- Making News: Just How Good Is That Budget?
Governor Schwarzenegger said his budget agreement with legislative leaders made yesterday a "terrific day for California," but Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee says don't hold your breath. Walters calls a growing ideological divide and state requirements that a two-thirds majority approve the budget guarantee gridlock and the need to tap future funds to pay today's bills.
- Reporter's Notebook: Mayor Villaraigosa Makes Appointments to the MTA
One of candidate Antonio Villaraigosa's most ambitious campaign promises was to reduce traffic and extend the Red Line to the Pacific Ocean. Today, Mayor Villaraigosa became Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and appointed Councilman Bernard Parks, attorney David Fleming and former Assemblyman Richard Katz to the MTA Board. Katz says investing in infrastructure will be key to the mayor's plan.
Gold-Plated Lifestyle of the Getty's Barry Munitz
Last month, the LA Times published 5,000 words on the salary and perks paid by the J. Paul Getty Trust to President Barry Munitz. At a time of program and staff cutbacks at the Brentwood campus, the Times reported that "Munitz has spent lavishly, traveling the world first class at Getty expense, often with his wife, staying at luxury hotels and mixing business with pleasure." While security managers were being laid off, Munitz was given a $72,000 Porsche Cayenne SUV. Iowa's Republican US Senator Charles Grassley, who's threatening a crackdown on nonprofits with tax exemptions, faulted the Getty for "spending more time watching old episodes of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous than doing its job of protecting Getty's assets for charitable purposes." Munitz hasn't been heard from publicly, and neither has the Board until a column in this week's Los Angeles Business Journal. Editor Marc Lacter says the Getty's making "excuses when it should be making reforms."