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What Walter and Joe did and what Ron's doing

First off, Walter is going to fall short; KPCC has already reported as much. But the drive to overturn Special Order 40 will fall narrowly, not enormously, short, and that is still a victory for Walter Moore. What can be done with such a victory is uncertain, but in a way, he has already accomplished something: with Moore's popularity touching 15% now, Antonio Villaraigosa could not move to Washington without further compromising an already badly compromised City election process.

Also, Special Order 40 is not likely to be overturned under any circumstances, but if the Mayor feels compelled to campaign on its behalf, that alone is a pandora's box that will rocket Moore from 15% to at least 30%, once his more natural Republican base understands the issue more fully. Moore's name may end up in headlines and his face on tv yet.

Secondly, Joe Barrett, a former punkster turned community organizer in midlife, along with Abby Diamond, a sleeker, sturdier jaycee type, have thrown roadblock after roadblock into the path of Home Depot's road to global domination. The zine-like No2HomeDepot website blares today HOME DEPOT DENIED! There are catches, and, as always, the caveat is to dig in for the long haul. But the lovely, prankster-like fusion of bluehairs, local chamber of commerce reps, and Sunland Tujunga's subterranean lesbian community has brought to the community a lot of political firepower, and caused a few otherwise all-powerful local lobbyists fits.

Finally, tomorrow Ron Kaye hosts another community meeting, this one in Hollywood proper. The meeting is devoted to discussing and cultivating a local election "strategy." The overarching concern of Kaye's group seems to be anti-incumbancy. The hope is to sharpen the focus of the movement more, in order to grow it more. To grow it Kaye, who is politically savvy enough to grow a movement, will soon face a choice of whether he wants to speak more to the concerns of disgruntled Republicans or slow-growth Democrats, or finding an issue that blends the two, as Barrett/Diamond have found in big box opposition.

The micro-movements are indeed experiencing victories, as both Moore and Barrett/Diamond have demonstrated today. These victories may still sound insignificant to some local scribes and news eds, notably the ones whose paychecks depend on maintaining their political access by acting as publicists for any local pol who'll take them in for a moment.

But compare these victories to, say, Janice Hahn's narrow defeat with a gang-tax bond, in an election in which voters were not demonstrating any signs of bond fatigue. In Los Angeles in late 2008, after a few years of hard work, the sideshows and the carnivals are now enjoying real political viability, and early 2009 promises to be a quarter in which lots of wrenches are thrown into the local political works.