Former Republican spends big to become next mayor of LA, vows to ‘clean up’ crime-ridden city

A billionaire former Republican running on a law-and-order platform could wind up as the new mayor of crime-ridden Los Angeles after Tuesday’s non-partisan primary election if he gets more than 50 percent of the vote in a city where even many die-hard liberals are fed-up with pervasive lawlessness.

According to media reporting, the more likely scenario perhaps is that real estate developer (sound familiar?) and philanthropist Rick Caruso, whom Elon Musk has described as “awesome,” is headed to a November 8 runoff with far-left U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, who was a potential Joe Biden running mate and is the favorite candidate of the Democrat establishment.

“You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to make L.A. more livable,” Caruso, 63, told The New York Times. “We’re going to have cleaner streets and better parks, and we’re going to have lower crime. And you’re going to be able to go for a walk and not worry about it.”

“A victory for Mr. Caruso would be a stark shift in this overwhelmingly liberal city, which Senator Bernie Sanders easily carried in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary,” the Times conceded.

Caruso has splurged about $34 million on radio, TV, and digital advertising, which may or may not be a good use of funds in a fragmented media environment.

A Los Angeles Times poll indicates that Bass has 38 percent of the vote to Caruso’s 32 in the multi-candidate field. Incumbent Democrat  Eric Garcetti is term-limited out.

Among other things, Caruso, who has donated to both GOP and Democrat politicians (but mostly to the former), and to church institutions, has promised to root out corruption, hire more cops and sanitation workers, and build homeless shelters.

“Experts and critics say many of his plans may not be achievable because of federal court mandates that allow people to camp in public spaces, as well as the city’s byzantine zoning rules,” the corporate establishment Times added.

As alluded to above, many liberals are apparently supporting the businessman given the rapidly deteriorating quality of life in the second-largest U.S. city owing to random and not-so-random street violence, robberies (along with home invasions even in upscale enclaves), open-air drug use, rampant homelessness, and other social maladies.

The would-be mayor vowed on his website to re-fund the police: “Restore the LAPD’s Budget that our cowardly City Council defunded and expand the number of patrol officers with more hiring, civilianization of non-essential sworn positions, and a commitment to more training and diversified recruitment.”

Caruso “has gone directly at voters’ frustrations with those problems, portraying Los Angeles as a city in deep decay and promising swift action on a law-and-order agenda,” the Times acknowledged.

The chaotic situation in L.A. arguably got worse after the election of George Gascon, one of a number of George Soros-backed soft-on-crime, Democrat prosecutors who appears likely to face a recall election, an effort that Caruso has endorsed.

While most of Hollywood is supporting Bass, for what it’s worth, liberal celebs such as Snoop Dogg, Kim Kardashian, Wolfgang Puck, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Katy Perry, along with Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos are reportedly backing Caruso, who made most of his fortune building shopping malls in southern California.

Democrat Eric Adams won the mayor’s election in New York City last November in part because of his promise to restore law and order, but so far, he has underperformed in the context of improving public safety while being sidetracked by woke issues.

No fan of President Trump, “Caruso had been a longtime Republican, switched his registration to independent in 2019 and then became a Democrat this year, just before announcing his bid for mayor,” the Times recollected.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the ex-moderate Republican (which, by definition, generally implies a certain degree of pandering to liberal interests)”served for years as president of the city’s police commission, on the board of the Department of Water and Power and also as the chair of USC’s board of trustees. He has also given away millions to programs supporting impoverished children, among other causes.”

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