Antonio Villaraigosa fundraiser(s) o' the day
We're in the home stretch of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's flurry of fund-raising. Looking to scare away potential opponents, the mayor squeezed no fewer than six fundraisers for his reelection campaign into his weekend schedule: two on Saturday and four on Sunday, according to documents filed with the Ethics Commission. Villaraigosa appears to have no fundraisers today -- on the eighth day, he's resting -- which leaves The Times' David Zahniser to play catchup on the weekend money frenzy:
On Saturday morning, Villaraigosa looked for money from prominent gay and lesbian leaders -– including Bruce Cohen, the Hollywood producer whose marriage to art consultant Gabriel Catone was officiated by the mayor last week, according to a fundraising invitation. Hours later, the mayor attended an outdoor event in Little Tokyo co-hosted by prominent Latino civic leaders. And on Sunday, the city's Persian Americans put together a reelection event in Beverly Hills.
Villaraigosa spokesman Ace Smith would not confirm whether all six events went off without a hitch; we must make do with the six invitations turned in to the Ethics Commission.
Click on the link below for a few of the fundraising sponsors and co-hosts from Saturday and Sunday who will probably have an interest in decisions made by Villaraigosa during the coming years.
Photo: Villaraigosa at the wedding of Bruce Cohen (middle) and Gabriel Catone (left). Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
* Christine Robert, whose consulting firm the Robert Group has worked for such agencies as Los Angeles World Airports, the Board of Public Works and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where Villaraigosa will become board chairman this week. The Robert Group received a $650,000 contract from the MTA last year to work on the Westside subway extension, a top priority of Villaraigosa's.
* Sandra Figueroa-Villa, who heads the nonprofit group El Centro del Pueblo, one of several contractors with the anti-gang program L.A. Bridges. Villaraigosa recently gained direct oversight over more than $21 million in gang funding, and Figueroa-Villa's nonprofit is a likely competitor for some of that money. El Centro received $350,000 from L.A. Bridges over the past year and has been awarded more than $3.1 million from that program over eight years, according to an official with the city's Community Development Department.
* Simon and Daniel Mani, whose real estate company has sued Los Angeles over its approval of a development project in downtown Los Angeles. The city's handling of that lawsuit was discussed much of last year by Villaraigosa's appointees at the Community Redevelopment Agency.
* Tom Calderon, a consultant with the Calderon Group. Last year, Calderon was identified by The Times as one of three former elected officials who were lobbying politicians to support the city of Vernon's plan to build a new power plant on Boyle Avenue.
Reached by The Times on Friday, Calderon was asked if he is still working on the power plant project, which has drawn protests from residents of Boyle Heights, a neighborhood once represented by Villaraigosa. "I really don't respond to press calls, thanks," Calderon said, shortly before he hung up.