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Monied Power Brokers Pull Strings at LAUSD

November 28, 2002

Re "Riordan Puppetry in Action," Commentary, Nov. 24: The effort by Eli Broad and Richard Riordan to unseat school board member David Tokofsky reveals an unholy nexus of money and politics and helps explain why the Los Angeles Unified School District remains so wildly dysfunctional. In the aftermath of the accounting scandals, directors in the private sector are presumed negligent if they don't ask tough questions of staff. In the LAUSD, questioning by a board member is characterized as "micromanagement" and Tokofsky's independence means he's not a "team player."

There is little comfort in knowing that several of the LAUSD's trustees owe their positions to the backing of two men who, however public-spirited, have neither taught nor run a school. Who advises these gentlemen about what is best for the LAUSD?

Broad and Riordan did not invent hubris, but Tokofsky's constituents should be offended that powerful outsiders are scheming to co-opt their franchise. They are fortunate that, this time at least, the manipulators could not keep their effort covert.

Alan Warhaftig

Los Angeles

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