallas Mavericks was finally over. Todd Boyd is Professor of Critical Studies and USC's School of Cinema and Television. One of his many books is Basketball Jones: America Above the Rim.

Guests:
Todd Boyd, University of Southern California (@DrToddBoyd)

Basketball Jones

Todd Boyd, Kenneth Shropshire, Sohail Daulatzai

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