During a Friday roundtable discussion with Los Angeles Mayor in his office downtown office, Antonio Villaraigosa successfully avoided confirming whether or not he’d seek the governor position.
The event was hosted by CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California.
Villaraigosa is up for reelection today running against nine virtually unknown incumbents–none of which have raised enough campaign contributions to compete with Villaraigosa’s sum of campaign contributions.’
According to the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, Walter Moore raised the second most in campaign funds with his $212 thousand, but still falls short to the mayors $3 million.’ Other candidates such as Zuma Dogg, haven’t raised any campaign funds.
The Los Angeles Times has endorsed the mayor despite a previous article they ran stating that the mayor is ‘presiding over a city that even before the recession hit, lacked the buoyant civic spirit that so many voters expected the mayor to spark.’
Villaraigosa has already served a longer tenure as mayor than he did as Assembly Speaker, and even longer than he did as a councilman. However, back when he was a councilmember, Villaraigosa stated that he wouldn’t seek the position of mayor but failed to keep his word.
‘I’ve learned from the mistake I made as a council member when I addressed the issue of whether I would run for mayor,’ Villaraigosa said.’ ‘I am a man who learns from my mistakes.’
Some of the mistakes the mayor concluded was mishandling his personal life.
‘Some of the grey that looms over my accomplishments as mayor is due to some of the mistakes I had made in my personal life regarding my divorce,’ said Villaraigosa.
In 2007, Corina Villaraigosa cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ in her petition filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court.’ After the Los Angeles Daily News leaked the mayors’ affair, the mayor admitted to being involved with Telemundo television anchor Mirthala Salinas.
He promised to plant one million trees across Los Angeles, calling it a cornerstone of his environment agenda, Villaraigosa said, admitting only about 200,000 trees have made it into the ground.’ He’s also failed to establish a low-cost prescription drug program or install reversible lanes on major streets.
No one is certain as to whether or not the mayor will run for governor, but he’ll almost certainly win the election today.’
During the roundtable he admitted to being a no-show at a mayoral forum with the other mayoral candidates, opting instead for the Oscars.
Serving as mayor of a large metropolitan city, Villaraigosa said he’s attempted to remain in the center of the political spectrum much like the mayors of other cities like New York’s Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg as well as Los Angeles’ Richard Riordan.
‘I’ve made Democrats and Republicans sit together when making legislative decisions.’ It used to both groups on opposing sides of the hall,’ Villaraigosa said. ‘When I brought them together they thought that I was trying to get the Democrats to spy on them.’
After four years as mayor, he spoke about his accomplishments like the foundation for our education system through The Partnership for LA Schools, passing a half-penny sales tax in the middle of a recession, making a greener LA, alleviating traffic with more left hand turns, bridging gaps between expensive housing production and actual need to make housing more affordable.
‘There has been a 24 percent drop in violent crime which I consider to be one of my greater accomplishments, One million potholes have been repaired, and we have done a great job expanding our after-school programs involving both parents and kids,’ said Villaraigosa.
He also claimed to work effectively with LAPD William J. Bratton to modernize and expand the force by eliminating the trash-collection subsidy to help pay for its expansion.
He lead a campaign promise of a ‘subway to the sea’ which turned into a ballot measure that followed an overwhelming support from voters to tax themselves for the Metro and other transportation.’ Under current plans, the subway would not reach Westwood until 2032.
The mayor will need a second term to fulfill the promises he laid out in 2005, but whether or not those promises are met depends on whether he’ll keep his focus on L.A., or Sacramento.