Bernie Comes to the People's Republic of Santa Monica

If there was a Southern California home base for Sen. Bernie Sanders, it would probably be Santa Monica.

Long before it was leading the Westside's charge toward outrageous rents and million-dollar–plus homes in ho-hum neighborhoods, Santa Monica was the place to be for West Coast progressive politics.

It's where antiwar activist Tom Hayden, at one time the husband of Jane Fonda, settled to create a political base tied to his fight for renters' rights. Santa Monica, which Hayden represented in the state Legislature in the 1980s and '90s, became so liberal some people called it the People's Republic of Santa Monica.

Despite the area's wealth and development, it's still somewhat of a lefty's paradise.

Even Santa Monica local Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former governor who lives north of the city and owns property just south of it, is the most liberal Republican ever.

Sanders, with his tirades against big-money political action committees, the college-loan debacle and the plight of wealth inequality, will fit right in.

In fact, the Vermont senator's Southern California rallies have turned into rock shows without the music. There's mad adoration for him here in Los Angeles. We predict much of the same today.

"Sanders will discuss a wide range of issues, including getting big money out of politics, his plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, combating climate change and ensuring universal health care," his campaign said in a statement.

The "Future to Believe in Santa Monica Rally" starts at 7 tonight at the Santa Monica High School football field, 601 Pico Blvd. It's first-come, first-served, but RSVPs are "strongly encouraged," the campaign says.

Doors open at 4 p.m.

The rally follows a noon appearance at Lincoln Park, 3501 Valley Blvd., Lincoln Heights. You are also encouraged to RSVP for that if you plan to attend.

Have fun. And let Sanders know that, despite Hayden's valiant efforts, rent is out of control in Santa Monica and in Greater L.A.


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