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Mayor Villaraigosa's Role with Obama

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The two of them back in July | AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

On Friday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa flew to Chicago to serve on President-Elect Barack Obama's Transition Economic Advisory Board. With the likes of Warren Buffet and Paul Volcker as fellow board members, how does the mayor of a city that is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt get asked to such a committee? Add to that, he co-chaired Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton's campaign.

One clue to the Mayor's involvement may be for Obama to get perspective of how cities got shafted by the Bush administration in federal dollars. Villaraigosa "echoed Obama's call for new federal spending on road-building and other infrastructure projects. Over the last eight years, aid to cities and counties has been abysmal," the LA Times reported. "What I heard today," Villaraigosa said Friday after the meeting, "was a president-elect who is going to rectify that and make sure we're doing everything we can to invest in cities."

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It is constantly speculated that Villaraigosa has higher aspirations, but he denies seeking both an Obama cabinet position or a run for Governor of California in the 2010 race. He is happy with being mayor, he says over and over again. With that said, the Mayor's reelection campaign begins now as it looks toward the March 3rd when voters will once again go to the polls.