Caruso spent $100 million to lose to Karen Bass and the Democrat Party Machine


Billionaire developer Rick Caruso (D) spent about $100 million in the race for mayor of Los Angeles, but lost to Democratic Party favorite Karen Bass (D-CA), whom he overspent as the late ballots were counted.

The insurgent candidate funded his own campaign, mostly through advertising, but critics said during the race that if he really wanted to help the city, it would have been better to use his money to build homes for the homeless.

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Caruso is one of many moderate Democrats who have learned what the Republicans have now discovered: that when party activists want to win an election in a major city, they are able to cast the necessary votes.

As in the primary, Caruso started for Bass in counting the votes on Election Day. But he lost on mail-in votes — which are valid as long as they’re postmarked on Election Day and received within a week afterward.

Another Democrat who learned the same lesson was Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who led the race for district supervisor until West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath overtook and soon surpassed him.

In Hertzberg’s case, it didn’t matter that Governor Gavin Newsom (D) had endorsed him. Horvath, who once tried to “ban” President Donald Trump from her neighborhood (a violation of the Constitution), had the love of the party.

But Hertzberg did not spend his own fortune on the road to defeat. Known for building its popular and glamorous high-end malls, Caruso pumped tens of millions into TV ads that translated into polls, not votes.

Indeed, like many Republican candidates who fell short against the Democrats across the country, Caruso focused on turning voters while the Bass campaign, using loyal party activists, focused on casting ballots.

Messaging was also a weak point. While Caruso gained support and interest by focusing on the problems of rising crime and homelessness, his plans to address these issues were vague; he promised to hire the best ‘team’.

Bass’ message on these issues was even worse. She rarely gave specifics, focusing instead on big ideological issues such as abortion. But she reminded voters that Caruso had only recently become a Democrat.

Caruso was unable to capitalize on a corruption scandal that tied Bass to a bribery scheme at the University of Southern California. Nor could he capitalize on outrage over racism among Democrats at City Hall.

Caruso’s support came from white residents. Bass won the black neighborhoods. They split the Latino vote – perhaps a promising sign. But the best that can be said is that for $100 million, Caruso gave voters a choice.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday nights from 7pm to 10pm ET (4pm to 7pm PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free Nor Fair: The 2020 US Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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