July 03, 2009

Taxpayers be Damned: L.A. to Pay for Jackson Memorial Extravaganza Security!

Greetings. A quickie from the "lunatics are running the asylum" file.

I'm certainly willing to grant that Michael Jackson was a global entertainer of unique standing, and that many persons are interested in various aspects of his passing. So as not to speak ill of the dead at this point, let's leave aside specifics of his "interesting life" for the moment.

So if the Jackson family and affiliated entertainment corporations want to hold a massive memorial service here in L.A. Staples Center next week, that's fine with me. Even if most commercial broadcasters drop everything else to cover it -- as if it were the death of a president -- well, that's pretty inane, but it's their dime.

Taxpayer's dimes are something altogether different though. Now comes word that the city of L.A. -- we the taxpayers -- will be paying for the massive LAPD security that will be required around this event. A city official, when asked about the costs involved, suggested that it wasn't a problem -- since there was already a "contingency fund" to deal with security for important "first-amendment" gatherings and such.

Excuse me ... but I feel that given the absolutely horrendous budget situation here in Los Angeles and in the state of California more generally (the latter just started issuing IOUs in lieu of real money!) it is unacceptable for the city to pay one dime to cover extra security for a Michael Jackson memorial circus.

Let the Staples Center and other involved corporate deep-pockets pay for security. To saddle this on the taxpayers of L.A. in these circumstances is a slap in the face. I don't care if the money comes from a contingency fund or not. It's money that could otherwise ultimately be used in ways that would far better benefit the city as a whole.

Of course, city offices are closed today in observance of Independence day tomorrow, so I couldn't reach my city councilman's office to (politely, of course) express my opinion about this travesty.

I'm all for Michael Jackson resting in peace, irrespective of the controversies surrounding his life. But -- and I know this will sound cold to some observers -- I don't believe that taxpayers should be financially responsible in any way for his extravagant send-off.


Posted by Lauren at July 3, 2009 11:00 AM | Permalink
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