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Mayor's political, personal future

July 10, 2007

Re "Villaraigosa affair may not be one to remember," July 7

The real shame of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa isn't that his marriage did or didn't work out -- that can happen to anyone -- but that he has shown once again that he is incapable of making a real commitment. His political and now his carnal ambitions have always come before people he claims to care about: his constituency and family. Even Corina Villaraigosa turned out to be another stepping-stone for Antonio. Beware, good citizens, this man is driven by ambition, not decency.

JOHNNY LIEBERMAN

Los Angeles

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Why should Villaraigosa worry about his political future because of his infidelity problems? He can look at Rudy Giuliani, who had worse marital problems while he was mayor of New York and is now in his third marriage. And what have all these bumps in the road done for Giuliani? He's running for president. So, Antonio, follow your mentor and go for it.

JOHN SUSNIR

Yorba Linda

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Various commentators, as well as the general public, are speculating as to why Villaraigosa had an affair when it was so clearly self-destructive to his political career. Of course, it would be simplistic to offer any easy explanation, as though we can rationally understand the affairs of the heart. My own theory is that Villaraigosa was acting unconsciously self-destructively because in some deep way, he wants out.

As mayor, he faces enormous expectations from himself and the public to deliver on the largely intractable problems that L.A. faces: homelessness, the lack of affordable housing, a lack of high-quality education, gang violence, the rising cost of living and a lack of funding for public transportation. Sure, he relishes his public role as mayor, but there is some part of him that is screaming in unconscious rebellion, "Get me out of here!"

ANDREW WALZER

Santa Monica

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