… And philanthropy

Jun 10, 2022

More to be made of that which it has wrought.

Much has been made of the generally liberal electorates in California on Tuesday objecting to, if not outright rejecting, that which progressivism has wrought there—including San Francisco’s recall of progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin and the performance of billionaire real-estate developer Rick Caruso in Los Angeles’ mayoral election.

About 60% of San Francisco voters supported Boudin’s recall. Commentary on the Boudin repudiation has properly referenced progressive funders’ support of him and his policies to help remake San Francisco’s criminal-justice system less, well, prosecutorial. Many other major cities in America have massive crime problems, too, many with weak progressive (and progressive-supported) prosecutors themselves.

Much more could and should be made of philanthropy’s role in creating and worsening the massive problem with homelessness in Los Angeles that helped give rise to Caruso’s mayoral-race showing, too, though. With roughly half the vote tabulated, Caruso held a five-point lead over U.S. Rep. Karen Bass. Since neither topped 50% in the crowded field of candidates, they will advance to a November showdown with each other.

Liberal Los Angeles foundations successfully funded public-education efforts to raise $4.7 billion in new taxes to solve the homelessness crisis there. They were monumentally unsuccessful, and probably made the situation worse, for reasons we’ve explored in some depth on this site.

In its good post-mortem on the California results, The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes, “If vot­ers want safer streets, their only recourse is the bal­lot box. The think tanks, unions and big-city news­pa­pers that make up the pro­gressive van­guard won’t ad­mit that their ideas have failed.”

The progressive vanguard to which the Journal makes reference, of course, does in fact include think tanks, unions, and big-city newspapers.

And establishment philanthropy, in Los Angeles and elsewhere.