In last week’s StuNews, Gene Felder attacked me again and several other residents for making political contributions to a local PAC. He claimed that my donations were to make “big developments easier by changing long-established city standards.”
His only proof: I secured land use entitlements to make the “E” Rated Historic Heisler Building ADA accessible. Is Gene Felder really against our city creating equal access to facilities for elderly and disabled people? It shouldn’t be a surprise when you read Felder’s political beliefs below.
I will not apologize for my 43 years of efforts to improve Laguna Beach because I’m proud of my work to establish the two percent hotel bed tax. Since its passage in 2001, over $18 million in funds has been directed toward the arts. I was also the activist who after 38 years, got an orchestra and music program in all our Laguna public schools and am co-founder of Laguna Beach Live. I have also continued to fight against the corrupt TCA toll roads. And now I am working as a member of the Housing and Human Services Committee to promote affordable housing— something we have not done for more than 20 years and which you and your group have done your best to shut down.
I have fought against entrenched groups that you espouse that are desperate to maintain the status quo. I value and I donate to political candidates who want to move forward. They don’t ask me to; I know my own mind and support those who know we need fresh ideas and aren’t afraid to implement them. I know a dangerously small-minded candidate when I see one, and unfortunately for our community, a pair have seats on our council.
Here’s another attack on me that Gene Felder wrote in StuNews March 9, 2021:
“One wonders what vision and development plans Sam Goldstein has for Laguna Beach; in his testimony he described our beloved Laguna Beach as a ‘dying, decaying, totally fragmented city right now with most of our businesses closed.’ Yikes!”
Gene, I wonder what you have done with your life in Laguna? All I see is your blind support of your wife and her group who have stifled all growth in Laguna Beach since 1974. Only two new commercial buildings have been built in Laguna for the last 47 years—the Susi Q Senior and Community Center and the Montage. All other commercial projects in town were simply remodels.
Now more about you, according to FEC data, in 2020, Eugene (Gene) Felder donated at least $4,700 to Donald Trump and Republicans. What was his motivation? Was it Trump’s attacks on the environment? Mismanagement of the pandemic? The Jan. 6 insurrection? I’m curious to know… because all I see with the writings of Gene Felder is the same negative and degrading approach that Donald Trump uses on people. Gene, you make a perfect Trump clone!
I know one thing: Trump donor Eugene (Gene) Felder, and the rest of the proponents of this ballot initiative share a total disregard for truth just like Donald Trump!
Thankfully, the residents of Laguna know better and will soundly reject this bogus initiative and you.
Samuel Goldstein, Laguna BeachView Our User Comment Policy