Villaraigosa Scandal Hits Home


Photo I took of Mayor Villaraigosa at Lincoln Park autographing a girl’s t-shirt September 4, 2006, during the annual Los Pobladores walk celebrating Los Angeles’ 225th birthday.

About six weeks overdue for a haircut I finally dragged my hairy self over to Tony’s Barbershop on Glendale Boulevard, my regular place for the past four years. When my turn arrived I clambered up into Tony’s chair and told him to take about 10 pounds off the top and a couple off each side.

As he went to work whittling my mop down to a more manageable level I noticed missing from the shelf on the wall opposite his chair the pictures of him and his family with Mayor ‘Tonio that have been up for the past couple years. I started to ask him about them but I realized I didn’t have to. Their absence spoke volumes.

I haven’t felt the need to comment on the mayor and his troubles. Though I’m ashamed of how he’s comported himself so as to make his private life public, I’ve always had issues with him as a politican since his campaign for the office and never bought into him being anything but a power-hungry opportunist who’s pretty much getting by on his looks and charisma — but certainly not anything regarding accomplishments.

Moving beyond the affair itself, media coverage is now looking at the potential long-term negative effects his adulterous relationship might have not only on a second term as mayor but also on his future chances at higher office. I’m jaded enough to look at the re-elections of Schwarzenegger and Duhbya and think that if those two could keep their offices in the face of their shortcomings, a tawdry affair ain’t much of a big thing to overcome in the grand political scheme.

But then to see a reaction like that of my barber Tony eliminating the evidence of his approval and I may be wrong about that. In so unceremoniously divorcing himself from the support and pride he’d previously displayed for Villaraigosa it makes me consider that there may be enough Tonys out there who feel duped and betrayed, and repairing their trust in him will be tough if not impossible no matter how good he looks or how much charisma he projects.