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Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


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Ray Bradbury and the Strange World of California Politics

POLITICS AND REMEMBERANCE - I personally know of one instance when the great science fiction/fantasy writer, Ray Bradbury, took an interest in California politics. Bradbury, who passed away Tuesday at age 91, was the star attraction at a fundraiser for economist Arthur Laffer’s U.S. Senate campaign in late 1985. Bradbury, of course, expressed a deep interest in basic issues of human affairs. There is no better example than perhaps his best-known work, Fahrenheit 451, and it treatise on censorship, free speech and technology. A Wall Street Journal essay on the occasion of his death demonstrated the writer opposed political correctness.

But, on the occasion to which I refer, Bradbury ventured into the active political world – although his participation may have not been political at all.

Let me explain.

By the mid-1980s Arthur Laffer had gained fame as a chief architect of supply-side economics and was the creator of the Laffer Curve, which postulated that there is an optimum point on a tax rate curve at which government can collect the most revenue. If the tax rate is too low or too high revenue collection is diminished.

Laffer had served as an economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan and decided that he would make a bid for the California senate seat held by Democrat Alan Cranston.

Laffer was not alone in this bid. Seven Republicans tried for the office.  Congressman Ed Zschau won the primary race and went on to lose to Cranston by less than 1.5% in the 1986 general election.

Bradbury appeared at the Laffer fundraiser and explained what drew him to Laffer’s side. He liked new things — new ways of thinking, new approaches to old problems, he said at the event, and he felt Laffer’s theories qualified.

Bradbury looked at life through the same lens in which he imagined the strange worlds of his books.

Bradbury’s quest for the new and different and creative brought him to encourage Laffer and his economic approach.

Ray Bradbury brought all his readers into strange and vivid worlds. I suppose to many, the world of politics is a bizarre world and someplace an inquisitive Ray Bradbury would delight in visiting.

I still have the book he inscribed for me that evening in late December. With a touch of mirth, he wrote: For Joel at Noel!

RIP, Ray Bradbury.

(Joel Fox, author of the mystery Lincoln’s Hand, is editor of Fox & Hounds Daily and president of the Small Business Action Committee. This piece appeared originally at foxandhoundsdaily.com.)
-cw

Tags: Joel Fox, Ray Bradbury, politics, California, Arthur Laffer, US Senate








CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 46
Pub: June 8, 2012


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