Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and State Sen. Gil Cedillo rode together as teenagers on the Eastside* and did battle arm-in-arm in the labor movement before teaming up when both got elected to Sacramento. In last year's mayoral election, however, Cedillo backed Jim Hahn — and not especially quietly. Well, that was then. The old pals stood on the same team again this afternoon, patting each other on the arm, waxing on the old days and calling on Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign the latest version of Cedillo's annual push to license drivers who are here illegally. SB 1162 would create a driving-only form of ID for those who can't prove they are legal, would license residents on the path to citizenship, and bring the state into compliance with the federal Real ID Act. I wonder if Schwarzenegger will be listening, however: most of the cameras were for Spanish-language and Asian media and both Villaraigosa and Cedillo fielded most questions in Spanish. Chief Bratton joined the presser outside the Wilshire Area LAPD station, calling the bill good for homeland security and driving safety. The best line goes to Councilman Jack Weiss, who quipped that if the measure is signed the biggest adverse effect would be on AM talk radio hosts who "won't have anything to talk about."
(* By Eastside, LAO means the traditional definition east of downtown and the L.A. River, not the hipster coinage for anything east of the Arclight.)