Thieves steal thousands of dollars worth of liquor at a store in Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/24O0oWHFOI
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 17, 2022
Through a quirk of fate I once knew Dennis Peron, the man who did more than anyone to legalize marijuana in California. I knew him in San Francisco as a gadfly from the neighborhood, circulating his petitions for a doomed cause. Cannabis was just one of those things destined to be illegal in 1996. Maybe not a felony, but something on the other side of the law, like numbers running.
Suddenly one day Dennis had an office on Market Street and America’s first medical dispensary, operating on a speakeasy basis. He invited me to his office for a chat. The gadfly persona was no more. George Soros was backing him, he announced. The future was neatly laid out. HIV, very much a lethal pestilence at the time, demanded medical marijuana on compassionate grounds could not be denied. Once medical cannabis could be cultivated and exchanged there would be simply no way to stop full legalization for recreational purposes. Only a question of when.
We know how this turned out. Today you can buy flower with the ease of a trip to 7-11 or have it delivered to your house by app. All perfectly ordinary, but back in the mid-90s, not even the most starry-eyed optimistic stoner would have predicted it. Nor the iPhone, nor Instagram.
No one saw it coming, but a billionaire made it happen. It had a salutary effect on Soros, who has since made himself the franchisee of urban chaos, through his army of woke prosecutors, installed city by city, one seven figure check at a time.
We are re-learning civilization requires handcuffs. It’s hard to believe now but Broken Windows policing was once as settled a political issue as we had in America, so completely transformative of the urban landscape you couldn’t campaign against it, even in Los Angeles.
An entire generation came of age with no living memory of street crime. Now that they’ve tasted it, people are ready to take corrective measures.
George Gascon, Soros’ handpicked prima donna, was a dead D.A. walking, next in line after Chesa Boudin for a public auto-da-fe.
The voters of Los Angeles County submitted 715,833 signatures in support of his recall, where 566,857 were required.
Yet here he is this week, smiling and dapper, having tap-danced his way around his reckoning at the polls.
How did this happen? In secret, courtesy of Dean Logan, Registrar of Voters, who managed to disqualify 195,000, or 27%, of the signatures away from the eyes of Recall Committee observers, who were banned from the building on the grounds it was not an election but a signature verification process.
For perspective, L.A. county rejected 1% of mail-in ballots in the 2020 cycle due to non-matching signatures.
Dean Logan has a history. In 2004 he was the Director of Elections in Seattle during the Dino Rossi-Christine Gregoire gubernatorial race, in which Rossi prevailed by 261 votes, then 46 votes in the recount, and then in a second manual recount Logan “found” 573 votes for Gregoire, previously disqualified due to -wait for it- signature matching issues.
The blowback was so intense Logan was forced to resign. Because we can no longer have nice things, and because one can only fail upward in the administrative state, Los Angeles hired him soon after.
People living in saner American climes watch the clip above and express disbelief. Why do we allow this to happen? As though we have been taken over by a charm of beguiling whispered in Aramaic instead of the decidedly unsexy nuts and bolts of an election process where billionaires and bureaucrats call the shots. If signature matching can be manipulated to elect favored candidates and disqualify recall petitions, the person making those decisions holds inordinate power in the new era of vote by mail.
It’s going to get stranger. We no longer have an Election Day. We have entered the era of E+7 voting. Activist groups have a full calendar week beyond the election to harvest ballots, bring them to drop boxes without a chain of custody, under a verification process that remains opaque. This is how Eunisses Hernandez, police and prison abolitionist, prevailed in District 1 this summer. It’s how Karen Bass went from five points down on the night of the Mayoral primary on June 7 to a seven point lead over Rick Caruso a month later when the results were certified. Or ‘certified’.
Were they late-arriving ballots or last minute? Even the Times couldn’t decide the correct nomenclature for this new reality.
Who would have predicted San Francisco would red pill before L.A.? Stranger things.