Friends and supporters of Mayor Jim Hahn who want to hold on to their clout (or at least retain some access to power at City Hall) are busy trying to make their peace with Antonio Villaraigosa. An example is Tuesday's email from Rusty Hammer, president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, talking up Villaraigosa to members. An excerpt:
It is certain that Mayor Villaraigosa will bring to his office a different style of leadership than his predecessor, Mayor Jim Hahn. Villaraigosa, undeniably, has a level of energy and enthusiasm that will propel him into not only a local leader, but one looked at around the state and the country as well.
That bodes well for Los Angeles because, as I have written in this column many times, we have not done as well as we should in fighting for our needs in Sacramento and Washington. Just look at the battle to keep our transportation funds local and to get our fair share from Washington. Mayor Villaraigosa will be an undeniable ally and a tireless worker to make sure Los Angeles gets its fair share...
As speaker of the assembly he established a record as a consensus-builder. His ability to bring various groups together is well recognized. I know that he will bring those skills to his new duties.
Although we did not endorse his candidacy for mayor, we know that Antonio Villaraigosa will be good for L.A. He will be a good advocate. He will be a good cheerleader. He will be a good coalition builder. He will be a good mayor. And we pledge to him, from the very first day, that we will be a good partner--as we have been in moving Los Angeles forward over the last 118 years.
The City Council, meanwhile, on Tuesday made it easier for the city's various special interests to get on the new mayor's good side. A council vote set up a trust fund where private donors can contribute up to $10,000 to help pay for Villaraigosa transition expenses. In the runoff campaign, they could only give $1,000 each. * In the Breeze: Bob Stern says donors will be seeking access. Also, Elena Stern and Sharon Delugach on the transition team.
Also: District Attorney Steve Cooley and elected county Assessor Rick Auerbach (that's his name, but I could have just made one up, right?) can fight to strike down term limits on their offices using lawyers paid for by the public, the county Board of Supervisors decided.