Villaraigosa Throws Massive Going Away Party, And You're Paying For It
For the man who has nothing, there's always party time. And partying is one thing outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa got right, whether it was traveling to Europe, cavorting with TV newscasters, attending the Oscars, or hanging with Charlie Sheen in Baja.
Villaraigosa couldn't fix L.A.'s reputation for having the worst roads in the nation, but he can do this: Throw himself a going away party. Bill Clinton, Ryan Seacrest and Wanda Sykes, among others, are scheduled to attend. And you're invited:
The shindig, called "The Ultimate LA Block Party," happens June 7 from 5 to 10 p.m. at Grand Park downtown.
The raison d'fête, according to the party's website: "Welcome President Bill Clinton. Say goodbye to Mayor Villaraigosa. Say hello to Mayor-Elect Garcetti."
Because what you really want to do is kick off your weekend by listening to politicians blabber on about themselves. To be fair, there will be food trucks and mariachis. (But no DJs?).
What's really interesting about this partay is its sponsorship: It's brought to you buy the DWP, the Port of L.A., and L.A. World Airports (LAX), not to mention the likes of Wells Fargo, Disney and Time Warner Cable -- you know, the people who really run this town.
The DWP, which the mayoral candidates appeared to be running from like Lindsay Lohan flees from sobriety, is a cash-rich department, as are the Port and LAX.
But still, how the hell do city departments "sponsor" a city party? Those are ultimately your dollars Villaraigosa is going out on, by the way. At least in part. (You can thank Wells Fargo the next time it takes your lunch money for cashing a check drawn on one its own accounts. Glad they found the money to help throw a party on public property).
Have fun. Info.
[Added at 3:23 p.m.]: The mayor's office tells the Weekly the party will cost $265,000 and that most of that, $190,000 worth, is coming from donations. About $75,000 of it will involve public money, "in-kind" services such as policing the event.
The DWP, the Port of L.A., and L.A. World Airports contributed $5,000 apiece. Time Warner Cable contributed $35,000; Disney and Wells Fargo gave $25,000 apiece.
-With reporting from LA Weekly staff writer Gene Maddaus.