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Villaraigosa says GOP control of House could cost L.A.

November 3, 2010 |  4:21 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa lamented the loss of a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and said it may have negative consequences for the city.

He laid part of the blame for the huge GOP gains in other states at the feet of Democrats who regularly assail President Obama for not pushing aggressively enough on behalf of the progressive agenda, be it a single-payer healthcare plan or deeper tax cuts for the middle class.

"One of the lessons for Democrats is we helped to fuel the Republican wildfire because we didn't get behind, we didn't defend the course we'd taken," the mayor said. "You have too many Democrats criticizing President Obama for not going far enough.... They don't understand. The country's evenly divided."

In recent weeks, Villaraigosa has extolled the White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress for its largesse with funding for L.A. mass transit projects. But Tuesday's results prompted a recollection of the days of the George W. Bush administration and a GOP-controlled Congress.

"When Republicans won the majority, we had Bush in the White House, and I knocked on their doors, I sometimes got an answer from them," Villaraigosa recalled. "I might get an extended hand. But I always walked away with my hand empty.... There was never anything that the Republican majority or the Bush White House helped us with. I tell you, what a difference a majority makes."

-- Patrick J. McDonnell