You got to hand it to City Hall — it has reached a level of such total corruption that even the outcomes of elections make no difference.
There isn’t a dictator or mob boss anywhere who can’t admire the genius of a system that lets politicians and their very special friends live like royalty off the public treasury and still walk around as if they were humble servants of the people.
The case in point is the Measure B solar energy fraud.
It’s taken two months of hard work by dozens of intelligent and experienced people — “fringe activists” in the parlance of the “Yes on B” campaign — to penetrate the lies and deceits to finally understand the truth.
We finally get solar power in the sun capital of the world after a decade of City Hall’s refusal to take advantage of nature’s abundant clean energy resource whether Measure B passes or fails.
The only question is how much they get to steal. And who gets to steal it.
Corruption doesn’t get any more beautiful than that.
If Measure B is approved by voters on March 3 — an outcome that is all but certain given the millions of dollars in special interest money behind it and City Hall’s intimidation of unions, the solar energy industry, business organizations and community and environment groups — we get the largest solar energy plan in U.S. history.
And, through the despicable City Charter amendment element of Measure B, we give the mayor and the City Council the absolute power to channel the billions of dollars in public money that’s involved to anyone they want without even the slightest meaningful safeguard or oversight.
If by some miracle, we “fringe activists” are able to awaken the sleeping and distracted populace and muster some small change out of their pockets and defeat Measure B, we get the largest solar energy plan in U.S. history anyway.
That’s because the DWP and the IBEW that runs it have committed themselves to this initiative as long as they hold a monopoly on ownership of the rooftop solar units and all the work of installing and maintaining them.
They can — and will — enact this exact same policy or a worse one immediately after the election if Measure B fails.
The only difference is that the mayor and council will have to do their dirty work behind the scenes and let the DWP Board of Commissioners — which they have weakened to the point of irrelevance — do the actual channeling all those billions into the pockets of the special interests who have helped turn what used to pass for a democratic government into a political machine.
So why do we fight if the outcome is already certain?
We fight because we must to keep hope alive that somehow, some way, some day, we can help bring a semblance of democracy in L.A., that people in every part of the city will be engaged and able to affect the public policy and to come together to create a civic culture that gives life to our shared belief in the dream of L.A. as a place of boundless possibilities for everyone, a city where people have come from all over the world to become all that they can be.
We fight on and hope and that we can end the corruption before it’s too late, before the disparity between rich and poor becomes so great and those in the middle so few that L.A. is beyond saving. The question is how much time do we have left before that happens.
We fight because if we can defeat Measure B, we will have the chance to force them to bring the community into a process that can produce a real solar energy that gets most most electricity at the lowest cost in the fastest time.
We fight because if we win they will be put on notice that the people are waking up and getting organized and their days are numbered.