Supes “Concerned” Over LACMA’s Finances

Regardless of how you feel about Measure R, you’ll get a quick chuckle out of this agenda item on today’s county board of supervisor’s agenda.  Hat tip to the eagle-eyed Damien Goodmon for noticing:

Agenda (pdf)

Item 13:

Recommendation as submitted by Supervisor Antonovich: Direct the Chief  Executive Officer to review the operating agreement with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to determine if additional funding is necessary to  operate the facility in light of the $900,000 provided by the Museum to the "Yes on Measure R" campaign.  (08-3359) 

  • JRider

    Wow. Antonovich is a jerk, to use a polite term. This has been clear for quite some time, but this affirms it.

  • Antonovich may be a “jerk” but it certainly seems warranted to ask such a question. $900,000 is a lot of money for a publicly funded art museum to throw around in a local political campaign.

  • Laldava

    LACMA is thinking long term – if it can increase its visibility to the people of Los Angeles by being connected to a functional public transit network, its profile begins to rise and increased philanthropy and donations may follow. If there was a subway stop near fairfax, I would make it a point to visit LACMA more than I currently do. I think improved transit is vital to the long term health of LACMA as an institution and I have no problem with them donating to something that could benefit themselves not mention much of Los Angeles.

    Antonovich has been fighting any improvements to mass transit other than the Gold Line foothill extension for years. In his words, L.A doesn’t need an elaborate public transit network. It’s that backwards thinking that has gotten us into the predicament we have today. Measure R looks to have passed and he needs to just get over it. It has so far won about 67.65% of the vote, which is impressive for any measure.

  • Okay, LACMA likes transit. Yay.

    What if LACMA liked Prop 8? Would you have a problem with that? I would.

  • This is simply sour grapes on the part of Antonovich. The money for the donation was raised by a non-profit and they realized having a mass transit option would be good for the Museum.

    The great irony to me is Antonovich won his seat in 1980 with funding funneled to him by the existing two conservative Supervisors (Schabarum and Dana) so they would have a majority and could control the county pursestrings. These fiscal conservatives went on a spending spree during the 1980s paid for by mortgaging almost everything the County owns (downtown properties, Marina del Rey) so they could shower favored parts of their district with goodies (horse trails, parks, etc.) and guarantee their re-election. Because they were politicans first and foremost but would rather pile up debt than raise taxes even a little. So to me Antonovich playing the “guardian of the taxpayers” role is rather laughable.

    Another irony is Antonovich won his seat away from Baxter Ward, who was a champion of mass transit. If you read the minutes of the Aug. 20, 1980 meeting of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission where the wording of what is now known as Proposition A was finalized, you realize Ward was the only politician in the room who knew anything about mass transit–everyone else was simple engaged in political calculation (even Kenny Hahn, at least publically–I’m sure in his back pocket he had the plans for the Blue Line ready to push for it if the tax passed, and made sure the map for the measure included that right-of-way). Ward was right and ahead of his time in extolling urban rail and even commuter rail. The triumph of Measure R is in part a vindiction of his vision while a slap in the face of the man who for dubious purposes unseated him.

    Antonovich is a leader of the failing/imploding Republican hard right faction. For years he has made much of how his connections at D.C. and 95814 meant you had to take him seriously. Those days are at an end. Facing being termed out in 2016, he seems likely to be a fading force in local politics even in his north county fiefdom. His public failure to stop Measure R certainly seems to signal this twilight phase.


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