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LA Election Results Commentary

by nobody Thursday, May. 23, 2013 at 8:03 AM

nobody says nothing

The Garcetti win was a big victory for the Prius neoliberal / hipster progressive set. I’m sure people are partying in hackerspaces and organic coffee bars across the city. Let’s hammer another nail into the New Deal’s coffin: neither candidate was a old school progressive. Garcetti may reward his GOP swing voters with a stab at public employee pensions, and propose converting them to 401K plans. Of course, Greuel may have suggested something similar.

Though the mayoral race was the main event, the interesting results for activists was at the edges, with a couple good wins.

Enemy of Occupy LA and numerous activists, Carmen Trutanich, was defeated. The former Republican tried to go stealth with an endorsement pushed by the ILWU, but it was hard to hide his contempt for left wing protesters. His naked ambition made him unpopular with the mainstream. Bye Bye Nuch.

The big upset was by Monica Ratliff, a schoolteacher who could not afford much of a campaign, who beat out Antonio Sanchez, an up-and-coming politician who had support not only from the local Democratic Party insiders and the labor unions, but plenty of neolib charter school advocates like NYC’s Michael Bloomberg. Sanchez raised over ,000,000 for his campaign. Ratliff’s total is unknown at this time, but the last news story I read had her at less than ,000. She got a last minute endorsement from Diane Ravitch’s organization, and that may have led to a surge of national money.

Ratliff’s position is still unknown - but she’s not beholden to the charter schools and privatization interests. She opposes the most odius aspect of the neoliberal agenda: expensive standardized testing. So, for progressives, and even educational traditionalists, this is a victory. What matters now is that progressive allies use this moment to boost their organizing, to cement their power.

The other big win was Prop D, which limits the number of pot dispensaries. On the one hand, this makes a cartel of the pot dispensaries, by limiting the number. On the other hand, it’s a big victory for the UFCW union, which has been allowed to organize the dispensary workers. Prices will rise, profits will rise, and the union will be able to extract money for health care, retirement, and other benefits. It’ll be rough on the Dr. Feelgood operations that get shut down, but for anyone looking at a career in marijuana, “welcome to the middle class.” I’m sure it’s a dream come true for some High Times readers.

Prop C won big. It’s basically toothless, but clearly repudiated the Citizens United decision and the overall idea of corporate personhood. The media try to hide Occupy Wall Street, but the resounding victory for prop C is proof that OWS lives on.

Montanez won big. It’s a win for community and environment, as she’s been pretty active in introducing bread and butter legislation to help consumers. I kind of wish there weren’t term limits, so she could stay in the legislature longer, and avoid the tempations of the City Council (aka, developers’ political contributions).

The other races weren’t that interesting. Price beat Cubas, and O’Farrell beat Choi. Perlman beat Vela. The established candidates with political machines beat the new candidates, who were also part of machines. The challengers did well, considering that this was their “debut.” None of them are objectionable.

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