Karl L. Rundberg
Karl L. Rundberg (1899–1969) was a Los Angeles City Council member between 1957 and 1965. He was convicted of accepting a bribe in 1967 when a member of the city's Harbor Commission and was placed on probation.
Rundberg was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 30, 1899. He attended public schools there and later took classes in commercial and industrial illumination at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He became a businessman in that city specializing in commercial and industrial lighting and was general manager of Modern Lighting Company there. He moved to Pacific Palisades to retire. In 1953 he was named assistant director of the city's civil defense organization. He was a member of the American Legion, Westwood Shrine Club, and a director of Richland Avenue Youth House. He was president of the Lions Club in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Rundberg was elected to a four-year term to represent Los Angeles City Council District 11 in 1957, ousting fellow conservative Harold Harby, the incumbent, by 17,524 votes to 10,193. He was easily reelected in the primary election of 1961, but in 1965 he was beaten in the final by Marvin Braude.
Rundberg, a conservative Republican, was known for his antipathy toward beatniks, Bohemians and others with non-conformist lifestyles living in the Venice beach area of his district. In a "resounding" City Council session in May 1957, he called them "scum" and "animals" just before the council passed an ordinance, 11-2, to restrict the noise from their bongo and Conga drums by forbidding the playing of any musical instruments on beaches or parks within 750 feet of a residence between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Only former policeman Tom Bradley and musician Ernani Bernardi were opposed.
A Police Department spokesman said that officers would take a noise-maker into custody, but only if a citizen made the arrest for disturbing the peace because officially an officer's peace cannot be disturbed. "It's sickening to me," replied Rundberg, "when I hear that a policeman has to stand by . . . because of some legal hair-splitting." He added: "Our people are afraid to come out after dark because of these animals—and that's what they are."
Rundberg was a foe of Mayor Sam Yorty, on one occasion in 1963 accusing the mayor's office of investigating Rundberg's background with the purpose of recalling him from office. "The whole tribe is not fit to be in public office," Rundberg said of the mayor's staff.
The "blunt-speaking" councilman tangled with actors Steve McQueen and James Garner on successive days in July 1964 as the City Council debated a controversial master plan for the Santa Monica Mountains, with McQueen angrily telling Rundberg. "Don't close the door in my face!" at one council meeting and Garner and Rundberg, with their fists clenched, trading "more harsh words at the top of their voices, their faces less than a foot apart," at the next day's meeting, until they were separated by a police officer. 
After his City Council term ended, Rundberg was appointed by Mayor Sam Yorty to the city Harbor Commission. In August 1968 Rundberg and fellow commissioner Robert (Nick) Starr were convicted of receiving bribes in return for their help in getting a $12 million city contract for developer Keith Smith at the harbor. Superior Judge William B. Keene sentenced Starr to a year in jail but placed Rundberg on probation because of the latter's ill health.
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- "Ex-Councilman Karl Rundberg Dies After Collapsing at Home," Los Angeles Times, April 3, 1969, page B-1
- "Background Given on Council Contenders," Los Angeles Times, March 11, 1965, paage WS-2
-  Location of the Rundberg residence at "Mapping L.A."
- "Civil Defense Post Resigned by Rundberg, Los Angeles Times, April 21, 1957, page A-11
- Carlton Williams, "Bond Victory Confirmed in Final Count," Los Angeles Times, May 30, 1957, page 1
- Jack Smith, "Bohemians Make City Hall Scene, But Lose Battle of Bongos," Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1965, page 1
- Gene Hunter, "Councilmen Hit Yorty as 'Paranoid, Dictator,' " Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1963, page B-1
- Erwin Baker, "Actor McQueen, Rundberg Clash at Mountain Hearing," Los Angeles Times, July 29, 1964, page 20
- Art Berman and Ron Einstoss, "Starr Gets Year in Jail; Rundberg Placed on Probation," Los Angeles Times, August 16, 1968, page 1
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