L.A. WEEKLY SUSPENDS SHEA FOR RUNNING FOR MAYOR
American Reporter Staff
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 27. 2001 -- The prize-winning editor and reporter who = got Internet censorship declared unconstitutional was suspended Friday by th= e L.A. Weekly because he is running for Mayor.
"Now I know how Mayor Riordan feels working for a dollar a year," Joe Sh= ea said.
It was the end of a hard week for the pro-secession candidate, who wreck= ed his car after giving a liftto neighborhood kids, had six broken teeth pu= lled and lost more than 100 petition signatures when his newwife left him, = driving off with the petitions in his newly-repaired 1989 Golf. The paper = provided all but$1,500 of his meager income last year, Shea said. He is the= founder of The American Reporter.
On the positive side, he said, in the same week he helped a Chinese coup= le that also live below thepoverty line get $5,000 from a parking lot magna= te who evicted them from their tiny restaurant, helped thewelfare mother of= two young children who was arrested on a 9-year-old warrant win release on= bail, andspent an interesting day in the vast junkyards of Sun Valley. = In an email message to Shea, L.A. Weekly news editor Alan Mittelstaedt = told the journalist that hisfuture with publication would be reviewed after= the election.
"... Now you're involved in a mayoral campaign and issuing press releas= es on your views onassorted topics. It no longer will be possible for us to= use your stories for at least the duration of thecampaign. I'll revisit th= e issue of your writing for the news section after the primary," Mittelstae= dt told Shea.
"By then, I'll be a homeless mayor," said Shea, who supports secession m= ovements in Hollywood,San Pedro and the San Fernando Valley. Other candida= tes are on record opposing secession. If elected, Shea said, he will move = the mayor's residence from Hollywood to the Pico-Union or South Central to = bereminded of the life of the poor, and then improve the area.
Sh= ea was writing for the Weekly about some $5.9 million in lobbying and campa= ign contributions thathe says have delayed a franchise application by cable= operator RCN that would bring cable competition tothe city for the first t= ime in 30 years.
Adelphia, a rival cable operator, along with AT&T and TimeWarnerand elec= ted officials with campaign donations from them demanded expensive concessi= ons by RCN tochallenge the franchise monopolies, Shea learned in October.
The story has gone through four draftssince then, he said. Due to the de= lays, RCN has lost millions and had to quit seeking other franchises. WIN, = another competitor withdrew its application during the delays, costing the = city thousands of jobs andmillions of dollars in taxes.
Shea ran for Beverly Hills City Council in 1980, but continued writing f= or the paper. His 1979 article,"The Battle for Beverly Hills," quadrupled = its ad revenue in one week, founder Jay Levin once told Shea. Awar corresp= ondent for the Village Voice in Northern Ireland, India, Vietnam and the Ph= ilippines, he worked at Esquire, edited small weeklies, and founded the Bev= erly Hills Goldbook with publisher Pati Slesinger in1981, and the first onl= ine daily newspaper, The American Reporter, in April 1995.
He was honored for the Best Internet News Story by the LA Press Club las= t year for exposing amultimillion-dollar pyramid scheme. He is due to testi= fy against its operators on Jan. 30.
Shea got Internet censorship declared unconstitutional in 1996.