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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Caruso Watch 2009!! Will he take on Villar and Moore??

The LA Weekly gives equal time and "dozens of column inches" to the "who, what, where, when, how, and why" on a possible Rick Caruso run for Mayor in 2009.

Speculation has been waning in the recent weeks on a challenge to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa by Caruso, but with this extensive profile in today's Weekly, expect a uptake in attention from scribes, blogs and "Third Floor Operatives" alike in the days ahead.


Caruso's political resume:
What many may not realize, however, is that Caruso, 49, has a track record in public service that dates back nearly half his life — one that can be scrutinized far more objectively than any architectural or psychogeographic critique of the Grove. He’s served under mayors Bradley, Riordan and Hahn. At 25, he was the youngest commissioner in the history of the DWP; two years later, he became its president, and went on to serve a total of 13 years there. He was police commissioner under James Hahn, and was instrumental in bringing Chief William Bratton to power. He’s on the board of councilors for USC’s School of Policy, Planning and Development. He’s a trustee for the homeless-advocacy group Para Los Niños.

In many ways, no single figure in recent history has been more influential in shaping the city of Los Angeles — and not just with his retail development. As Bill Clinton once told Caruso, “You’ve got your hand in everything.” The question is, is that hand now reaching toward city hall?

Personal Background:
Caruso certainly isn’t new to money. He’s a lifelong L.A. resident whose father, Hank, earned a small fortune running a series of auto dealerships and then went on to found Dollar Rent-a-Car. Such was the Caruso disposition that, after college at USC, Hank forced Rick, against his will, to go to law school at Pepperdine. Although he graduated to the powerful Finley Kumble law firm, the young attorney became independently wealthy with a side venture by purchasing land around airports and leasing it to his father’s rental-car company. Like father, like son, except where politics was concerned. Hank Caruso, though politically connected, never ran for office or tried his hand in city government.
“My father respects public office,” says Caruso, “but thinks I’m absolutely insane for wanting to get involved in politics. If you’ve got a business, he thinks you should stick with that and make it as successful as possible.”

Is the past a motive for political future??
The city needs to stay viable and livable, and I’m not sure the current leadership is getting that stuff done. I would enjoy having the opportunity to leave the city in a better place than when I got there.”

That’s about as overtly critical of the mayor’s job performance as Caruso will go, though his insistence on mispronouncing the double “L” in Villaraigosa — as in “vanilla” — speaks volumes. The two do have a political history. In 2004, when he was still on the police commission, Caruso pushed a new bond measure that would have guaranteed money to put 1,200 new police officers on the street. He used his own money to wage an ad campaign, but the measure never made it to the ballot after the City Council voted it down — with Villaraigosa casting a crucial “nay” vote.

“Villaraigosa’s stand was purely political,” insists Caruso. “He knew he was running for mayor and didn’t want Hahn to be able to hire more cops and get that feather in his cap.”

It’s tough to argue with Caruso’s take. Shortly after assuming office, Villaraigosa announced a call to put 1,300 new cops on the street.

Salient thoughts:
The simple truth is that while Caruso has been floating the prospect of running for mayor for nearly five years, he hasn’t laid the basic political groundwork he needs for electoral success. His developments, his single greatest political advertisements, are mostly in affluent white areas. If he’s ever going to have any shot at becoming mayor, he needs to spread the wealth across the city. Not only is it too late for him to do that in this election cycle, says Steinberg, but if Caruso wants to run in four years, “he’s got to start planning now.”

Franklin Gilliam, dean of the UCLA School of Public Affairs and an expert on racial and ethnic politics, agrees: “The Riordan model was to win large parts of the white vote, especially in the Valley, but also to pick up a nontrivial percentage of the black and Latino vote — at least 20 percent of each group.”

Assuming Caruso would have difficulty gaining headway against Villaraigosa in the Latino community, this would seemingly make the black vote that much more important. But, says Gilliam, “Caruso hasn’t been part of the move to redevelop South Los Angeles. And he hasn’t partnered with Magic Johnson, which should be a no-brainer for any developer looking to run for mayor of Los Angeles.

Your Thoughts..................

****BTW, which candidate for Mayor had a overflow crowd for his rally this week?? A sign of a growing grass-roots movement??

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Blogger haikula said:

The major problem with Rick Caruso running for Mayor is that those of us who are frustrated and done with Villaraigosa should not split the anti-Villaraigosa vote. We should get behind any ONE candidate who isn't Villaraigosa.

Walter Moore has been on this beat for a long time, and seems to have the best-established platform, and momentum.

We hopefully agree that if there is a runoff between candidates, like four years ago, we do not want Villaraigosa to be one of the choices.

So let's not get into finding other candidates. Get behind Walter, and let us retire Villaraigosa. The same goes for city attorney. Voting for Carmen Trutanich is a vote against Jack Weiss, and that is a good thing.

October 16, 2008 11:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Dear Walter Moore,
If you are elected Mayor, please. For the love of Blog. Do something about LAUSD!

October 16, 2008 12:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yeah, yeah, I think AV is a scumbag, too. But this "anybody but Villaraigosa" stuff is about as useful as cross-training shoes for a paraplegic.

He's still very popular with the same groups that elected him by a landslide last time. And the people blowing smoke out their hineys here about how he's losing ground are the same one's that eventually clung to Hahn last time, too little/too late.

Our best hope of ditching hizz-on-her, the uh, uh, uh, mental and physical midget, is to spread his manure statewide and get him elected governor.

Tell the people wasting their money on Wacko Walter Moore's tiny Titanic dingy to send it instead to the "draft AV for mini-Governor" campaign. That may be the only way to "Save L.A." anytime soon.

October 16, 2008 12:32 PM  

Anonymous One Who Knows said:

The fool that wrote this article (or was it Caruso's mother?) did zero research.

He states that Caruso's father never ran for office - well, Duh.

You can't run if you are a convicted felon, right? Oh well, why mention that little insignificant fact? Especially if you are being paid by Caruso to write the puff piece.

Give it up Sam, Caruso won't run against Antonio unless Antonio is indicted or goes to Washington. He just got a big project approved in Santa Barbara and he hasn't got the time to run and do his project both.

He can wait four years and waltz in, with only Hugsberg to face. That is, if anyone except YOU can remember who Hugsberg used to be.

October 16, 2008 12:57 PM  

Anonymous One Who Knows said:

OK, Haikey Girl, you got it half right.

Take on the ones you can win; don't waste energy on the ones you can't.

Nuch Trutanich can win this election; he is a stand up guy and a thoughtful, experienced trial lawyer who is a real prosecutor who has tried lots of cases.

And, people actually LIKE him.

Take the time to go meet him. You won't be disappointed.

Antonio is a lock for another term unless he gets indicted or decides to go to Washington. The latter only happens if Obama can fool the folks for another three weeks, and further if The Bradley Effect isn't alive and well in the battleground states. I say it is, by the way, and McCain will win.

October 16, 2008 1:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Are you really that naive or just pretending to be?

Walter Moore would have to make a monumental effort just to be a footnote in this election. The demographics in this city are such that no rightwing white guy is going to get elected mayor. He can't raise money, has no base, and hasn't been able to attract any grass-roots support.

If you want proof of that, take the time to very simply describe a winning stategy for someone like him. With the best fiction writers in Hollywood, you couldn't create a successful scenario.

October 16, 2008 1:05 PM  

Blogger haikula said:

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 16, 2008 1:32 PM  

Blogger haikula said:

Hi 1:05pm,

Walter was, pardon the pun, much MOORE than a footnote four years ago.

Everyone wants to be on a winning side, until the underdog starts gaining momentum.

To the poster who thinks the same supporters want Villaraigosa back, are discounting all of the Latina votes (for his philandering), and the blacks (for shutting the city's door of opportunity on them, as they widely feared).

And that million trees fiasco! We later found out that he meant a few hundred thousand seedlings which may not even have been planted in LA.

A year ago, NO ONE thought that the Tampa Devil Rays would a win away from the World Series, but that's where they are now.

Walter is the Tampa Devil rays of the soon-coming Mayoral election.

Trust your Haikula. Life is easier when you leave the thinking to us.


October 16, 2008 1:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Anyone who would invest in South LA for the sole purpose of running for a local political office would be out of his mind. Investments in shopping centers and multi-use retail housing developments are based on real estate and retail, as well as economic studies that would ensure a good investment strategy. Recent Calif history has shown that wealthy entrepenuers, mostly in high tech, have run for more lofty offices on the state level, rather than local offices that are highlighted by after the fact press conferences to fix the wrongs, and appearances sitting alone in the stands at Dodger games.

October 16, 2008 2:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Moore isn't in the race as a serious candidate or anything else. So please spare me the anti-Antonio rhetoric.

If you support Moore so much, shut up and contribute to his campaign.

October 16, 2008 2:42 PM  

Anonymous The Ugly American said:

he demographics in this city are such that no rightwing white guy is going to get elected mayor.

Walter Moore is not "right-wing", he's an Independent.

BTW, there were people at the rally on Tuesday night wearing Obama and McCain t-shirts. Apparently, there were even a few Ron Paul supporters sprinkled in there as well.

Walter will represent ALL of us Angelenos....liberal, conservative and independent alike...not the special interest groups and lobbyists who suckle at Villaraigosa's city government teat.

October 16, 2008 2:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


The Rays have gotten where they are because they have talent, a great manager, and they developed a way to win. Walter Moore has none of these. He has had 4 years to advance beyond where he was last time in terms of building a group of campaign supporters, raising money, and a presenting solutions to our city's problems. He hasn't done any of that in a significant enough way.

The million trees failure isn't the kind of issue that anyone cares about, and it certainly isn't anything that decides an election.

If it were important, Moore would be exploiting it and it would be resonating with the public and the media. But it's like McCain and the Rev. Wright or the Bill Ayers stuff. It didn't have an affect. For those who like to get nasty and negative it's fun, but it's not working with the voters.

Latina women can not like AV all they want. That's not a large number of people, and you still need someone who will be a credible opponent. Someone who has ideas that work with the voters, and someone who has the money or can get the money to deliver that message.

Walter is part of your Mayor Sam blogging club, so you can like him for that. But if you really about him, beating AV, and making this city better you need a viable candidate.

You name the odds you want on Walter becoming mayor and I'll take your bet.

October 16, 2008 3:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I recall Rick Caruso calling Congresswoman Maxine Waters a bitch when he was on the police commission. He has no chance of gaining favor with the Black community unless he pays her off big time!!

October 16, 2008 7:22 PM  

Anonymous One Who Knows said:

Regarding odds, I'd say that Haikula has a better chance than Walter.

If she files, just her name on the ballot will draw more votes than Walter.

Wanna bet, Haiky girl?

October 16, 2008 7:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If Rick Caruso does decide to run, it would behoove Walter Moore to drop out!!!! We cannot split the ticket, and Caruso could beat the pants off Villar all day long!


Walter Moore can't hold a candle to Rick Caruso. Rick you can win this thing in your sleep!


October 16, 2008 7:45 PM  

Anonymous stephen c. foster said:

2:42, you've a comment stating, "If you support Moore so much, shut up and contribute to his campaign."

First, I don't like anons. Anons apparently are afraid to give themselves an identity fearing they might be unmasked.

Second, I refuse to shut up about my support of Mister Moore - btw, this is the first chance I've had to comment upon this thread.

Third, I've already contributed to his campaign - I don't support candidates unless I think they:

A) Make more sense than any other candidate, including the incumbent.

B) They easily have a better than 50% chance of being elected.

C) Care deeply and positively about the particular constituency and area (in this case, the City of L.A.) in which they reside.

I hope you decide to take my advice to create an identity, and then comment under it. You'll get a lot more respect from others here, including me.

P.S.: 7:45, The active draft went out with the end of the Viet Nam conflict some 33 years ago. Your statement needs some serious updating; you also need to follow the advice I gave 2:42.

October 16, 2008 11:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In the interest of accuracy, there is still a full Selective Service System, in place and ready to begin a draft within 30 days of the time that POTUS gives the order.

There are rearly training sessions and a full skeleton organization, filled with live bodies.

Members are appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Governor of the state.

October 17, 2008 4:39 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

There is no doubt that Walter Moore has an immense uphill climb.

But I have to say that to claim he has not built an organization or raised money is just not accurate. Moore has campaign teams all over the city, he is well known amongst Neighborhood Council types, homeowner groups, etc. and he's raised nearly $200,000 in about a year, all with grass roots contributions.

Again - it's a big battle for Moore ahead but he has created a significant movement.

You don't get over 500 people to show up to a weeknight rally if you're just blogging.

October 19, 2008 1:29 AM  

Anonymous g said:


October 23, 2008 2:14 PM  

Anonymous dave4walter said:

There's no doubt that Walter Moore will get tons of vote tomorrow
Good attitude, good looks, good ideas
As long as its over with Villalacrappa

March 02, 2009 3:36 PM  

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