Magazine article Newsweek

Won't Get Fooled Again; Villaraigosa Seeks Vengeance in L.A.'S Mayoral Rematch

Magazine article Newsweek

Won't Get Fooled Again; Villaraigosa Seeks Vengeance in L.A.'S Mayoral Rematch

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Murr

Antonio Villaraigosa has been in this boxing ring before. Heading out of a victory in the L.A. mayoral primary four years ago, the former California Assembly speaker with the thousand-watt smile seemed to think he'd easily knock out his bland runoff opponent, City Attorney James Hahn. Instead, Hahn gave him a bruising lesson in big-city politics. Hahn claimed his opponent was untrustworthy and soft on crime. He blasted him for supporting clemency for an imprisoned cocaine dealer while taking campaign contributions from the dealer's father. "Los Angeles can't trust Antonio Villaraigosa," the ad urged. And voters listened.

This time, Villaraigosa knows he has to fight back. Last week, after beating Hahn once again in the primary--by an even broader margin of 33 percent to 24 percent--Villaraigosa insisted he's learned from his mistakes in 2001. "Last time, Mayor Hahn's entire campaign was predicated on creating a climate of fear around my candidacy," Villaraigosa told NEWSWEEK. "He's a man who'll do anything and say anything to get re-elected." It remains to be seen whether he's learned enough to beat Hahn in the May 17 runoff, but this time his campaign is certainly talking the talk. "If he hits us with a two-by-four, we're going to hit him with a four-by-four," says Villaraigosa campaign manager Ace Smith.

Four years ago, Villaraigosa, now 52, was just a Sacramento pol with no local experience. Now he's an L.A. city councilman, familiar with pothole politics. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.