Saturday, September 13, 2008

Excerpt from THE ALL-ABOUT-ME MAYOR: Antonio Villaraigosa's Frenetic Self-Promotion

Hours of travel, fund-raising and PR leave little time for his job

By Patrick Range Mcdonald | From The LA Weekly | Published on September 11, 2008 |ILLUSTRATION BY Kyle T. Webster

".....When told about how the mayor spent his time this summer, Humphreville responds, "What's wisely? His goal is to be re-elected and raise a lot of money. He's doing what's best for him, although he likes to spin it another way.

"Throughout May and June, Villaraigosa was said to be gearing up for the July 1 takeover of 10 low-performing schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District through his Partnership for L.A. Schools program.

But in fact the record shows the mayor was busy visiting New York City and Israel between June 9 and June 17, and he was holding 16 fund-raisers that month. Even so, Bill Ring still hoped to hear from Villaraigosa. "We were never contacted," says Ring. The father is the former chairman and active member of the Parent Collaborative, a group funded by LAUSD that brings together all the major parents' organizations in the nation's second-largest public-school system.

"The Parent Collaborative is considered by many to be the key resource for parental feedback, especially for Villaraigosa, now that he is apparently making decisions at 10 troubled schools about how to educate people's kids. Ring says Villaraigosa has never asked to meet anyone from the Parent Collaborative, although they have sent the mayor letters.

"Marshall Tuck, CEO of the Partnership, met with Ring and another Parent Collaborative member in the fall of 2007 — almost a year ago* — but, Ring says, "Nothing came out of it."

He isn't expecting to hear from the mayor soon. "I think there's a perception that the mayor has other things on his mind," says Ring.

"In June and July, Villaraigosa did have the time, however, to send out two letters to solicit his latest round of campaign contributions. The June letter said he'd moved Los Angeles "forward in becoming the greenest and most efficient big city in the world." The July letter boasted about how he was transforming "L.A. into the cleanest and greenest big city in America."

Not so, says Tom Ford, one of the top environmentalists in the region." ...

* As the other Parent Collaborative member (Parent Collaborator?) at that meeting I must say that Ring has it right. Tuck was polite and promised more to come that never came.  — smf

Whole story here:

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