The University of Southern California isn't just for strapping young scholars anymore. Today and tomorrow, the USC Price School of Public Policy begins an ongoing series of classes that will school current politicians in "public transparency and ethics, leadership, governance and environmental policy."
Hallelujah! We can think of no government offices more starved for such a schooling than those of our broke, dysfunctional L.A. County municipalities.
Yet one City Hall in particular is oddly missing from the class roster:
That of L.A. city proper, the brokest and most dysfunctional of them all.
Here's the sign-up list that Merrill Balassone, media-relations officer for USC, gives us for the first weekend of classes:
18 mayors, mayors pro tem and council members from Walnut, Rosemead, Paramount, Redondo Beach, Diamond Bar, Hemet, Montebello, West Hollywood, Claremont, Bellflower, Cerritos, Highland, Temple City and Rancho Palos Verdes.
West Hollywood City Hall may be up to its neck in real-estate bedfellows and receipts from swanky restaurants, but at least it knows it needs some work!
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, on the other hand, has more important places to be. According to City News Service, he's in New Orleans today for the World Cultural
Economic Forum, where he's helping "shape the international discussion on culture as an effective tool to spur innovation."
And after that, Villaraigosa will jet-set to Louisville, where he'll get his schmooze on at the U.S. Conference of Mayors... and attend the Kentucky Derby.
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We swear this guy spends more time on an airplane than in his desk chair at L.A. City Hall. Just last week, he was in Washington with Lindsay Lohan and the rest of the America's A-list for the schmoozefest of all schmoozefests: The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.
So instead of a much-needed refresher course in ethics and policy at USC, he'll come away with a few more endorsements for his inevitable climb up Capitol Hill and an even more inflated, abstract vision for L.A.'s folkloric art scene (or whatever one may glean from the World Cultural Economic Forum).
At the very least, he could have sent one of his taxpayer-funded office minions to compile the CliffsNotes.