Antonio Villaraigosa picks up 2 endorsements for governor from LA councilmen

By City News Service | February 5, 2018 at 12:19 pm LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles City Council members Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson endorsed former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for governor today. “Antonio Villaraigosa has dedicated his career to creating economic opportunity and equality for all communities, and I’m proud to endorse him for governor,” Price said at an event with Harris-Dawson after touring the Holmes Early Education Center in South Los Angeles. “I know as governor, he will address the economic divide that exists across the state — beginning with early education programs that help kids from all walks of life have the opportunity to succeed.” Villaraigosa, who was mayor of L.A. from 2005 to 2013, is running against a field that includes Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Treasurer John Chiang, and former state schools chief Delaine Eastin. “I throw my full support to the campaign to elect Antonio Villaraigosa governor of California,” Harris-Dawson said. “More than any candidate, Antonio has lived the California dream, and he fights harder than anyone to keep that dream alive for generations to come.” The primary in the governor’s race is set for June 5, with Gov. Jerry Brown unable to run for a third consecutive term due to term limits. “I’m honored to have the endorsement of council members Price and Harris-Dawson who are committed to strengthening our communities,” Villaraigosa said. “As governor, I will work with council members and other local leaders to ensure we are creating quality educational opportunities for children of all ages including early education programs.” Continue Reading

In race for governor, Antonio Villaraigosa makes big promises for Bay Area housing

By Marisa Kendall | [email protected] | Bay Area News Group PUBLISHED: January 31, 2018 at 1:18 pm | UPDATED: January 31, 2018 at 1:20 pm SAN JOSE — Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday had a message sure to resonate with many Bay Area residents struggling to live here — if he’s elected, he’ll pour resources into solving the region’s affordable housing shortage. “This is a crisis,” Villaraigosa said to a San Jose audience of media, affordable housing advocates and formerly homeless veterans. “The state has got to get out of being missing in action.” The promise came on the heels of an important endorsement from San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who said he trusts Villaraigosa to help solve the region’s housing shortage. “Time and time again Antonio Villaraigosa has led with bold ideas and bold actions,” Liccardo said. “I am so grateful that he is running for governor.” Villaraigosa on Wednesday laid out the basics of his housing plan. He wants to bring back the local redevelopment agencies the legislature disbanded in 2012, to add another resource for city governments to use when funding housing development. Villaraigosa also plans to fund a housing trust with money that will go to cities, like San Jose, that are taking steps to house their homeless and low-income residents. And he hopes to reform permitting and environmental rules that slow down the process of building housing. But before he accomplishes any of that, Villaraigosa would have to win the race for governor. And securing Liccardo’s endorsement — Villaraigosa’s first from a Bay Area elected official — could be a step toward that end. “Getting the endorsement of Mayor Sam Liccardo, for me, is a big, big deal,” Villaraigosa said. “And I couldn’t be prouder of that.” Continue Reading

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor

By Casey Tolan | [email protected] | Bay Area News Group January 31, 2018 at 5:00 am San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo will endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor on Wednesday, in the first major endorsement for the former Los Angeles Mayor from a Bay Area elected official. “I’m proud to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor of California,” Liccardo said in a statement to the Bay Area News Group. “I look forward to working with him to tackle the economic divide we face in the state, including the issue of a lack of affordable housing. I believe Antonio’s record of building coalitions and his pragmatic approach is what the state needs to create economic equality and opportunity.” The duo will make the backing official at an event Wednesday morning at San Jose’s Vermont House, a former drug rehabilitation facility that’s being converted into housing for homeless veterans. Villaraigosa is also expected to discuss his plans to confront the state’s affordable housing crisis. In some ways, this year’s governor’s race has been shaping up into a NorCal-SoCal battle. Lieutenant Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has wrapped up endorsements from officials across the Bay Area — including Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and the late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee — while Villaraigosa has found more support in and around Los Angeles. But politically, Liccardo is closer to Villaraigosa than his fellow Bay Area mayor. Liccardo and Villaraigosa have carved out roles as more centrist Democrats in a party that has moved to the left in recent years, challenging public sector labor unions and courting business support in their respective cities. “If you look at Liccardo’s politics and Villaraigosa’s politics, they’re pretty closely aligned,” said Larry Gerston, a political science professor emeritus at San Jose State University. “They’re Continue Reading

Survey: California’s governor race tightens as Antonio Villaraigosa inches closer to Gavin Newsom

By Ramona Giwargis | Bay Area News Group PUBLISHED: November 30, 2017 at 9:00 pm | UPDATED: December 1, 2017 at 4:17 am SAN JOSE — A new statewide survey shows Democrats Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa in a closer than expected race for California governor, with Republicans so far behind that for the first time they may not make the statewide ballot next November. The survey released Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California also shows U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein leads a fellow Democrat, state Senate leader Kevin de León, by a 2-1 ratio — a testament to the veteran lawmaker’s name recognition across the state. “Senator Feinstein is leading in the top-two U.S. Senate primary next June — reflecting the incumbent’s favorability rating — while the challenger is not well known,” said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the PPIC, who has directed the statewide survey since 1998. Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor, leads the governor’s race with 23 percent of likely voters voicing support for him, according to the poll. But it found former Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa is quickly catching up — 18 percent of likely voters are backing him. About a third of likely voters were undecided. Only 9 percent of likely voters chose Democrat John Chiang, the state treasurer, and 3 percent said they’d vote for Democrat Delaine Eastin, the former superintendent of public instruction, according to the poll. Among Republicans, businessman John Cox garnered support from 9 percent of voters. Travis Allen, a state assemblyman from Orange County, received 6 percent, the poll showed. Under the state’s “top two” primary system, the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary advance to a runoff in November, regardless of party. If the Republican candidates continue to poll poorly, that could mean California for the first time in Continue Reading

Antonio Villaraigosa made more than $1 million annually from consulting, tax returns show

By Casey Tolan | [email protected] | Bay Area News Group PUBLISHED: November 21, 2017 at 4:06 pm | UPDATED: November 22, 2017 at 3:48 am Former Los Angeles mayor and gubernatorial hopeful Antonio Villaraigosa saw his income soar in the years after he left the mayor’s office, thanks to big consulting contracts with companies like Herbalife and Cadiz, according to tax returns released by his campaign Tuesday. Villaraigosa made an average total income of $893,883 per year between 2011 and 2016, and paid an average combined state and federal tax bill of $362,201 per year, for an average combined tax rate of about 40 percent — or 44 percent after deductions and credits. He’s the last of the four Democrats in the 2018 governor’s race to release six years of returns. As mayor, Villaraigosa made just under $200,000 a year. After leaving City Hall, he received an annual salary of about $100,000 from the University of Southern California, where he was a professor until December 2015. But his biggest income since he left the mayor’s office in July 2013 has been from his consulting firm, Antonio R. Villaraigosa LLC. He reported making more than a million dollars in consulting fees each year in 2014, 2015 and 2016. That income came from several controversial clients. From 2013 to 2016, he consulted for Herbalife International, a nutritional supplement company that settled with federal authorities last year after accusations that it deceived consumers. He also consulted in 2013 and 2014 for Cadiz Inc., a company working on a water-pumping project in the Mojave Desert that has been strenuously opposed by other Democrats such as Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Other Villaraigosa clients include Banc of California; Gateway Science & Engineering, a politically connected Southern California construction company; Pro Tour Memorabilia LLC, a golf memorabilia and interior design company; and USA China Investments, an Continue Reading

Five things you need to know about Antonio Villaraigosa

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is running to succeed California Gov. Jerry Brown. Villaraigosa, who served as speaker of the state Assembly from 1998 to 2000, considered campaigning for governor in the 2010 election but like his Democratic rival, Gavin Newsom, he decided to step aside for Brown. Here are five things you should know about Villaraigosa: 1. He became a union organizer after attending People’s College of the Law. Villaraigosa worked as a field representative and organizer with United Teachers Los Angeles, a union of more than 33,000 educators, the American Federation of Government Employees and the American Civil Liberties Union. Villaraigosa was elected to the Assembly in 1994, becoming speaker three years later. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2001, losing to James Hahn, but moved on to the Los Angeles City Council in 2003. He was sworn in as the 41st mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, becoming the city’s first chief Latino executive since 1872 and gracing the covers of Newsweek and Time. Though he would be the first Latino governor since 1875, Villaraigosa has long chafed at the characterization, saying he aims to be a voice for everyone. His last name is a composite of his family name, Villar, and the last name of his first wife, Corina Raigosa. They divorced in 2010. Six years later, he married Patricia Govea. Villaraigosa has four grown children. 2. He famously clashed with teachers unions. After working for teachers unions in Los Angeles and statewide, he was considered a strong ally. And in the Assembly, Villaraigosa pushed for more funding for school facilities, carrying measures to lower class sizes and boost teacher performance. Later, however, he accused teachers unions of defending a broken system and argued some of them were in “full-throated denial” over a Superior Court ruling striking down the state’s teacher tenure and seniority laws. After failing to take control of Los Angeles Unified, he Continue Reading

Ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gets married

This Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 photo shows former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during his wedding to Patricia Govea at a private ceremony and reception in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Villaraigosa, a potential candidate for governor, tied the knot with Govea in a ceremony in central Mexico, with about 100 friends and family in attendance. (Armando Arorizo/ via AP) This Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 photo shows former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa during his wedding to Patricia Govea at a private ceremony and reception in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Villaraigosa, a potential candidate for governor, tied the knot with Govea in a ceremony in central Mexico, with about 100 friends and family in attendance. (Armando Arorizo/ via AP) Sound Show Caption of Expand By Associated Press | | PUBLISHED: August 11, 2016 at 5:43 pm | UPDATED: August 28, 2017 at 5:59 am Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a potential candidate for governor, is a married man again. The 63-year-old Villaraigosa tied the knot Saturday with Patricia Govea in a ceremony in central Mexico, with about 100 friends and family in attendance. The couple’s website says the black-tie event took place at a hotel in San Miguel de Allende, a popular tourist destination known for its historic buildings. • PHOTOS: Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa marries Patricia Govea The Democratic former state Assembly speaker is widely expected to run for governor in 2018. Govea works in the fashion industry. The Sacramento Bee reported earlier this year she was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. in 2004. The night before the wedding, the website says the couple planned a “Mexican musical parade” through the neighborhood. Villaraigosa’s prior marriage ended in divorce. Continue Reading

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pokes fun at Mayor Bloomberg’s bucks in promotional video

Mayor Bloomberg is getting a ribbing about his billions in a video his Los Angeles counterpart made in hopes of landing his city a NFL franchise.L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office shot a video, which went up on YouTube Monday, to promote the City of Angels as a viable pro football town.The city hopes to build a stadium downtown to attract an NFL team."This project will be 100% privately funded, but not by me. Who do you think I am? Mayor Bloomberg?" Villaraigosa quipped in the video, which also features firefighters, mariachi bands and surfers. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says city will pick up $1.4M tab for Michael Jackson funeral

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is trying to quell the escalating debate over who should pick up the estimated $1.4 million tab for police, traffic control and other services related to Michael Jackson's memorial service. Villaraigosa, who was vacationing in South Africa a week ago when more than 17,000 fans flocked to downtown Los Angeles to watch the public memorial, asserted Monday that the city will pay. He said he will not ask the Jackson family or AEG Live, the owner of the Staples Center where the event was held, to help the city recoup its expenses, and he lambasted a city Web site set up to request donations. "This is a world-class city, and we provide fire and police protection, period," Villaraigosa said during his first public appearance since returning from his weeklong trip. "The idea that we would charge the family for a funeral is nonsensical." Despite his comments, the City Council was expected to take up the issue Tuesday when City Attorney Carmen Trutanich reports on the costs of the event. Trutanich launched an investigation into laws to force third parties to pay the municipal costs associated with unexpected events such as the Jackson memorial. Villaraigosa told reporters that major events such as the memorial occur frequently in Los Angeles and other big cities. New York and Chicago do not ask others to cough up cash, he said. The mayor called the city's donation Web site, which raised $35,000, "ridiculous." The site stopped operating Friday afternoon. It was unclear whether the money would be returned to donors. Villaraigosa's comments was in contrast to a statement attributed to him in a news release distributed by his office last week. In it, he encouraged Jackson fans to memorialize the pop star by donating to the city. The release quoted Villaraigosa as saying: "Michael Jackson's music touched millions of fans across the globe. Donations will help the City of Angels provide the extraordinary public safety resources required Continue Reading

L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and TV reporter Mirthala Salinas’ affair ends

The steamy romance that cost Los Angeles' mayor some political clout and a TV reporter her job has reportedly fizzled.Sources close to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former Telemundo anchor Mirthala Salinas say the lovebirds broke up recently, the Los Angeles Times reported. "They've both moved on," said one source who added he heard the news last month. The split brings to an end a stormy political season for Villaraigosa, 54, who was still married when the affair began last year and was dogged by questions about it after he admitted the relationship in July. Villaraigosa's wife, Corina, had filed for divorce three weeks earlier after 20 years of marriage. Salinas, 35, who continued to report on Villaraigosa before their affair became public, was suspended for two months and demoted before she quit. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading