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Logic, environment lose out to campaign donations

November 11, 2009

(No apologies for being away this time, let’s just jump into it)

I hate to rip on the state legislature after one of those rare occasions where they do something kind of good, but…

Local state legislators voted to exempt a billionaire from a state environmental law requiring study and mitigation of the impacts of large projects, enabling him to build an empty football stadium in a tax haven outside Los Angeles. In case you’re wondering, this particular billionaire also happens to shower representatives with donations. Backers cited the made-up benefits the stadium will have on job creation and economic activity, ignoring all available empirical evidence and common sense.

Fittingly, Majestic Realty Co. Vice President John Semcken compared the plan to the new Cowboys stadium, built with vast sums of public money, and touted the short-term, low-paying construction jobs that would be “created” by the stadium as “jobs that can happen here very, very quickly.”

Inexplicable yea votes included Ira Ruskin and Paul Fong, the Assembly members representing Los Altos and Mountain View, respectively, and State Senator Elaine Alquist.

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One Comment leave one →
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