The LookOut sm confidential


uncensored account
C. Castle

Not) Being There: Why Feinstein and McKeown weren't at the union rally (and a short, unrelated note on the judge and city manager's matching wardrobes).

Tuesday, June 8--It was a heady rally the local Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union held Saturday night, and from the look of it there was plenty of support from the city's movers and shakers for an unprecedented campaign to impose a living wage on tourism-related businesses.

Conspicuously missing from the mix, however, were Councilmen Michael Feinstein and Kevin McKeown.

Not to worry though. The two staunch union supporters would have made it if they hadn't had other engagements. Feinstein called from the east coast and left a voice message assuring us that "there was no political significance to my not being there." He was, he said, "on another part of the planet."

McKeown also left a voice message saying he too was sorry he couldn't attend. "I wasn't there cause I was being a daddy," he said.

Seems months ago McKeown got a couple of passes to the MTV movie awards and invited his girlfriend's 14-year-old daughter.

"She's been jumping up and down ever since," McKeown said. "Then they scheduled the (union) event the same night and, you know, hey, a man's gotta do what he's gotta do.

"We had a great time. She's never been to what's really the equivalent of a rock concert before," reported the councilman, who covered Woodstock for a local radio station 30 years ago. "So it was quite the passage experience for her. I felt very tall and very old, frankly, but that's okay."

Had the two Green Party members attended, the entire council save for Robert Holbrook would have been present. Holbrook, who isn't sure if he was invited or not, spent a quiet night at home with his wife. But that wasn't the only reason he didn't go.

"If the council were to do this, it would embroil us in more lawsuits," Holbrook said. "It's pretty amazing that the city would become a tool of the hotel employees union, but it has."

Santa Monicans for Renters Rights, the powerful grassroots tenants group that has run the city for most of the past 20 years, is no longer running the show, Holbrook said.

"SMRR is the skeleton, and the flesh and muscle of it now is the Green Party and the union in Santa Monica," Holbrook said.

If that's the case, it may not all be one happy body. Confidential hears that some of SMRR's top leaders think the union is moving too quickly on the issue. Stay tuned, this could be a national story that won't go away.


Matching Wardrobes

If you watched last Wednesday's city council budget session, you probably saw the climactic picture that ended the Community & Cultural Services presentation.

No, you weren't seeing double, and no, the picture wasn't doctored. That really was Judge David Finkel and City Manager John Jalili in matching checkered sports shirts posing in Palisades Park. And no, the matching wardrobes weren't planned.

"I couldn't believe it," said Bruria Finkel, the judge's wife, who was there when the picture was snapped. "They not only had matching shirts, but pants and socks and belts."

It was a reunion of sorts for the two men. Once upon a time, former councilman Finkel sat next to Jalili on the city council dais.

Lookout Logo footer image
Copyright 1999-2008 All Rights Reserved.
Footer Email icon