• What Ed Roski Jr. has spent on his football stadium law, so far Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    LA football stadium vision

    Billionaire Ed Roski Jr. is spending millions in his quest to bring a National Football League team to the City of Industry.

    But so far, one of the more modest costs appears to be the price of getting a new law through the California Legislature that will permit him to build the 75,000-seat stadium without having to go through a full environmental review.

    According to his real estate company’s lobbying disclosure, Roski’s Majestic Realty Co. spent about a fifth of the estimated $290,000 cost of a luxury box suite at the stadium he envisions. For a mere $53,740, his team of three lobby firms managed to get a bill introduced and through the Assembly in September, Majestic’s third quarter lobbying report shows.

    The bill, SB 81XXX, exempts the developer from having to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. It passed the Senate on a bare majority, over objections of several Democrats and environmentalists, as described in this story by Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles.

    Majestic’s third quarter report does not cover any lobby expenses incurred in October, when the legislation stalled and then won final passage in the Senate, and when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the City of Industry to sign the bill.

    Nor does the third quarter lobbying disclosure make clear how Roski spent the bulk of the $53,740, other than to state that Majestic paid $25,000 for a lobbying firm that represents organized labor. Counting on jobs for their members, several unions are supporting a National Football League stadium in the City of Industry. Majestic didn’t disclose the amounts he paid to his two other lobbying firms.

    The City of Industry, a lightly populated and long controversial burgh in the San Gabriel Valley, supported the bill, though the city’s lobby disclosure does not list the bill as one that it worked on during the session.

    City of Industry is a perennial lobbying force in the world of local government. The $427,000 it has spent on lobbying since 2007 far exceeds the sums spent by such cities as Beverly Hills, Irvine and Oakland. Other cities are less than thrilled by the prospect of a stadium in City of Industry, as as the Voice of San Diego wrote the other day.

    The National Football League maintains a lobby presence in Sacramento. The  NFL stated in its lobby reports that it has worked on no legislation in the first nine months of the year.

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