Monday, June 22, 2009

Mayor Villaraigosa Announcement on running for Governor: Good News, Bad News.

The Mayor was on CNN with Wolf Blitzer for his big announcement on whether he will be a Democratic candidate for Governor. Good news for California is that he won't be running. The bad news for Los Angeles is that he will be here for the full second term of office and that will begin on July 1st.

The Mayor's reasons for his decision not to run and the real reasons for his decision don't match, but that's o.k., he's always had a hardtime being forthright. He still continued with the theme of his first State of the City address, "dream with me" and he should have left that phrase alone, because it leaves him open to clever plays on words like, "And he's still dreaming; we need some real work done," or "Stop dreaming and wake up and smell the coffee, Tony." There's been nothing of real accomplishment by him in the first term. L.A. has lost more population in the middle class range and continues to pick up numbers of people in lower economic status as it's sancturary city status continues to contribute to that demographic shift.

When Tony says anything about working to help the middle class and to be business friendly, he's not even close to being honest. Rising taxes and looking for more ways to charge residents is making it much more expensive to live in Los Angeles. In July, another rise of .5 % sales tax will hit L.A. County. Many people who can afford to, are leaving Los Angeles. Tony's not the cause of all of it, but much of what he's done has had the effect of worsening things in many ways.

Tony's mention of the economy and the need of the city for him to be here to see it through was mentioned as a reason not to run. Much of what he said is happening is either not within his ability to really affect, or is part of his participation in the first place to help in making the present mess. Deficit conditions in the city were sped to the current status by just over-spending and no thought was given to the possibility that the good times were headed for a reality check. Nope, the city based everything on the continuing good times and they matched the good times with their big spending.

Rainy days arrived and the DWP contract and other labor union arrangements that the Mayor and council approved helped to make things worse both financially and in terms of morale and feeling of unfairness by other unions in the city where such choice terms were not offered. Now the concessions upon which the Mayor includes in the budget still are not approved by the unions and so, it's a problem.

Well, there's more to say on the reasons for his announcement today, but maybe it's simply that Lu Parker, his new love interest and news anchor on television Channel 5, just wasn't up to a move to Sacramento in the event he would win. What Tony did say concerning anyone in the family circle was that he wanted to be in the city, to be there for his 16 year old daughter as she completed high school. Tony is a man of many stories and some of them may even be true, but it really doesn't matter. If the city can be kept out of bankruptcy, that would be a big achievement.
While Tony has continued at various press conferences to reference all the city jobs that have to be cut, there have only been only a handful of actual cuts. Many of the calculations were handled by not filling vacant positions. He never crossed into the territory where real numbers of people were laid off. Tony still was trying to hold onto his favored position with labor and has delayed any action to cut payroll by layoffs, meanwhile, things are not getting better by such holding on.

Today's announcement on running for the Governor of California would certainly have been different if Tony thought he had a better chance of winning, and all the stuff he said today would probably be the furthest thing from his mind. After all is said and done, Tony still is the "all about me" mayor.