Antonio Villaraigosa,  California,  California Election 2008,  Los Angeles,  Mirthala Salinas,  Telemundo

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Still A Contender for California Governor in 2008?

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tells reporters, “I have a relationship with Ms. (Mirthala) Salinas, and I take full responsibility for my actions.” Salinas is an evening anchor for Telemundo, Channel 52.

You remember the story?

Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa has an affair with a Telemundo, Channel 52 political reporter who has also had personal relationships with other California politicians (Fabien Nunez and Alex Padilla) she has covered on her political beat. They Mayor’s wife Corrina has filed for divorce and Mayor Villaraigosa is attempting to quell the political scandal.

This Sacramento Bee piece says “NO HARM NO FOUL”: Despite affair, Villaraigosa still seen as 2010 contender

Don’t dismiss Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa from the 2010 governor’s race just because he revealed Tuesday he had an ongoing extramarital relationship, political analysts say.

Many believe Villaraigosa’s revelation will have only a marginal impact on the Democrat’s chances to win the state’s top office in three years. The former Assembly speaker is still considered among the early front-runners in a large field once Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is termed out.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s admission that he has a relationship with TV anchor Mirthala Salinas comes less than a month after he announced his separation from his wife of two decades, Corina Villaraigosa. She filed for divorce the next day.

Villaraigosa said Tuesday he has had a relationship with reporter Mirthala Salinas of the Spanish language network Telemundo that has evolved over time, according to a recording posted online by the Los Angeles Times.

Salinas once covered the mayor as a political reporter. About a year ago, Villaraigosa said, the relationship “had grown to a point where it was necessary to inform her management that she shouldn’t cover me. … They agreed,” the Associated Press reported.

The acknowledgment of the relationship came after the mayor separated last month from his wife, Corina, who has since filed for divorce. At the time, Villaraigosa took responsibility for the breakup but refused to answer questions about what he had done to cause it. He acknowledged the relationship Tuesday after the Los Angeles Daily News confirmed his involvement with Salinas through his 88-year-old mother-in-law.

Let’s look at the quotes of the political analysts:

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a University of Southern California political science professor:

“If it looks like Antonio Villaraigosa has the best chance of taking back the Governor’s Office, California Democrats will be very forgiving. It’s as simple as that.”

The Democrats will NOT be forging with the former California Controller Steve Westly, Attorney General and Former Governor Jerry Brown, Lt. Governor John Garamendi and former State Senator Jackie Speier in the field. There is even talk that former California Treasurer Phil Angelides, defeated by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 may run.

The Democrats will need a strong candidate to beat either California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2010. Mayor Villaraigosa with these revelations will not be THAT candidate.

Garry South, who ran Democratic gubernatorial campaigns for Davis and former state Controller Steve Westly:

“I don’t think the revelations are helpful, and I think anyone would be a fool to think they would not have an impact when you have to run a high-visibility, high-scrutiny race for governor,” South said. “What kind of person you’ve been will play a factor.”

Agreed. Flap continues to maintain that politically Mayor Villar is DONE – Put a Fork in him.

If the Democrats do not have him for lunch, certainly the GOP will have him for dinner.


A contrairian opinion piece suggests Mayor Villar is NOT Done because of Rudy Giuliani and Ronald Reagan.

But, although Rudy leads in the polls has he been elected yet? And Antonio is NO Rudy or Reagan!

He is more like Henry Cisneros.

Mirthala Salinas, a Telemundo newswoman, interviews L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the state Capitol on June 21, 2006. Villaraigosa has now acknowledged that he has “a relationship” with Salinas.


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: The End of a Political Career

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