Villaraigosa is considering a run for governor in 2010, and, as L.A. Weekly has previously reported, he has spent much of his time as mayor focused on appearances at photo ops and other press-oriented events. Statewide polls have shown him trailing Attorney General Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in a mock gubernatorial election, and Villaraigosa still suffers high negatives following an affair that ruined his marriage.
His re-election on March 3 was supposed to create a political boost for him. His huge campaign war chest frightened off any big-name rivals for mayor, leaving him a largely clear field for a re-election romp. As the Weekly learned last month, solar Measure B was rushed onto the March 3 ballot to burnish Villaraigosa’s image with voters around California.
The election was a mixed bag for the mayor in other ways. His ally, City Councilman Jack Weiss, was forced into a runoff in the race for city attorney. His push for the solar energy plan known as Measure B stumbled despite a flood of 30-second television commercials that featured the mayor as the sole salesman. And Measure E, a plan to give taxpayer subsidies to businesses, was defeated despite support from Villaraigosa and Police Chief William J. Bratton.
We think it’s funny that Mayor V nearly lost to gadflies because that’s what he is to the Obama Administration.