When Randy Adams was negotiating for 770,000 thousand dollars to be the city police chief, he joked in an e-mail about “taking all of Bell’s money.” That’s just one of the ugly revelations emerging from hearings into a scandal that’s made Bell the national poster child for local corruption. Part-time council members were paid 100,000 a year for meetings they almost never attended—all arranged, says the District Attorney, by two principal defendants: former Chief Administrative officer Robert Rizzo and his former assistant, Angela Spaccia. Their compensation amounted to 1.5 million and 850,000 respectively. With all but one council member facing charges and no meeting since last year, who’s in charge?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Ramona Ripston is retiring today after 40 years as executive director of the ACLU of Southern California. During that time, she’s been a champion of affirmative action, school busing, gay marriage and abolishing the death penalty. She had a lot to do with reforming the LAPD after incidents of police abuse that led to the Rodney King uprising in 1972. More recently, she’s focused on homelessness--on the ground that “poverty is a civil liberties issue.” She herself has told the LA Times that the Southern California ACLU is “a peculiar ACLU.”
Ramona Ripston, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
In the 1990's, Big Bird, Kermit and all their friends saved Bill Moyers, Frontline and the rest of public broadcasting from Republican budget cuts. But charges of liberal bias never went away. Last year, NPR's news analyst Juan Williams told Fox News he was "nervous" flying with passengers wearing "Muslim garb." When NPR fired him, Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans saw evidence of "a left-wing network." Since January, six bills have been introduced to defund public broadcasting once and for all. This week, Congress will vote on a measure that would withhold the remaining amount of the budget for this year. We hear from their critics and their supporters.
Paul Farhi, Washington Post
Laura Walker, President, New York Public Radio
Laurence Jarvik, author, 'PBS behind the Screen'
James Rainey, Variety (@raineytime)
Adam Thierer, Senior Research Fellow, George Mason University's Mercatus Center