Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said on Wednesday he had formed a political action committee and started raising money to help fight Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign in key states with large Latino immigrant populations.
“I’m focusing all my efforts from now to November on stopping Trump,” Villaraigosa said in a conference call with reporters.
Calling Trump a racist and misogynist, Villaraigosa said his committee, called Building Bridges, Not Walls, would focus on organizing immigrants to oppose the presumptive Republican nominee in California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida in the campaign for the Nov. 8 election.
Opened with his own $1,000 contribution, the committee would seek donations to pay for its activities, Villaraigosa said.
Villaraigosa, a Democrat who was Los Angeles mayor from 2005 to 2013 and also served as speaker of the California Assembly, is perhaps the state’s highest-profile Latino leader. He has said he is considering a run for governor in 2018.
Yes, he is considering a run for governor, but he was really hoping to figure more in the 2016 presidential conversation at one time in the not too distant past. He was the chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention and probably thought he’d be more than a “Oh yeah, that guy…” this year.
When he wasn’t overseeing businesses fleeing the city, his career as mayor of Los Angeles was otherwise marked by scandal and mediocrity, but that isn’t really a drawback when you’re a Democrat. He will probably be in a good position for 2018 in California, but he has to keep his name out there, which no one else in the party is giving him an assist on at the moment.
His idea for the anti-Trump PAC isn’t even very fresh, as more than one have already been formed by Republican strategists and donors. At this point it looks more like a desperate ploy for grannie pander to notice him in case she wins in November.
With his “meh” economic record as mayor, he’ll probably be a shoe-in for secretary of Commerce.