Antonio VillaraigosaLos Angeles Unified School District

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Pay to Play at LAUSD

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John Torres, right, special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, holds a Ruger Mini-14, a .53-caliber semiautomatic rifle, one of several weapons seized or bought undercover, as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo listen at a Los Angeles news conference after law enforcement authorities fanned out across harbor areas of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., early Tuesday, July 31, 2007, in a huge sweep of gang members aimed at taking down violent offenders. Hundreds of federal agents and local police officers took part in the campaign that started at around 4 a.m.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilaraigosa spent over $3.5 million on Los Angeles Unified School District races to gain allies on the LAUSD Board, reports the Los Angeles Times.

And it is the usual “PAY TO PLAY” in the City.

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Los Angles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at Panda Express opening at Universal City Walk, JUly 25, 2007

If you want a development project approved, you contribute to the Mayor’s pet project – the control of Los Angeles City Schools.

To help his candidates, Villaraigosa turned to an array of companies seeking to do business at City Hall, including real estate developers, media companies and potential tenants at Los Angeles International Airport.

Partnership for Better Schools received $25,000 from Entravision Communications Corp., a Santa Monica-based Spanish-language media firm that, according to its lobbying forms, is seeking new “advertising opportunities” with the city.

The committee also took $50,000 from Panda Restaurant Group, which hopes to obtain restaurant concessions at LAX. And it received $100,000 from New York City-based Fig Central LLC, which is seeking permission from Villaraigosa’s appointees on the Planning Commission to build an 860-unit condominium complex across the street from Staples Center.

And, once you have your amigos installed as LAUSD Board members, they vote to waive the reimbursement of legal fees owed the District from the failed Mayoral efforts to “take over” the LAUSD.

Flap asks: Is there a Grand Jury operating in Los Angeles County?

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