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Arnold and Antonio? | The Nation

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The Notion

Unfiltered takes on politics, ideas and culture from Nation editors and contributors.

Arnold and Antonio?

Some strange goings-on out here on the Left Coast. The progressive Democrat Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, has so far not endorsed the party's nominee for Governor, Phil Angelides.

A couple of reasons why: First, Angelides has refused to support Villaraigosa's plan to place the ossified L.A. Unified School District under the Mayor's control. Villaraigosa is a former organizer for the teachers' union; but the union is simultaneously opposing the takeover plan and bankrolling Angelides. So that, in part, explains the rift.

The other part is that Villaraigosa --like many others-- may figure that Arnold Schwarzenegger is going thump Angelides in the November general election. The City of L.A. has a lot riding on some bond measures that Arnold is supporting and Villaraigosa might figure there's more in it to quietly support the Republican Governor than there is in investing in a losing Democratic challenger.

The third factor is that Villaraigosa is a wildly popular pol and by far one of the most favorably looked-upon Democrats in the state. He might be figuring the best thing for his personal future is to have Angelides go down in flames this fall opening the way for his own candidacy four years from now.

It's all evolving as a wonderfullly juicy story of political intrigue and calculation. Bill Bradley has more gruesome details.

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