Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Laist Interviews LA Cowboy!

Hit the above link to get the complete story - and two photos of LA Cowboy surveying his domain/range:

Brady Westwater, the LA Cowboy

The first in a series of interviews with members of the Los Angeles political scene, politicians, political connectors and the politically connected, I had a short chat with Brady Westwater, downtown advocate, one of the busiest men in LA politics and the LA Cowboy.

What is the LA Cowboy’s role in the LA political arena?

I started the LA Cowboy before I became apart of the LA Downtown Council and it was going to be a little different than it ended up being. It became a little more of a persona than just me. So I could do my policy stuff, the neighborhood council stuff and LA Cowboy could be this cowboy character, I was a cowboy for many years, that could look at things from a distance and comment on them. I was more outside of the process when I started writing it and almost immediately became enmeshed in the policy soon after I started. The role of LA Cowboy is this sort of over the top personality. Hence, everything has exclamation points, everything has a common twang to it all.

Which Los Angeles politician do you align yourself most with?

Tough one, I would say that it was more bits and pieces of politicians. I consider myself a radical pragmatist. I don’t believe in right, left or center, particularly when it comes to local government. I am more interested in pragmatic solutions to problems. So I would say that the people I most admire would be the people that sort at look at things on a larger scale as opposed to approaching things from a more ideological base. The greatest good for the greatest number.

So, I would say, Gail Goldberg is an absolutely amazing person, she gets it, she understands things, she understands how people function in the real world, as well as how things could happen in an idealized world and tries to see how those two views could be meshed together.

So who would be your least favorite?

Most of them are not around anymore. We laugh. There is nobody, I think we have the best City Council right now that we’ve had in a long time. I think the mayor is doing a lot better job than people are giving him credit for. I’d be hard pressed to find a politician that I really couldn’t sit down at the table and make a deal with. And that really surprises me.

What is your opinion on what’s going to happen with the LA Times?

I think right now that the LA Times is being run by the right people at this time. I never thought I would hear these words come out of my mouth. I think they have some amazing, incredible writers there, I think the editorial writing is as good as any of the editorial writing that is out there. There are at least a dozen superstar reporter/writers that really impress me.

They are fixing West Magazine, which was a disaster. The Times website has been a disaster. The new guy, Rob Barrett, who is running it really gets the community coverage, he really gets local, local, local. The two guys who as Editor and Publisher may not know LA but they know how to cover local news. I think the plans for the new website, as it rolls out later this year are going to stun people - it’s going to reach into the communities and also allow the communities to report on the communities themselves.

There are still problems, some of the editors seem incapable of fixing factual errors is probably the biggest bone I have to pick with the Times.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Los Angeles?

Oh, God. Do you have another one than that? Food is the absolute lowest priority in my life. I basically live on no money at all, I eat at Grand Central, or free lunches.

Oh, God, that’s terrible.

Do you have another one?

Do you have a favorite cowboy hat?

I can’t afford a real Stetson so I wear a Golden Gate hat, which is made in LA by the way. Golden Gate, Stetson style.

What color is it?

It’s black, of course it’s black. A real cowboy hat’s black, my God!

What do I know, I thought all cowboy hats were tan or brown... I really should have asked what his fascination is with wrestling t shirts. Perhaps next time.

(and the answer to that question is that my dopamine-deprived brain requires the regular 'fight' part of the 'fight or flight' syndrome)

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