The story in The Times (Jan. 13) that Mayor Tom Bradley had approved the oil drilling proposal of Occidental in the Palisades coastline came as a real shocker. Bradley has been a strong mayor, one who seemed to have all the strongest qualities of integrity, honesty and common sense. But apparently, like Judas, he could be bought, not be a few pieces of gold but by the promise of support for his reelection bid.
There was no question about the way the City Council voted on this proposal. The majority of members willingly admitted to accepting substantial amounts of money from Armand Hammer and Occidental for their campaign funds prior to their favorable vote. All, of course, denied that this had in any way influenced their decisions.
Bradley, on the other hand, said nothing about Armand Hammer. But the fact remains, he owes Hammer a lot. Past support for city projects, the art museum, the Olympics, all put the mayor in his debt. And the prospect of further support in the mayoral campaign only cemented his decision to support this favorable decision.
It was interesting to read that the final decision was based on "information provided today." The only change from the information available when this project was vetoed in 1978 is that Occidental assures the city that none of the dangers to land, coastline or people will take place. None have been disproven. But suddenly they all mean nothing, and the assurances of an obviously biased company take weight and swing the decision. The timing is interesting.
Mayor Bradley has betrayed the citizens of Los Angeles and has sold the Santa Monica Bay for the price of a campaign.
JUNE OBLER Los Angeles The elite of Pacific Palisades like to drive their Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln Continental automobiles and fancy sports cars. But they don't want anybody to dig for oil in their backyard. They consider themselves a select group.
I don't always agree with Mayor Bradley's actions. But on his decision to allow drilling for oil in the Pacific Palisades, I say, "Right on, Tom."
FREDERICK D. MULLEN Upland Bravo! Bravo! Ole! Way to Go! Stand Up! Sit Down! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Let's hear it for Mayor Tom having sold his soul for a barrel of oil!
OK, who's next?
LYNN SHEPODD Pasadena I take exception with Dorothy and Ted Knights' view (Letters, Dec. 21) that no oil drilling should take place in Pacific Palisades. The Knights state that the drilling will "favor a lilliputian segment of the population." Don't the Knights know that there are more automobiles in the state of California than in any other state?
Why is it acceptable to drill for oil on the coastlines of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Alaska, and other states? These states, too, have attractive coastal views and face various environmental hazards. Those states, though, don't receive the concessions offered by Occidental to make the drilling area aesthetically acceptable.
I believe that the reference to a "lilliputian segment of the population" more aptly describes the landowners of Pacific Palisades, who simply don't want their ocean view disturbed, but do desire the availability of gasoline for their automobiles.
PHILIP G. SPRICK Culver City I would like to point out a few major factors involving that decision by the City Council and the mayor to approve drilling in the Pacific Palisades. The City Council and mayor in concert with Oxy have shown once again that once the elections are over and done with the sellout is on the way.
Furthermore, the whole idea to drill in an ecologically sensitive area for a few million dollars in profits on a nonrenewable energy source that pollutes our air shows us what Oxy, the City Council and the mayor are interested in.
I think back on the gathering in Malibu a few months before the election when at a Sierra Club political education fund-raiser the mayor spoke to us and told us the evils of the GOP, and now this.
THOMAS ANDREW Santa Monica I was outraged when Armand Hammer obtained the votes he needed in the City Council with large campaign contributions. Outraged, but not surprised. But when Tom Bradley also caved in to the powerful Dr. Hammer I very surprised. Surprised, disappointed and disillusioned.
We were counting on you, Tom. Counting on you to say no to Dr. Hammer's millions; to tell him that he can not buy his way in this city. But you failed us.
I don't live in Pacific Palisades, but you betrayed all the people of Los Angeles when you put the needs of one rich person above the needs of an entire community.
I guess you're big business' man now.
VICTOR FRESCO Los Angeles Now that our dear Mayor Bradley has approved Occidental's proposal to drill for oil along the city's fragile coastline in Pacific Palisades, let's keep a "close watch" to see how much Armand Hammer contributes to Bradley's next campaign!
VIC SABATINI Toluca Lake I have for many years been one of Mayor Bradley's most ardent admirers. I supported him in many ways. At my desk I have several beautiful "recognitions" from the city, all signed by him. For the most part they represent commendations for my work with the Cultural Heritage Board.
Now however, I feel that he has deserted us; even betrayed us with his ill-advised acceptance of Occidental's vicious oil program in the Palisades.
In view of his outspoken protests in the past against offshore drilling and his previous veto of the Palisades project, I must state that unless he has a 100% explanation for his action he will be losing many, many friends!
JULIUS SHULMAN Los Angeles Whom can one turn to? The coming fight for mayor is a farce. In one corner stands Councilman John Ferraro with outstretched hands. In the other corner stands Mayor Bradley, who sold out to Occidental, and who knows what else?
There should be someone for people who believe in honest government to vote for.
ELLEN ROSE North Hollywood It should be obvious what the thinking was behind Bradley's decision to approve Occidental's proposal to drill for oil in Pacific Palisades. By doing so he could be assured of losing the mayoral race, which would leave him with a clear conscience (no encumbering mayor's job to give up) and lots of time to start running for governor.
HAL SMITH Pacific Palisades