Joe Kenehan Center

Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Don't Call It A Comeback
Antonio Villaraigosa, former speaker of the California state assembly and the state's most charismatic progressive political leader, is mounting a comeback effort after his attempt to become mayor of Los Angeles fell short in 2001.

Villaraigosa is running to win a position on the LA City Council, aiming to unseat incumbent Nick Pacheco. The LA County Federation of Labor is gearing up its formidable turnout operation to support Villaraigosa.

Pacheco is a generation younger than Villaraigosa and positions himself as a DLC-style, post-ideological centrist. Despite his carefully constructed "Boy Scout" persona, Pacheco and his political allies are also known for their penchant for savagely negative campaign tactics and Nixonesque dirty tricks.

Both sides promise a clean fight but given the ample bad blood between the two camps it's likely this will be a bruising battle.

Here's an LA Weekly piece on the race.

Here's a Marc Cooper piece from The Nation.

World Bank Says Unions Work
Actually, the Bank said that "economies perform better in coordinated labor markets," but that's what they meant.

In a new report the Bank admits that "workers who belong to trade unions earn higher wages, work fewer hours, receive more training, and have longer job tenure on average, than their non-unionized counterparts."

Kerry On The Trail
LA Weekly/American Prospect scribe Harold Meyerson reports on a John Kerry event in Iowa. It looks more and more like John F. Kerry is the frontrunner.