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Are you Paying for Tony's Texas Two-Step?

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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has once again set off for another city that is not his own to help a candidate that has no stake in running Los Angeles. And you could be paying for it.

This time, Mayor Tony set off on a five-city, five-day tour to help Hillary Clinton win the Texas Primary so critical to her presidential aspirations.

(As of now, polling indicates a dead heat, with some polls indicating Obama has an advantage, solidifying his stance, insiders are saying, as the front-runner.)

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Fine. We all have our goals and Tony's might be presidential, but right now he is politicking on our time, if not our dime. As taxpayers, we rightfully siphon off a portion of our income for the mayor's salary, his staff member's salary and travel expenses (at least, and hopefully just, in the city). I do not know if those expenses include Tony's cross country politicking but we deserve to know. It matters not whether I support Clinton's campaign because, as a resident of Los Angeles, I want my taxes to go to filling potholes, to funding schools, to reducing crime and to building public transportation.

If I want to support Clinton, Ill do it on my own dime.

When Tony was first elected, he entered office on a wave of excitement that had people enthralled for the direction an exuberant public official might take one of the biggest cities in the world that had suffered under lackluster leadership.

Three years later, public opinion seems to be turning. Polls indicate the mayor's favorability rating may be in the 40s, a sharp decrease from the 71% that he enjoyed before he dipped his pen into the Salinas well. Shit, even the LA Times, a seemingly unofficial Villaragiosa campaign headquarter, seems to be shunning the mayor.

The latest promise involves creating 100,000 new jobs in Los Angeles. We better hope Clinton does not get the nomination, if for no other reason than 100,000 people can't afford the commute to Washington DC.

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I still applaud his grandiose schemes to make Los Angeles better. He has presided over a crime decrease and pledged to fix our broken school system, something he may even need another term to do.

But it's hard to fight for your city when you're fighting for someone else. And it would be hard to vote for someone who is essentially using my money for his own person jaunts to political power.

Villaraigosa's complete schedule will take him to San Antonio and Dallas this weekend, Brownsville on Monday and Houston on Tuesday.

Photo of Mayor Tony by jimw via Flickr.