How LA, More than Obama, Lost the Debate

MAILANDER TALK POLITICS - It is very exhausting, to watch the Mayor and Los Angeles City Council in "action" week after week, year after year.  But no week was more exhausting to watch than this one, when the $178,000 a year club completely capitulated to the whims of a gigantic developer last Friday, affirming Anschutz Entertainment Group's plans to develop a football stadium--or paper plans to sell the plans to develop a football stadium--by a 12-0 vote.

Then on Tuesday, with the Mayor's permission, the well-greased crew voted 11-2 to vote AGAINST legislation regarding medical marijuana shops that they had voted FOR a scant few months ago.

To every scribe in town and even a few nodding-off voters, these crazy people--the people paid and paid off so handsomely in City Hall--became people who are handsomely paid to undo the things they do!

And then--there was the presidential debate.  In which LA and California formed the silent, snoozing, partner to all the attendant drama.  Republican challenger Mitt Romney's presentation of his considerable understanding of faux green politics was among his most lucid and compelling moments.

I hope he goes further with it, because Obama has been completely clowned by greens, and especially local-to-LA greens to-date.

Indeed, as Romney pointed out, Obama has spent good money on green energy, especially in California, and gotten awful results--which explains the whole problem with California's economy, not to mention the failure of the CRAs in the state, and certainly not to mention the country's impatience with the once chock-full-o'-love environmental movement in general.

After the kleptocratic energy policies of Enron, Pete Wilson, and ultimately George W. Bush, with Obama's 2008 mandate, the nation should have had a virtual green Manhattan project up and running and it should have come to California.  The mandate was there to do so.

And the new Administration tried to deliver.  But the Obama folks handed over the money to people who prioritized social justice first, labor second, and science a distant third--a bogus and fatal recipe for failure.  Green economy organizations with lots of cash on hand, they had neither reputable scientists nor reputable economists on board.  Only Democratic Party hacks and nabobs at receiver organizations populated their Boards of Directors.

Ultimately, and certainly predictably, the green people in which the Obama Administration invested so much, turned the sentiment and the cash into menial labor jobs, a coughed-up hairball of nettlesome civic regulations, and developed almost nothing new except for trite city ordinances about plastic shopping bags.

That was an awful even an abysmal result for $50 billion, and LA people led the way to make it so.  

It was people like Cecilia Estolano, who became one of the top arbiters of green cash in the state as policy director at Green for All (and formerly head of our CRA).  And the notorious Van Jones.  And Madeline Janis at Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (former CRA commish prez), who charmed the LA Times's Jim Newton and Oxbridge mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti but almost nobody else with an organization that somehow promised to deliver jobs first, policy second, and new technology not at all, and got away with it even up to today.

The two bogus, false economy-oriented organizations that most act as fronts for bottom-rung labor, Green for All and LAANE, are two green orgs that Obama people put far too much trust in--and now he has to run with these albatrosses dangling from his neck.  To date they have accomplished precious little other than labor buy-in.  

Such organizations are the happy recipients of an incredible largess from the President that most other Democratic legacy organization can only marvel at.  (One of challenger Romney's most compelling moments in the first debate came when he pointed out that Congress subsidizes the oil industry with $6 billion but the President has directed over eight times that amount to green tech).

The bogus green economy orgs continue to impress fundraisers with key blogs at HuffPo and their ties to labor orgs like the SEIU.  But this has been far from a Manhattan Project--it's been a great green slush fund, and it's gone so low that we've even seen the Mayor's office begging companies from China to come to LA to share in the fake "greening" of the country.

The President's team can't be too happy with his California sidekicks right now.  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was a disgrace to the party at the Democratic National Convention.  The green org people have delivered more grief than results.  Tesla and Fisker, two San Diego companies trying to take clean energy driving to the next level, have yet to put a product on the market that the middle class can buy.

At least Jerry Brown had the sense to dismantle the State's CRAs, which were on the verge of becoming fake green organizations.  That might ultimately become the State's saving grace when confronting a second Obama Administration--one that figures to be leaner, meaner, and far less interested in mollifying California's faux green economy than the President's team has been in the run up to this election.

(Joseph Mailander is a writer, an LA observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He is also the author of New World Triptych and The Plasma of Terror. Mailander blogs at

Vol 10 Issue 80
Pub: Oct 5, 2012