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Villaraigosa's acceptance of tickets raises political issues

Can the mayor drive a hard bargain with entities like AEG, the Dodgers and the motion picture academy if he has also been the recipient of tickets?

June 29, 2010|By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times

Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has met with the mayor's staff on its own development plans. Attorney Bill Delvac, the academy's lobbyist, has repeatedly warned city officials that the plan to lease a city-owned garage next to the Arclight Theaters to a private company could complicate his client's effort to bring a new museum to Hollywood.

Still, the organization said its practice of giving Villaraigosa Oscar tickets is a longstanding "civic courtesy" that is unconnected to those issues.

"We certainly don't offer tickets to the mayors in hopes of getting something in return from them," said Bruce Davis, the academy's executive director.

Rosendahl defended the mayor, saying he serves as a symbol for the city when he goes to concerts and games. But Rosendahl said he personally pays his way into similar events to avoid having to "explain anything" later.

"So many issues come before us at the City Council," he said. "We need to keep an objective distance, because we're making decisions that affect these groups."

Times staff writer Phil Willon contributed to this report.

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