Antonio Villaraigosa recall campaign launched
LOS ANGELES, California: An effort to recall Antonio Villaraigosa from his position as Mayor of Los Angeles, California has been launched by activists who are concerned about his leadership of the city, especially when it comes to financial management.
Villaraigosa is currently serving in his second four-year term as the city's mayor, having been elected most recently in March 2009 in an election in which only 9.6% of eligible voters cast a vote.
If Villaraigosa is not recalled, his current term will end in 2013.
Walter Moore, Phil Jennerjahn, David Hernandez and Augusto Bisani are leaders in the recall effort.
Hernandez says that Villaraigosa should be removed from office because he failed to heed warnings that the recession would come to Los Angeles, and therefore failed to plan for it. Hernandez believes that the amount of services being cut, the layoffs taking place and the city's spending are a "total abuse of the position" of mayor and are a natural result of Villaraigosa failing to understand fiscal prudent management.
Other reasons given by supporters of the recall focus on problems with the Los Angeles city budget.
- The city's spending has increased 32% during Villaraigosa's first 5 years in office from $5.3 billion to $7 billion.
- 10% of the city's budget is spent through the Community Redevelopment Agency which, according to recall supporters, gives money to private corporations and individuals who are politically connected.
- Los Angeles has a 13.6% unemployment rate, with 259,250 people out of work.
In Villaraigosa's 2009 election, he received 55.65% of the vote, despite spending 15 times as much money as his most prominent challenger. One columnist summarized Villaraigosa's poor showing as follows: "Villaraigosa stepped into the batter's box on Tuesday, swung and missed twice, and legged out a weak infield hit.."
Recall organizers must collect a minimum of 240,732 signatures in the 120 day period between April 20 and August 18 to force a recall vote.
- Antonio Villaraigosa recall, Los Angeles, California (2010)
- Mayoral recalls
- Laws governing recall in California
- Recall campaigns in California