Response from Huell Howser on his being a “shill” for the California Redevelopment Agency

Huell Howser stuffs his bags with money

As Orange County Co-Director for CURE, as well as being a member of the Castle Coalition partners of the Institute for Justice, those volunteer efforts have enabled me to network with hundreds of property rights victims and victors around the country.

Earlier this year I spoke at one of our property rights conferences in Long Beach at which representatives of San Diego’s Grantville Action Group, GAG, attended. The following is the response to an email from Brian T. Peterson, president of the GAG, that he sent to Huell Howser. Brian’s email covered litigation between the city of San Diego and the county of San Diego on a project where no blight existed. Brian’s concern was triggered by the LA Times report of Mr. Howser’s 14 segment TV series on redevelopment activities around the state that is funded by the California Redevelopment Agency.

Following is Brian’s communication to the activists after his receiving a reply from Huell Howser. As acknowledged in Brian’s letter we have hit a nerve with Huell who is being used by those who are funding this effort. Let me urge everyone reading these posts to send letters and place calls to Mr. Howser and tell them you are mad as hell and want him to either cancel the balance of the RDA series or include commentary that all redevelopment projects are not successful.  In addition another way to clean up an area is to model the Platimum Triangle project in Anaheim that does not include the use of eminent domain. Mayor Curt Pringle addressed this approach at our Institute for Justice conference held in the Washinton DC area.

If Huell continues to sell one side of the bogus redevelopment story then we must continue to put his feet to the fire of public opinion. This group effort will surely impact his favorable viewer ratings. If not, this series is “cherry picking” at its finest.
Notes: A copy of this post is being sent to Huell as well as my Twitter account.
Huell Howser can be reached at 323.953.5380 or

“Huell Howser is Not a Shill for the CRA (Well, This is What He Told

Last weekend the LA Times reported that PBS TV personality Huell Howser is taking $350,000 from the California Redevelopment Association to produce 14-part series on redevelopment areas in California.   If you saw the first one on NTC, you know this is bound to be a 14-part infomercial for the redevelopment industry.  Tuesday I called his office to talk to him about this and to make sure he knew both sides of redevelopment.  His receptionist told me he was unavailable, and instructed me to write an e-mail, so I did…

Early this morning Huell called me at the pet hospital.  He was not in good mood.  He is very upset that people are calling him a shill for the CRA.  He said he is not.  According to Huell, it is not his job to present both sides of an issue.  He told me that even the seemingly most benign stories have a dark side, and it is not his job to go there.  This was his explanation for ignoring all controversy regarding redevelopment.

When I could get a word in, I asked him if this series would show any communities that are not state-mandated redevelopment project areas.  His reply was that he does that all the time with his other shows and that this series would be devoted to what he perceives as redevelopment successes. We finished our rather long phone conversation with me suggesting he go to the Platinum Triangle in Anaheim, which is a redevelopment success, but one that does not use eminent domain for private benefit and does not divert property via the tax increment financing scheme.

Still, contact Huell at, or 323-953-5380. Ask him to present all sides of the redevelopment story.

If anyone has any questions, you know where to find me…just like Huell Howser

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