Like so many other politicians throughout U.S. history, Mexican American candidates usually seek to leverage their ethnicity to win elections and gain access to the mainstream. They unabashedly appeal to their Latino base, but, once in office, they seek to broaden their profile, with their next bid for a higher post in mind.
As Molly Ivins says, "You gotta dance with them what brung you." Villaraigosa's rise to power is completely the result of Los Angeles becoming a Mexican city, and he won't easily put that behind him — although he is apparently mounting a media campaign to erase a past now politically inconvenient for a man with ambitions.
Interestingly enough, there is another article from today on the identical subject [Immigration rallies force L.A. mayor into political tight spot - Villaraigosa backs away from image as single-issue leader, SF Chronicle 5/14/06].
He still fumes at a Time magazine cover on his election victory that bore the headline "Latino Power." He insists he was elected not because of his name or heritage, but because of his proposals on issues like improving education, reducing violence and improving health care in Los Angeles.
"Some people say I won because of this growing 'Latino power,' " said Villaraigosa, his finger stabbing the air. "I won because the people of Los Angeles ... judge people based on their talent and what they can do."
Yeah, right. He puts on an expensive suit and expects us to forget his former life as an Aztlan activist.
We haven't forgotten his expressions of loyalty to his ancestral home (e.g. L.A. Mayor: Mexico Will Shape My Policies) and particularly his support for Special Order 40, the city's tough sanctuary policy which prevents police from checking the immigration status of criminals. Mayor Vile has never repudiated his Chairmanship of the UCLA chapter of the MEChA brown power racists, along with numerous other unsavory relationships.
Also, listen to a 1997 sound clip of Assembly Member Villaraigosa declaring that it is the duty of all elected hispanic officials to support benefits for illegal aliens.
Good news, bad news: WE haven't forgotten the obnoxious past of Mayor Vile, but the hopeless MSM never noticed in the first place.