Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Last Word on Walter Moore

Well, it looks like we won't have Walter Moore to kick around anymore. This word comes straight from his own blog, where he says he won't run for public office again. This is disappointing behavior from Walter. I had always viewed Walter Moore as being slightly "Nixon-like" to begin with... angry, bitter, paranoid, thin-skinned... but this just completes the picture for me. Walter is now officially going to "take his ball and go home."

It is a stunning turnaround for a man who had accomplished quite a bit with very limited resources.
Moore spent less than $300K on his campaign, a very meager sum for such an important election. His total was less than 10% of what rival Antonio Villaraigosa raised and spent on his campaign. Yet Walter Moore did perform  reasonably well in the election, getting over 72,000 voters to support him and finishing in second place in the election. However, as Josh Brolin  (as the title character in the movie "W") reminds us, that, in an election,  "First is first and second is nothin'!"

Walter Moore and I have always had a very prickly relationship from the start. Before I even filed my papers, I contacted Walter and told him I was considering running for Mayor. I told him that I was aware of who he was from his repeated appearances on Conservative talk radio stations. I admitted that he was the candidate most likely to earn a runoff with Villaraigosa, and as such, probably had the best chance of defeating him. I explained to Walter that I was running in order to build myself a name for future success and that I realistically didn't expect to do well in the election, having very little money and no name recognition. Walter suggested that I run for City Council instead. I rejected that idea. However, I did tell Walter that if he was the one to earn a runoff with Villaraigosa, that I would support him and work for his campaign and even donate money. (I have emails to prove this conversation if anyone wishes to question my truthfulness).  I meant this when I said it, but later on in the campaign, as I saw more and more of what Walter was really like as a person, I started to have less and less faith in him as a person and as a viable candidate.

I emailed Walter to congratulate him on drawing a low number in the City Clerks ballot draw, which meant that his name would be one of the first ones on the ballot. Later on, I emailed him again to suggest that we talk to all the opponents to Villaraigosa in the Mayors race and "get on the same page". I wanted to suggest that maybe we could agree to concentrate and focus our criticisms only on Villaraigosa and not on each other.  I was completely stunned by Walters response. He emailed me and said "please stop emailing me" and added, "we are not on the same team". I was so blown away by his response that I showed it to Zuma Dogg and to Michael Higby, who can back up my statement on this. If Walter could act this way towards a person who, if defeated in the primary, was willing to support him, how in the world was he going to conduct himself in a professional manner and win over voters who didn't initially support him at all?

If Walter had agreed to discuss this subject with me, I never would have said a negative word about him... not now, not ever. A true leader understands the concept of team building. A leader also understands the concept that you sometimes win when someone else wins. In politics, it is not always only about you. In politics, you are often forced to work with others who don't agree with you. With Walter, that clearly wasn't the case. This was just one of many troubling signs about him in this recent campaign. As an elementary school teacher might put it.."Walter does not play well with others."

Walter whined loudly and repeatedly in public during the campaign about Villaraigosas refusal to debate him. He even went so far as to make a commercial showing a chicken clucking, in reference to Villaraigosas cold-shoulder attitude and refusal to have any contact or debates with him. Walter didn't like being shunned and ignored, yet it was perfectly acceptable for him to do the exact same thing to others, as evidenced by his behavior towards me and towards Zuma Dogg when Zuma  was involved in a personality dispute with Craig Rubin, and both Walter and Craig threatened to boycott a Hollywood event if Zuma Dogg showed up. This, to me, showed me that Walter Moore is a hypocrite and the very epitome of a liberal: he believes that there is one set of rules for him, and a very different set of rules for everybody else. I, on the other hand, always fought for the inclusion of all candidates on the ballot to appear at all forums. I even fought for  Socialist Carlos Alvarez to be included, a man whose politics I really couldn't stand.

Although I agree with Walter Moore on many political philosophies, including taking a hard stance against illegal immigration, I think the way Walter approached some very complicated and emotional subjects like this wasn't a positive thing for his campaign. He seemed to have a sneering, condescending attitude towards Spanish speakers. Videos like this only helped critics paint him as a racist and a fearmonger. Even if Walter had earned a runoff with Villaraigosa, Moores own statements on YouTube would have been used as ammunition by Villaraigosas campaign to portray Moore as an unstable nutjob who was completely unsuited to be Mayor. 

Walter Moore was a flawed candidate in many ways. I think he bungled the whole "Jamiels Law" issue, and with a little more attention to detail, it might have been on the ballot, and that resulting publicity might have put him over the top in earning a runoff in the primary election. I think Moore also bungled his campaign spending by focusing too much on Conservative talk radio ads. Those listeners weren't voting for Villaraigosa, anyway. He should have concentrated more on direct-mailing and phone banking activities with the funds he had.

For all my criticisms of Moore, this is not to say he didn't have some positives. I honestly think that he is worried about the future of the city. He has courage and he believed in himself enough to run for Mayor a second time, even though he didn't do well the first time around. I think he would have been a better option as Mayor than Villaraigosa because Moore hates government overspending. I think he also would have taken action to limit or control the illegal immigration problem. Villaraigosa, on the other hand, watches the city burn and laughs about it.

Walter Moore could probably have a future in Los Angeles politics if he really wanted. I think if he moved into a different district, he has enough name recognition that he could crush one of the current City Councilmembers in an upcoming election. Or he could wait and run for City Attorney in a few years. I predict...he could wait until Antonio Villaraigosa quits the job when he wins the Democratic Primary for Governor in 2010. Who knows? If he doesn't move to France, maybe Walter Moore actually could end up being Mayor of Los Angeles. Or not. Right now he is looking very Nixon-like. A mercurial, thin-skinned quitter.

But, who knows? History is a funny thing. Richard Nixon angrily quit politics forever after losing the election for Governor of California in 1962. In 1968,  he was elected President of The United States. In 1972 he won re-election in one of the biggest landslides ever, winning 49 of 50 states.