• Antonio Villaraigosa,  California,  Fabian Nunez,  KNBC,  Los Angeles,  Mirthala Salinas,  Telemundo,  Univision

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: NBC Universal Development Surrounds Villaraigosa – Salinas Scandal

    Mayor Villaraigosa was at Universal CityWalk Wednesday for the grand opening of the 1,000th Panda Inn restaurant.

    Remember Flap stated weeks ago that the Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – NBC/Telemundo affair scandal disclosure was the tip of the iceberg.

    Well, yesterday we find out that the Mayor has been fed questions for a supposed impromptu television interview program on Spanish language Telemundo competitor, Univision.

    And today the Los Angeles Times exposes the interwoven web of the Mayor, Mirthala, and a massive NBC/Universal Development Project over which the Mayor has government purview.

    Finally, an investigative story by the Los Angeles Times on this scandal.

    Ok, here we go…….

    Affair, NBC project cross paths

    A $3-billion Universal City development is getting new scrutiny as Telemundo officials undertake a review of the mayor’s girlfriend

    The extramarital affair between Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a newscaster for Telemundo has created a new set of complications for the broadcaster’s corporate parent, NBC Universal — and possibly the mayor himself.

    Even as its Spanish-language subsidiary is poised to decide the future of Mirthala Salinas, the now-suspended reporter who embarked on a romantic relationship with Villaraigosa while she reported on him, NBC Universal is proceeding with a massive $3-billion development plan that city officials must ultimately approve.

    Although Telemundo executives hold the key to the career of Salinas, now the subject of an internal investigation into whether she compromised the company’s journalistic mission, Villaraigosa holds his own considerable power over NBC Universal. The entertainment conglomerate will very likely need Villaraigosa’s help to navigate the city’s approval process as it spends the next year pushing its Universal City Vision Plan, a concept the mayor embraced seven months ago.

    Remember Telemundo Channel 52 political reporter Mirthala Salinas, the Mayor’s girl friend, has been on paid leave since July 5 due to an ethics investigation. Remember Mirthala announced the Mayor’s divorce “on air” while she knew that she was the “other woman” involved in the break-up.

    Also, Salinas had been involved with other politicians ( City Council President and now California State Senator Alex Padilla and Speaker of the California Assembly Fabian Nunez) while a political reporter.

    The Mayor on Monday stated that he had not been contacted by NBC Universal in the investigation.

    Also, for background, NBC Universal and specifically KNBC television has fired an employee, reporter, Kyung Lah, when it was discovered she was having an affair in the workplace. And who was the station general manager at the time?

    Paula Madison

    Manuel Abud VP/GM KVEA-TV/Telemundo & Paula Madison former
    General Manager KNBC-TV Los Angeles

    From Eric Longabardi

    Sources inside NBC/Universal confirm to ERSNews that Paula Madison, former General Manager of KNBC-TV and now head of diversity for NBC/Universal had the authority and was in fact the person who was responsible for removing Salinas from the political reporting beat due to her personal relationship with the Mayor. ERSNews sought direct comment from Ms. Madison about her role in the case, but was referred to NBC/Telemundo spokesman Victor Franco, who declined comment, saying only that the internal investigation of the matter was nearing completion and they withhold any comment until it was complete. Asked by ERSNew.com when that would be, spokesman Franco would only say “soon”.

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has expressed support for NBC Universal’s plans, which call for a hotel, homes and offices.

    So, now, we understand the delay by NBC Universal in disposing of Mirthala Salinas. They are damned if they fire her and they are damned if they keep her. But, whatever they do, this scandal is not over.


    Because of the massive Universal City Vision Plan which the Mayor supports, local residents oppose and which other politicians including Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge consider too large.

    “The councilman is opposed to the project as proposed,” said Renee Weitzer, chief of staff to LaBonge, who is out of the country and could not be reached. “We feel it’s too dense. It’s too big, and the site is too small.”

    Flap smells a Los Angeles County Grand Jury investigation here and an emergence of other politicians to rival Villaraigosa for the Mayorship in two years. How do you spell former Mayor Jimmy Hahn?

    Mayor Villar better hope Mirthala Salinas keeps some sort of work.

    He may need HER support in the future.


    Hillary Clinton Watch: Feinstein Endorsement Interrupted By Questions About Mayor Villaraigosa – Mirthala Salinas Affair

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Villaraigosa on WHOSE Side?

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Will Telemundo Decide Mirthala’s Fate Today?

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Mayor Denies Affair With Anita Moreno #2

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Still Smitten; Update: Eric Leonard Investigating Documentary Evidence Mayor’s Office Has Different Press Rules for Spanish Language Media

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Mayor Denies Affair With LAPD Officer Anita Moreno

    And a print rendering of this original cartoon by Patrick O’Connor of the Los Angeles Daily News can be purchased by clicking the link here.

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  • Antonio Villaraigosa,  California,  Fabian Nunez,  Los Angeles,  Mirthala Salinas,  Sabrina Kay

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: He’s BACK

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa arrives for a news conference about his relationship with Telemundo newscaster Mirthala Salinas. He was at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to attend the swearing-in ceremony for the Los Angeles school board.

    LA mayor returns to public stage

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa emerged from seclusion Monday to attend a news conference on school funding, his first public appearance since he confirmed an extramarital affair with a TV newscaster.

    Villaraigosa maneuvered through reporters in the hallway before the event, flashing his trademark smile but ignoring shouted questions about reporter Mirthala Salinas.
    When asked if he was trying to burnish his image by returning to city business, he replied: “Just doing my job.”

    Villaraigosa, 54, disappeared after confirming his relationship with Salinas on July 3. He had no public appearances on the Fourth of July and skipped the official opening of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Los Angeles headquarters even though he is a national co-chairman of her presidential campaign.

    Look for pothole filling ceremonies and a news conference with Cardinal Mahoney. Then……

    Might the good Mayor be heading to rehab? And why not? Everyone else does.

    Note: No answers to any questions – who will squeal first? Any bets?

    Maybe he will take LA Times apologist columnist Gregory Rodriguez’s advice:

    The mayor is getting lots of advice right now from all over. Here’s mine: Stop trying so damned hard to be liked. The ridiculous across-the-board perfection you and your deputies seek to portray ultimately works against you. You don’t have to be Superman. The public is more likely to respect you if they know that you know that you are as flawed as they are.


    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa greet students and members of the parent union at a press conference where it was announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will spend $7.8 million to open 10 new high schools in the community served by the Alain Leroy Locke Senior High SChool in Watts, at the Green Dot Public Schools Headquarters in Los Angeles, Monday, July 9, 2007.


    Now the AP says the Mayor made some brief comments:

    “I made a mistake,” Villaraigosa said, after being asked if disclosures about the affair had damaged his credibility.

    “I’m not perfect. I’ve always said that when you do something that undermines your support in some way or causes people to lose faith in you in some way, you’ve just got to get back and accept your responsibility and do your job.”

    Guess he read Rodriguez’s column.

    Update #2

    Mayor Tries To Switch Media Focus From His Personal To Work Life

    At a news conference announcing a grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to build charter schools in Watts, the beleaguered mayor was surrounded by reporters asking whether his affair with Mirthala Salinas. The mayor was asked if there were any other affairs, KNBC’s Conan Nolan reported.

    “The answer is no,” he said. “But I’m not going to respond to all of those issues. We’re going to focus on our job. Look, I accept responsibility. I obviously caused a great deal of pain to my family, to many people involved here. Some people feel let down and I understand that. And I’m going to focus on my job, do the best job I can for the city of Los Angeles and the people will have to evaluate me based on that.”

    Well, did he say NO OTHER AFFAIRS?

    Or NO he would not discuss them or respond to that question?


    More questions.

    Did the Mayor give himself wiggle room in case another person comes forward?

    And he defended Mirthala Salinas:

    Villaraigosa said Monday he does not believe Salinas acted inappropriately.

    “My hope and expectation is that the review of this matter by the management at Telemundo and NBC will vindicate her and, of course, I wish her the best of luck in that regard,” he said.

    Salinas issued a statement last week saying she welcomed the investigation and believed she would be vindicated.

    “I welcome Telemundo’s decision to conduct a comprehensive review of the matter and respect their desire that I allow the review to be completed before returning to work,” she said. “I will cooperate with the station and appreciate their commitment to undertaking a thorough review of this situation. I’m confident that when all the facts are analyzed, it will be clear that I conducted myself in an appropriate way.”

    A rather weak defense, wouldn’t you say?

    Is Mirthala being thrown overboard?

    Stay tuned……



    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Monday Antonio and Mirthala

    Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Latinas Feel Betrayed As MORE Rumors Circulate; Update: More Women to Watch?

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Sabrina Kay Rumors Heat Up Los Angeles City Hall

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Fading Latino Star – Another Alleged Affair Leaves Questions

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Mirthala Salinas Placed on Leave by Telemundo

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

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: The End of a Political Career

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  • Antonio Villaraigosa,  California,  Fabian Nunez,  Los Angeles,  Mirthala Salinas

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Mirthala Salinas Placed on Leave by Telemundo

    Telemundo 52 reporter Mirthala Salinas, top left in red, at a news conference by Villaraigosa outside Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office in Sacramento on June 20, 2006, when the mayor was stumping for a bill that would give him more control over the L.A. Unified School District.

    Mayor’s girlfriend is placed on leave

    Telemundo took the action while it investigates whether anchor Mirthala Salinas breached journalistic ethics by having a relationship with Antonio Villaraigosa.

    Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo placed newscaster Mirthala Salinas on leave today while it conducts an internal investigation into whether she breached journalistic ethics by having a relationship with someone she covered: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

    “As we have stated, we are committed to journalistic excellence,” said Manuel Abud, general manager of KVEA Channel 52. “Given the seriousness of the allegations that have been made, we have decided to conduct an internal review of the decisions and events that led us to where we are today. In the meantime, Salinas has been placed on a leave of absence from her duties pending this review.

    “We will conduct this investigation with the utmost respect to personal privacy and journalistic standards.”
    Salinas, 35, declined to comment through a spokesperson. A spokesman for Villaraigosa said the mayor would have no comment at this time.

    Telemundo is owned by NBC-Universal. This is the same company who fired KNBC reporter Kyung Lah who had an affair in the workplace. Is there any doubt she will be fired due to her “personal relationships” with Mayor Villaraigosa and California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez while she was reporting on their activities for Telemundo?

    Will the Mayor rise to her defense?

    Related links:

    Mayor reveals romantic link with TV newscaster

    At L.A. City Hall, the summer of love

    When affairs make news

    A sizzling summer at City Hall

    Villaraigosa and Salinas wait out a pause in filming on the north steps of the state Capitol. Salinas is now a news anchor on Telemundo 52, June 19, 2006.


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

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: The End of a Political Career

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  • Antonio Villaraigosa,  California,  Fabian Nunez,  Los Angeles

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: The End of a Political Career

    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.

    The Los Angeles Daily News had the scoop: Revealed: The other woman in Antonio Villaraigosa’s life


    City Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa is interviewed by reporter Mirthala Salinas of Telemundo at Factor’s Famous Deli on May 19, 2005 in Los Angeles

    The Los Angeles Times finally followed up: Mayor reveals romantic link with TV newscaster

    At 4 p.m. on June 8, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a terse statement announcing that he and his wife, Corina, were separating after 20 years of marriage.

    Two hours later, Telemundo television anchor Mirthala Salinas delivered the story to her Spanish-language viewers on the Friday evening news.

    During the course of a television interview on June 19, 2006, Villaraigosa walks with Salinas outside the state Capitol.

    “The rumors were true,” she declared of the split after an introduction that described the story as a “political scandal” that had left “many people with their mouth open.”

    What Salinas, 35, did not say in the newscast was that she was the other woman. She and Villaraigosa, 54, had been in a relationship even though she had previously been the political reporter assigned to cover local politics and the mayor.

    On Tuesday, prompted by a report in the Daily News of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa officially confirmed what had long been whispered around City Hall.

    “I have a relationship with Ms. Salinas, and I take full responsibility for my actions,” he said at a news conference after a swearing-in ceremony for school board members at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion downtown.

    By late afternoon, the Channel 52 anchor had issued her own confirmation.

    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.

    Telemundo 52 reporter Mirthala Salinas, top left in red, at a news conference by Villaraigosa outside Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office in Sacramento on June 20, 2006, when the mayor was stumping for a bill that would give him more control over the L.A. Unified School District.

    The Los Angeles Times readers are not too happy with the Mayor.

    Flap says put a fork in Mayor Villar – He’s Done.

    And as for Ms. Salinas, she will probably be fired ala Kyung Lah, but, hey she has Antonio, right?

    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.

    More over at Mayor Sam’s.

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  • Arnold Schwarzenegger,  California Term Limits,  Don Perata,  Fabian Nunez

    California Term Limits Watch: Special Interests File Term Limits Modification Initiative


    San Francisco Chronicle: Term limits initiative headed for February 2008 ballot

    A proposed ballot initiative backed by Democrats and Republicans would extend the time lawmakers could spend in the Assembly and Senate. The initiative is headed to the Attorney General’s Office for title and summary before it goes into circulation. There’s little, if any, doubt of it qualifying for the ballot in time for the February 2008 presidential primary. Democratic campaign consultant Gale Kaufman and former Schwarzenegger campaign adviser Matthew Dowd are leading the effort.

    The measure would actually reduce the amount of time lawmakers could spend in the Legislature — 12 years instead of 14. But all 12 years could be served in one house. Currently lawmakers are limited to three two-year terms in the Assembly and two four-year terms in the Senate. Both Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Senate leader Don Perata could be big winners if they can convince voters to go along.

    No matter how much money the special business interests and unions throw at this turkey, the initiative will still lose.

    Californians will not vote to change the term limit law to help three politicians – namely Fabian Nunez, Don Perata and the Governator.

    But, they will try……..

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