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City of Cheesecake: Caruso's Possible Bid for Mayor

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Photo by Lush.i.ous via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Grove and Americana developer Rick Caruso is running for Mayor. No wait, he is not running for Mayor, but he is, oh no he isn't... and so the broken record goes. Today the LA Weekly takes a look at Rick Caruso, his background, his developments and his political aspirations. Some worry as mayor he would turn the city into one big Disneyland-like development with Cheesecake Factories everywhere, but the Weekly looks at the closer into the man who has influenced a lot of what Los Angeles is today. Here's a little from the large profile:

The underlying assumption behind these critiques, one the developer himself hasn’t publicly disputed, is that Caruso aspires to turn all of Los Angeles into one giant Sinatra-filled retail project — and that becoming mayor is but a steppingstone in this pursuit. This may be an extreme take, but for many in the city, Caruso’s perceived legitimacy as a potential mayoral candidate does boil down to their personal feelings about the Grove. “I hadn’t heard that,” Caruso says with a laugh after the ULI event. “But, you know, to some degree I think it’s fair. My projects are clean, they’re safe, they’re family-friendly and they deliver an excellent quality of service. I have no problem being judged by those criteria. I do want to bring that to public service.” ... What many may not realize, however, is that Caruso, 49, has a track record in public service that dates back nearly half his life — one that can be scrutinized far more objectively than any architectural or psychogeographic critique of the Grove. He’s served under mayors Bradley, Riordan and Hahn. At 25, he was the youngest commissioner in the history of the DWP; two years later, he became its president, and went on to serve a total of 13 years there. He was police commissioner under James Hahn, and was instrumental in bringing Chief William Bratton to power. He’s on the board of councilors for USC’s School of Policy, Planning and Development. He’s a trustee for the homeless-advocacy group Para Los Niños.

Caruso is a Republican, but is a self-described political pragmatist, as the Weekly says: "in the style of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg."