THE VIEW FROM HERE - Karen Bass’s campaign to become Los Angeles mayor boils down to her imitation of Queen Elizabeth – wave, smile, remain above the fray.
In essence, do nothing and let the momentum of being a bona fide Democrat carry her to victory.
Like the ocean with its hidden currents such as the Gulf Stream which determines the climate in Great Britain, our mass psychology has currents of thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes which determine much of our behavior. Around election time where power is up for grabs, all these various currents of thoughts and emotions interact in bizarre ways, giving rise to dramatic results at the ballot box. Candidates literally spend hundreds of millions of dollars to tap into those currents in their attempt to seize power.
In this election cycle, the strong hidden current which drives national politics is revulsion at Identity Politics. Locally, it’s the Homelessness Crisis.
Nationally, Biden won in Nov 2020, by promising to be a centrist but since May 13, 2021 when he turned 100% woker by signaling that Good Dems who had been vaxed need not mask up but Bad GOP who were not vaxed would have to wear their public shame in form a mask, his ratings have been dropping. People forget that prior to his turn to wokeism, Biden was doing very well with his “Let’s all mask up until we reach herd immunity on July 4th.” September 6, 2021, CityWatch, Did CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Ruin the Biden Administration?
Nancy Pelosi and the wokers were horrified that Independents and moderate GOP would help Biden pass his legislative agenda, thereby reducing their power. Wokers are less than 15% of the Dem Party. For some unknown bizarre reason, Joe Biden wrote off the rest of nation to cater to anti-White Identity Politics. Biden became worse when he said that anyone who did not support his Voting Rights Act was a racist like Sheriff Bull Connor who unleashed police dogs on civil right demonstrators. To this day Biden pushes the woker false narrative that the presence of a tiny percent of White Supremacists translates into all Whites’ being responsible for the evils of slavery, except those woke Whites who don hair shirts of self-flagellation. Due to the strength of the culture cancelling PC police within Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat party, few Dems dare object to wokeism, except in its most absurd form of Defund the Police.
As first written in CityWatch on June 21, 2018 in The Dangers of Dichotomy: The Saved vs. The Damned, Identity Politics endangers the Republic itself. Identity Politics violates the core American value that in public life, our race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. are irrelevant. Instead, Identity Politics erases the individual who becomes irrelevant in the comparison of how good this group is doing compared to that group. The entire political justification of Pelosi’s Identity Politics was that as soon as the minorities became the majority of the voters, they would vote Dem and replace the Whites. Pelosi tried to actualize in American politics the theme of 2011 French book, Grand Remplacement, that non-white minorities would be replacing White Christians.
Despite the election disaster in November 2010 where Identity Politics brought hordes of Tea Baggers into Congress, Dems stuck with their polarizing group rights. (Obama’s Pro Wall Street economic policies were also a huge factor in the Dem’s 2020 loss.) In order to become the leader of the minorities, Pelosi had to cut lose the traditional Dem core, i.e. working class whites. By Nov 2016, the White working class who had been the bulwark of the party was attacked as “Deplorables,” thereby electing Trump President.
The focal point of almost every Nov 2022 House race where the GOP has any chance has been “Stop Nancy Pelosi.” If Pelosi cared one iota for the nation rather than her own megalomanic clinging to power, she would not have run for re-election. Not only did she run for re-election, she had the ending of House Jan 6th Committee hearings ignore Donald Trump in order to highlight a video on how brave and wonderful Nancy Pelosi was during the riot. As if nullifying the work of the Jan 6th Committee had not been enough, on Oct 23, 2022 she then signaled on Face the Nation that she planned to run again for Speaker of the House. (In politicalese, when asked if a politico will run for something and the answer is “I'm not talking about that” means “Yes, I will run.”)
If Joe Biden is too weak to neutralize Pelosi and the Wokers, then he has abdicated leadership of the party to the extreme left.
The Shtarker with a Plan Trounces the Nebish with No Plan
Whenever there is a crisis such as Homelessness, the candidate who takes charge and moves ahead with a bold plan, even when it is lies, BS, and prejudice, attracts followers over the candidate who merely smiles. There’s no gainsaying that Rick Caruso has a plan – the worst possible plan for Los Angeles.
1) Mayor Lacks the Power: The programs which Caruso promises cannot be ordered by the mayor.
Not only does the mayor lack the legal authority to hire as many police as he desires, it is an impossibility in this economic environment. The LAPD cannot even fill its classes at the academy. Thus, his promise of 1,500 more cops on the beat is absurd. Last year the LAPD lost 622 police and added only 570. In addition, LA pays new officers $63,072 plus benefits. 1500 cops x $63,072 = $94.6 Million. (Furthermore, Caruso did not do jack as police commissioner. Caruso simply lucked out since the entire nation was seeing a decline in crime because the number of young men in the crime age bracket had decreased.)
He promises 500 more street cleaners. The City’s average salary is $75,739 and salaries range from a low of $65,819 to a high of $86,433. Let’s assume street cleaners get the minimum. 500 x $65,819 = $33 Million.
City salaries constantly creep upwards, but a mayor cannot just fire people like expendable trash like a CEO may. Once past probation, they are on the city’s payroll!
2) “Affordable Housing” Means “Taxpayer Subsidized Housing”
At this juncture, Caruso has launched himself into the stratosphere of crazy. He promises 500,000 new Affordable Housing units. “Affordable” is the euphemism for “taxpayer pays the bill.” Los Angeles has about 44,000 homeless people and Caruso plans to construction more than eleven (11) units for each homeless person. Why does he promise to construct, at taxpayer expense, 500,000 more units?
BTW, 500,000 Affordable units will cost between $800,000 and $1 Million each. That means taxpayers have to come up with between $400 Billion and $500 Billion. The entire city budget is only $11 Billion.
Where Will Trickyricky Construct These Affordable Housing Units?
South Los Angeles and East LA, e.g. Boyle Heights! All developers believe in extreme densification and Caruso has said he wants to densify Los Angeles. His developer buddies are facing financial ruin with their horrendously ill conceived DTLA construction. Caruso seems to be under the delusion that if can add hundreds of thousands of apartments near DTLA, he can rescue his buddies. That requires the destruction of Boyle Heights since it sits on the bluff over looking Downtown. The gentrification and removal of Blacks from South Los Angeles has been happening for some time. The new K Line already is justification for destruction of the properties on either side of the Line.
Of course, after the city subsidies these Affordable Units, the developers will declare bankruptcy and with a new cadre of friendly judges, they can become market rate units for the new wealthy. Except, there will be no new wealthy in Los Angeles. Family Millennials have seen the handwriting on the wall and they’ve been fleeing Los Angeles for years. Last year the exodus was so great that the city lost over 200,000 people.
What’s the Ace up the Developers’ Sleeve?
After the developers declare bankruptcy and do not replay the City’s loans, the City is still on the hook to Wall Street for repaying the bonds plus interest. Then, either the Feds will bailout the City or the Feds will buy the Affordable units out of bankruptcy. That way the city will have paid the developers 3 to 4 times the cost to construct the projects and not be repaid, and the developers will also get paid market rate for their projects by the Feds.
Elon Musk shows what happens when a Know-it-All seizes control, believing that he can do whatever cockamamie thing he wants. Maybe, LA would do better with its own smiling Queen Elizabeth.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. You may email him at [email protected]. The opinions expressed by Mr. Abrams are solely his and not necessarily those of CityWatch.)