LOS ANGELES - After months of campaigning, it’s the home stretch, just days to go until California’s June 7th primary.
One of the most hotly contested, and expensive, races on the ballot is for LA Mayor.
This week, after spending millions on his campaign, billionaire developer Rick Caruso joins Elex Michaelson on "The Issue Is" to make his final pitch to Los Angeles voters.
The two also discuss crime, corruption, gun control, Caruso’s evolving party affiliation, and his recent endorsement from Elon Musk.
Also on the June 7th ballot, an effort to recall San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, whose critics say his progressive policies have made their city unsafe. Boudin stops by to discuss justice reform and to make his case to voters to keep his job.
Then, Michaelson is joined by State Assemblyman Robert Rivas, who has made headlines for garnering enough votes in the Democratic caucus to become California’s next Speaker of the Assembly.
Rivas pulls back the curtain, revealing the ongoing discussions with current Speaker Anthony Rendon and the plans to transition into the role, although no timeline has been set.
THE ISSUE IS: THE CLOSING PITCH TO VOTERS
CARUSO’S CENTRAL TAKE: "My final argument is the same as my opening argument: we have a bunch of issues in this city like crime and homelessness and corruption and city hall that need to be fixed, and I believe I have the skill set to fix them. I'm more excited than ever to do it. I'd be honored to be the Mayor. I'm energized by going around this city. The one thing I would tell you is that no matter where you go in this city, the issues are the same, the concerns are the same, the worries are the same for the residents. I think we're coming together in a way that will allow some really great positive change, and I want to lead that positive change…"
THE ISSUE IS: RISING CRIME AND GUN CONTROL
CARUSO’S CENTRAL TAKE: "We certainly need to get guns off the street, and as a parent, like so many parents in Los Angeles, you can't even fathom the pain and the loss that these families [in Uvalde, Texas] are going through, so my heart goes out to them and prayers. But we have too many guns on the street, there's no question about it, and we're not enforcing all the rules that we have. But listen, what's happened in Los Angeles with rising crime - four people a day on average getting shot, the highest numbers in recent history in Los Angeles - so crime is spiking, violent crime is spiking, more guns are being used, we have to hold criminals responsible. We have to increase the LAPD's gun unit to go out and enforce getting guns off the street, and it needs to be done now because it's only getting worse…"
THE ISSUE IS: CLEANING THE STREETS OF LOS ANGELES
CARUSO’S CENTRAL TAKE: "The city is dirty, it reads dirty, it feels dirty. It is dirty. You send a signal not to be here to visitors, to guests, to tourists, and everything. You also send a signal to people that have a criminal desire that it's okay, right? You've got to get the street cleaners out, I've said we've got to hire more people to clean the streets. We've got to have clean sidewalks. I mean, it's basic stuff that our leadership has failed us, that we have a dirty city - you want it to be livable, you want to be proud of walking down the sidewalk… we’re suffocating the ability to live in this city…"
THE ISSUE IS: RICK CARUSO, REAL DEMOCRAT?
CARUSO’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I believe that the great way to govern is down the middle: I'm tough on crime, I want to give people personal freedoms how to live their life, social issues, you know, to me, you have to have a lot of respect for how people choose to live their lives, I'm fiscally conservative, that's a centrist. I live more comfortably, if I have to pick a party, in the Democratic Party, and we're heading towards an election in this country, in this state, in November that I'm worried about, and I don't like a lot of what I'm hearing out of the Republican side. I wanted to plant a very clear flag that I stand with the Democrats, and I'm hoping they become more centrist so that we can bring the country together and move it forward…"
THE ISSUE IS: ELON MUSK AND OTHER CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS
CARUSO’S CENTRAL TAKE: "You know what it means? The diversity of the support that I'm getting from a 'Sweet Alice' in Watts, who's worked in Watts for 60 years, to labor unions, to community organizers, to an Elon Musk, tells me that there is a wide spread support of people saying this city needs to change and it needs a change agent, and Rick is the change agent. I love it. I think it's fantastic. I was surprised to wake up this morning to Elon's tweet, but I'm grateful for it, and no different than I'm grateful for 'Sweet Alice’…"
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.