We haven’t finished fighting over whether or not to turn off the lights in the House of Representative chambers and already, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is sizing up his next potential run at the mayor’s office. And why shouldn’t he? After all he managed to secure most of that money back in June while he was on the stump for Hillary Clinton. Let’s not forget that the single most important part of the job of the mayor of Los Angeles is to be out crisscrossing the country for presidential candidates.
While no official offer was ever made, there was most likely some sort of smoke-filled back room deal made between Clinton and Villaraigosa. It probably resembled, “You get me the hispanic vote and I’ll give you a cabinet position.” There was a reason Villaraigosa was often referred to as “Mayor in absentia”. He was gone when the city needed him the most.
Now it seems that since the Hillary opportunity has gone south, it looks like Villaraigosa is going to have to return to L.A. and actually try working for a living. Obama doesn’t seem to need Villaraigosa’s help getting the hispanic vote – Obama doesn’t seem to need anybody’s help with anything, including playing the race card, but that’s another story. So, Antonio Villaraigosa needs to find legitimate work.
Will Rogers once said, “Once a man is a politician, he’s no longer fit for any kind of honest work.” Antonio Villaraigosa is a politician, so-o-o-o...
Ace Smith, Villaraigosa’s campaign manager told the Los Angeles Times, "People are supporting Antonio Villaraigosa because he's a person who, as mayor, is out there and willing to take some risks. He's willing to take on some of the challenges that have sat dormant for a long, long time."
So far, the biggest risk on record for Villaraigosa is his affair which resulted in the end of his marriage. Of course, one can only re-hash that for so long. If you don’t believe it, just ask Cal State Fullerton professor Raphael Sonenshein, an expert on L.A. government and politics. He told The Los Angeles Times that he is convinced that Villaraigosa’s affair last year is a personal issue and has “a limited shelf life.”
Okay, but what are we supposed to tell the family of Jamiel Andre Shaw, Jr.? Back in March of this year, I wrote an article in which I excoriated Villaraigosa for his indirect involvement in the murder of Shaw. I blamed Villaraigosa’s continuance of L.A.’s sanctuary city policy as the reason that Pedro Espinoza, a known illegal alien and gang member, was allowed to remain in Los Angeles instead of being deported. Espinoza murdered Shaw in cold blood as some rite of passage in the 18th Street Gang and Villaraigosa turned a blind eye to the whole matter.
Then about two weeks later, I went on the warpath against Villaraigosa again. This time I was exposing not only his refusal to cooperate with federal officials and get illegal aliens out of America when they commit a crime, but for his open attack on the Department of Homeland Security and the raids it had been conducting against businesses found to be employing illegal aliens in the city of Los Angeles. At that time, Villaraigosa chastised the D.H.S. saying that the raids were disruptive to the businesses of Los Angeles. I pointed out that perhaps Villaraigosa’s ire was more because the raids were disrupting his potential voting block for the up-coming election in 2009.
The City of Los Angeles has its good and its bad points. What city doesn’t have its glitzy side and its dark and seedy side? The problem here has been that Antonio Villaraigosa has done nothing to make Los Angeles truly more safe and secure. Latino and black gangs still run the streets at night in places where people are afraid for their own lives. There still aren’t enough police officers on the streets. Even in Longview, Texas, the Longview News-Journal is reporting that in the last two and a half years graffiti has risen to a level of actively violent. It has even escalated to the point that graffiti “crews” have turned to using weapons to defend their work.
"If we see someone calling the police, then we target them," said Mario Garcia, 20, who describes himself as a former tagger trying to become a professional artist. "You are trying to stop me from what I live, what I believe in and what I breathe? We are not going to let no one get in the way." Never mind that Garcia’s grammar skills leave volumes to be desired. When clean up crews are dispatched to remove graffiti, they will often stop and wait out of sight until the graffiti gangs leave out of fear for their own safety.
"We won't say anything to them," said Rogelio Flores, whose company Graffiti Busters contracts with Los Angeles to blast away the markings with high-pressure hoses. "We don't know what kind of weapons they have."
Angelinos may remember last August when 58-year-old Maria Hicks was murdered in Pico Rivera after she flashed her car lights and honked her horn at a group of taggers. Four people have been charged with murder in her case. Others have been killed or injured while trying to defend their property against tagging. Police caution citizens against confronting taggers advising that citizens should just call the police. For all the good it will do.
This is the legacy of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He has made Los Angeles into a safe-haven for illegal aliens and street gangs. He hasn’t proven himself effective at anything except talking a good talk. To bad he doesn’t walk the walk. To re-elect Villaraigosa in 2009 would be a grave mistake for Los Angeles. Unfortunately for most civilized Angelinos, right now there is no other clear choice.