Cross-posted at RonKayeLA.

Dick Riordan
is there for his pal Austin Beutner to help launch of his dark horse mayoral

basic thing is jobs, jobs, jobs," says the former two-term mayor and
long-time civic leader.

Well, not
exactly. The basic thing is leadership and managing the operations of a $6 billion
government and its airport, harbor and DWP. But I get it. Friends stand up for
friends and Beutner is a good guy.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig finally comes down on Frank McCourt, the only
person who comes to the defense of the Dodgers owner is Steve Soboroff who had
just stepped in as the team’s vice chairman in an effort to save his pal.

need more people like Frank McCourt," says Soboroff, who just happens to
be a pal of Riordan and Beutner as well as McCourt and a lot of other important

OK, I get
it. Friends stand up for friends. But let’s face it, we need more people like
Frank McCourt in jail, not running around living like kings while destroying a
beloved community asset like the Dodgers.

Now we
learn, thanks to the LA Weekly, that the deal to lure the local office of the global
architecture firm Gensler from Santa
Monica to downtown LA includes among its many
subsidies is the gift of $1 million in federal community block grants that were
intended to help downtown’s army of homeless people.

Gensler isn’t
just a guy who knows a guy. He’s such good friends with Tim Leiweke that he’s
designing the Farmers Field football stadium that is being shoved down the
public’s throat because Leiweke has so many friends at City Hall, he can get
just about anything he wants.

One of
those friends is Beutner who, as the city’s jobs czar,  put together the three-year
tax holiday and the $1 million homeless subsidy to move a few jobs a dozen
miles inland to help fill some empty office space owned by the king of downtown
development, Jim Thomas, who just happens to have gotten $74 million in city tax
rebates to rebuild the Wilshire Grand Hotel. Jobs, jobs, jobs.

On hand at
the February press conference for the Gensler relocation announcement were
Beutner, Thomas, the queen of downtown developers Councilwoman Jan Perry and the
one and only friend of everybody who matters, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

You see it’s
all just a circle of friends, of one hand looking after another.

It’s what passes
for family in this post-cultural society of ours, a modern form of tribalism.
It doesn’t matter if they are good people or bad people, or whether what they are
up to is good for others, or harms them. It’s all in the family, just friends.

this family of friends requires money or power and one more thing, an
acceptance of the unspoken, unspeakable rules, a kind of code of silence that
recognizes the pseudo-aristocratic manners and mores of this ruling class.

They are
surrounded by a vast servant class of bureaucrats and technocrats, sycophants and

Don’t kid
yourself, the rest of us are merely beggars pleading with our hands out for
crumbs from their tables.

Such is
what passes for democracy in a city that boasts it is a bastion of liberalism.

For 30
years, it has been at war with the middle class, chasing away hundreds of
thousands of people to make more room for the poor who suffer mercilessly
because of lousy jobs if there are any, rotten schools, unenforced housing laws
and the theft of money intended to ease their burdens.

Let’s see all
these candidates for mayor – even one of them — stand up in public and talk
about this, about how they will open up the doors of power, break up this
family of friends, run this city for the benefit of all the people in all the
diversity of their needs and values.

A city with
four million people who feel friendship with each other, who see all our fates
are bound together – that’s the Los Angeles of my dreams.