Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has a chance to end his term on a high note by securing passage of Measure J, the half-cent sales tax extension to fund transportation projects.
The measure needs a 2/3 vote, and internal polling shows it very close to that threshold. The mayor is the key figure behind the measure, having leveraged support at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and in the Legislature to get it on the ballot.
But Villaraigosa does not appear in the TV commercial urging a "yes" vote, suggesting he is not the best pitchman for a measure that would cement his legacy.
Here's the ad:
Matt Szabo, the executive director of the Yes on J campaign and a former Villaraigosa aide, says the ad is "all about the substance of the matter that voters are going to be asked to consider."
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"That's what this campaign is about," Szabo said. "It's not about elected officials. There are no elected officials (in the ad)."
Villaraigosa also did not appear in commercials for Measure R, the 2008 sales tax measure that Measure J would extend.
But for comparison's sake, Gov. Jerry Brown is all over the commercials supporting Proposition 30: