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A misuse of public funds

June 18, 2008

Re "Subsidies may aid L.A. Live," June 14

Let me get this straight. Staples Center owner Philip Anschutz is the 41st richest man in America. He, through the Anschutz Entertainment Group, is investing about $2.5 billion in the L.A. Live project. Yet he still needs an additional $30 million from a state bond fund that was voter approved for low-income housing. Considering the size of the project, this amount is a rounding error.

I don't recall language in the proposition presented to the voters that said the money could be used in furtherance of a private development, but I might be mistaken. Still, I don't believe that sidewalk enhancement was part of providing low-income housing.

Anschutz is obviously a good businessman. With an expenditure of only $2.7 million in campaign contributions, he receives a $30-million benefit. The only question is why he doesn't rank higher than 41 on the wealth scale. As a local talk show host often says, "Pass the Advil!"

Jim Lewis

Los Angeles

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