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    Just 5 Months Into His Term, Adams Is Busy Raising Money to Win Another

    The mayor has kicked off a cross-country fund-raising blitz for re-election, taking his tour to Chicago and Beverly Hills, even as he confronts major challenges in New York City.Not long after celebrating his first 100 days as mayor this spring, Eric Adams was poolside in Beverly Hills, Calif., already thinking about the future.Wearing a crisp blue suit and fuchsia tie, Mr. Adams spoke to a crowd of vegan enthusiasts about his allegiance to a plant-based diet in an event at the midcentury home of Naren Shankar, a Hollywood showrunner and producer of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”The underlying motivation, however, was about another passion: raising money for his re-election campaign in 2025.The fund-raising event was hastily organized while Mr. Adams was in town to speak on a technology panel at the Milken Institute Global Conference — part of a three-day trip in May where he also socialized with the comedian Dave Chappelle and the heiress Paris Hilton.Even as Mr. Adams has struggled to address a series of pressing challenges in New York, he has launched an unusually early fund-raising blitz to secure a second term, a feat that no Black mayor of New York City has achieved.The fund-raisers coincide with Mr. Adams’s efforts to establish a national profile. In March, the mayor held an event in Chicago at the home of Desirée Rogers, the former White House social secretary for President Barack Obama, which was attended by Robert Blackwell Jr., an entrepreneur and Obama ally.Robert Blackwell Jr., a Chicago-based entrepreneur and long-supporter of former President Barack Obama, recently attended a fund-raiser for Mr. Adams in Chicago.Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori, via Getty ImagesSometime this summer, Charles Phillips, the managing partner of Recognize, a technology investment firm, is planning to hold a fund-raiser for Mr. Adams — probably “out east,” in the Hamptons, he said in an interview.The mayor’s team is hoping he will max out his fund-raising by the end of the summer, according to a Democratic consultant who was briefed on the campaign’s plans. A $2 million haul, coupled with the city’s generous matching funds program, could enable him to hit the $7.9 million spending cap for the 2025 mayoral primary. Collecting a huge war chest now could fend off potential competitors and capitalize on what remains of the mayor’s honeymoon period, when he is still relatively popular and donors are eager to get his attention.“You want to raise money as a show of strength,” said Chris Coffey, the chief executive of Tusk Strategies and a manager of Andrew Yang’s campaign for mayor. “You don’t want to spend your last year running around doing fund-raisers.”There is little precedent for such an early push. Bill de Blasio, in his first year as mayor, focused on raising money for candidates for the State Senate and for the Campaign for One New York, a nonprofit group that supported his agenda — both of which became part of federal and state investigations into his fund-raising. Michael R. Bloomberg did not have to bother with fund-raising; he used his own fortune to run for a second term, then wielded his personal philanthropy to gain support to overturn term limits in 2008, spending a record $102 million on a third term.There are also political risks to Mr. Adams’s fund-raising strategy, which could potentially cast him as an absentee leader unduly focused on politics.When the mayor was in Beverly Hills, the risk level for coronavirus cases had just increased in New York City, raising fresh concerns about the city’s economic recovery. Federal officials were weighing a takeover of the troubled Rikers Island jail in response to rising violence and inmate deaths there. A police officer was slashed in Brooklyn by a man carrying a 16-inch knife.And when his return flight from California was abruptly canceled, Mr. Adams had to scrap most of his events for the day, including a rally at City Hall to put pressure on the State Legislature to extend mayoral control of city schools.Mr. Adams has already seen his approval rating drop as he faces growing pressure to address rising crime and an affordable housing crisis. Only 29 percent of New Yorkers said his performance was good or excellent, and 56 percent said the city was headed in the wrong direction, according to a recent poll by NY1 and Siena College.Mr. Adams defended his polling numbers, arguing that New Yorkers were tough graders and that many had given him a “fair” rating, which he considered a C grade.“Listen, a C is not an A, but a C is not an F,” Mr. Adams told reporters.Charles Phillips, the managing partner of Recognize, a technology investment firm, said he planned to hold a summer fund-raiser for Mr. Adams.Cindy Ord/Getty ImagesThe mayor has proved to be a prolific fund-raiser. He raised more than $9 million for the Democratic primary and the general election last year and another $10 million in matching funds. Mr. Adams spent much of last summer traveling to the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard to court wealthy donors who favored his brand of centrism, attending as many as five fund-raisers a day.Mr. Adams, a former state senator and Brooklyn borough president, has at times tested the boundaries of campaign-finance and ethics laws. He was investigated for his role in backing a video lottery terminal bidder for the Aqueduct Racetrack and has been criticized for taking money from developers who were lobbying him to support crucial zoning changes.As a mayoral candidate, Mr. Adams raised money from a wide array of donors, including real estate developers, billionaires, cannabis investors, hedge fund executives, Republicans and working-class New Yorkers. He raised more than $2.8 million from donors outside New York City, and a super PAC supporting his campaign raised about $7 million.Now as mayor, Mr. Adams has again embraced fund-raising with vigor. On June 3, after delivering a commencement speech in Queens, Mr. Adams attended a fund-raiser at a construction company’s offices in Midtown Manhattan, hosted by the Bravo Group chief executive, Ehab Shehata. At the middle-of-the-workday event, Mr. Adams told the crowd that the city could only rebound if crime levels dropped and that he was the man for the job, according to a person who attended the event.Mr. Shehata did not respond to requests for comment. But he is hardly the only local executive eager to curry favor with the mayor.Marc Holliday, chief executive of SL Green Realty Corp., which co-owns the new One Vanderbilt skyscraper near Grand Central Terminal, reached out to fellow real estate executives in April on behalf of Mr. Adams’s 2025 campaign. The tower has been home to at least two mayoral appearances, including the Wells Fargo product launch in April where the mayor partied with the model and actress Cara Delevingne, earning himself a spread in the gossip pages.Mr. Adams has made at least two appearances at the new One Vanderbilt skyscraper, including in October when he posed with Marc Holliday, the chief executive of SL Green, the company that co-owns the building.Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images“At a time when NYC needed it the most, Eric has stepped into the mayoralty and has quickly become the face and driving force behind New York’s recovery,” Mr. Holliday wrote in an email. “Anything you can do would be very much appreciated.”The first public disclosures for the 2025 mayor’s race are due next month and will provide a clearer picture of the donors Mr. Adams is relying on.Barry Gosin, the chief executive officer of Newmark Group, a commercial real estate firm, is hosting a fund-raiser for Mr. Adams on Wednesday on the fifth floor of a skyscraper near Grand Central Terminal. Attendees are requested to donate between $400 and $2,000 apiece.“This is an opportunity to support a great, authentic mayor,” Mr. Gosin said. “He’s working his butt off, and I think the things he’s doing are the things that should be done. But that’s my opinion.”Barry Gosin, center, a commercial real estate executive, is hosting a fund-raiser for Mr. Adams on Wednesday.Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for BenchMarksIn his trip to Chicago in March, Mr. Adams also held a news conference with Mayor Lori Lightfoot to discuss gang violence. Mr. Adams invited himself to Ms. Lightfoot’s office in City Hall and announced the appearance before she could alert the local press, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.The Chicago fund-raiser was attended by Mr. Blackwell, the leader of a table tennis company who donated $400 to Mr. Adams’s mayoral campaign last year. It was co-hosted by Ms. Rogers and Carol Adams, the former president of the DuSable Museum of African American History.“To run for office, it takes money — expensive city, expensive ad market,” Mr. Phillips said. “And you have to tell your story before someone else does.”Another fund-raiser in May at the Kimberly Hotel in Midtown Manhattan was attended by Taj Gibson, the New York Knicks forward, and Jean Shafiroff, a fixture on the charity circuit who attended a soiree for Mr. Adams in the Hamptons last summer.“We have to give him a chance,” she said. “I like what he stands for. It’s really not fair to judge anyone after three months.” More

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    6 Takeaways From Tuesday’s Elections

    For the most part on Tuesday, primary voters in seven states from New Jersey to California showed the limits of the ideological edges of both parties.A liberal district attorney, Chesa Boudin, was recalled in the most progressive of cities, San Francisco, but conservative candidates carrying the banner of former President Donald J. Trump did not fare well, either.For all the talk of sweeping away the old order, Tuesday’s primaries largely saw the establishment striking back. Here are some takeaways.California called for order.Wracked by the pandemic, littered with tent camps, frightened by smash-and-grab robberies and anti-Asian-American hate crimes, voters in two of the most progressive cities sent a message on Tuesday: Restore stability.In Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest city, Rick Caruso, a billionaire former Republican who rose to prominence on the city’s police commission, blanketed the city with ads promising to crack down on crime if elected mayor.His chief opponent, Karen Bass, a veteran Democratic congresswoman, argued that public safety and criminal justice reform were not mutually exclusive, and disappointed some liberal supporters by calling to put more police officers on the street. The two are headed for a November mayoral runoff.Rick Caruso with supporters at his election night event Tuesday in Los Angeles.Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York TimesAnd in San Francisco, voters who were once moved by Chesa Boudin’s plans as district attorney to reduce the number of people sent to prison ran out of patience with seemingly unchecked property crime, violent attacks on elderly residents and open drug use during the pandemic. They recalled him.Statewide, the Democratic attorney general, Rob Bonta, advanced easily to the general election runoff. Mr. Bonta is a progressive, but was careful to stress that criminal justice reform and public safety were both priorities.The choices seemed to signal a shift to the center that was likely to reverberate through Democratic politics across the nation. But longtime California political observers said the message was less about ideology than about effective action. “This is about competence,” said Zev Yaroslavsky, who served in local government in Los Angeles for nearly four decades and is now the director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles.“People want solutions,” he said. “They don’t give a damn about left or right. It’s the common-sense problem-solving they seem to be missing. Government is supposed to take care of the basics, and the public believes the government hasn’t been doing that.”For House Republicans, the Jan. 6 commission vote still matters.In May 2021, 35 House Republicans voted for an independent, bipartisan commission to look at the events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.At first blush, the vote should not have mattered much: The legislation creating the commission was negotiated by the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, John Katko of New York, with the blessing of the Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy of California. Besides, the commission was filibustered by Republicans in the Senate and went nowhere.Representative Michael Guest voting on Tuesday in Brandon, Miss.Hannah Mattix/The Clarion-Ledger, via Associated PressBut Tuesday’s primaries showed that the vote still mattered. In Mississippi, Representative Michael Guest, one of the 35, was forced into a June 28 runoff with Michael Cassidy, who ran as the “pro-Trump” Republican and castigated the incumbent for voting for the commission. In South Dakota, Representative Dusty Johnson, another one of the 35, faced similar attacks but still mustered 60 percent of the vote.In California, Representative David Valadao, who also voted for the commission, struggled to keep pace with his Democratic challenger, State Assemblyman Rudy Salas, as a Republican rival, Chris Mathys, took votes from his supporters on the right.In all, now, 10 of the 35 will not be back in the House next year, either because they resigned, retired or were defeated in primaries. And more are likely to fall in the coming weeks.In New Jersey, it is all about name recognition.In New Jersey on Tuesday, two familiar names won their party nominations to run for the House in November: for the Republicans, Thomas Kean Jr., the son and namesake of a popular former governor; for the Democrats, Robert Menendez, son and namesake of the sitting senator.Robert Menendez Jr. with voters in West New York, N.J., last week.Bryan Anselm for The New York TimesMr. Menendez goes into the general election the heavy favorite to win New Jersey’s heavily Democratic Eighth Congressional District and take the seat of Albio Sires, who is retiring.The younger Mr. Kean has a good shot, too. He narrowly lost in 2020 to the incumbent Democrat, Representative Tom Malinowski, but new district lines tilted the seat toward the Republicans, and Mr. Malinowski has faced criticism for his failure to disclose stock trades in compliance with a recently enacted ethics law.MAGA only gets you so far.Candidates from the Trump flank of the Republican Party could have done some real damage to the prospects of a so-called red wave in November, but with the votes still being counted, far-right candidates in swing districts did not fare so well.National Republicans rushed in to shore up support for a freshman representative, Young Kim, whose narrowly divided Southern California district would have been very difficult to defend, had her right-wing challenger, Greg Raths, secured the G.O.P.’s spot on the ballot. It looked as though that would not happen.In Iowa’s Third Congressional District, establishment Republicans got the candidate they wanted to take on Representative Cindy Axne in State Senator Zach Nunn, who easily beat out Nicole Hasso, part of a new breed of conservative Black Republicans who have made social issues like opposing “critical race theory” central to their political identity.And if Mr. Valadao hangs on to make the November ballot for California’s 22nd Congressional District, he will have vanquished a candidate on his right who made Mr. Valadao’s vote to impeach Mr. Trump central to his campaign.Ethics matter.Two primary candidates entered Republican primaries on Tuesday with ethical clouds hanging over their heads: Representative Steven Palazzo in Mississippi and Ryan Zinke in Montana.In 2021, the Office of Congressional Ethics released a report that said Mr. Palazzo had used campaign funds to pay himself and his wife at the time nearly $200,000. He reportedly used the cash to make improvements on a riverside property that he was hoping to sell. Voters in Mississippi’s Fourth District gave him only about 32 percent of the vote, forcing him into a runoff on June 28.Former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke with voters in Butte, Mont., last month.,Matthew Brown/Associated PressMr. Zinke left what was then Montana’s only House seat in 2017 to become Mr. Trump’s first interior secretary. He departed that post in 2019 with a number of ethics investigations examining possible conflicts of interest and questionable expenditures of taxpayer funds. Still, when Mr. Zinke declared to run for Montana’s new First District, he was widely expected to waltz back to the House.Instead, he was in an extremely tight race with Dr. Al Olszewski, an orthopedic surgeon and former state senator who had come in a distant third when he tried to run for his party nomination for governor in 2020, and fourth when he vied for the Republican nomination to run for the Senate in 2018.If at first you don’t succeed …Dr. Olszewski may not win, but his improved performance could be an inspiration to other past losers. The same goes for Michael Franken, a retired admiral who on Tuesday won the Democratic nomination to challenge Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa in November.Mr. Franken has the résumé for politics: He is an Iowa native and led a remarkable career in the Navy. But losing often begets more losing, and in 2020, he came in a distant second to Theresa Greenfield for the Democratic nod to take on Senator Joni Ernst.Ms. Greenfield was defeated that November, and for all his tales of triumph over past adversity, Mr. Franken is likely to face the same fate this fall. Mr. Grassley will be 89 by then, but Iowans are used to pulling the lever for the senator, who has held his seat since 1981. Despite Mr. Grassley’s age, the seat is considered safely Republican. More

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    Rick Caruso and Karen Bass Head for Runoff in Los Angeles Mayor’s Race

    LOS ANGELES — Rick Caruso, a billionaire real estate developer, and Representative Karen Bass are heading to a November runoff election to become mayor of Los Angeles, in a race that has focused on voters’ worries about public safety and homelessness in the nation’s second-largest city.Though neither candidate earned more than 50 percent of the vote, which would have allowed them to win outright on Tuesday, they both comfortably outperformed their opponents. The runoff was declared by The Associated Press.The liberal city’s surge of support for Mr. Caruso, a longtime Republican who changed his registration to Democratic days before declaring his candidacy, is likely to deepen the Democratic Party’s divisions on issues of crime, policing and racial justice. San Francisco voters also moved on Tuesday to recall Chesa Boudin, the city’s progressive district attorney.As Mr. Caruso gave a speech to supporters at the Grove, his flagship shopping center in Los Angeles, he portrayed himself as an optimist with grand plans to address the city’s twin problems of crime and homelessness.“We are not helpless in the face of our problems,” he said, flanked by his wife and their four children. “We will not allow this city to decline. We will no longer accept excuses. We have the power to change the direction of Los Angeles.”Ms. Bass was widely seen as the front-runner in the crowded primary before Mr. Caruso’s entrance in February, but his lavish spending and tough-on-crime message quickly propelled him, leading several other candidates to drop out of the race to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is term limited.The developer of several popular luxury shopping centers, Mr. Caruso, 63, tightly tied his campaign to the spotless image he has cultivated in the faux town squares of those properties. His campaign spent nearly $41 million, including $39 million of his own money, much of it on television, digital and radio ads that seemed to blanket the airwaves in recent weeks, portraying him as a successful businessman who could “clean up” Los Angeles.Mr. Caruso may face a steeper uphill climb during the general election if high-profile Democrats rally behind Ms. Bass.“Together we can make our city a place where you can afford to live, where you want to live, because you feel safe, because the air you breathe is clean, because people are no longer dying on the streets,” Ms. Bass told supporters at the W Hollywood hotel on Tuesday night. “Not with empty promises from the past but with a bold path forward.”A victory for Mr. Caruso would be a significant shift in this overwhelmingly liberal city, where Senator Bernie Sanders easily won the Democratic presidential primary two years ago. The city’s longstanding battles over housing, homelessness and crime have reached a new level of urgency during the pandemic.Mr. Caruso has portrayed the city as one in deep decay, promising to hire 1,500 more police officers and build 30,000 shelter beds in 300 days. The message has resonated among voters who are deeply frustrated with homeless encampments throughout the city, visible on residential sidewalks, nestled in parks and sprawling under freeway overpasses.Casting himself as an outsider, Mr. Caruso has blamed career politicians, including Ms. Bass, for the city’s ills. After voting in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights, Mr. Caruso criticized his rival for suggesting that it could take more than four years to solve homelessness in the city, an objection he repeated in his speech on Tuesday night.But experts and critics say many of Mr. Caruso’s promises may not be possible because of federal court mandates that allow people to camp in public spaces, as well as the city’s byzantine zoning rules. Compared with leaders of other large cities, the mayor of Los Angeles has relatively little power. Much of the sprawling region is controlled by the five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, who oversee a $38.5 billion budget.Ms. Bass, 68, who spent years organizing in South Los Angeles after the 1992 riots before being elected to the State Legislature and then Congress, has described her campaign as a kind of homecoming and pledged to address questions of equity in this profoundly stratified city.Representative Karen Bass is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and was on President Biden’s shortlist as a possible vice president.Alisha Jucevic for The New York TimesThe campaign between the two is also poised to become a test of whether voters this year favor an experienced politician who has spent nearly two decades in government or an outsider running on his business credentials.Latino voters are expected to play a pivotal role in the November election and will be courted aggressively by both candidates. Polling has also indicated a striking gender gap, with Black and Latino men appearing more likely to choose Mr. Caruso over Ms. Bass.Understand the 2022 Midterm ElectionsCard 1 of 6Why are these midterms so important? More

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    Rick Caruso’s Wild Promises for Los Angeles

    At first glance — and maybe even at a second one — it’s difficult to tell what, exactly, makes Rick Caruso a Democrat. Caruso, a billionaire real estate developer best known for his outdoor shopping malls, is a former Republican who is running to be the next Democratic mayor of Los Angeles. He has offered up a three-plank plan reminiscent of Rudy Giuliani’s second New York City mayoral campaign in 1993: an end to “street homelessness”; a return to “public safety”; and the end of civic corruption.If that alone doesn’t warrant the comparisons to Giuliani, Caruso has gained the endorsement of William Bratton, the former New York City Police commissioner who served Giuliani from 1994 to 1996 and introduced the broken-windows theory of policing to the city.Caruso’s message to his fellow Angelenos has been clear and consistent: It’s time, he says, to “get real” about crime, homelessness and the ruin of a once-great city. His ads, which play on repeat, promise: “Rick Caruso can clean up L.A.” As of the latest polling, he is in a close race with a longtime progressive congresswoman, Karen Bass.Last December, I wrote about a growing number of minority politicians in major cities who have pushed some version of let’s “get real.” The mayors of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Charlotte all fit this description. Caruso is white, but his campaign has stressed his Italian immigrant background. He has also run ads in different languages.He is a somewhat counterintuitive, yet increasingly common case in identity politics: A Democratic candidate who understands that many Latino and Asian immigrant communities are largely made up of moderates who want more policing. Caruso, who has spent over $30 million of his own money on his campaign, seems to be saying: We are all Angelenos. And we have all had enough.Like nearly every politician in California’s major cities, Caruso’s success will hinge on homelessness. If he’s elected, he promises on his first day in office to declare a “state of emergency” over homelessness. This would allow him to bypass various regulations and governmental checks and, in his words, treat the homelessness crisis “like a natural disaster.”He plans to build 30,000 new shelter beds in 300 days, roughly doubling the current number. This would require expansions of current programs, including a commitment to quadruple the number of tiny homes in the city. (Regular readers of this newsletter will be familiar with these structures. If you’re new, please read about them here or here.) Caruso would also expand Project Roomkey, the program that converts motels and hotels into shelters.When a writer for The Los Angeles Times asked how he might be able to do all this, Caruso suggested Fort Bliss, a tent camp for undocumented migrant children in Texas, as a possible model. This would certainly be a confusing choice for Los Angeles, given that Fort Bliss is filled with large, airplane hangar-size tents that would be almost impossible to place anywhere in the city without a prolonged battle with neighbors. And last year, the Department of Health and Human Services opened an investigation into poor management and living conditions inside Fort Bliss, which, as of August 2021, could only accommodate about 4,000 teenagers, 26,000 less than the number of unhoused people Caruso would hope to shelter.The ideological divide in California’s homelessness crisis lies between those who believe that the problem is mostly fueled by drug addiction and mental health issues and those who believe that a housing shortage and escalating costs of living are to blame. Given that Caruso plans to create a “Department of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment” and “compel people suffering mental illness into care,” Caruso clearly has heard the former.But he also has planks in his platform that would make even the most housing-first progressive rejoice. He has called for an expansion of permanent supportive housing and rental protections and says he would petition the federal government to triple the number of Section 8 vouchers that help struggling families afford rent. He is, in short, promising the world to both sides.His plans for public safety are just as ambitious. The story of crime in Los Angeles isn’t all that much different from most major American cities. Last year, homicides in the city hit a 15-year high, but those who say violent crime has never been worse are most likely forgetting the 1990s.His plan to reduce crime is what you’d imagine from a politician who played up an endorsement from Bratton. He wants 1,500 more cops on the streets and enforced penalties for property crimes like breaking into cars. He also says he wants to apply pressure on the city attorney to prosecute misdemeanors more regularly.In a lengthy interview with the editorial board of The Los Angeles Times, Caruso said, “We have laws now that aren’t being enforced,” referring to low-level crimes that would be taken more seriously under a broken-windows regime. “And we’re paying a deep price for it. Now, consequences should be fair. We should have a whole bunch of things in place that allows people to rehabilitate themselves. You know, I don’t believe in criminalizing everything. But we certainly have to get a handle on the behavior in this city. People are scared and they don’t feel listened to.”In theory, there is a lot to admire about Caruso’s big solutions for big problems approach. It might make sense, for example, to shoot for 30,000 shelter beds and an increase of affordable housing, because even if you end somewhere significantly short of those goals, you’re still doing better than the status quo. But the problem with the clean-up-our-cities Democrat isn’t that the message is wrong — it has proved to be popular throughout the country — but, rather, that it lives in a fantasy world where ambitions ignore both the legislative and infrastructural realities on the ground.Caruso is hardly the first politician to make big promises, but his seem especially unrealistic. If he wants 1,500 more police officers on the streets, for example, he must first contend with the fact that the L.A.P.D. is currently short 325 officers with no real clear solutions on how to fill those existing spots. Police academies in the city are significantly under-enrolled.Similarly, his plans for the homeless require a fleet of civic and nonprofit workers that don’t exist yet. The current mobilization against homelessness across the state has seen dire staffing shortages, something I wrote about back in March. The shortfall reflects a very sobering reality: It’s hard to find a lot of people who want to deal with the emotional and physical labor of working with unhoused people. Caruso cannot just snap his fingers and find these workers, some of whom would need to be highly trained professionals to work in his “Department of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment.”And given how difficult it is to build shelter for even a few dozen people — you have to find sites, convince neighbors and go through a glut of bureaucracy — where would Caruso’s Fort Bliss-like tent cities go? Which neighborhoods would host these 30,000 new beds and which ones wouldn’t? (To be fair, nearly every candidate in the Los Angeles mayoral race has promised new housing, albeit on much more reasonable time tables. The early days of the race were like an auction in which the candidates tried to outbid each other with shelter beds.)I try to be a pragmatist about progressive politics. I do not think it does anyone any favors to pretend, for example, that Angelenos should look at spiking homicides and console themselves with the knowledge that things were worse before. I also get that the homelessness in Los Angeles and the Bay Area has gone well beyond a crisis point. Those who believe that hundreds of tent encampments throughout the state and escalating overdose deaths from fentanyl do not require a wide-scale intervention are deluding themselves.What Caruso seems to be banking on is that the public, when faced with rising violent crime and homelessness, will seek out desperate solutions, especially hard-line tactics of the past like broken-windows policing. He may very well be right. The public’s exhaustion with crime, homelessness and drug overdoses is real.Going forward, progressive politicians who don’t want a Rick Caruso in every city should take some lessons from some of the things he does well. It’s good to take concerns about crime and homelessness seriously. It’s also good to appeal to a communal city for all Angelenos. But progressives need to take those ideas and back them with their own solutions:compassion for the less fortunate, care for the mentally ill and a reasonable and humane deployment of police power. These also have the benefit of being more achievable.Serious, progressive solutions might be a tough sell these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Not all crises in America need to be solved by billionaires and their wild promises.Have feedback? Send a note to kang-newsletter@nytimes.com.Jay Caspian Kang (@jaycaspiankang), a writer for Opinion and The New York Times Magazine, is the author of “The Loneliest Americans.” More

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    Conservative Party Wins Big in South Korean Local Elections

    The victory adds to the influence of President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took power by a razor-thin margin less than three months ago.SEOUL — President Yoon Suk-yeol’s governing party won​ 12 of the 17 races for big-city mayors and provincial governors ​in local elections held in South Korea ​on Wednesday, further expanding Mr. Yoon’s conservative influence less than three months after he won the presidential election.The results on Wednesday were a decisive victory for Mr. Yoon, who won the presidential race by a razor-thin margin in March and was inaugurated just three weeks ago. Although this week’s elections were only held at the local level, the results were seen as an early referendum on Mr. Yoon’s performance as leader.Oh Se-hoon, of Mr. Yoon’s People Power Party, or P.P.P., won the mayoral race in Seoul, the capital. The P.P.P. also won 11 other elections for mayors and governors, including mayor of Busan, the country’s second-largest city after Seoul. (Both the mayor of Busan and the mayor of Seoul were incumbents elected during last year’s by-elections.)The opposition Democratic Party won five races, three of them in Jeolla in the southwest, which is its perennial support base. Its candidates also won the governors’ races in the southern island of Jeju and in Gyeonggi​​-do, a populous province that surrounds Seoul.The election​ results were a stunning setback for the Democratic Party. During the last local elections four years ago, it won 14 of the same 17 races for leaders of big cities and provinces. It also won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections in 2020. But the political winds began turning against the Democratic Party last year, as voters grew angry with then-President Moon Jae-in and his party’s failure to curb skyrocketing housing prices, as well as for #MeToo and cor​ruption scandals​ involving Mr. Moon’s allies.The same voter discontent helped catapult Mr. Yoon into the presidency in the March election. But the Democratic Party still dominates the National Assembly, where Mr. Yoon’s party lacks a majority.During the campaign for this week’s elections, the P.P.P. urged voters to support Mr. Yoon’s government so that it could push its agenda at a time when North Korea’s recent weapons tests highlighted the growing nuclear threat on the Korean Peninsula. The Democratic Party appealed for support by billing itself as the only party able to “check and balance” Mr. Yoon’s conservative government.Pre-election surveys had predicted a big win for P.P.P. candidates in this week’s elections, which followed on the heels of the presidential race and were considered an extension of it. Many of the same issues highlighted during the presidential campaign loomed large during the campaign for the mayoral and gubernatorial races.Mr. Moon and his Democratic Party had focused heavily on seeking dialogue and peace with North Korea. Mr. Moon met with the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, three times, and helped arrange summit meetings between Mr. Kim and President Donald J. Trump. But Mr. Moon and Mr. Trump both left office without having removed any of North Korea’s nuclear missiles.During his campaign, Mr. Yoon signaled a shift in South Korea’s policy on North Korea, emphasizing enforcing sanctions and strengthening military deterrence against the North. When he met with President Biden in Seoul last month, the two leaders agreed to discuss expanding joint military exercises. They also agreed to expand economic and technological ties, bringing South Korea-based global companies like Samsung deeper into Washington’s efforts to secure a fragile supply chain amid growing tensions with China.Mr. Yoon’s early policy moves include passing a new budget bill to support small-business owners hit hard by the pandemic and relocating the presidential office in Seoul. He turned the historical Blue House, which had been off-limits to ordinary citizens for seven decades, into a public park. But he has also stumbled: Two of his first Cabinet appointees have resigned amid allegations of misconduct.South Korea also held parliamentary by-elections on Wednesday to fill seven vacant National Assembly seats. Two presidential hopefuls ran, including Lee Jae-myung, a Democratic Party leader who lost the March election to Mr. Yoon, and Ahn Cheol-soo, an entrepreneur turned politician who withdrew from the presidential race this year to endorse Mr. Yoon. Both Mr. Lee and Mr. Ahn won parliamentary seats.The elections on Wednesday also filled hundreds of low-level local administrative seats. The P.P.P. won a majority of those races as well, according to the National Election Commission. More

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    The Secrets Ed Koch Carried

    Edward I. Koch looked like the busiest septuagenarian in New York.Glad-handing well-wishers at his favorite restaurants, gesticulating through television interviews long after his three terms as mayor, Mr. Koch could seem as though he was scrambling to fill every hour with bustle. He dragged friends to the movies, dabbling in freelance film criticism. He urged new acquaintances to call him “judge,” a joking reference to his time presiding over “The People’s Court.”But as his 70s ticked by, Mr. Koch described to a few friends a feeling he could not shake: a deep loneliness. He wanted to meet someone, he said. Did they know anyone who might be “partner material?” Someone “a little younger than me?” Someone to make up for lost time?“I want a boyfriend,” he said to one friend, Charles Kaiser.It was an aching admission, shared with only a few, from a politician whose brash ubiquity and relentless New York evangelism helped define the modern mayoralty, even as he strained to conceal an essential fact of his biography: Mr. Koch was gay.He denied as much for decades — to reporters, campaign operatives and his staff — swatting away longstanding rumors with a choice profanity or a cheeky aside, even if these did little to convince some New Yorkers. Through his death, in 2013, his deflections endured.Now, with gay rights re-emerging as a national political tinderbox, The New York Times has assembled a portrait of the life Mr. Koch lived, the secrets he carried and the city he helped shape as he carried them. While both friends and antagonists over the years have referenced his sexuality in stray remarks and published commentaries, this account draws on more than a dozen interviews with people who knew Mr. Koch and are in several cases speaking extensively on the record for the first time — filling out a chapter that they say belongs, at last, to the sweep of history.It is a story that might otherwise fade, with many of Mr. Koch’s contemporaries now in the twilight of their lives.Mayor Ed Koch “compartmentalized his life,” his former chief of staff said.Neal Boenzi/The New York TimesThe people who described Mr. Koch’s trials as a closeted gay man span the last 40 years of his life, covering disparate social circles and political allegiances. Most are gay men themselves, in whom Mr. Koch placed his trust while keeping some others closest to him in the dark. They include associates who had kept his confidence since the 1970s and late-in-life intimates whom he asked for dating help, a friend who assisted in furtive setups for Mr. Koch when he was mayor and a fleeting romantic companion from well after his time in office.The story of Mr. Koch that emerges from those interviews is one defined by early political calculation, the exhaustion of perpetual camouflage and, eventually, flashes of regret about all he had missed out on. And it is a reminder that not so long ago in a bastion of liberalism, which has since seen openly gay people serve in Congress and lead the City Council, homophobia was a force potent enough to keep an ambitious man from leaving the closet. More