The heart of the argument I hear over and over from people who intend to vote for Measure B is the moral equivalent of those who believe in peace at any price.
“I know,” they say, “everything you say is true. The DWP is a disaster and has failed in its promises to deliver solar energy. City Hall is a bad joke of corruption and incompetence. Measure B won’t clean the air. It will cost too much. But we just got to have solar.”
That’s the heart of the solar-at-any-price argument. It’s based on a fundamental belief that there’s nothing we can about the failure of our city government, people are too apathetic, they have too much money from special interests. So if we got to appease them by giving the DWP a monopoly on solar energy, it’s worth the price.
Joel Kotkin, the insightful critic of L.A. urban affairs, captures the sense of that in a sweeping article entitled “The Decline of Los Angeles” now online at Forbes.com. It’s subtitled: “From real estate to unemployment, the city has suffered under Antonio Villaraigosa. So why is he getting re-elected?”
Kotkin quotes real estate developer Rick Caruso, one of L.A.’s last private sector power brokers who pulled out of the mayoral race at the filing deadline, ascribes
Villaraigosa’s lack of significant opposition to a growing sense of powerlessness, even among the city’s most
important business leaders.
“People feel it’s kind of hopeless. It’s a dysfunctional city,”
Caruso said. “They don’t think there’s anything to do.”
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who wavered in his support of Measure B and now has emerged as its spokesman, sounded a similar tone during the discussion he and I had Monday night on Which Way LA? with Warren Olney on KCRW.
Rosendahl promised to be the public’s watchdog to make sure DWP delivers on the long list of promises being made for solar energy and to make sure the billions of public dollars it will cost are spent wisely.
Frankly, I think we have a lot better chance of defeating Measure B at the polls next Tuesday than seeing the City Council stand up to the DWP or the mayor on anything let alone when there are billions of dollars to be ripped off. End the apathy and defeatism. Vote No on Measure B and help restore hope to LA.