Why Are L.A. Mayoral Campaigns Getting the Candidates So Wrong?

The Bass and Caruso You Think You Know Are Based on Misperceptions. That’s a Problem for California’s Local Politics

The Los Angeles mayoral campaign has become an exercise in misinformation, clouding the public’s muddled perceptions of how municipal government actually works in this state.

The problem emanates from the upside-down narrative that has developed around the top two contenders: U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, who is framed as the race’s establishment insider, and billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso, who is considered the businessman outsider.

This widespread public misunderstanding of the mayor’s race is largely the product of the candidates’ own campaigns.

Bass has relied on a slew of endorsements from Democratic figures, …

Make Me California’s Next Senator | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Make Me California’s Next Senator

The Senate Is an Absurd Institution, so Let's Put an Even More Absurd Californian in the Office

Dear Governor Newsom,

You’ve complained publicly that you’re overwhelmed with texts and calls, and I understand why. With the election of Kamala Harris as vice president, you must appoint someone to …

Why South L.A. Has Earned the Vice Presidency | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why South L.A. Has Earned the Vice Presidency

Karen Bass Has Led Her Community’s 30-Year Transformation. Who Better to Lead a Nation at Rock Bottom?

Can South Los Angeles teach America how to lead?

That’s the promising question behind the news that Karen Bass is a top contender to be the Democratic vice-presidential nominee.

Bass is best …