LA Needs Its Own Billionaire Mayor - NBC Southern California
Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

LA Needs Its Own Billionaire Mayor



    Attention Eli Broad, Ron Burkle and Patrick Soon-Shiong: the people of Los Angeles need you in City Hall.

    And don't forget to bring your checkbook. 

    I have a concern about all the potential candidates to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

    The thought occurs after reading Thursday morning's New York Times. The Gray Lady reports on an innovative new $130 million program to improve the lives of young black and Latino men in New York City.

    Included are programs on job readiness, education, and probation.

    Such a program would be welcome in LA, but here it couldn't happen because there isn't the money.

    The city of New York doesn't have the money either. But it has an advantage: New York's billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg will cover $30 million of the program's cost out of his own pocket (or more precisely his own foundation).

    Mayor Reportedly Seeking Donations to Pay for Ethics Fines

    [LA] Mayor Reportedly Seeking Donations to Pay for Ethics Fines
    LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has set up three legal defense funds to help him pay off a $42,000 ethics fine, new reports say. The mayor was fined for accepting valuable sports and entertainment tickets, instead of paying for them himself.
    (Published Wednesday, April 27, 2011)

    He's hitting up a billionaire friend, George Soros, for another $30 million.

    Imagine what Los Angeles might be able to accomplish with its own billionaire mayor.

    But the current crop of candidates isn't nearly plutocratic enough.

    Even businessmen Austin Beutner and Rick Caruso aren't in Bloomberg's league.

    Any of these three would do: Broad ($5.8 billion); Burkle ($3.2 billion) or Generic drug king Soon-Shiong ($5.6 billion).

    Yes, a mayor must have other political skills. But in these times, when no one has any money, the advantages of electing a billionaire have never been clearer.