The Cesspool Politics of Los Angeles
In less than two weeks, voters in Los Angeles will have the opportunity to select a new mayor and nine of the 15 members of the city council. A positive outcome is unlikely. The cards are stacked.
It’s reasonable to acknowledge that big city politics are never squeaky clean. But if urban politics has historically been a swamp, Los Angeles politics in 2022 is a cesspool. To allege that The Machine controlling Los Angeles politics is fueled by the tons of feces that tens of thousands of “unhoused” addicts and predators drop onto the streets and into the gutters of the city each day is more than a metaphor, it’s reality.
This unregulated sewage is the foundation of political control in Los Angeles today. The Machine that runs Los Angeles derives money and power by creating and expanding a dependent, parasitic class of Angelenos, growing every time another free service is rolled out. A population that, by design, will never be “housed,” because “permanent supportive housing” costs taxpayers $500,000 per unit, and because most of them would never voluntarily vacate the streets even if there were enough units, since that would cramp their hunter gatherer lifestyle.
Nurturing this dysfunction therefore requires repeating a lie, endlessly, a lie that claims all you have to do is provide free housing and services, and on their own, people will decide to live in those homes, and magically shed their mental illness, their addictions, and their criminality.
This preposterous, lucrative lie persists because it has utility. It has created an unlikely but all-powerful coalition of service nonprofits, social worker bureaucrats, construction labor unions, housing developers, “democratic socialists,” and feckless billionaires. For each of these special interests, spreading the lie guarantees their ongoing access to stupefying amounts of money, power, and delusional virtue.
There are millions of Angelenos who are terrified and appalled by the tens of thousands of psychotics, addicts, drunks, thieves, perverts, rapists, and murderers that now occupy the streets and sidewalks of their neighborhoods. Millions of Angelenos scoff at how The Machine and a compliant media have unequivocally defined the homeless as victims despite the sad but unavoidable fact that thousands of them are degenerates who choose that lifestyle. It is as if beatifying them obligates us all to do nothing that might effectively restore order and safety to the streets.
So why is it, then, that when the votes are finally counted, probably sometime in mid-to-late December, democratic socialists will remain in firm control of city hall in Los Angeles, and The Machine will continue to transfer billions of dollars every year out of the pockets of working families, and into the hands of The Homeless Industrial Complex? For one thing, money talks.
An extraordinarily detailed investigation published by Westside Current, a local online news source in West Los Angeles, offers a breakdown of who’s funding the Los Angeles elections. The author, attorney Michael Jensen, in a must-read 2,100 word article (with eight diagrams showing the flow of funds), explains how the “progressive” candidates in Los Angeles are “largely supported by donations and independent expenditures made by labor unions, homeless housing developers, extremist Progressive groups and their respective well-financed PACs (i.e., special interests).”
This is not an alliance of people in ideological alignment. This is a symbiosis of disparate special interests that in even slightly more honest times would more likely be mutually antagonistic. But they are united by a common operational strategy: The ongoing failure of Los Angeles to clean up crime and vagrancy equates to their ongoing access to jobs, contracts, donations, funding, and positions of power. Everyone else loses, including the “unhoused,” who in a less corrupt and more compassionate society would be forced off the streets into inexpensive shelters constructed on inexpensive real estate, where they would get treatment and a chance to recover their dignity.
If articles like Michael Jensen’s appeared in the Los Angeles Times, as it might have back when the major newspapers still practiced journalism, millions of voters in Los Angeles would recognize The Machine for what it is – a corrupt throwback, outdoing its historical counterparts in destroying a city for its own gain. And even in spite of major media properties like the Los Angeles Times having devolved into a journalistically bankrupt annex of The Machine, voters in Los Angeles nonetheless are getting the message. City Hall is a feted cesspool. Vote them out.
Here, however, is where the fix really comes in. Anyone who thinks the overpaid thespians who masquerade as television reporters on the big networks can blithely regurgitate the phrase “election denier” with any credibility hasn’t done any homework. What happens in Los Angeles elections is the opposite of “voter integrity.”
A prime example of this can be found in the recent attempt to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, someone who is either a certifiable idiot or a cunning revolutionary bent on destroying civilization. On the surface, the story of how the Gascon recall failed is merely questionable. The petitioners failed, by an eyelash, to produce enough valid signatures, and that’s all there is to it. One might raise eyebrows at a 27 percent rate of invalid petitions, but it happens.
Now sample this excerpt from the local Los Angeles blog, UpintheValley.org (italics added):
“In secret, courtesy of Dean Logan, Registrar of Voters, managed to disqualify 195,000, or 27%, of the signatures away from the eyes of Recall Committee observers, who were banned from the building on the grounds it was not an election but a signature verification process. Dean Logan has a history. In 2004 he was the Director of Elections in Seattle during the Dino Rossi-Christine Gregoire gubernatorial race, in which Rossi prevailed by 261 votes, then 46 votes in the recount, and then in a second manual recount Logan ‘found’ 573 votes for Gregoire, previously disqualified due to -wait for it- signature matching issues. The blowback was so intense Logan was forced to resign. Because one can only fail upward in the administrative state, Los Angeles hired him soon after.”
George Gascon. Dean Logan. These are the people in Los Angeles County who are charged, respectively, with keeping our streets safe and maintaining our election integrity. They are not public servants. They serve The Machine. A machine that prospers when society fails.
Eventually the people of Los Angeles will take back their beautiful city. Probably not this time around.
This article originally appeared in the California Globe.
Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.
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