Antonio Villaraigosa

Inauguration night, featuring B-list celebrities and one amazing video game.

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Clarification: Our original post below neglected to mention that the American Fast Forward plan includes its own bond finance plan (known at Qualified Transportation Investment Bonds or QTIBs) separate from the TRIPS bond legislation proposed by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). While both plans address financing solutions through bond issuance, they are not bundled together in the America Fast Forward plan. *** The main theme of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s recent marathon hearings about the future of the federal transportation law was: don’t cut back the program.

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No Labels, No Apology

Within a week after its official launch, the No Labels movement—which I helped found—has accomplished a hitherto unimaginable feat: It has united a bitterly divided commentariat. Tribunes of left and right have issued issue denunciations and pronounced anathemas. Polarization, they say, is a wonderful thing, and those who would weaken it are at best deluded and naïve. Civility is a euphemism for the prissy repression of uninhibited democratic discourse, and the self-appointed speech police should butt out.

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Earlier this week Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa invited me and a small group of Los Angeles’ business, labor, and environmental leaders to discuss his plan to accelerate the construction of a dozen transit projects in his region.

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Dana Goldstein makes a surprisingly compelling case for Nikki Haley, the far-right South Carolina governor candidate currently alleged to have had extramarital affairs with two men: I’m rooting for Haley because after watching so many men in politics fool around and still manage to hold on to their jobs—Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, Clarence Thomas, John Ensign, Eric Massa, Antonio Villaraigosa, and Gavin Newsom, among many others—I hope we have reached the point when a woman, too, can screw up her personal life and still be evaluated on the public stage primarily for her professional achieveme

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is usually considered (with good reason) to be a rising star in the Democratic Party. But today the Los Angeles Times reports that his solution to the city's chronic water shortages isn't working too well. Villaraigosa's clever scheme was to ask people really nicely to use less water. This doesn't seem to have worked--water use in the city hasn't budged since Villaraigosa issued his plea in June.

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Pumped Up

Last fall, Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn't escape the huge crowds of union members and Democrats who protested his ballot initiatives that proposed reshaping the state's education, budget, and political systems. Protesters surrounded hotels where he spoke,gathered outside TV studios and restaurants where he appeared, and even confronted him in hallways and kitchens. The angry hordes reflected a statewide rejection of the once-popular governor--more than 55 percent of Californians disapproved of his job performance, and Democratic challengers led in early polls on the 2006 governor's race.

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