Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pasadena Star News: Rose Bowl Ticketgate more ‘Far Side’ than outrage

Free tickets for fun city officials 
(Mod: The latest in those every other Sunday opinion pieces I am doing for the Pasadena Star News - link.)

There probably isn't a more politically correct city this far east of Santa Monica, nor one that tolerates the shenanigans of its elected leaders quite so much, as Pasadena. It is more of a belief system than government. Maybe a mood. Say no perceived evils, never see them as well.

As most people who scribble columns about politicians know, there is no more happy combination than petty malfeasance combined with effortlessly assumed self-righteousness. It is what you pray for. And what better place to find this than on the west side of the Michillinda Curtain?

Recently it came to the attention of the world that Pasadena's elected officials, along with their institutional whipping boy, City Manager Michael Beck, had received $150,000 dollars in free tickets from the Rose Bowl Operating Company. RBOC being folks whose interests these officeholders vote upon.

And as was stated in the paper you are holding now, "The Seco Street Residents Association’s complaint accuses Darryl Dunn, the Rose Bowl stadium’s general manager, of operating a 'slush fund' of tickets that he uses to 'build political favoritism from council members,' according to the complaint."

Of course, everyone already knows about this. The FPPC has the complaint before them now. Though, outside of the faintest of wrist slaps, plus a few days of news stories, this will likely go the way of the Wooten Scandal. That is how it usually rolls.

However, I believe there is a more important dimension to this kerfuffle, one that is receiving absolutely no coverage. Anywhere. That being what exactly it is these usually prim city officials went to see.

The performers who entertained Pasadena's elected elite at these Rose Bowl events were Beyonce, Rihanna, Jay Z and Eminem. All artists known for lascivious lyrics and salacious live performances. I thought I'd take the opportunity to quote you a few of their more intriguing librettos.

Eminem: "I may fight for gay rights, especially if the dyke is more of a knockout than Janay Rice/ Play nice? B**** I'll punch Lana Del Rey right in the face twice, like Ray Rice in broad daylight in the plain sight of the elevator surveillance/ Till her head is banging on the railing, then celebrate with the Ravens."

Beyonce: "Ya man ain't never seen a booty like this, And why you think ya keep my name rolling off your tongue, 'Cus when he wanna smash I'll just write another one, I sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker."

Jay Z: "'Now eat the cake, Anna Mae,' said, 'Eat the cake, Anna Mae!' I'm nice, for y'all to reach these heights … Sleep tight, we sex again in the morning."

Now all that said, I cannot claim to be too offended. As an almost two decade long veteran of Atlantic and Interscope Records, this is just the old hat corporate rhythm to me. We call these "booty shows." I paid for my house selling this kind of stuff to Wal*Mart.

Then again, I am also not an elected official in the political piety capital of the 210 Corridor. It is easy for me to say something.

So yes, I am having some trouble figuring out what the likes of Bill Bogaard, Terry Tornek and Jacque Robinson were doing at these shows. It just doesn't gibe with their daily drag. Hanging out in some of the finest free seats ever handed out by a solicitous promoter to possibly complicit local government.

It had to have been some kind of sight.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

41 comments:

  1. reveals my age, I know, but these lyrics make me long for the days of wine, women, and song instead of sex, drugs, and (I guess now) rap.

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    1. wine = drugs
      women = sex
      song = rap

      It's all still the same just said differently. Hip Hop has been around for almost forty years. How old are you?

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    2. I never heard Frank Sinatra sing about beating women. Maybe I missed something?

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    3. Wait I though this thread was about wine, women and song, not violence. I've never heard Beyonce sing about 'beating women' either. But Sinatra you ever hear Sinatra live? He ain't exactly a saint to women.

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    4. Eminem: "I may fight for gay rights, especially if the dyke is more of a knockout than Janay Rice/ Play nice? B**** I'll punch Lana Del Rey right in the face twice, like Ray Rice in broad daylight in the plain sight of the elevator surveillance/ Till her head is banging on the railing, then celebrate with the Ravens."

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    5. Remember the time Sinatra played a heroin addict? That was a good one.

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    6. Movies are real for you?

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    7. 8:13 Sinatra was not the kind of guy to sing about beating women, though clearly he was the kind of guy to do it.
      You couldn't have picked a worse person to hold up as some kind of improvement over the sleaze we make stars.

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  2. The West Pasadena Association of homeowners should be very concerned. Here they are voicing concerns about the Rose Bowl and the noise, parking issues, etc. and the elected officals in Pasadena are receving what amounts to bribes from the Rosebowl Operating Company. The West Pasadena Association probably can't offer the same benefits to their elected representatives as free tickets to concerts and then they wonder why the City is not taking any steps to mitigate their concerns. Personally, I don't have to much sympathy for residents who knew they were going to be living next door to a stadium and all that entails, but the fact that City Officials are receiving gifts whose purpose is to get City Officials to ignore the residents' concerns is very troubling.

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    1. Pasadena is a very corrupt city. Cloaked with a thick layer of civility and hypocrisy.

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  3. They probably sold them or gave them away to political cronies for perks. Out of all of them , Eminem has the occasionally big word in his lyrics. Does that count?

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    1. If they sold them then it was a cash for influence situation. Not sure that makes it much better.

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    2. The question I have is how on earth it is okay for the city to approve events like these where the volume is so loud that residents -- even those not right next to the stadium -- have no choice but to hear all the lyrics, even in the houses with their doors and windows shut.

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    3. I think the Rose Bowl should pay each resident enough money for a night at a nice hotel for every event where the decibel level passes a certain number in their neighborhoods. Same for people whose streets are blocked off. On a per person basis, including children. Not a per household basis.

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  4. Ticketgate or Bootygate? Inquiring minds need to know.

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    1. what is it with all the 'gates'? So tired of hearing that hackneyed suffix.

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    2. Gategates.

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    3. although the drought situation could actually be 'watergate'

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    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    5. According to MacMillan, "gate" as a suffix denoting political scandal has now made the dictionary.
      http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/gate_2

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  5. On another subject - I'm watching the rerun of the last Sierra Madre City Council meeting. Here's Tom Love telling us about the drought. Doesn't he realize that he would have much more credibility if he hadn't stood before City Council just a year ago, and told them that there is no drought. There's Mrs. Falikinian sitting in the front row -- one can assume keeping an eye on Harabedian and Goss to make sure they don't vote for reasonable tightening of the R1 zoning laws, especially after Mr. Chung spoke about the travesty that is being built next door to him, with his wheelchair bound wife and service dog sitting in the audience. Goss and Harabedian didn't disappoint her, but it passed without them. Shame on you two!

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  6. Nice try Crawford. There's no real news here, so your article attempts to prey upon the supposed sensibilities of the 'little old ladies' from Pasadena. Interscope, where you say you've worked for decades, was a pioneer of gansta rap... But, you're not offended, just peddling some sample lyrics in the hope you can outrage a few readers. Good luck, it might work, but you can do better.

    Not every one of Jay Z's releases is a hit. Same goes with you

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    1. Politicians accepting $150,000 in free Rose Bowl tickets from the company that comes to them for event permits to do shows at the Rose Bowl is no big deal for you? You must be in government.

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    2. 8:05 must have gotten the bad tickets.

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    3. That is a problem for me, but the focus of Crawford's article is this:

      "However, I believe there is a more important dimension to this kerfuffle, one that is receiving absolutely no coverage. Anywhere. That being what exactly it is these usually prim city officials went to see."

      It's the same cheap, sensational journalism as the 'pink cow in the manger' or 'Noah Green in the hammock'. I'm saying Crafword can do better.

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    4. You seem upset. Are you a Beyonce fan?

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  7. No, but clearly Crawford is and is not.

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    1. Ahh, you're just spinning mad that your pol pals have been called out. Bunch of cheap grifters they are, too.

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    2. Calm down 8:30. I just want Crawford not to lose his new gig at the Star News.

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    3. Obviously 8:15 has a chicken in this fight.

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    4. Somebody is very upset this morning. Wonder why?

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  8. In other news, hooray for Ireland!

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    1. Did they win something in soccer?

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    2. Irish gays wake up to whole new world: When’s the wedding?
      http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/social-affairs/20150524/irish-gays-wake-up-to-whole-new-world-whens-the-wedding

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    3. That is a very good thing. I always thought that it was terribly unfair that gays had the law to help protect them from the depredations of the institution of marriage. Now that the playing field is level they can also suffer, just like the rest of us.

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  9. You can get an anullment if the marriage has not been consumated or you have big bucks to give to the Vatican. What constitutes consumation?

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    1. Consummation does not take place until after the marriage ceremony is complete. Unless you hear otherwise that was accomplished as well.

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  10. OT: Now here's an interesting article from the LA Times, talks about goundwater contamination...Sierra Madre We're #1.That french canadian friend of film flam inman has here work cut out.
    http://www.latimes.com/visuals/graphics/la-me-g-drought-wells-20150520-htmlstory.html

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  11. what's also missing is how our city officials claim of having given their tickets as an act of goodwill to local kids rings hollow. Do kids at risk need to go see Jay-Z? Why do they need to hear Eminem talk bout raping and dismembering women?

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  12. Our problem is the number and distribution of the free tickets. Why should an RBOC member get 16 free tickets to an event? The crude “entertainment” provided by Jay Z, Eminem and others isn’t the point. Most neighbors don’t want to hear the F word booming repeatedly through our walls. Bogaard, Tornek and Robinson may go on their own dime, if they wish. I imagine that they mostly gave away the tickets and enjoyed the power that resulted. Politicians love to dole out favors.

    The main point is not that the concerts were crude, it’s that no one represents the neighbors against profit and city hall arrogance. The Rose Bowl is old, and needed improvements. We were told that increased revenue from luxury seating would pay for the work. The construction was poorly supervised, budget overruns resulted and next we hear that more revenue is needed to cover the debt. Plus, only some infrastructure improvements were done; they want money for more. Can we trust the Rose Bowl Operating Company to hold down unnecessary expenses? No, because they always vote unanimously for whatever Mr. Dunn & Mr. Gordo suggest. Can we trust them to moderate AEG’s desire for huge profits if/when a Rose Bowl music festival is approved? Same answer.

    The city stacked the deck when they created the RBOC in 1993. The ordinance reads “The common law rule on incompatible offices is specifically abrogated to permit voting members of the city council to serve on the board of the Rose Bowl Operating Company if nominated and appointed as provided in this section.” Similarly, they regularly ignore low bidder requirements to select favorite consultants.

    I don’t dislike Victor Gordo; he and Daryl Dunn have a submissive board. If he votes as a city council member to approve RBOC requests, this is wrong, a conflict of interest. Until the RBOC composition is changed, he should not be allowed to vote on his own proposals and no member of the RBOC or city gov’t should be offered more than 4 free tickets per year.

    We don’t need an RBOC of “friends of Bill“ (or Terry). They won’t balance our needs against legitimate Rose Bowl needs. Now about the “you knew what was coming when you moved in next to the Arroyo” argument. We all pay taxes, they should be fairly assessed. We had 8 or 9 annual events and very few charity walks when I moved in. When the RBOC increased the number of events and charity walks, they selectively taxed Rose Bowl neighbors. Those living near to Rosemont and Seco have been taxed the most; they bear the biggest burden (not me, I live on Washington).

    We need balance.

    Bob Snodgrass

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