Former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa leaves today for Bakersfield, Visalia and Fresno to continue a series of listening tours around California that, to LA Times political reporter Michael Finnegan, sure look like a candidate preparing to run. The speculation has been that Villaraigosa will run for governor when Jerry Brown comes up again in 2018. Another sign, says Finnegan, was the Hillary Clinton fundraiser last night at Villaraigosa's home in Beachwood Canyon. From his story:
The stops follow several other trips he has taken to the Central Valley in recent months to meet farmers, field hands, business and labor leaders, environmentalists and prominent Latinos. He has also been to the Salinas and Coachella valleys.
It’s a California variation of the “listening tour” that Clinton, then first lady, took in New York state 15 years ago as she launched her first campaign for U.S. Senate – but in Villaraigosa’s case, with no media entourage.
Roughly 100 people crammed into his $2.5-million hillside house, a contemporary architectural showcase with top-dollar modern art and jetliner views of the city he once governed, from the downtown skyline to the ocean, with the Griffith Observatory and Hollywood sign a few ridges away….
His reception was a small one for Clinton, raising only about $10,000 from tickets ranging between $100 and $500. Organizers included L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, former City Controller Wendy Greuel and political strategist Bill Burton, a former spokesman for President Obama. City Controller Ron Galperin was among the guests.
The event didn't set well with former NBC 4 anchor Ana Garcia, who is apparently a neighbor. She posted several tweets last night unhappy about the intrusion. A sample:
By the sound of few applause, my guess is not that many people showed up for Hillary Clinton fundraiser at Antonio's https://t.co/AgJ5UbBiC0— Ana Garcia (@AnaGNews) August 18, 2015
Democrat or Republican-Last time I checked driveways are private property. Villaraigosa's valets using it for Hillary fundraiser guests 🚫— Ana Garcia (@AnaGNews) August 18, 2015
Turning around in people's driveways & blocking traffic in the hills in a heatwave during a drought in fire season? https://t.co/Xqrriy8Din— Ana Garcia (@AnaGNews) August 18, 2015