Did Villaraigosa really ask Bill O'Reilly for a job at Fox News?

villaraigosa4.jpg Mind-boggling (and kind of sad) on several fronts, not the least of which is that he apparently did it publicly during an Oscar party. (Someone should tell him not to job hunt in a crowd.) "He glided past film stars and caught up to O'Reilly, flashing a welcoming grin," the Weekly reports, citing an unnamed Oscar partygoer. "Then Villaraigosa loudly asked O'Reilly for help landing an on-camera job. Villaraigosa said he wanted 'to speak to [Fox News CEO] Roger Ailes' about 'going to work' at the network." The thrust of the piece is that the mayor hasn't much money - certainly not enough to live life as he has for the last eight years. That means fancy meals, free concert tickets, police protection, and drivers taking him wherever (he doesn't even own a car). No doubt he'll get job offers, but they have to be the right kind - offers that provide him with enough exposure for a future run at higher office (I wouldn't hold my breath on that one). What's also interesting about the piece is the deeply divided opinions about his job performance: Lots of folks hate him, of course, but a surprising number love him (or at least like him a lot).

Villaraigosa's years of legally required "statements of economic interests" from 2001 through 2012 verify that, aside from a few thousand dollars he annually collects from a modest rental home he owns in Moreno Valley, he has no revenue streams, no financial investments. No stocks. No bonds. (The Weekly could not determine how much public pension Villaraigosa will collect, or when. Through a spokeswoman, Thomas Moutes, head of the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System, said LACERS has "no records" regarding this public information.) Villaraigosa has been paid a total of $1,682,937 as mayor, a serious chunk of which, for the past several years, has gone to his ex-wife and children in alimony and child support. He has risen to the 1 percent, in practice if not in fact, by relying heavily on other people's money. Taxpayers, private groups and foundations have footed huge travel bills, as Villaraigosa spent fully 42 percent of his official city working hours, according to his own calendar, out of town between Sept. 1 and Dec. 16 last year. His personal schedule also reflects, on the eve of his departure, a onetime man of the people who regularly sits down with billionaires such as Eli Broad and Forever 21 founder Do Won Chang -- but rarely with activists or ordinary people who know firsthand what's happening in L.A.'s communities.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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