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Steve Lopez to readers: The mayor? Is that the worst you've got?

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Lopez OK, so here we are in Greater L.A., with its long, dark history of land and water grabs, legendary air pollution, assassins, serial killers and gang kingpins, and according to last week's Talk Back to Lopez poll, the worst Angeleno of all time is:

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa?

Does anyone out there know any history?

Sure, we got a lot of thoughtful nominations, but Villaraigosa had twice as many votes as the second-place finisher, who was another bizarre choice:

Congressman Henry Waxman.

Yes, I'm aware of his connection to our traffic nightmare. But give me a break.

As for Villaraigosa, I've pounded him pretty good over the years. But he wouldn't have made my top 50, and neither would Waxman.

Cardinal Roger Mahony third? I have no problem there, and I like O.J. Simpson at No. 4.

As for the six-way tie at No. 10 -- Ronald Reagan, Tom Bradley, former LAPD chief William Parker, Richard "Night Stalker" Ramirez, Clippers owner Donald Sterling and Steve Lopez -- wait a minute, moi? I'd like to say that I would have made a much better owner of the Clippers.

-- Steve Lopez

Image: Word cloud of blog reader votes for L.A.'s worst. Credit: Wordle.net
 
Comments () | Archives (32)

You should remember that the Mayor decided to hire more police officers even the city had to lay off other employees as many police officers took administrative leave with full pay and benefits. It sounded he made a smart decision especially when the off-duty officers committed the crimes and were able to take administrative leave with pay !

People have a short term memory.

If you asked them to name the last 3 mayors, most would get it wrong.

I lived in Santa Monica most of those years, but risking embarrassment, I'd say, Villaraigosa, Riorden, Bradley.

OK, I wikipediaed it, and I missed Hahn. (Sorry Mayor James Hahn)
Villaraigosa (2005-present) Currently in second term
Hahn (2001-2005) One term only
Riorden (1993-2001) Two term
Bradley (1973-2001) Five terms before the two term limit was enacted

When was OJ mayor again? ;-D

Welcome to the Internet, Steve.

I miss Riorden.

I missed the first round of balloting. Is it too late to recommend yellow journalist columnists at the LA Times for the position of "Worst" Angeleno villains of all time?

Lopez,

Remember, regardless that most other US citizens to not accept Angelenos as true Americans, the region remains overloaded with very Average Americans. Why possess intelligence when you may simply attempt wittiness?!

Give me a break? No, Steve, give me a subway to the sea. Waxman singlehandedly stopped it. He's lousy for LA. Yeah, he's great when it comes time to pick on somebody, and hold hearings, and "hold somebody's feet to the fire," and grandstand (never with results). The media loves that stuff. But in sum total, it delivers exactly nothing to the people of LA. Thanks for nothing, Henry.

He's a classic example of a fully tenured member of Congress who is loved by the Times and does nothing to serve his district.

I'll add a vote towards his dishonorable self, the current mayor! Infidelity, dishonesty, ineptitude, incompetant, unthrifty, egotisitical and corrupt to boot! Who else should be No.1

Vincent Gonzales were you trying to use wittiness in your comment?

I don't think he's evil. Just a politician in love with himself first and not Los Angeles. Good thing he's getting out, hopefully next mayor will know math!

Really? You're taking a play-time poll seriously? And interpreting it literally?

Please. If you want to get real attitudes, run a real poll using a real analyst.

Darryl Gates is without a doubt the worst Angeleno of our life time. After years of arrogance, racism and bluster he hid out during the riots and let our city burn. He should have been tried for treason.

Hey....Rodney King....can't we all just....whatever?

Probably the best thing one can say about Villa is that... he hasn't been identified yet as a destructive force.
On the other hand, since this is a guy deeply concerned about his image thing - isn't there anyone willing to do him a service at tell him to STOP GRINNING?
Gawd! I ain't seen a picture of him without an enormous - and a roboyic, idiotic grin -

Ok. So, I believe that the reason why Angelenos picked Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as the worst Angeleno of all time is because of his bad track record with the Los Angeles community. I personal feel that the only reason that he was reelected was because there were no real options on the ballot aside from him (lesser of two evils rule). Well, those are my two cents. Do with them what you may.

Steve,

It is everybody left in the hell hole of LA that is the cause. I was a third generation Angeleon and left for CO 15 years ago thank God. What was paradise until about 20 years ago is now a third world bankrupt crime ridden ghetto. I have friends that live in OC 10 miles away that have not been in LA in over 30 years, that tells you someting. In CO half the people I meet left SoCal and will never go back. This is the reality if you have a brain, a family and money you leave LA as soon as possible.

Certainly he is the most clueless. Loves the attention though.

I dont get the shock at this mayor being the worst for who do you think elected him here in our state of calimex..Im hoping he runs for mayor of Tijuana and we all know how long they last..notice he is on a soap opera which parallels his career as mayor.

Steve - Respectfully, I think you mis-read the intent of our comments. Yes, what OJ did was notorious, but he is an individual citizen. He was never charged with serving this community. Mahony should be at the top. Generations upon generations of innocent children molested while he looked the other way and covered it up? I have no stomach for sanctimonious hypocrites. Likewise, Henry Waxman has been a representative for years and years and has blocked funding for subway or other rail transit for decades because his Bevery Hills constinuency didn't want inner city folks riding subways through their neighborhoods. Name a major metropolitan city that doesn't have a subway to its airport or one of the greatest universities (UCLA) in the world. I am in a van for 3 1/2 hours a day all because I can't get to work on rail. And I'm in good company as the traffic jams attest. The person most responsible for the day to day misery endured by Angelenos is Henry Waxman. Did he cut off his wife's head? No. Did he look the other way when choirboys were being molested? No. But his actions affect so many of us and make our quality of life so much poorer than it could be. This city could be great. If only we had leaders who would lead.

Steve, it's about leadership...5 years ago they were talking about budget problems like a house having a small fire...now the house is complete engulfed. The City of LA did not fund the pension to keep up it's wasteful spending and high taxes. The Police Department did not modernize and reduce the need for civilian workers in the area of paperless report writing and data storage. Now, it is Judgement Day.

I HAVE ALOT OF QUESTIONS ON GANG INJUNCTION & MR VILLARAGOZA I HAVE A SON HO IS IN A GANG HE WAS SERVED INFRONT OF MY HOUSE BUT HES DISABLE WERE I LEAVE I SEEN THE GANG UNITS HARASS YOUNG KIDS & SOME OF THEM ARE NOT IN A GANG I SEE HOW THEY TREAT OTHERS EVEN IF IN A GANG THERE POEPLE WERE ARE YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS WERE ARE THERE GANG EDUCATION & TRAINING PROGRAMS ITS CALLED PROBATION & IF YOU CANT PAY FOR IT YOU GO TO JAIL SO WE TAX PAYERS PAY FOR THAT & THEY COME OUT WITH PRISON EDUCATION & HATE SO THERE FOR WERE IS OUR TAX
MONEY GOING

Your pal Antonio is laying off 1000 people yet he has no balls to force AEG and that Jacksons to pay for the funeral expenses for that child molester.

He is on the top of the list as he should

Time to vote Congressman Henry Waxman out!!

Steve, what's the point?

Steve-
True, your survey shows that we have a short memory and a lack of historical perspective. Although it was used as a device to vent frustration regarding the current Mayor, he certainly isn't the worst of all time. But he's definitely the worst we have right now.

 
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