Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa was not given an opportunity to give a high profile speech at the DNC last week because he was put in the same category as John Edwards, the subjects of recent cheating scandals that erupted in the public eye. So we’re a little over a year after the affair between Mayor Tony and his now ex-girlfriend Mirthala Salinas surfaced, and he’s still suffering the consequences of this lapse in judgment. Isn’t that a shame?
Well, the editors of the Pasadena Star-News think that Mayor Villaraigosa has blown it with a transportation measure to extend the San Gabriel Valley’s Gold Line, which currently connects Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles.
Villaraigosa shot down funding for the Gold Line extension into Monclair because he doesn’t feel that the Metropolitan Transportation Agency would dole out the money that it has in a manner that would be equitable for the San Gabriel Valley. Instead, the mayor wants to use a half cent sales tax increase on LA County residents to help fund railway projects. Three of the five LA County supervisors don’t approve of Villaraigosa’s plan, including his former mentor Gloria Molina.
I don’t think that higher taxes are going to be popular with anyone in California right now, especially in Los Angeles County, where the cost of living is already much higher than the rest of the country. Additionally, Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislature will likely approve a one cent sales tax increase to close the state budget loophole.
Two Latinas in Congress representing the San Gabriel Valley area, Hilda Solis and Grace Napolitano, recently sat down with Congressmen David Dreier (R) and Adam Schiff (D) to express support for the Gold Line Foothill Extension. I agree with the Pasadena Star-News. Let the local congressional delegation take care of this, and perhaps Villaraigosa can work on an issue where he has more local support. If he wants to be a successful candidate for governor, Villaraigosa needs to hit a home run on one of the big issues he tried to tackle when he was first elected to the mayor’s office. The education system and housing crisis are still big problems in LA. Maybe he can devote more time to those issues.
Photo Credit: USA Today, 06/15/05 from back when Villaraigosa was first elected mayor. Doesn’t it look like he’s flashing his “American Me” pose? I only wonder who the Mayor’s cronies mentioned in the linked Pasadena Star-News editorial look like. Are they as scary as Santana’s (Eddie Olmos character) gang?
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