Tags: L.A.'s | New | Mayor | Tony | Villar

L.A.'s New Mayor, Tony Villar

Tuesday, 07 June 2005 12:00 AM

Since it's unfair to make any predictions about how the new mayor will perform, especially in a sanctuary city like L.A., where an estimated 1 million illegal immigrants reside, it's requisite to report central facts censured by the fading elitist press. After all, middle class Angelinos and people who live in gated communities might want to know more about what Mr. Villaraigosa has said and done and who he's run with to better understand what he might do in the future.

First, his victory, while symbolically significant to the Hispanic community and a power shift in black-Latino relations, is considerable on a tectonic front. "The old white, Jewish and black coalitions of Los Angeles politics are being broken up as Hispanics and blacks are figuring out ways to share power," says Franklin Gilliam, a political scientist at UCLA.

But the turnout was so pathetic that the outcome should not be considered an enthusiastic citywide mandate. In what might be a new low in mayoral politics for a city of this size, only 10 percent of L.A.'s 4.5 million residents decided the victor, and of 1.47 million registered voters, only 33 percent, or just under 500,000, bothered to show up.

Despite the public indifference, Villaraigosa was instantly crowned as one of the leading Latino politicians in the country and a major player in Latino politics nationally. He'll undoubtedly be considered a future gubernatorial candidate, but his anti-law-enforcement immigration stance poses a direct challenge to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's positions on driver's licenses for illegal immigrants and border security.

"It's not enough to elect Latino leadership. If they're supporting legislation that denies the undocumented driver's licenses, they don't belong in office," said former Speaker of the California Assembly Villaraigosa in 1997.

For starters, Mr. Villaraigosa's real name is Tony Villar. He was born Antonio Villar; the name is a combination of his birth name and that of his second wife, Connie Raigosa. No big deal; many people change their names. But a routine search of Tony Villar illustrates that almost no mainstream media source has dared touch an apparently sensitive body of accumulated history.

According to the Los Angeles Times, which endorsed Villaraigosa: "A Mexican American child of City Terrace, a largely immigrant community on Los Angeles' Eastside, Villaraigosa was raised by his mother after his father abandoned the family. He grew up in poverty and has said he saw his father beating his mother.

"After bouncing in and out of high school, he went on to graduate from UCLA and earn a law degree at People's College of Law."

While the report creates a positive impression, it's also grossly misleading. He bounced in and out of UCLA too, arriving in 1972 from East L.A. Community College and leaving in 1975, without graduating until 1977.

Villaraigosa is not an attorney. He failed the bar exam four times. Nor does the Times explain that the People's College of Law, a communistic institution, is not accredited with the California Bar, and applicants are required to have completed only two years of college education or to have passed a college-level examination. And of the LSAT, a standard entrance test to any law school, the college states that "PCL recognizes the cultural and sociological limitations of tests such as the LSAT."

Villaraigosa became a teachers union organizer, later won a state Assembly seat in 1994, and then was speaker of the state Assembly. He was termed out in 2000, ran for mayor in 2001, losing to James Hahn. He then won a seat on the L.A. City Council, assuming office in 2003, and now has been vindicated in his pursuit of the L.A. mayoralty, beating Hahn in a rematch.

As with most liberal politicians who are mouthpieces for teachers unions and against vouchers or school choice, his kids attended private schools.

The new mayor has a colorful track record. He still bears the tattoo "Born to Raise Hell." While at UCLA he took pride in being an affirmative action admit, later stating to students, "Some people have said I got in through the back door, but I left through the front."

He also has a radical background as the leader of the UCLA chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA). In fact, he would be forced to renounce his association with MEChA on May 12, 2005, after pressure from the UCLA Bruin Alumni Association.

MEChA is pure and simple a separatist organization. It doesn't negotiate. Its founding document, El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan, states, "We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent," and declares that "For the very young there will no longer be acts of juvenile delinquency, but revolutionary acts," and introduced the motto "Por la raza, todo. Fuera de la raza, nada." (For those of the [Hispanic] race, everything. For those not of the [Hispanic] race, nothing.)

He was a leading speaker at the January 1995 Latino Summit Response to Prop. 187 at U.C. Riverside, where Latino politicians, professors and activists gave racist, seditious speeches to about 500 attendees pledging noncompliance with the controversial law that would have denied public education, social services and health care to residents in the state illegally.

Mr. Villaraigosa is charismatic, handsome, and a great speaker. He can work a crowd, knows how to be humble in the right circumstances, and has effectively been able to keep a wider public unaware of his incendiary past.

It is in the area of personal association where we learn the most about people and what they really believe and why. And this is where the voting public sees the outrageous double standards in political reporting.

Anglo politicians typically experience adverse and embarrassing treatment when the topics are fraternity boy excesses, drugs, womanizing and drinking. Behavioral histories and affiliations are combed by the press on LexisNexis, and publication of racist and sexist quotes by friends and associates can destroy entire careers.

Mr. Villaraigosa should feel relieved that the mainstream press deems it unimportant to explicate racially explosive comments made by his friends, in public and in his presence.

For instance, at the 1995 anti-Prop. 187 conference at U.C. Riverside:

Art Torres, the chairman of the California Democratic Party and the keynote speaker at the meeting, shouted to the audience: "Power is not given to you. You have to take it. ... Remember, 187 is the last gasp of White America in California!" and "Que Viva La Causa!" (Long Live our Cause!) Torres then later boasted that he could make such racist remarks with total impunity.

Other fulminations made at the conference included "English should be a foreign language"; "We are hostages in our own land, prisoners of war"; "We live under occupying alien force"; "We live in the annexed territories of Aztlan"; and "We're in a state of war ... a vicious threat to our existence."

Another participant was Xavier Hermosillo, a one-time Los Angeles radio talk show host, known for having proclaimed on the CBS "48 Hours" show in 1993 that Mexican-Americans were taking political control of the "former Mexican colony, California ... house by house, block by block."

Later in the conference, Villaraigosa would praise one of the participants, Jose Angel Gutierrez, director of the Mexican-American Studies Center at the University of Texas at Arlington. Here's what Gutierrez had to say when it was his turn to speak at the conference:

"The border remains a military zone. We remain a hunted people. Now, you think you have a destiny to fulfill in the land that historically has been ours for forty thousand years. And we're a new Mestizo nation. And they want us to discuss civil rights. Civil rights ... law made by white men to oppress all of us of color, female and male. This is our homeland. We cannot, we will not and we must not be made illegal in our own homeland. We are not immigrants that came from another country to another country. We are migrants, free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here. We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It's a matter of time. The explosion is in our population."

After becoming mayor, Villaraigosa has pledged to take his direction from Mexico, one of the most corrupt, unraveling and dangerous countries in the world.

From a strictly American perspective, Villaraigosa appears to have mixed loyalties, while taking an oath to defend the laws and the constitution of the state of California and the United States.

"Antonio has this great agility and charisma, but he lacks discipline," a former Assembly colleague said. "There is a scale in his brain that figures out how much he can take things to the edge and then he does those things. And in many instances, it's further than many people can or want to go."

"Let's declare our purpose here and now," Villaraigosa said on Election Night. "Our purpose is to bring this great city together. Our purpose is to draw fully and equally on the rich diversity of all our communities and neighborhoods."

The May 30, 2005 issue of Newsweek magazine profiled the dashing mayor smiling for a cover picture on a sunny beach. The issue included a piece penned by Andrew Murr titled "The Survivor's Story," wherein Villaraigosa's rocky road to power was defined. "He's been calming the waters his entire political career," Murr opined.

Perhaps Mr. Murr, Newsweek, and the L.A. Times intentionally buried the less than tranquil facts of a certain 1995 meeting at U.C. Riverside.

Perhaps Mr. Villaraigosa has matured to the point where he can work with Governor Schwarzenegger to reach a responsible position on the crisis that is illegal immigration. The problem is not the character of the majority who are desperate to do anything they can to escape the nightmare that is Mexico and other Third World countries. The problem is dealing with the catastrophe and the consequences of 3 million people annually coming across the American border, unchecked and unidentified (according to Time magazine in September 2004).

No nation in world history has ever absorbed 10,000 people crossing its border every day. No nation can survive it without immediate accountability.

Today we see, with now reluctant participation of many in the mainstream media, an admission that both the Democrats, who back the suicidal position of open borders and amnesty for millions (with many millions more to come as a result), and Republicans, too filled with an insatiable greed for cheap and exploitable sources of disposable labor, as both complicit in a condition that is certainly anarchy in many cities and borderline revolutionary in others.

There is little doubt that Villaraigosa truly believes in what he is doing, and in the tactical decisions he has made to arrive at the position he finds himself in today. But he's made huge compromises to fundamental principles on behalf of party, principals that even most lifelong Democrats are not buying today.

In many ways, Villaraigosa has done everything wrong to be in a place where he can do something right. It's called making a deal with the devil.

He's backed "tolerance" laws that force pro-homosexual policies into K-12 classrooms, as well as gay marriage, to appease the powerful gay lobby.

He's adopted the hugely unpopular illegal immigrant driver's license stance with his friend Gil Cedillo, an issue that is interminably back on the table.

Affirmative action, another loser of an issue, one that many qualified minorities don't need anymore and one that increasing numbers of loyal Democrats feel embarrassed to be associated with, now hangs around like a slumping albatross.

And on the biggest opportunity of all, correcting the overwhelming problem of illegal immigration, Villaraigosa seems to be on the wrong side of doing what's right, again. The questions the media should be presenting to the new prince will never be asked.

So we'll try here: How many hospitals have to close before someone admits the obvious – they are closing because indigent immigrant patients are served without paying? How many more emergency meetings will Villaraigosa be rushed to at L.A. high schools where black and Latino students are rioting over diminishing resources that now seem to be imbalanced in favor of newly arrived immigrants?

How is it possible to have any respect for the policies of Mexico when Mexico's President Fox makes racist comments about American blacks while treating the U.S. border as non-existent? Apparently Mr. Fox feels that the abject failure of his nation to provide any hope for its citizens is America's problem as well.

How is it possible to account for the state's spending and revenue crisis when millions are employed in the cash-only underground economy and don't file state and federal tax returns?

Since the Bush administration has decided to play stupid and the state Legislature busies itself with nonsense, it may be up to the new mayor, along with the governor, to show some guts and address the immigration challenges together (juntos).

But at this point the situation seems irreconcilable, with Mr. Villaraigosa in the open-borders corner and Arnold in the close (check that: controlled) borders corner. Maybe, like the 62 billboards said, L.A. really is in Mexico.

Anyone who has the ability to make an effective argument in favor of illegal immigration, please come forward, because the argument has never been made.

Anyone who has the guts to solve the problem, the nation, the state, the city, we're all waiting.

In the meantime, citizens groups like the Minutemen have demonstrated how effective they can be in drawing attention to an international emergency.

And at the same time, politicians sit on a ticking time bomb.

Patrick Mallon is a political columnist, a regular guest on talk radio programs, and author of "California Dictatorship: How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis." His Web site is www.patrickmallon.com He can be contacted at Patrick@patrickmallon.com


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Since it's unfair to make any predictions about how the new mayor will perform, especially in a sanctuary city like L.A., where an estimated 1 million illegal immigrants reside, it's requisite to report central facts censured by the fading elitist press. After all, middle...
Tuesday, 07 June 2005 12:00 AM
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