CA legislators reject fast-track bill for Clippers, Olympics, call it “billionaire justice”

The plan to fast-track any environmental lawsuits over any new arena for the Los Angeles Clippers (or transit projects for the 2028 Olympics) got off to a dud of a start last week, as the state legislature did not advance out of committee a bill that would have greased the skids for those projects:

Legislators on the Assembly Natural Resources Committee expressed concerns about giving well-heeled developers special treatment, and the bill failed to get enough votes to advance.

“There’s been a lot of angst as far as big CEQA exemptions for projects with individuals with tremendous means, billionaire justice, whatever you want to call it,” said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento).

Read further in the Los Angeles Times article, and you start to see maybe why the bill had such rough sledding: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti opposed the Olympics provision as unnecessary, and AEG, owner of the Staples Center, opposed the Clippers clause as, well, helping their rivals and current tenants, and we can’t have any of that. The last time we saw two sports giants go up against each other was when the New York Jets and Cablevision, owners of the Knicks and Rangers, went toe-to-toe over a new football stadium in Manhattan. Cablevision ultimately prevailed and the project was killed; it’s way too soon to tell if AEG will pull off something similar over the Clippers arena, but expect an awful lot of lobbying money to be spilled in the interim.

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3 comments on “CA legislators reject fast-track bill for Clippers, Olympics, call it “billionaire justice”

  1. >lobbying money to be spilled in the interim.

    Ah the blood of our modern democracy…coursing through its every artery and vein! Almost makes you marvel at its crass majesty.

  2. If there’s one thing Steve Ballmer has plenty of, it’s lobbying money. Maybe he’ll get some tips from ex-microsoftee Paul Allen on how to engineer a special election.

  3. Ah yes, it’s great to walk down memory lane and read about the NY political class’ rampant opposition to “spending a billion dollars on a sports stadium” in 2005.

    All in, what are they in for to date? $2bn? $2.5bn?

    And that doesn’t even count the football stadium that was built (in NJ).

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