Tuesday, May 21, 2013
What Municipal elections Look Like In A Solid Blue City
Some of you whom live in more normal locations may be interested in how 'democracy' works in a totally Blue dominated city. It doesn't.
The above is a voter guide for today's municipal election from a Los Angeles organization called Hancock Park Patriots, whom I neither endorse nor am a member of, but the above e-mail they sent me is of interest.
Notice the number of offices marked 'no recommendation'. There's a good reason for that, since in these cases there's not even a lesser of two evils.
The mayoral race (incumbent Antonio Villaraigosa is not running because of term limits)is between Wendy Gruel and Eric Garcetti, two long time Democrat insiders who chief battle is whom can promise the public employee unions more and/or pander to the Hispanic vote, a neat trick since neither have a Spanish surname.
The City Attorney's race is likewise between two long time Democrat pols. The incumbent, Carmen Trutanich has a decent record of incompetence, failure and caving in on large settlements that have cost the city millions while the challenger, Mike Feuer could be justly said to make Rep.Nancy Pelosi look like a centrist Republican and would almost certainly outdo Trutanich in costing the city money.
The school board and community college races are likewise a battle between ethnic pandering and public employee union activists. In the school board race in particular, your choice is between a very Left wing hardline teacher's union activist and a gentleman with a Hispanic surname who lists his profession as 'community organizer', with all that implies.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is one of the largest and worst run school districts in America. It only graduates half its students in spite of spending the second highest dollar amount per pupil in the country, and even a large number of those that graduate are unable to do simple math or read at high school levels. Like New York City, there are a fair amount of teachers sitting in what's known as the 'rubber room' a place where the District houses teachers at full pay and benefits because they have been deemed too risky to have in a classroom,but almost impossible to fire because of the power of the teacher's union and the arcane union contracts. It can cost up to $1.6 million to fire a single teacher, and the average cost to do so if it's even possible is about $500,000.
Teacher's antics aside, classroom discipline and safety is a major problem at a number of schools. In a typical response, the school board just voted to ban suspensions of trouble making and disruptive students, directing officials to use 'alternative disciplinary practices' instead because - wait for it - the board felt that suspensions of unruly students which allow the other, non-disruptive children to enjoy a safe and more focused learning environment 'disproportionally affect minority students and hurt their academic achievement'. even the notoriously partisan Los Angeles Times can't quite spin this particular bit of idiocy.
In today's election, a resident of Los Angeles has a choice between two people who will simply exacerbate this sorry status quo.
Then there are four ballot measures.
They all contain sweeping proposals to ease traffic gridlock, make Los Angeles more business friendly and deal with the city's ballooning $216 million deficit.
Actually,one of them is a meaningless partisan political measure and the the rest of them of them deal with one of the few growth industries in Los Angeles, medical marijuana dispensaries.
Proposition C is simply a resolution to support a constitutional amendment overturning the 'Citizens United' Supreme Court ruling in order to, as the supposedly neutral analysis says 'state that corporations do not have the same rights as human beings' and that 'all citizens, regardless of wealth have an opportunity to have their political views heard.' Here's a sample of some more of the supposedly neutral analysis:
" a YES vote means that you want the people of the City to support an amendment to the US Constitution that would limit the right of corporations so that spending money on campaigns is not constitutionally protected speech,and that ensures that all citizens can have their views heard."
In a city like Los Angeles with a high proportion of low information voters, who wouldn't vote to "ensures that all citizens can have their views heard"? Especially if those views are 'directed' by a public employee union, of course.
First Amendment what???
This is what the powers that be in Los Angeles saw fit to waste taxpayer dollars on as well as man hours that should have been devoted to the people's business.
Let's move on to marijuana...
Pot is pretty much de facto legal in Los Angles, although you do need to go to the trouble of doctor shopping to get a prescription, which I'm told is no great difficulty.
In response to this, a number of entrepreneurs have set up shop. They're getting as common as convenience stores and utilizing a lot of commercial space that would likely otherwise sit idle with 'for rent' signs on them.
The socialists who run Los Angeles have a solution to deal with these budding (no pun intended) capitalists. Propositions D, E, and F are slightly competing plans to vastly increase taxation on the dispensaries in addition to what they're already paying and to severely limit their number to 135.
The result, of course will be the same thing that always happens when you limit outlets and raise the cost of doing business for the ones that remain open - much higher prices for consumers and believe it or not, less tax money for the city as consumers go back to the Old School methods of obtaining marijuana - buying it from non-legal sources or growing it themselves. Of course, it also means those 'for rent' signs will go back up, ensuring even less money for the city. And that a lot of the patrons of the remaining stores will be MediCal patients who aren't cost conscious in the least, since the taxpayers are footing the bill,
I don't use marijuana, so this doesn't particularly affect me personally, but I think it's a superb example of the mentality at work here...find a growing industry or market and strangle it with taxes and regulation.
This is how the City of Los Angeles retains its title as the worst city in America to do business in.
Welcome to one party socialist rule!