the other day our most popular columnist, steve lopez

wrote this great piece

about how our Mayor, for some reason, isn’t interested in being interviewed by the gentleman.

mr lopez, seeing that mayor tony had been spending a lot of time outside the city campaigning for hillary clinton, noticed that mr villaraigosa had gone to texas to help the senator get out the vote. so steve flew to texas, rented a car once there, and drove around from event to event trying to get a sit down with our mayor.

at first he was a step behind the ever-active mayor, but eventually he found him giving a speech at an event and waited for his moment to pop the question about the overdue interview.

I had wondered whether, when I finally got together with Villaraigosa, he would argue that he hasn’t really been out of Los Angeles all that much. But I soon realized I had nothing to worry about. The mayor told the crowd he’d left Los Angeles to go to “Iowa four times, New Hampshire for five days.” And people have wondered, he added, “why I went to Nevada as many times as I did.”

And the answer?

“This is the most important election of my lifetime,” he said, and whether the issue is health insurance for children or getting out of Iraq, Hillary is the answer. “This is where the rubber hits the road, and you all are the rubber.”

Maybe it’s a line better reserved for a rally at a Goodyear plant.

As he left the room, I leaned in to the mayor and said:

“What’s a poor Angeleno have to do to get an interview with you?”

The mayor was a little surprised, I’d say, but gracious enough. I told him I’d come a long way and wondered if we might get together later in the day.

the mayor’s aide said he would try to pencil steve in to the mayor’s busy lone star schedule.

unfortunately, in the wake of one cold shoulder after another (the final involving the mayor escaping to a nightclub in a supersized SUV), our trusty columnist flew home without his interview.

if you recall, last month the Times started advertising on electronic billboards all over the city.

if the mayor wasn’t in a night club, back at Nobu with Robert Di Nero (like he was earlier this week for the opening of the LA Nobu), or off to Pennsylvania to stump for the former first lady,

perhaps he saw this message on one of the numerous electronic billboards in LA.

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