Face Off

John Coleman and his fellow reform candidates in Hollywood face an uphill battle against mayor Mara and Co.

Q:Well, you've not only been told that, you saw that on a credit report. You testified under oath to that.

A:No, I -- I'm not sure what it was I saw. I don't know that it was a credit report. I do not know what was shown to me.

Q:And you don't remember who showed it to you.
A:I do not remember who showed it to me. I think I remember, but I don't want to get -- I think it might have been somebody, but I would not want to get her in trouble if -- if she wasn't the one.

Hmm. Whew. The discussion of Giulianti's public image has derailed. Maybe it's worth a second try.

Q:We were starting to talk about campaign contributions a minute ago. Campaign contributions as they relate to your public image. Anybody can contribute to a campaign as long as they follow the campaign contribution guidelines. But that's not the same thing as saying you have to accept them. Given this image of you that some people have as elitist, arrogant, surrounded by developers whose pockets you're helping to line, why do you continue to do business with people like --

A:Because I don't think they're dirty.
Q:With people like Bernie Friedman, Alan Koslow.... In a sense these people are a liability, aren't they?

A:OK, well, then that's really pretty sad, because you know what? I don't make a value judgment on human beings. I think this happens to be a capitalistic country. People have an opportunity to earn a living, and business is not a dirty word. And if you're going to build buildings probably a developer or a builder is going to build them.

Q:Sure. What do you think Gus Boulis hopes to get out of you in exchange for his campaign contributions?

A:I think it's a little bit just the opposite. I think that Gus Boulis, before he ever contributed, was already awarded the contract to do Diamond on the Beach. Uh, I think it's probably not unusual for somebody who's been awarded a contract like that to make a contribution. So what does he need to get? He already has a 49-year lease to build something that we desperately need on that beach. It will be Hollywood's only four-star hotel. And unlike, well, Miami Beach had to pay [in incentives] a fortune to get a hotel done. They contributed millions of dollars. We didn't even have to do that.

Q:Since we're jumping around --
A:But your premise is so scary! It is! It's that the people who built America are dirty!

Q:No, no. That's not what I'm saying. I'm talking about these campaign contributions and the way that this city administration does business with people like Alan Koslow as it relates to --

A:Tell me about people like Alan Koslow. Has he been to prison? Has he done something I don't know of? We have a President of the United States who right now has a bunch of sexual allegations against him. Well, I don't care. You know what I do care about? If he lied under oath, he's lost me forever. But you know what? I think it's between him and Hillary if he had affairs, and I do think it shows poor judgment if it was somebody that was only 21 years old, but frankly you've got Strom Thurmond who must have married a gal who's 19 years old. I mean, give me a break! If they did that with three-quarters of the Presidents -- and how about the popes that we've had who have had illegitimate children? And you know what, they weren't even defrocked by the Church! So what I'm saying is that Alan Koslow has some very good clients. He has done a very good job. I mean I'm the one who asked for his resignation, and I asked for his resignation because he hadn't upheld the standards that you need in government.

Q:Then why on earth would you turn around and do business with him the way you do?

A:You know what? When I go into Macy's to buy something, frankly, I do not ask to have a check on the lady who's waiting on me. To be perfectly honest, I probably buy clothes, maybe a few of the kids in the sweatshops sew them because I haven't been diligent enough to check and see if that was the case.... Anybody who knows me knows I vote my conscience and let the chips fall where they may. Nobody can buy me! What do I need this for -- $16,000, a $20,000 total with my car allowance? I'm married to somebody who was a brain surgeon. I don't need this for the income.

It's something else that Giulianti needs, that keeps her running for office every two years. Partly, she says, it's the satisfaction of public service. More to the point, it's the thrill of approval and validation. Giulianti calls Hollywood "a 50-50 city," a place where almost any given issue polarizes and divides the populace down the middle. The phenomenon holds true of the city's attitude toward her. Giulianti's brusque, unapologetic, hard-charging personality rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but so far more voters seem to like those qualities than not.

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