This is the piece that ran in the LA Daily News…
The Washington Post ran a story about our mayor! Our mayor! Us. Here in little old LA. We have made national headlines and the LAPD hasn’t even beaten anyone up…well nothing that’s made YouTube recently. This is exciting!
I am of the opinion that most people didn’t know the mayor’s name (or how to pronounce it) until the story of his affair broke. Angelenos aren’t noted for their political savvy. Too much sunshine. They probably thought their mayor was named Giuliani or Angelyne.
Anyway, our dashing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa admitted to having an extramarital affair with Telemundo hottie Mirthala Salinas. And yes, his 20 year marriage is over. Yes there are children involved. Very sad for them personally – but for us? This is great!
Why? Because as Angelenos we desperately NEED some civic pride and the graffiti covered murals from the 1984 Olympics aren’t cutting it! Because now the entire country and (perhaps even parts of Canada) know who our mayor is. And when our local politics are interesting – we all looking interesting.
And if you think I’m equating ‘interesting’ with ‘sordid’. I am. There are a couple of ways cities can make national news: Sex, storms and terrorist attacks. City planning isn’t a conversation starter. But as Bubba taught us – adultery sure is! So of the above mentioned tactics – a sex scandal is the most harmless and effective way to get some city wide esteem. This is the entertainment capital of the world – our politicians need to step up to the plate.
The other thing that’s great is when stories of a sexual nature hit the press there is always fodder for snickering and innuendoes that you would never have with the same old traffic and air pollution stories. Here’s one I’ve heard asked by reporters: Did Salinas have special access to the mayor? Uh, yeah. Clearly. Like Jerry Springer had ‘special access’ to prostitutes that took personal checks when he was mayor of Cincinnati. No conflicts there.
And did I mention that Villaraigosa is attractive? Why does that matter? Ask a Brit about Prince Charles and Camilla’s affair. If they love their country – they’ve blocked it out.
Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco is gorgeous and is constantly in hot water for schtuping married women. Ask any San Franciscan what they think of their mayor and you’ll get something to the effect of, “I want to be just like him when I grow up.”
I don’t think Villaraigosa’s affair has an effect on his job as mayor. Personally, my favorite political leaders have been the adulterous ones: Thomas Jefferson, FDR, JFK and Clinton. I don’t know if cheating on your wife is a requirement to be a great leader, but it seems that doesn’t hinder it.
If Villaraigosa had just launched a new campaign titled, “Los Angeles Loves Monogamy” it would be different. That would be too Ted Haggert to bear. But he didn’t. He’s a perfect mayor for Los Angeles because he‘s like Los Angeles – brilliant, beautiful and endearingly flawed. Look, he’s in his first term and I’ve already voted for him twice. I would vote for him again, no matter what office he runs for.