Crash and burn? Motor mouth L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hopes to transport ‘skills’ to Obama’s cabinetInsiders say the on-the-go Antonio Villaraigosa has sights set on Secretary of Transportation post
January 30, 2013
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to be Secretary of Transporation, insiders say.
Is D.C. prepared for a train wreck as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation?
Inside the Beltway, the buzz is about Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and his possible appointment to the Cabinet now that Ray LaHood announced he’s officially out of there in just a few short months from now.
The scuttlebutt: Antonio Villaraigosa and his “accomplishments,” like his $120,000 European trip funded by the city’s taxpayers, a drunken vacation in Cabo with Charlie Sheen and Sheen’s porn star entourage and a ticket scandal.
Antonio Villaraigosa’s transportation experience? He visited a host of countries—including a ten day trip to South America that some say should only have taken a day or two.
Critics say the scandal-plagued Antonio Villaraigosa is hardly qualified for the post—let along uniquely qualified.
“In a city with a widely-recognized traffic problem, Villaraigosa has constructed an unimpeded path to Washington for himself, driving on his one-commuter highway as he watches a disheveled Los Angeles in his rearview mirror,” says a City Hall insider who refused to be identified.
“He thinks of Transportation as a stepping stone,” says a source close to the LA mayor’s office. “As long as he makes friends with the right people and tells them what they want to hear, [Villaraigosa’s] lack of accomplishments make no difference.”
The LA mayor, who will “leave” office July 1, seems to never physically be in his office.
According to LA Weekly, Villaraigosa spends roughly 11 percent of his weeks dealing with direct issues involving the city of Los Angeles.
“What the LA mayor does with the other 89 percent can be comical or depressing depending on its precise effect on a person,” says a Villaraigosa critic. “His affairs are fodder for the tabloids—including one such sexploit that took place while his wife was being treated for thyroid cancer.”
And about that ticket scandal: Antonio Villaraigosa accepted Los Angeles Lakers tickets and other sports and event tickets without paying for them, violating 31 campaign-finance and disclosure laws. He needed a fundraiser to pay it all back. Then he changed the laws to make taking such tickets legal.
No ticket fixing needed anymore in Los Angeles–if you’re the mayor.
Drowning in lawsuits over Metro Rail and a host of other issues, Mayor Villaraigosa hopes to sail into the post of Transportation Secretary and an office near the D.C. shore.
“Somehow he finds time to brown-nose President Obama with hopes of attaining higher office, since getting by on merit is not a personal trait,” says that City Hall insider.
“Secretary of Transportation is extremely important and affects the whole country,” the source continued. “If [Villaraigosa] can’t handle the city of Los Angeles and its Metro Rail issues, I have no idea why he would he would even be considered to oversee Transportation for the nation.”