Ad buyers representing potential mayoral candidate Rick Caruso have been checking on rates for TV time in November, when voters' minds turn away from the national election, Gene Maddaus reports for the LA Weekly, citing three unnamed sources who should know. No time has been actually purchased, Maddaus says, and no comment either way from the Caruso people.
I've heard the same in recent days, and also that Caruso last week reportedly begged off an ask from Eli Broad to contribute a substantial sum to a pension reform initiative that some civic leaders would like to push. A source in the politics business briefed his partners that Caruso told Broad he could not commit because of other large upcoming political expenses. You could easily imagine the two wealthy real estate developers winking at each other during such a conversation. According to the same source, Broad asked how much a campaign for mayor would cost him, and Caruso is said to have replied "15 to 20." Let's hope he means millions.
For what it's worth, this source says Caruso strongly hinted he would announce as a candidate within a couple of weeks. But let's see if it happens. He's come close to the line before, as have others, without stepping into the abyss.
Caruso has the money to finance a campaign, but does he have enough time and non-montetary assets to make voters like him before March? Open question. The Grove isn't that popular. Of course, all he really has to do is finish in the top two to get in the runoff, then attack the hell out of his opponent in television ads.