Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa isn't the only big-city leader in Southern California who takes tickets to big events: Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle is heading to Tuesday's Major League Baseball All-Star game in his city, and he's taking three people with him.
The difference between his own trek to the ballgame and Villaraigosa's acceptance of an estimated $50,000 or more in sports and entertainment tickets is huge, however: The All-Star tickets in question belong to the city of Anaheim, and Pringle says he's paying the taxes on them, according to the Voice Of OC.
That's a far cry from Villaraigosa's situation, which has seen L.A.'s leader get dipped in some fairly hot water for accepting valuable tickets from organizations — the owner of Staples Center, the Dodgers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — that have had business before City Hall. And he did so without declaring them as gifts, a move that would usually be required under state law.
In a Villaraigosesque move, Pringle wouldn't say who he's taking to the game or how much the tix are worth. But at least he's avoided the appearance of a tickets-for-consideration deal at his own City Hall by having Anaheim buy the tix.
Villaraigosa's situation is under investigation or review by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and the city Ethics Commission.
Mayor V. claims that he can take the tickets if he's performing official city duties at events such as Lakers and Dodgers games and entertainment galas such as the Academy Awards.