The End of Villaraigosa’s Political Career

Patrick Range McDonald issues a death blow to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in the LA Weekly today. The piece is called The All-About-Me-Mayor where he chronicles how truly ineffective the mayor has been to a city that desperately needs someone (besides the parking enforcement officers) to do their job.

The thing most striking about this piece is that McDonald never once mentions Villaraigosa’s affair with a reporter or the crumbing of his marriage. Never once. McDonald has him dead to rights – just on the merits.

L.A. Weekly broke down those 900 hours into five categories. One category is largely ceremonial or public-relations: press conferences; public ceremonies; media interviews and tapings; and dinners, luncheons and awards. A second category is his blacked-out hours. A third category is gap time involving unlisted activities, such as continually moving from one event to another. A fourth category is his 10 out-of-town trips in 10 weeks. A fifth category determined by the Weekly is his time spent directly on actual city business.

Villaraigosa spent 88 hours on ceremonial and PR, or roughly 10 percent of his work time. His ceremonial time is spent on such events as dinners and luncheons with the Black Business Association and The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU).

His partially blacked-out trips to Israel, Miami, Hawaii, London, New York City, Chicago, Oakland, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco soaked up 310 hours, or 34 percent of his workload. Among those hours, he held fund-raising events in four other cities to raise cash for his 2009 mayoral bid, and took a red-eye flight on July 7 to Washington, D.C., to introduce Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at the League of United Latin American Citizens’ annual convention. His other heavily blacked-out events, which the Weekly has learned include 14 fund-raisers, accounted for 186 hours, or 21 percent of his workload.

Together, then, the mayor spent 804 hours, or 89 percent of his work schedule, on ceremonial/PR, travel, blacked-out activities, gap time, fund-raising, personal issues and undisclosed “security” issues. On direct city business – such as signing legislation and meeting with city-department heads – his schedule shows the mayor spent 11 percent of his time.