Politics

Observing the business hopefuls for mayor

Small business advocate and politics writer Joel Fox, the name partner behind the Fox & Hounds Daily website, checked out mayoral candidate Austin Beutner and possible candidate Rick Caruso last week at separate appearances in the Valley. Beutner showed up at the Valley Vote Board of Directors meeting, Caruso at the United Chambers of Commerce. Fox's take:

A number of analysts looking at the coming mayor's race feel the environment is similar to the time Republican attorney and businessman Richard Riordan captured the mayor's office in 1993. The opportunity may be there for a business executive to take control of the city government once again....

Beutner and Caruso have similar outlooks when they talk about correcting the ills of Los Angeles. Both emphasize treating the city's citizens like "customers." Both attack the gross receipts tax system as detrimental to business. Caruso boldly says that tax kills jobs and should eventually be eliminated. Beutner also says the gross receipts tax must be changed and points to efforts he made as deputy mayor, such as a tax holiday for new businesses, to encourage new businesses coming to LA.

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Beutner appeared serious and reserved. Caruso, addressing a large audience, was relaxed. Beutner was challenged with more specific questions than Caruso, who was asked how he could save the Dodgers. Both handled the Q&A well.

If policy is similar, personality and the way they conduct their campaigns will make the difference.

Beutner, who's getting more of the ink these days as the new guy on the scene and the one actually admitting he's running, is profiled in the current Malibu Magazine. The story's not online.

Also this: Councilwoman Jan Perry notified the ethics commission that she has passed the $200,000 threshold in money raised for the race, joining Beutner and Controller Wendy Greuel in that club. Sausage Factory


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