By Richie Ross
Special to Calbuzz
Like everyone in California politics, I was anxious to read the Los Angeles Magazine cover story labeling Antonio Villaraigosa a “Failure.”
I don’t work for the Mayor. Didn’t work for him as Speaker. I did work against him when he ran for the Assembly.
I had never read Los Angeles Magazine before. So, on a flight from Burbank to Sacramento I decided to read the June edition cover-to-cover. I wanted to get a sense of it and where its moral outrage and authority came from. After all, what I had gathered from coverage of the “Failure” story was that Antonio had forgotten his roots and his people.
First, though, I read the hit piece on Farrah Fawcett for sharing her death with us. Then a nice item about how great it was that the LA subway was expanding. I wondered if that would be in the “Failure” story. (It wasn’t.) A nice piece about 50 golf courses – “Angelenos could play a different one every week.” Hmm . . .
Then there was a page of “Prime Finds” — cool, expensive stuff the magazine recommends: $19 notepad, $1,395 lambskin jacket, $125 bikini top with a $380 bottom (sold separately, I guess out of consideration for Antonio’s old neighborhood).
Finally, the juicy “Failure” story. With more qualifiers than I’ve ever seen in a hit piece, it went something like this:
Antonio – you promised a lot. And, yeah, crime is down and we’re getting those 1,000 new cops, but you promised a million trees and some of the people you gave them to in the neighborhoods didn’t water them and they died. And sure you got hotel workers a living wage (probably not enough to get one of the nifty $1,395 lambskin jackets, but they can at least get a $125 bikini top) and, yeah, you’re cleaning up Port air pollution.
But Arnold vetoed a good bill in Sacramento so we’re adding it to your failure list. And you tried to fix the schools and just because you got us a better school board and won veto power of any new school superintendent and now we have a really good one and test scores have improved a little, it’s never going to be enough because we’re disappointed because we thought electing one of ‘those people’ would take care of all the ugly things about our city so we could look at it through the gauzy lens of a really expensive camera.
And because it’s not working out that way, we’re going to smack you for disappointing us and ignore our own responsibility for helping you.
Then, turn the page to find some really good tips on “Pool Parties — Make a Splash Without Making a Fuss.”