?íNo M?ís Antonio, Por Favor!
Why we should all hope Mayor Antonio's next four years in office go by fast
The date....July 1st, 2009.
Published on LatinoLA: July 29, 2009
The event....the swearing-in ceremony of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to a second term.
Of course what is suppose to be a great day for the city of Los Angeles is just another one of those "blah, blah, blah" moments when we hear the typical politician making promises (or in this case, a new set of promises) only to later not come through with them.
Just a couple of months ago, many out there, including the Mayor, was convinced his shot at governor was just as possible as the Lakers winning the championship. That of course was before the even more recent negative criticisms started taking an even bigger turn for the worse. There was the recent Steve Lopez LA times article where a poll showed the majority of LA school teachers had given the Mayor the thumbs down for his work with the schools. And then there was "Los Angeles" magazine where he made the front cover with the words "FAILURE" on it. What made this "Los Angeles" magazine issue interesting was not the article about him but what was mentioned about him on the editor's page.
According to this page, the individual behind the Mayor's article polled as many LA city politicians as possible, asking for their opinions on the Mayor's performance the past four years. They all agreed unanimously that he has failed. Of course, they answered the question under the condition that they not be identified. Funny how some of these two-face politicians were seen applauding the Mayor during his swearing-in speech.
Anyway, it now seems that thanks to the broken promises and the rising negative reputation, the Mayor was given no other choice but to back out of the Governor's race.
Of course, he needed that always good excuse for backing out.....he claimed he needed to finish out his job and that he wanted to be there when his kid graduates from high school. GREAT EXCUSES, MR. MAYOR!!!!
Talk about kissing butt....following Mayor Villaraigosa's announcement of him stepping out of the race for governor, fellow would-be-opponent and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom talked highly of Mr Villaraigosa, claiming that the Mayor's life story is an inspiration to millions of latinos (Can you say "LATINO VOTES"?).
So it seems that although the people of California does not have to deal with Antonio as their leader, the city of Los Angeles still does. More of the Mayor's stupidity and lies.....FOR ANOTHER FOUR MORE LONG YEARS!!!!!!!! How we should all hope it goes by fast.
Let's look at some of the infamous moments during Mayor Villaraigosa's first four years in office that one may or may not be aware of (in no particular order) and why after reading these, we should all want the next four years to pass us by immediately.....
1) LETTING THE STUDENTS OF LA DOWN THROUGH A FALSE PAST....in 2007, when students were threatening to walk out of school in order to show their support at the immigration rights rally in downtown LA, Mayor Villaraigosa, with his buddy Police Chief Bill Bratton at his side, urged all students not to leave school and to think about the importance of an education. He mentioned to the students how he once participated in similar walkouts back in the 1960's while as a student at my alma mater, Cathedral High School. He then said, in the precense of both reporters and cameras, that it was his involvement in these similar walkouts back in the 1960's that led to him being kicked out of Cathedral High School.
So what's the big deal, one may ask?
Did I mention that this was not how Mayor Villaraigosa was kicked out of Cathedral High?
In 2001, when Mr Villaraigosa first attempted a shot at mayor (in which he lost to James Hahn), the LA Times came out with a story that focused on his pre-political days and included his time at Cathedral. According to the story, a young Antonio Villaraigosa attended a Cathedral-Saint Francis football game and was involved in a fight that night with a Saint Francis student. It was this fight and not school walkouts that led to him being kicked out of Cathedral. The Mayor even commented in this 2001 story, saying how much he regretted the fight since it kept him from graduating from Cathedral. His comments of course proved the story was true.
2) CONSERVING WATER WHILE DROWNING IN HYPOCRISY.....A few years ago, the Mayor had a press conference urging all Angelinos to conserve water due to the possible droughts. He warned of the problems the city would face if a water shortage were to take place due to abused water usage. A few weeks following the press conference, a reporter confronted the Mayor and handed him what ended up being the Mayor's recent water bill. The bill showed that the Mayor was using several times more water than the average Los Angeles resident.
Ready for his response?
According to the Mayor......GOPHERS WERE EATING AWAY HIS PIPES!!!!!
Attention people of Los Angeles and to those who keep up with the news....."THE MAYOR TAKES YOU ALL FOR A BUNCH OF IDIOTS WHO WILL BELIEVE ANYTHING HE SAYS!!!!!
Note....during that same news story, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo was also confronted with his water bill, which also showed several times more water being used than the average Los Angeles resident. His excuse.....he holds many political-related gatherings at his house which therefore means more water usage.
My question to anyone reading this, "When was the last time you offered your guests faucet water while hosting a party or gathering"?
3) LAYOFFS, PAYCUTS, AND FURLOUGHS.....no employed Angelino in this generation has heard the words "LA city workers and layoffs" go together and in such big numbers. Of course at the last minute, the Mayor, trying to be some sort of super hero coming to the rescue, proposes a way to save as many jobs as possible.....but at a price! The Mayor suggests employees take a paycut as well as a day or two of unpaid leave.
Now ask yourself this.......why hasn't the Mayor included members of the city council when it comes to being forced to take paycuts and furloughs?
PERHAPS THIS IS A "YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I'LL SCRATCH YOURS" SITUATION?
If one is unaware, the LA city council members are the highest paid council members in the entire nation, getting paid some $180-$200 thousand dollars a year. They make more than federal judges, believe it or not. Not long ago, the LA Weekly was wondering the same thing on why they were excluded from getting forced paycuts and/or furloughs and demanded answers from the council. After dodging the question one too many times, Councilman Dennis Zine finally spoke up on the council's behalf when realizing this story was getting too big. Although Councilman Zine was willing to accept a paycut, almost everyone else in the council refused.
Ready for their reason?
According to the story in the LA Weekly, the council members said they objected to paycuts and furloughs because THEY HAD CHILDREN AND OTHER FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS TO TAKE CARE OF.
Oh! Okay, my bad!
4) A TROUBLED LAUSD.....I remember some 10 years ago I was watching the news and was listening to a story about the LAUSD and the problems regarding the Belmont Learning Center and all the tax dollars being wasted. I remember during this time listening to a member of the board lashing out during a meeting saying how she prays that she never has to see the LAUSD go through worse problems in the future. Guess what lady....your prayers did not come true. Look what has happened to the district during Mayor Antonio's time.....1) a screwed up payroll system, where employees where receiving far too much money or far too little money each payday (as a result, employees were forced to withdraw life savings from their banks, were forced to confront their parents for money, or were falling behind in their mortgages, utilities, and/or loans), 2) the investigation involving led in school water fountains students drank from (it was revealed that the district had known about this problem since the 1990's), 3) the release of LAUSD president David Brewer (who happily walked away with almost a half-million dollar payout), and of course......4) LAYOFFS, resulting in larger classes, more unemployment, and possibly a higher student dropout rate.
Let's also remember the Mayor's failed attempt at running the school district, an attempt I believe a mayor like Tom Bradley would had been successful in. As for the Mayor Antonio's kids, has education in LA affected them? Of course not! They all attend or once attended private schools.
5) TENS OF MILLIONS OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS BADLY SPENT, COURTESY OF THE MAYOR, THE LAPD AND THE LAFD......during Mayor Villaraigosa's time in office, we saw some controversial tax-spending moments involving him, the LAFD and the LAPD (again!).
In the Mayor's office, we saw him very busy campaigning for Hillary Clinton's run at the presidency. When asked why he should instead focus more on city issues such as the economy, gang violence, and schools, he said that Hillary's run at the presidency was just as important to the people of Los Angeles (WRONG!!!!!). During his campaigning, it was LA tax dollars that paid for hotels, planes, security, food, etc., not Hillary's dollars.
In the fire department, we saw Tennie Pierce, the black firefighter whose fellow co-workers jokingly put dog food into his spaghetti. He cried out racism and took legal action. A settlement was in the works before photos revealed that Mr Pierce had been involved in similar pranks towards his co-workers in the past. Rather than fighting the suit (a suit I believe the city could have won), the cowardly Mayor threw in the towel by giving Mr Pierce a new out-of-court settlement much bigger than the original one. If that was not enough, a couple of firefighters, suspended for the incident, would go on to counter-sue for discrimination and as a result, also took home several millions dollars. Other than the forced retirement of the fire chief, there would be no firings in the department.
Now as for the LAPD....though we must admit that the LAPD's reputation is slowly but surely improving (thanks only to Chief Bill Bratton), we must not forget the department's recent actions. We once again witnessed on TV another horrific case of LAPD police brutality. The event was the immigration rights rally in downtown LA. With all the history of police brutality within the LAPD (Rodney King, Rampart, etc.), one would figure this is just another page in its dark history but what made this event different was that this time, the victims included members of the media who were simply doing their job by covering this event (an LAPD protective league spokesperson blamed the media for the melee). There were several cities in the nation involved in similar rallies that day yet it was only the police in our city that decided to make negative headlines. The result...13 million in tax dollars which deservingly went to the victims of the melee, a few insignificant demotions within the LAPD, and the investigations of around 5-10 officers, who would go on to be fired. These officers were later given the right to contest their firings. After further review from the board who listened to these officers, all fired officers were given a second chance and therefore were given their jobs back (SURPRISE!!!!!). The interesting thing about the news of these officers keeping their jobs was that the story came out the same day the Mayor was getting sworn in for a second term (COINCIDENCE???). No member of the press would have had the chance to get a comment from the Mayor on the rehirings of these officers during a day of celebration (that's like getting newly-elected Barack Obama to comment on Iraq or the economy on the day of his swearing in). As for the Mayor's buddy, LAPD police chief Bill Bratton.... not available for comment that day.
AND TO THINK......Tens of millions of wasted tax dollars, courtesy of some bad LAPD and LAFD employees who get to keep their jobs. Tens of millions of wasted tax dollars that could have been used for teachers and other important city workers currently fearing layoffs and furloughs.
6) A STRONG SUPPORT OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, GOOD AND BAD....Although it's obvious that America is a land of immigrants, one must still come to this land the right way, regardless of what color or nationality you are. Unfortunately, gone are the Ellis Island days, when you got at the back of the line, learned english, and appreciated the history of this great country that opened the door to you, your parents, and your grandparents. During the first year or two of his first term, Mayor Villaraigosa made his support of illegal immigration heard. From the TV interviews early in his term to his presense at the immigration rights rallies, he made it clear that LA was a city where illegals were welcomed without fear of deportation or harassment by police. It's amazing how a Mayor can welcome illegals into Los Angeles the wrong way but yet claims there are not enough cops for this ever-growing city.
Think your increased trash fees will cover the necessary amount of cops needed for this ever-growing city? Think again. Get ready for new parking meters and tougher parking restrictions that are coming soon to a Los Angeles neighborhood near you, courtesy of the Mayor.
Anyways, of course in a matter of time, his outspoken views would slowly come back to haunt him. For example, it seemed that some punk who was kicked out of this country but somehow made it back in (from Mexico), decided to welcome himself back by shooting 2 innocent kids in front of their East LA apartment. The Mayor, doing a press conference regarding the shooting, made it clear that this punk could run but could not hide. A reporter at the scene then reminded the Mayor about his support for illegals before asking the Mayor to comment about the punk being in this country illegally.
Ready for his response?
He said......"that is a state issue, therefore you need to take that up with the state"!
And then there was Jamiel Shaw, the young black kid gunned down by a gang member who was in this country illegally. It seemed Jamiel was doing nothing more than just heading home when this sick latino gangster decided to ask him where he was from. Not satisfied with the response, the gangster opened fire, killing both Jamiel and his college football dreams instantly. Of course, the Mayor, trying to look good, made appearances on the radio and on TV, claiming the violence must stop. He even showed up at Jamiel's funeral, saying a few words about Jamiel to those in attendance.
Now for the obvious downside....JAMIEL'S LAW, backed up by Jamiel's father, would been tough on gangbangers in this country illegally. The Mayor, who made many feel like he cared, showed little support for Jamiel's law, and as a result, Jamiel's law died immediately. Fox news' Bill O'Reilly exposed this story worldwide and challenged the Mayor to comment on his support for illegals such as the one who killed Jamiel. The cowardly Mayor, by no surprise, refused the interview.
Note....as a mexican-american, my above comments on illegal immigration are not about racism or about being ashamed of my race. It is about right and wrong. Let's remember that american-born latinos and those non-american born latinos who stood in the back of the line would side with me if it were the asians or white europeans that were illegally crossing the border in the same large numbers only to then cut in the front of the line. These latinos would then claim racism played no part in their views towards this illegal immigration problem involving the asians and white europeans.
7) TILL CHEATING DO US PART......During his days in high school, Antonio was known to be a player. Nothing was going to stop him from getting a girl, even if that girl was holding hands with her boyfriend (at least that's what one individual who knew him in high school back in the 1960's told me). So it was not much of a surprise when the Mayor got busted fooling around with a news reporter while still married. Of course this was not the first time he cheated behind his wife while in politics. Some few years back, he took off with the wife of someone he knew while his wife was at home fighting cancer. As for Mirthala Salinas, the reporter he slept with, fooling around with LA politicians is nothing new. She had been linked in the past with both Fabian Nunez and Alex Padilla (she denied anything going on with Mr. Padilla....sure!). Anyone knows that an average lady who fools around with several men, some even married with children, would be described in a webster's dictionary as a "tramp". Sorry Mirthala....but you did this to yourself.
Now, one would respond back to me by saying that what the Mayor and Ms Salinas do in private is their business. My response back....if you live in a glitzy city like LA, where the paparazzi or media doesn't believe in privacy, then someone as powerful in LA as the Mayor has no other choice but to accept his relationship with Ms Salinas as being a big story in LA. The Mayor's buddy, Police Chief Bill Bratton, would side with me on this since he has lashed out at city council members who in the past have proposed laws that would go after members of the paparazzi who put people in harms way while trying to invade the private lives of celebrities. "Set an example for your kids, Mr. Mayor"!
8) GANGS, GANGS, AND MORE GANGS.....although stats do show that crime is slowly going down, we cannot deny the fact that gangs are still growing and spreading like weeds in an uncared yard. The problem here which I have said many times in the past is that the Mayor just talks and talks and talks without the use of action. Anytime he or any politician does this, I continue to look at this as nothing more than a cost-free way of pretending you care. As a former law student, why does the Mayor pretend to make people believe justice will be served towards these gangbangers when he knows darn well that these gangbangers "have rights" and are considered "innocent until proven guilty" the moment they are arrested? If the mayor was not running this city, I guarantee he would be in a courtroom defending these same gangbangers (oops, I forgot about the four times he failed the bar exam).
Have you ever noticed that anytime there is a string of gang-related shootings on the news where an innocent kid is gunned down, the Mayor will always try to respond positively by saying, "At least overall crime is down." That line is nothing more than a insult to the family of that kid who will never get that chance to know what it is like to be an adult.
SHAME ON YOU ANTONIO FOR SAYING THIS LINE IN THE PAST!!!!!
NOTE...LA County supervisor Gloria Molina recently said the same line when responding to the recent gang-related deaths in the La Puente/Valinda neighborhoods.
Oh, by the way, do you remember that one gangbanging punk that was caught on security video tagging on a bus while the mayor was doing a press conference? You know, the one the mayor said he would be a mentor to? Well guess what happened? This gangbanging tagger was busted again tagging on city property. Some have already accused the Mayor of having never even made contact with the punk following the original incident caught on video while others accused the Mayor of just trying to look good. And once again, the Mayor was not around for comment following the tagger's second offense.
Now as for saying that crime is going down, that's one thing. To say that crime these days are similar to crime in the 1950's and 60's is another thing. I think we all know someone who spent the prime of their lives during the 1950' and 60's in the same neighborhoods we grew up in who will argue that line. Many of those will all agree that the neighborhoods today will never be like it was back then. Let's face it....carjackings and drive-bys never existed back then and people today won't stand up and report crimes out of fear of retaliation, fear of deportation, or because they are tired of the police telling them, "sorry, we can't do anything about it". Many will agree how back then they were able to walk late at night through neighborhoods that today are infested with gangbangers, muggers, and rapists looking for a prey.
Remember Mr. Mayor, not all Angelinos are like you, where you have off-duty LAPD officers protecting both you and your children, courtesy of LA tax dollars.
I could keep going on with more stories involving the Mayor's stupidity and lies, such as the time when the Mayor suggested that Angelinos need to leave their cars at home and take the metro, only to be later criticized for having an off-duty LAPD driving him everywhere (your tax dollars at work once again) or when he said the route for the 2007 LA marathon was getting a complete change because runners would be entitled to see "more of LA" when he was too much of a coward to admit that the real reason was because greedy, money-hungry religious leaders threatened to sue since they were unhappy with the previous route interfering with sunday services, but I will choose to leave it at that. So maybe there are people out there that will criticize me for my comments and will argue by saying that he has done some good things but that does still not make up for the lies and stupidity he has gotten himself into these past four years. He is a leader that the people of LA are suppose to look up to. The people of LA went through less bullcrap when Tom Bradley, Richard Riordan, and James Hahn were in office, a span of roughly 30-35 years.
I do stand by everything that you have read, which is 100% true. Be aware that a good portion of the above incidents never made the top story on the 6 pm news or never made the front page of the LA times. These were stories that if you missed it that day, you probably were never going to hear about again.....that is unless, I read or heard about it and then decided to tell you about it. Chances are, there are probably more incidents out there that I may had missed. Anyways...here's to a fast four years!!!!
Love your city.........fear its leader.