Letters to the Editor: Karen Bass won. Rick Caruso conceded. L.A. shows how democracy is done.
A lot of people are complaining because Karen Bass, mayor of Los Angeles, won.
This makes me angry. And sad. We all know that it can take a long time or a short time to build a campaign staff. We all know that it can take a long time to find the message you are going to push to voters. But we also know that, no matter what else, good candidates go to work in teams. And when the people are ready, they put out a message on television.
And, on television, good candidates have what is called a “show”—one that shows that you are a good candidate. That, I believe, is the true test of the candidates who win. And after watching Karen Bass for years—this is what I have seen.
In 1994, Bass asked for the people’s endorsement for mayor. In 1996, Bass asked for a runoff. In 2000, she asked for a runoff. And, now, she is the Mayor-elect of the City of Los Angeles. That is the way it goes.
In 1994, the people wanted to elect a visionary, who was going to do something different and could overcome any and every obstacle that was thrown in her path—like the $100-million bond issue and the campaign to raise the sales tax (which would turn the City into a very expensive place). I supported that.
I am ashamed that so many people in the community, and probably many out of the community, could not support that choice.
When I asked for a runoff, I said that the people of Los Angeles should have a chance to vote again. I had been elected twice before—without having to run against any incumbent. And voters should not have to run for a third time—it is our civic duty and responsibility.
In 1996, I asked to have a runoff. What I told voters is that I was prepared to spend time and money—even risk my re-election—to defeat the incumbent.
And, of course, that wasn’t the case. So, in 2000, I said I would have another runoff with whoever the voters wanted to