November 26, 2022 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Column: The Sixty Million Dollar Man!

Caruso’s crushing ad buy obliterates all spending records by one candidate for the office of Mayor of LA

By Nick Antonicello

If money is what really matters, Rick Caruso should win in landslide come Election Day.  

For the Caruso for Mayor campaign is unrivaled, unbridled and unprecedented in the saturation level of spending to become LA’s next chief executive.

With spending now at $62 million and most of it his own cash, Caruso has taken self-funding to a new level as he takes a page out of the Michael Bloomberg playbook who served three terms as mayor of New York City and a misguided run for the presidency in 2020.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, Bloomberg spent $188 million on his presidential campaign, including $132 million on television ads, $8.2 million on digital ads, $3.3 million on polling, $1.5 million on rent, and $757,000 on airfare, including $646,000 for a private jet. By the end of January 2020, Bloomberg spent $300 million on his campaign and by February 2020 had exceeded $500 million. This caused the total spending in the presidential primary on behalf of all candidates to exceed $1 billion by February, an unprecedented figure for such an early point in a US presidential election.

According to the New York Times, Bloomberg spent $102 million to win his third and final term as mayor of The Big Apple.

For the Caruso mayoral campaign is unusual indeed, as he spent $21 million in a 12-week period against a candidate who lacks the personal resources to compete despite a lifetime of running for elective office at the local, state and federal levels.

The Caruso campaign reminds me of the 1970’s television show, “The Six Million Dollar Man,” which starred Lee Majors as Colonel Steve Austin, a rebuilt superhuman cyborg, who was a mixture of man and machine.

While Austin was part machine and part man, Rick Caruso is all about money and talk just takes the bus. For his spending over the final month of this non-partisan race could have Caruso spending close to $100 million dollars for a job he wants to do for free!

In this round of spending, Caruso is running two spots, one pushing his agenda on homelessness in a more compassionate fashion than the hard-hitting spots last Spring while taking aim on Bass for a speech she gave at a Scientology event caught on video.

The footage emerged of the California Democrat speaking at a ceremony for a renovated Scientology church in Los Angeles when she served as speaker of the California State Assembly.

The Daily Caller first reported the video’s existence.

In her remarks, Bass called on treating humans with respect and fighting oppression, but also spoke highly of the controversial group and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

“The Church of Scientology, I know, has made a difference, because your creed is a universal creed and one that speaks to all people everywhere,” Bass said before an audience of some 6,000 attendees. “That is why the words are exciting of your Founder L. Ron Hubbard, in the creed of the Church of Scientology: That all people of whatever race, color or creed are created with equal rights.”

This video is now at the heart of Caruso’s current ad buy that was all over the broadcast dial and aired specifically during Sunday NFL games and certainly was designed to cut away from the Bass double-digit lead in the polls.

We’ll know more this week how effective this issue is for the apparently surging Caruso candidacy.

But if it is money that only matters, why was the $40 million spent in the primary only able to secure a distant, second-place finish where Bass would have probably won on a first ballot had Caruso not overwhelmed her with this kind of monopoly of the air waves?

Then the strategy was to hold her to a runoff and take his chances in a one-on-one battle?

In response, Bass had this to say about her inability to compete dollar for dollar with her billionaire developer opponent.

“Rick Caruso has spent more than $60 million to cover up his anti-choice Republican past and shamelessly mislead voters about who I am. He has proven he will do and say anything to attack me and my character to narrow the gap in this race.

“Our campaign is rooted in shared Democratic values — especially choice — and a firm belief that together, we can solve homelessness and make Los Angeles safe and affordable for everyone.

“I will continue working to earn every vote by sharing my experience and my comprehensive plans to get big things done for Los Angeles.”

One must be asking because I am, what does Scientology, political party registration or abortion rights have to do with running the nation’s second largest city?

Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian covering the race for mayor from a Venice perspective. Have a take or a tip? Contact Antonicello online via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Opinion
Related Posts

Column – Gas Gougers Beware: California Is Onto You at Last

November 11, 2022

November 11, 2022

By Tom Elias It has taken more than 50 years of on-and-off gasoline price gouging, but at long last California...

$87,581,047.01: Candidate Rick Caruso on Pace to Smash All Spending Records in His Bid to Become Mayor of Los Angeles

November 4, 2022

November 4, 2022

Caruso overwhelming Bass nearly 10-1! By Nick Antonicello According to the LA Ethics Commission as of October 31st, billionaire developer...

“Ten Takes” to Watch as CD-11 Hopefuls Park & Darling Close out the Campaign in a Mad Dash to the Finish Line!

November 4, 2022

November 4, 2022

By Nick Antonicello And after some sixteen months of posturing, positioning and intensive campaigning be it door to door, shaking...

Column: Who’s the ‘True’ Democrat in CD-11?

October 30, 2022

October 30, 2022

So who is the true Democrat in this race to succeed Mike Bonin in CD-11? While the campaign for city...

Column: Money & Messaging That Is Persuasive and Memorable May Just Make Rick Caruso Our Next Mayor!

October 25, 2022

October 25, 2022

Moving away from direct mail, Caruso saturates broadcast television with a more disciplined message that is resonating with an angry...

Column: Excess School Lands for Teacher Housing?

October 22, 2022

October 22, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist Do voters want more teachers living in their communities, even if it means a little more...

Column: What Next for LA?

October 18, 2022

October 18, 2022

By Nick Antonicello The ongoing racism scandal that has engulfed and swallowed city government whole could be an opportunity in...

Column: Racist Remarks Have No Place in Politics or Government

October 14, 2022

October 14, 2022

The ugly side of our discourse rears its head once again! By Nick Antonicello Some thirty years ago Rodney King...

Column: Candidates Darling & Park Move to the Center in CD-11 on the Issue of Homelessness

October 13, 2022

October 13, 2022

Recent mailings suggest a consensus, common sense approach as campaign intensifies in closing weeks! By Nick Antonicello While campaigns have...

Column: The Endorsement Sham Belittles a Productive Dialogue in the Race for LA County Sheriff!

September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022

LA Times endorsement of Robert Luna is a farce, bordering on the political absurd! By Nick Antonicello Endorsements by newspapers...

Column: Time to Abolish LAHSA Is Now!

September 26, 2022

September 26, 2022

Undercounts by this bloated bureaucracy confirms an inability to solve the crisis of homelessness and encampments here in Venice and...

Retired LA Councilmember Ruth Galanter Endorses Erin Darling in CD-11

September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022

The iconic former Councilmember, a victim of a knife attack and slow-growth supporter for change was responsible for the transformation...

Assemblyman Richard Bloom Endorses Erin Darling for LA City Council!

September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022

Former Santa Monica Mayor joins long list of elected officials backing the Venice local By Nick Antonicello Richard Bloom, the...

Handicapping the “Big Four” Races Facing Westside Voters and the Rest of LA This November!

September 16, 2022

September 16, 2022

Political Consultant & Strategist Crystal M. Litz offers her insight and take on the LA Mayoral Campaign, the Race in...

Column: LAHSA Claims 50% Reduction of Homeless Population in Venice, 39% Drop in CD-11!

September 12, 2022

September 12, 2022

By Nick Antonicello In what is being touted as an improvement of the homeless condition on the streets of Los...