Antonio Villaraigosa

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Mirthala Salinas’ Condo Prompts Ethics Questions for Mayor

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (L) laughs with Britain’s David Beckham during an LA Galaxy news conference introducing Beckham as the newest member of the MLS soccer league team in Carson, California, July 13, 2007.

While Los Angeles Mayor Antonio gets back to city business with David Beckham above (although the Mayor was roundly booed) new questions arise with his relationship with Telemundo Channel 52 political reporter Mirthala Salinas. This time the FLAP is regarding the purchase of Ms. Salinas’ one bedroom Studio City condominuim in 2006.

KNBC television channel 4 is reporting this morning that Mirthala Salinas bought the condominium from one of Mayor Villaraigosa’s campaign contributors and CFO of a powerful lobbying and PR firm which has a long history of doing business with the City of Los Angeles. This contributor says he never met the buyer and did not know who she was. The Mayor too says he was in the dark.

“I actually has no knowledge of who sold what to who,” said Villaraigosa. “And my staff responded to that.”

Mirthala Salinas reportedly paid $500,000 for the condominium. A spokesperson for the Mayor said that was the going rate at the time.

From Mayor Sam (Via Luke Ford):

A campaign backer apparently sold Mirthala her Condo at below market value.

I’m sure appointments, promotions of Sabrina Kay’s fashion line, and various other conflicts-of-interest would be of great interest to Rocky and others who would like to advance over Big Love.

Bottom line: Big Love wants to be Gov. There are many other politicians who would like that also. Getting Big Love’s scalp as part of anti-corruption would be a way of both blocking Big Love and proving to voters that said pol is tough on corruption and deserving of votes.

Screwing around on your wife and screwing your buddies wives is not illegal (though despicable). Conflict of interest violations for your mistresses CAN potentially be illegal depending on the law.

So, who was the campaign contributor?

Steve Bullock, CFO of Cerrell and Associates.

Steve Bullock, Chief Financial Officer of Cerrell and Associates

At a dinner last night, which the Mayor attended, Steve Bullock who donated $1,000 to Villaraigosa in 2005, was asked about the sale of the Studio City condominium to Mirthala Salinas. His reply: “Very straight up real estate transaction. Never met the buyer. Did not know who she was.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor maintains the Mayor had NO involvement in the sale.

A $500,000 blind real estate sale for a friend/mistress of the Mayor of Los Angeles and you know nothing about it? And you are a Chief Financial Officer of a PR and political consulting firm that represent clients doing business with the City of Los Angeles and you know nothing?

And you expect Flap or anyone else to believe this?

Flap thinks this is the tip of the iceberg for Mayor Villaraigosa. More ethical questons upon more ethical questions.

Flap asks: when will the Los Angeles County Grand Jury involve itself in this matter?

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

Stay tuned……..

Linked to Christy’s Coffee Break 

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Previous:

Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: The Redemption Tour Or A Lesson in How To Spin the Truth

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Sabrina Kay Says NO To Affair with Mayor; Mayor Says NO to Other Affairs

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: He’s BACK

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

Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: The Redemption Tour Or A Lesson in How To Spin the Truth

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa directs high school students during a clean-up project in the Chinatown section of Los Angeles Tuesday, July 10, 2007, as a kick-off event for a summer youth employment program.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa continues on his “REDEMPTION TOUR” around the city as he hopes to distract voters from his recent disclosure of an affair with Mirthala Salinas, a Telemundo Channel 52 political reporter (since placed on leave) and the break up of his long term marriage.

Antonio touts jobs for young people

Continuing his redemption tour around the city, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa promoted summer jobs for youths Tuesday as he reiterated his hope that voters will overlook the drama in his personal life and focus on his accomplishments as mayor.
At an event in Chinatown, where he was greeted by more than a dozen young people who have their first jobs under city programs, Villaraigosa also insisted he will play a visible and active role in the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

“I’m here today to focus on jobs for young people,” Villaraigosa said after being asked about the impact of his extramarital affair on support from Latinas.

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.

Mayor Villar seems to be folowing Mayor Sam’s advice:

Wax indignant. This is also known as the “how dare you?” gambit.

Characterize the charges as “rumors” or, better yet, “wild rumors.” If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through “rumors.”

Call the skeptics names like “conspiracy theorist,” “nut,” “ranter,” “kook,” “crackpot,” and of course, “rumor monger.” You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned.

Impugn motives
. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money.

Come half-clean. This is also known as “confession and avoidance” or “taking the limited hang-out route.” This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal “mistakes.” This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken.

Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or reporting a distraction.

Or the advice of David MartinThirteen Techniques for Truth Suppression.

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In the meantime, Mirthala Salinas is trying to get her job at Telemundo back – remember Mirthala is on leave pending an ethics invesigation.

The Mayor is resuming a normal event calendar and attempting to sweep his affair under the carpet of daily news events. If it worked for Bill Clinton then perhaps it will work for the Mayor.

But, the divorce is looming…….

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, center, directs high school students during a clean-up project in the Chinatown section of Los Angeles, Tuesday, July 10, 2007, as a kick-off event for a summer youth employment program.

Previous:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Sabrina Kay Says NO To Affair with Mayor; Mayor Says NO to Other Affairs

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: He’s BACK

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

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: Sabrina Kay Says NO To Affair with Mayor; Mayor Says NO to Other Affairs

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Los Angeles City Planning Commissioner and Philanthropist Sabrina Kay

Commissioner says leave her out of this

Some anti-Villaraigosa blogs have been gleefully spreading anonymous hearsay that city planning commissioner Sabrina Kay is another girlfriend of the mayor. At today’s photo op du jour, he flatly denied that there have been any other women in his recent past — “a definitive, absolute no.” Kay issued a statement of her own:

Sabrina Kay’s statement:

Regarding the allegations being bantered about concerning myself and the Mayor, let me say most emphatically that they are completely false. I have never had a romantic relationship with anyone in City government, or any other government for that matter.

I thought we had long passed the time when society thought a woman could succeed in only one way. I have spent my entire professional career trying to do the right thing. That is the only reason I accepted the challenges of assisting the City in its efforts to expand its commercial base. I cannot express how hurt I am that after so much effort, my success is trivialized in this way.

This will be my last comment on this completely false non-story.

Ok, Flap can accept her denial.

But, why is her relationship with the Mayor being played up so big in the Korean Press?

Remember this:

villar600korean+sunday+jour

And the translation:

Sabrina Kay (Chung Hee Kim) is an influential Korean-American designer in L.A. She’s also a long-time political ally of Villaraigosa, going back to when he was in the California state legislature, when she hosted fundraising parties for him. Recently, since his election as mayor, Villaraigosa brought Kay with him (and about 10 others) on a visit to China, Japan, and Korea. This was in the fall of 2006. Although the visit was supposedly for the purpose of attracting Asian investment in LA, the article’s sources say the trip was not well planned, did not result in meetings with Korea’s most important corporate leaders, and did not bring in any significant investment for LA. The paper wonders what was the mayor’s intention of visiting Korea.

The one memorable event was when Villaraigosa appeared as a model in Sabrina Kay’s fashion show wearing her clothing (pictured above). The fashion show was sponsored by the Hyundai Dept. Store. It was meant to promote LA’s fashion industry.

The tour generated considerable gossip. One source says the article doesn’t quite say the gossip was of a romantic nature. Another source says the article rumors that Kay is the mayor’s mistress. The article suggests that the mayor was giving Kay a lot of free publicity, by implying an endorsement.

The article also wonders how Kay, a fashion designer, landed in the LA Planning Commission position.

Good question: why a rich fashion designer who made her fortune in CAD-CAM fashion design is now dealing with planning and community development issues? And Mayor Villar DID appoint her.

But, alas, the LA Mayor denied yesterday any other romantic relationships other than the one with Mirthala Salinas – the one which broke up his long term marriage.

What about rumors of a relationship between Villaraigosa and yet another woman?

“Mr. Mayor, since you took office July 1 of ’05, have you had any other romantic relationships other than with Ms. Salinas?” one reporter asked at a news conference in Eagle Rock ostensibly to tout Villaraigosa’s plan for filling 350,000 potholes next year.

“No,” Villaraigosa replied curtly as the news conference devolved into a chaotic free-for-all with reporters shoving their microphones in his face and shouting questions in English and Spanish.

At a banquet in Shanghai China the LA Planning Commissioner, Sabrina Kay, stands by her mayor

End of story?

Doubtful………

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.

Previous:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: He’s BACK

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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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Watch: He’s BACK

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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.

Doubtful……..

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.

Update:

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?

Hummmmmmmm

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……

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Previous:

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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