MARCH 03, 2008
The mayor of the nation’s second largest city has been missing in action lately, using a great deal of his taxpayer-funded time to travel around the country campaigning for Hillary Clinton accompanied by a City Hall staffer and his police security detail.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a national co-chairman of Clinton’s ailing presidential campaign and the New York senator is depending on him to tap into the crucial Latino vote around the nation, especially leading into this week’s primaries in Texas and Ohio.
The job has kept the self-professed “Chicano” mayor away from the job he was elected and gets paid to do. Besides neglecting pressing business in the massive city of nearly 4 million residents, the mayor has been absent during a crucial time in which L.A. is experiencing a serious budget deficit that requires tens of millions of dollars in cuts.
Additionally, Villaraigosa is spending local tax dollars on his extensive campaign work for Clinton which has taken him to Nevada five times, Iowa three times, Texas twice and New Hampshire once. Besides his hefty $193,908 annual salary, the mayor travels with a city-financed police security detail that accompanies him around the clock and a City Hall press deputy.
The city’s deputy mayor says Villaraigosa’s long term absence is justified because the mayor views the Clinton campaign as an investment in the city’s future. There have also been rumors that Clinton will give Villaraigosa some sort of cabinet position if she is elected president.
Villaraigosa’s endorsement last summer gave Clinton the coveted backing of the Three Musketeers of the radical Mexican La Raza movement. Two renowned pro illegal immigration figures (Raul Yzaguirre, president of the extremist Mexican group National Council of La Raza for three decades and California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez who referred to U.S. lawmakers as rednecks and threatened to bring Washington to its feet at a 1990s event in which 100,000 rowdy Mexican flag wavers protested legislation they considered discriminatory) were already on board with Clinton when she aggressively pursued Villaraigosa.
The first-term L.A. mayor is a longtime member of an extremist Mexican group (Mecha) that advocates overthrowing the U.S. Government and has played a key role in his city’s huge and disruptive pro illegal immigration marches. He even encouraged massive student walkouts – that cost the city’s already ailing public school system nearly $1 million
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