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Antonio Villaraigosa: Overkill Mayor of the World


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa loves the Big Sell. It was on display again yesterday outside City Hall, where he made the grand announcement that L.A. will be the "farmers market capital of the world."

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

If you follow the mayor closely -- and we do -- you would know that "(fill in the blank) capital of the world," as it relates to L.A. being the "(fill in the blank) capital of the world," is one of Villaraigosa's favorite lines.

So much so, we decided to do a Google search, typing in "Antonio Villaraigosa" and "capital of the world." As we thought, the mayor's boasts of world domination, or variations thereof, are so numerous, and in some cases wacky, that he now verges on self-parody whenever makes the claim.

During his 2005 inaugural address, for example, Villaraigosa stated that L.A. is the "undisputed commercial and cultural capital of the richest state" in the nation, which would make Los Angeles the undisputed commercial and cultural capital of the United States.

In the same speech, the mayor urged voters to "join me in making L.A. the greenest big city in America." (He's still working on that one.)

The hyperbole only got worse over the next four years.

In 2006, the mayor said L.A. is the nation's "capital of homelessness" and he wanted to make this city the "biotech capital of the world."

At UCLA, in 2007, Villaraigosa said in a speech that L.A. is "America's undisputed creative capital." (That's two "undisputeds" for those of you who are counting.)

At a 2008 fashion industry event, Ecorazzi reported that Villaraigosa "proclaimed that he looked forward to making Los Angeles the eco-fashion capital of the world, to much applause."

In February, 2009, the mayor predicted L.A. would be the "solar capital of the world." (That died a quick death when voters shot down his solar panel initiative, Measure B, this March.)

In April, 2009, Villaraigosa announced, "We will make L.A. the capital of green technology."

In June, 2009, the mayor remarked that Los Angeles will be the "basketball capital of the world."

So what do all of these examples make Villaraigosa? How about "overkill mayor of the world."

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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