After nearly eight years at helm, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is leaving office on June 30, 2013. That puts today's Villaraigosa Countdown at 156 days. Some people love him, others hate him — and many others probably still can't pronounce his name.

In a tribute of sorts, L.A. Weekly is regularly recounting the triumphs, defeats, and all-around bizarreness of Villaraigosa's two terms as mayor.

In September 2009, vandals — although other folks may use another term — expressed their true feelings for Villaraigosa and smattered red paint on an East Hollywood mural depicting the mayor. Someone also spray painted the word “Vendido,” which is far from a compliment.

The incident took place on Santa Monica Boulevard at Susy's Meat Market, which uses an exterior wall for a mural to promote one thing or another and often singles out inspirational figures in Latino history.

Being the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles in over 130 years, Villaraigosa certainly seemed like an appropriate choice to grace the Susy's Meat Market wall. Others didn't think so.

The mural was painted by a group of street artists called Cyrcle. Only a day or two after they completed their work, a person or persons splattered Villaraigosa's face with red paint and scrawled on the sidewalk with black spray paint “THIS IS OUR TOWN.”

Credit: Ted Soqui

Credit: Ted Soqui

Apparently, the vandal or vandals didn't think Villaraigosa was a part of it.

It seems the vandal or vandals were still fuming over the sight of Villaraigosa's mug at Susy's Meat Market and came back to spray paint “Vendido” on the mayor's collar. Among the highest of insults, that word roughly translates to someone who's sold out his people.

The mural was eventually taken down and Villaraigosa never appeared on the wall again.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

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