The Los Angeles Times reports that NBC Universal is moving forward with a development plan that the City of Los Angeles must approve. As most of you know, NBC is the parent company of Telemundo, Mirthala’s employer. Villaraigosa has been supporting the project that will bring new homes and commercial space to the Universal City area. Now people are questioning whether his relationship is a factor in his decision to support this project. Also at issue is how much access and influence NBC has with Antonio at this point.
Earlier this week, the mayor reiterated his support for Mirthala Salinas as a journalist. I really think that in revealing this relationship, he has hurt both himself and her. If he had just kept his mouth shut about this, the public wouldn’t be questioning him about these things, and Mirthala would probably still be working. All of these details about NBC and Mirthala would have probably come out after the fact, but he did not need to go there. Many Angelenos didn’t even know about Mirthala Salinas. Of course, there is the slippery slope that lying creates, which we already see happening with another Latino politico. Perhaps the rumors were too much, and Mayor Villaraigosa wouldn’t divert the public’s attention with some of his recent accomplishments. But then again, weren’t there always rumors of his infidelities?
So at this point, the mayor and his girlfriend are going to have to live with the continued scrutiny. I hope that other Latino politicians out there take note of this… if you want to leave your wife, do it with some dignity. If you are single or want to date, think about the consequences of involving yourself with someone who works for an entity that you deal with professionally. If you think that there might be issues of impropriety being raised, then expect to have to address them.
All of this could have been so easily avoided. Given the rumors surrounding the Mayor and his dating history, I wonder why someone on the inside did not try to save him from this needless drama. There are plenty of attractive Latinas who don’t work for organizations closely tied to the official business of the City of Los Angeles. I don’t get the impression that he selects women based on any sort of professional credential, so what difference does it make?