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Awkward moments for Villaraigosa during God, Israel vote at DNC

September 6, 2012 |  9:41 am

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa found himself in an awkward position Wednesday night as part of his high-profile role as chairman of the Democratic National Convention when he was forced to call for three votes in an effort to invoke God in the party platform and reaffirm the role of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The Times' Matea Gold and Michael Memoli reported that there was some dispute whether the vote passed, infuriating some delegates. Here's how they described it on Politics Now:

"I, uh, I guess I'll do that one more time," Villaraigosa said after a second vote of delegates in the Time Warner Cable Arena resulted in equally loud "ayes" and "nos."

"You've got to rule, and then you've got to let them do what they're gonna do," a woman standing to his left could be heard saying in a feed carried by C-SPAN.

After a third attempt, Villaraigosa declared that the amendments had passed.

"In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative," he said, drawing large boos and shouts of objections.

Republicans had criticized Democrats for removing a reference to "God-given potential" from the 2012 platform. It was reinserted Wednesday night.

In addition, Democrats added a passage about Jerusalem, which said that the city "is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."

Don Kershner, a delegate from Boise, said it sounded to him — sitting at the opposite end of the arena from the speaker’s platform — that at least 50% of delegates opposed the changes.

“I think it failed,” he said. “They shouldn’t have messed with it. It’s clearly a dividing subject. We don’t want to drive a wedge into the party.”


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--Times staff writer