June 17, 2006


Tension Builds Between L.A. Mayor, Angelides: Villaraigosa declines to endorse the candidate, who's refused to back takeover of school district (Michael Finnegan, June 17, 2006, LA Times)

Tension between Antonio Villaraigosa and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides surfaced Friday as the Los Angeles mayor declined to say whether he backed his own party's candidate to unseat Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The rift between two of California's top Democrats became clear just after they appeared with Magic Johnson to celebrate the opening of a Starbucks on Crenshaw Boulevard.

Minutes after Villaraigosa's tepid remarks on his candidacy, Angelides refused to take a stand on Villaraigosa's plan to take over the Los Angeles public schools.

The dual snubs were part of a broad conflict between the two Democrats.

Villaraigosa is torn between party loyalty and the potential rewards offered by his new alliance with the Republican governor. He plans to campaign with Schwarzenegger for bond measures on the November ballot that could offer Los Angeles billions of dollars for schools, housing and traffic relief. And the governor would decide where much of that bounty went.

There is also a matter of personal ambition: Villaraigosa is widely seen as a top Democratic candidate for governor in 2010 — provided that Angelides loses.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 17, 2006 10:07 AM

This is another symptom that shows that the Dems are coalition, not a single political party. In a coalition you only support your non-party partners between elections. You only support your party's candidates in the elections, even if it's not in your best long-term interest to damage your partners. But because we aren't parliamentary, the pressures to fracture aren't as great here (see Canada's Progressive Conservatives vs. Reform, and which one won that struggle, for an example.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 17, 2006 12:11 PM

We'll see how much they have in "common".

Posted by: ghostcat at June 17, 2006 2:52 PM

Sounds like the mayor has decided that Angelides is a loser.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 18, 2006 12:32 AM

I heard Villaraigosa speak at my brother's USC commencement--not the most brilliant piece of rhetoric ever, but not nearly so partisan as I expected. It was actually a (somewhat hamfisted and occasionally ridiculous) call for less partisanship overall, and he took shots at both sides.

He strikes me as kind of a hispanic Kwame Mfume, and while I wouldn't go this far, I fully expect OJ to declare that his joining the GOP is imminent. And stranger things have happened.

Posted by: Timothy at June 18, 2006 12:46 AM

He has a national future if he joins the GOP and an easy path through alliance to Arnie.

Posted by: oj at June 18, 2006 9:13 AM