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Apr-27-2010 22:17printcomments

What Villaraigosa Omitted From His State of the City Speech

I can tell you right now that he has lied to you already.

Los Angeles City Hall photo by Tim King

(LOS ANGELES) - If you read or listened to Villaraigosa’s “State of the City” speech, you may have noticed he omitted to mention a certain touchy topic: the state of the City.

Villaraigosa never disclosed the state of City Hall’s own finances.

How much money has it taken in this fiscal year? How much has it spent? How do this year's figures compare to last year's? How much cash does the City actually have on hand? How much has it borrowed?

How many employees did the City have at the beginning of the fiscal year, and how many now?

These are not trifling questions. After all, if you followed the news during the recent DWP rate hike debacle, you may have felt as though you were watching an episode of “Lost.” In one of several parallel universes, the City Controller said the City would run out of money on May 5. A moment later, the City Council President claimed the City would finish the fiscal year in June, $80 million to $100 million in the black.

Villaraigosa did trot out his specious claim that L.A. is safer than when Eisenhower was president -- a claim that has been debunked by no less than the late LAPD Chief Daryl Gates, along with Patrick Range McDonald of the LA Weekly, and every person you meet who actually lived here in the 1950s.

Villaraigosa admitted 65,000 jobs are gone, but he did not mention the unemployment rate (13.6%), or the number of people unemployed (259,250).

Why, then, did the Mayor talk about his grandfather instead of the actual state of the City in his so-called “State of the City” address?

Villaraigosa remained silent about the actual state of the city for the same reason criminals invoke their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent about their conduct. If he told the truth, he would incriminate himself, and if he lied, he would be guilty of a new crime. So he just ignored the state of the city, hoping you wouldn’t notice.

As for Villaraigosa’s comments about his proposed budget, I can tell you right now that he has lied to you already. In his speech, he said, “This budget totals $4.34 billion dollars.”

In fact, however, his proposed budget -- which is now available online -- calls for spending $6.7 billion.

What does THAT tell you about the state of the city?

Walter Moore is a Los Angeles based attorney who graduated with honors from Princeton in 1981 and Georgetown Law in 1984; with a degree in Public and International Affairs. During this time he served as editor for the Georgetown Law Journal.

As a political independent, Walter ran for Mayor of Los Angeles in 2009 and received nearly 72,000 votes. He also wrote official ballot arguments against various measures, and serves on LA's Historic Preservation Overlay Zone board.

You can write to Walter Moore at this address: To learn more about Walter and his views on LA's political scene, visit:

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