San Marino resident and Wells Fargo CFO Tim Sloan has received local media attention several times over the last year as his San Marino home was targeted by Occupy protestors last October and again in April.
In response to that move, the San Marino City Counil passed new restrictions on picketing a home last November, and again last month, according to the Pasadena Sun.
Now, local Occidental professor Peter Dreier, in a blog post for Huffington Post, suggests that Sloan should be held personally responsible for Wells Fargo decision to pursue foreclosure proceedings on low-income people, specifically mentioning the case of a Southgate woman who was part of the protest against Sloan. From his post:
Wells Fargo CFO Tim Sloan makes $8 million a year and lives in a $5 million house in San Marino, a wealthy Los Angeles suburb. His bank is trying to evict Ana Wilson from her tiny home in blue-collar South Gate. Wilson, a wheelchair-bound woman with cerebral palsy and breast cancer, missed several mortgage payments while she was in the hospital. Frustrated by Wells Fargo's refusal to renegotiate her loan, Wilson went to Sloan's mansion to protest her mistreatment. San Marino cops arrested her.
Who is the real criminal here?
Dreier goes on to criticize the city of San Marino for its response to the protests.
But San Marino - which in 2010 had a population of 13,147 and a median income of $154,962, three times the state's median income - has had no second thoughts about using the full force of the law against protestors like Wilson. This month, the town's City Council upped the ante, introducing another ordinance to stop protests directed at local residents. The new law gives city officials the authority to steer protesters away from homes to the median strips along the city's major street, Huntington Boulevard, or to public sidewalks away from the target's home.
No doubt the Council would have preferred a total ban on any protests at all, to protect its wealthy denizens from the unruly mob who can't afford to live within its walls.
He also had some choice words for Sloan's work with the Huntington Library:
But just a few days before I interviewed Schaefer, Sloan did have his name in the local papers - not once, but twice. On the front page of the Pasadena Sun was a story about the City's ongoing prosecution of Wilson for trespassing on Sloan's property. And in the same issue of the Sun, as well as in the rival Pasadena Star-News, was a photo of Sloan in his tuxedo, smiling for the camera at a fundraising ball for the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, a San Marino institution housed in the former estate of one of America's most despicable robber barons, Henry Huntington, owner of the powerful Southern Pacific Railroad and a real estate speculator who died in 1927.
Sloan chaired Saturday's fundraiser, which attracted 380 supporters, who, according to the Sun, munched on "mini Kobe burgers and watermelon and cucumber sangria drops" served on silver trays, followed by a dinner of "grilled filet of beef and jumbo shrimp scampi," with a "warm chocolate soufflé cake" for dessert. The dining was "accompanied by music from Wayne Foster Entertainment."
The battle between Sloan and Wilson is emblematic not only of the nation's wide and growing gap in economic wealth, but also of the huge disparity in political influence.
You can read the full piece at the Huffington Post.
We also want to know what you think. Should the City Council take strong action to keep protests away from San Marino homes? Do you think Dreier's arguments about Sloan are fair? Please let us know below in the comments section.
Editor's note: The original version of this story described Sloan as Wells Fargo's CEO. He is the company's CFO.