Mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled his environmental plan for the city Thursday, pledging to plant 1 million trees and turn the city's Department of Water and Power into a cutting-edge environmental utility that would generate high-paying "green" jobs.
The Eastside councilman also received an endorsement from the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. That support had been sought by Mayor James K. Hahn, state Sen. Richard Alarcon and former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg.
Flanked by environmentalists, Villaraigosa held a news conference outside the DWP building to outline his vision to make Los Angeles "the cleanest, greenest, big city in America."
But, in a sign that with more than eight weeks until voters go to the polls the campaign is becoming ever more heated, a representative from Hahn's campaign crashed the news conference. He carried a letter and 17-page booklet that excoriated Villaraigosa for his ties to Cadiz Inc., a firm that pushed environmentally controversial plans to store water underground in the Mojave Desert and then pump it out in dry years. The project was never built.