...and it is not because the Mayor is fooling around with yet another TV reporter who doesn't understand the concept of "journalistic ethics". Nope. I couldn't care less that the Mayor is doing that. Although the fact that he is still married to someone else does make him appear to be more than a bit tacky and classless.... but that has never disqualified anyone from holding an elected public office before.
The reason more and more voices are echoing the word "Recall" is because the Mayor has done a terrible job of running the City. He has behaved like a mini-gangster, using the City Treasury as a slush fund to run around and dole out "the loot" to his followers, cronies, and yes-men. Anyone who was ever a political supporter of Antonio Villariagosa only had to apply to run some type of vaguely defined "program" in order to be handed a lucrative City contract and the prerequisite excessive salary that goes along with it.
The fallout from his irresponsible, Santa-like behavior is now about to hit the fan. The City Budgetary Crisis will require that cuts be made and thousands of City employees be furloughed or laid off. City employees who once supported the Mayor and trusted him are about to lose their jobs so that people like the Mayors daughter and Councilman Alarcons daughter can keep their unqualified positions and inflated City paychecks.
I spoke about the recall action at City Council on Friday in Van Nuys. Former Mayoral Candidate and second-place finisher Walter Moore has been writing about it on his website. KRLA Radio Show Host Kevin James evidently has been turning up the volume on this issue on his radio show. Widely popular former Daily News Editor Ron Kaye has been writing about the Mayors lack of popularity. Frequent City Hall critic and former Mayoral Candidate David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg shouted out "Recall Villaraigosa!!" during his public comment at a recent City Council meeting. Zuma Dogg was one of the first critics sounding the alarm over the looming "Pensiongate Scandal" , which could finally prove to be the fatal blow to Antonios political career.
In a surprising turn of events, I have recently been contacted by union members , who say that they are fed up with Mayor Villaraigosa and feel that they have been stabbed in the back by him. They seem all too eager to return the favor. To have former supporters and voters for the Mayor suddenly turn on him is a troubling sign for Villaraigosa. It is unlikely that the Mayors spinmasters at City Hall can put positive action on these events.
As I mentioned, the uphill battle for the recall is monumental -- 240,000 signatures --but not impossible. (We need 2,400 people who are willing to go get 100 signatures each). Nobody thought the City voters could defeat the sneaky Measure B Solar initiative (including many of us who worked on the project! ), but enough people spoke out about it that Measure B drew negative attention and actually was defeated at the polls. I foresee something similar happening in the near future with the recall effort.
I don't think declaring the intent in October is the right idea. The citizens of this City have four months to obtain the valid voter signatures. I don't think going door-to-door in the rainy season of January/February is the right idea or particularly appealing to anyone. I am publicly declaring my intention today to file the Recall Notice on March 3, 2010. I think this would be a fitting and ironic twist, coming exactly one year to the day of the 9% Mayors re-election. And it would give the foot soldiers in this battle the leisurely spring/summer months to walk precincts and obtain signatures.
I am going to suggest that voters of this City build a coalition of concerned citizens who are willing to do some legwork to remove Villaraigosa from power. Homeowners Assocations and other types of civic groups need to be addressed and consulted. Professional organizations and political activists need to get involved. The City cannot afford four more years of Antonio in charge. He nearly bankrupted the City in his first four years. Does anyone honestly think the next four years will be an improvement?
The private sector would never have re-hired him to be the CEO in charge of a 7 billion dollar corporation.
Not with those results. But voters? Well...
The lack of passion in his re-election campaign was puzzling.
The 17% turnout at the polls was an embarrassment for the second largest City in America.
Maybe...if we are lucky.....we will have a fresh group of eager and energetic volunteers.
Thousand of recently laid-off City employees who are eager and willing to spend next spring walking precincts and collecting signatures in order to deliver some well-deserved payback to their free-spending former boss.