It didn’t make much news–didn’t even make it to the front page of the Los Angeles Times–but on Tuesday, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa won a second term. Journalist (and LA resident) T.A. Frank writes up the underwhelming election:
Antonio Villaraigosa has been ambitious in rhetoric but modest in achievements. A pledge to plant a million trees remains about 800,000 trees short. A bid to take over the schools failed. Traffic remains dreadful. A fling with a newswoman from Telemundo was received poorly, except by the newswoman from Telemundo. The main achievement of the current mayoralty has been a reduction in crime, but this is thanks mainly to Police Chief Bill Bratton, who was appointed by Villaraigosa’s predecessor. And when Angelenos voted in 2006 to increase their trash fees in order to fund the hiring of 1,000 more much-needed cops, the money somehow didn’t reach its target. By 2008, only 366 police had been added to the force, a bait-and-switch that infuriated those who happened to read about it.
Villaraigosa won 56% of the vote in a field of ten that included one opponent by the name of Zuma Dogg, who was questioned by police during the campaign for threatening to kill another candidate. I await the made-for-tv movie. Or reality show. Whichever comes first.