According to an LA article, Villaraigosa has no real challengers for his next mayoral contest.
Tony has been busy attending fundraisers all over the country and has raised $1.6 million dollars, enough money to scare off all challengers.
Villaraigosa's foremost challengers last time around were Herzberg and Alarcon.
I left a message on Herzberg's cell asking if he were going to run again--no response. I have sent an email with the same question to Alarcon--no answer so far.
The only challenger mentioned in the article is Walter Moore who in my mind has no chance of winning and has only 1/15th of Tony's funding. During the last run, Moore was not even invited to many candidate forums.
Remember, the small coalition of the LA animal community that interviewed candidates before the last election endorsed Moore which, along with ADL picketing, led to Tony's continued vindictiveness against the LA rescue/humane community.
Here is why Moore would be a terrible choice for us to support (again):
The problems with Moore are many.
1. He wants to get rid of rent control, meaning lots of lower and middle income tenants will be priced out of their apartments and homes, causing them to dump their pets, just like increased foreclosures.
2. Walter is unrealistic. He just says it is an easy problem to solve but fails to give specific answers or proposed ways to increase LAAS budget or make other changes that require cooperation by Council or the unions. Remember, bad civil service and union-protected employees are one of the highest obstacles to a No-Kill LA, and he does not evem bother to mention that problem let alone suggest solutions.
3. When Moore gave speeches last time when running for mayor against Tony, Herzberg and others, helping animals in the shelters was always the last item he mentioned, almost as an after thought. Many times he even failed to mention animals.
If he had more concrete ideas and well as a plan to implement those ideas that are backed by more than, "It is easy to do when you have the resources LA has," I'd be more enthusiastic. But even after 2 years he has not developed anything specific that he would commit to. At least Tony made specific commitments--but failed to honor even one.
Moore is a Republican and will tend to shoot down anything that increase taxes or takes money from police or fire. So, where will the increased money come to save animals? Remember, Moore says anything is possible with LA resources, but if you cut taxes where is the money to help LAAS going to come from?
Moore complains about spending $14,000,000 for the new West Valley shelter saying the mayor should have spent that on increasing adoptions through establishing retail outlets off campus.
Ho doesn't even realize that the money came from a bond issue passed years ago for capital improvements, and has nothing to do with the annual operating budget where you could spend $14,000,000 for rentals. He does not even understand the difference capital expenditures from planned bond money, and operational expenditures for day to day operations which come from tax money. Maybe he understands the concept, but he has not looked into this specific case, probably because he does not really care and is merely pandering to the animal community.
In other words, he is uninformed and unrealistic. I pointed out his mistake to him 2 years ago and he failed to go any deeper and look at the bond issue or the operating budget. He has held true to his mistakes, a lot like Bush.
From his website:
"Today’s Daily News has a glowing report on the recent expansion of the City’s animal shelter in Chatsworth.
"The article says the expansion: cost “nearly $14 million;” added 50,000 square feet; and will let the shelter “house 152 dogs, up from 56,” plus 167 cats, up from 68.
"Let me translate that into meaningful numbers: the expansion cost $280 per square foot, and $71,795 per additional animal.
"How much money is that? Well, for less money, you could have bought a three-bedroom, two-bath home in Oklahoma City for each animal. That’s right: you could buy each dog and each cat its own house, with its own yard for just $69,900.
"Do I think we actually ought to spend $14 million to buy 200 houses in Oklahoma for our dogs and cats? No. Rather, the point is that our tax dollars are being squandered when the City pays as much for an animal pen as people in the private sector pay for a house.
"I’d rather see our animal shelter dollars spent more on finding homes for these pets than building lavish facilities where they’re warehoused for a week before being put to death.
"For $14 million, we could rent an awful lot of retail space for animal shelter pet stores, and use standard marketing techniques to encourage people to adopt. We could also build facilities to keep more pets alive for longer periods by paying less than $280 per square foot."
About the house in Oklahoma City, this is not Oklahoma City, it is LA, and these are new state of the art animal shelters, not 50 year old ramshackle residences with no budget to take care of the animals once they were in Oklahoma. Again, he confuses operating budget with capital improvments.
Apparently Moore thinks you can have crappy, outdated and crowded facilities which deter people from coming to the shelters, as opposed to a bright and cheery place people are glad to visit, and still increase adoptions.
I guess Moore would think--if he ever bothered to take the problems of adoptions seriously enough to look more than skin deep--that the voters who voted for the issue a few years ago were stupid and should not have wasted public money. It was they who voted the $14,000,000 for the West Valley shelter, not Tony's mismanagement.
Try to nail Moore down on his plans to improve LAAS and reach No-Kill. After two years of me hounding him, he has no specific plans. Look at his website:
In addition, he plans on lowering taxes, which, of course ruins any chance of increasing Animal Services budget. Will this enhance LA's ability to obtain retail outlets, hire more employees, fire the bad ones, out Boks and hire a new GM? No!
I have warned the animal community now for well over two years to unify and develop a common voice for change as well as a PAC to back a good pro-animal candidate. Nada.
Come January we will have no candidate to run against Villaraigosa and it is your own fault.
This being said, the wisest move might be to pay off Tony with political and finacial support.