Getting bored yet with all the glossy Anthony Villaraigosa commercials touting the utopia that will be California if only the former mayor of Los Angeles rises from the basement in the polls and becomes our next governor? Just a few weeks ago, Villaraigosa was languishing at 9% in the polls, having fallen behind the no-name Republicans in the race to see who would compete against Gavin Newsom in November. Now the airwaves in the Golden State are awash in all things Antonio all the time.
Well, as in everything political, the answer comes down to money. In this case, a small group of rich folks want to buy your next governor and are doing everything they can to resuscitate Villaraigosa’s dying campaign. As the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported:
Two billionaire charter school advocates stirred up California’s gubernatorial race by pouring a total of $8.5 million into an independent expenditure campaign supporting former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings pledged $7 million and Los Angeles real estate entrepreneur Eli Broad promised $1.5 million to an independent expenditure organization called Families and Teachers for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor 2018, which is run by the California Charter Schools Association Advocates.
Not surprisingly this big money campaign is full of plenty of doublespeak as the “Families and Teachers for Antonio” group would more accurately be named “a handful of rich white guys for Villaraigosa because he hates teachers and wants to bust their unions like we do.” Indeed, the reality of the matter is that both of California’s teachers’ organizations support Gavin Newsom because he has pledged to work with them rather than join the billionaire boys club behind corporate education reform efforts and the unregulated spread of charter schools that will continue to drain funding from other public schools and, if left unchecked, ultimately undermine public education itself.