Billionaires Not Getting Along

Calpeek readers know that money does not buy happiness and based on reports out of Los Angeles, even billionaires can be unhappy, snarky people.  Just an aside – we love the Julie London version of Cry Me a River.

Billionaire developer and mayoral candidate Rick Caruso spent $41 million on his campaign as of June 1.  An additional $3.5 million was spent by “independent expenditure” groups to oppose Karen Bass.  Congresswoman Bass’ campaign spent $3.3 million and she received $2.2 million in independent spending support.  Those numbers will change slightly when the next finance reports are filed.

Caruso led Bass in early vote results, but Bass is now leading Caruso by 6.6% (43.14% – 35.98%).  Despite being in the lead, Bass supporters are concerned about Caruso’s unlimited wealth and his willingness to spend it.  

Enter billionaire Jeffrey Katzenberg, who may be willing to alleviate any funding concerns.  According to at least one high-level political insider, Katzenberg has pledged to match whatever Caruso spends.  

Folks who are not part of the billionaires circle might wonder why the two men do not get along.  According to the L.A. Times and Variety, they are both concerned about the homelessness crisis and have given big money to the same elected officials and issues over the years.  However, recently they have snarked at each other in news reports.  Caruso was displeased with the attack ads paid for, in part, by Katzenberg and accused him of lying about his background.  Katzenberg’s response included a jab at Caruso “He’s made it abundantly clear that he is way too thin-skinned and temperamental to serve as our mayor.”

If reports are correct, the Bass and Caruso camps will be spending tens of millions of dollars to win the Mayor’s race.  Time will tell.

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