Jack Ohman

Editorial cartoonist, writer and Joe King’s alter ego

Los Angeles mayoral race: weather or not to vote?

03/13/2013 12:32 AM

03/12/2013 6:29 PM

Today was Pick on Los Angeles Day.

Frankly, I wasn't really looking for a reason to do so, but the story about the city's massive lack of interest in the future of American democracy as it relates to their city governance compelled me to go there.

Sixteen percent of the city's 1,800,000 registered voters turned out in their local election, which was comically less than previous elections. Analysts have been puzzling over this for days, and have come up with reasons ranging from "It was below 60 degrees and kinda cloudy and rainy" to "the commercials were too negative."

First, let's take weather as a reason.

I grew up in Minnesota, and they had their precinct caucuses in February. Did I mention February in Minnesota? Not March in Los Angeles. I would say the average daytime temperature in Minnesota would be in the low twenties, give or take, and on a bad day, it could certainly get below zero. Or twenty below zero. Or thirty five below zero. Zero. Zero is cold. 62 and cloudy is not cold.

Minnesota gets out to the polls to the tune of seventy percent voter turnout, and the other thirty percent have very good reasons for not voting, like their cars were frozen in glaciers.

Now let's address the subject of the "commercials were too negative."

Honestly, I like negative commercials. They're less insipid than alleged biographical commercials, which are so candy-coated that no one with any analytical skills should believe them. I'd love to see a biographical commercial like this:

"Bob Anderson. He was such a kiss ass in high school everyone knew he'd make it big in politics. He went to law school and got dragged along in his study group so he'd pass. Then he had to take the easier Iowa Bar four times because he couldn't pass the California bar exam. Through more ass-kissing, he managed to get elected to various offices because no one decent had a chance of winning. Here's Bob with his wife he's cheating on and his kids he never sees. Oh, and Bob's dad was a millionaire. That's why you're stuck with Bob as one of two pathetic choices for your next congressman, thanks to gerrymandering. Paid for by the Bob Anderson for Congress Committee. I'm Bob Anderson, and I approved this silly ratification of my grandiose ego and clinical narcissistic personality disorder."

Los Angeles still has time to make up some ground in the voter turnout department. They're down to two candidates for mayor, and they vote on May 21.

I checked the average L.A. temperature for May 21, and it's 74 degrees. They should be in good shape on the weather. 

Way warmer than Minnesota.

Democracy lives.

About This Blog

Jack Ohman joined The Sacramento Bee in 2013. He previously worked at the Oregonian, the Detroit Free Press and the Columbus Dispatch. His work is syndicated to more than 200 newspapers by Tribune Media Services. Jack has won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Scripps Foundation Award and the national SPJ Award, and he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and the Herblock Prize in 2013. Contact Jack at johman@sacbee.com. Twitter: @JACKOHMAN.


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