Loading...
Fact Checking the Fact Checkers

Fact Checking the Fact Checkers

  • Share this Article

One of the great things about the race for Governor of California is that it is being so closely covered by the press. Frankly, one of the reasons why we are doing so well is that the press is covering all the campaigns – and our message is getting out there.

One of the most diligent news organizations covering the race is PolitiFact – a Pulitzer Prize winning organization that fact checks statements made by candidates, elected officials and even other media outlets.

I love the whole idea of this project. Our campaign is about telling it like it is and we all win when politicians and candidates are held to account.

But I’m also not afraid to debate them when I think they are wrong. And I believe they are wrong when they say it is not true that California has 77 of the top 300 cities with the highest poverty in the nation.

Recently, I said at a forum hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC):

“Seventy-seven of the top 300 cities with the highest poverty rate are in our state.”

PolitiFact weighed in and said that according to federal statistics on poverty, there were far fewer and that the 2015 study we used might be out of date since one of the factors creating poverty is unemployment, and unemployment has dropped in California. They also questioned our use of the term “poverty rate” when our source said “economically challenged.”

Five important points to make:

First, “economically challenged” in our view is equivalent to high rates of poverty. For any reader or listener, they are the same thing. The clear fact is California has the highest poverty in the nation.

Second, our source is the National Resource Network’s report, “Hidden in Plain Sight,” which said “California also has the highest concentration of economically challenged cities in the nation. While roughly 30 percent of all U.S. cities meet our definition of economically challenged, fully 25 percent of these cities are in this one state. These 77 localities account for just under 40 percent of all cities in the state with more than 40,000 residents. In total, nearly 12 million people live in these distressed communities, a population equal to that of the state of Ohio.” [National Resource Network, “Hidden in Plain Sight,” November 2015]

Third, it isn’t just the National Resource Network’s report that is showing this concentration of poverty in California. According to TownCharts.com, of the top 500 cities ranked by total in poverty, 100 of them are in California. [“Towncharts.com – United States Demographics Data.” Towncharts.com – United States Demographics Data. December 15, 2016.]

Now, it is fair to point out that according to TownCharts.com, of the top 300 cities ranked by poverty rate, 48 of those cities are in California. That number is lower than the 77 cited by the National Resources Network. But again, the number you find depends on how many factors you look at when you are considering poverty.

Fourth, yes the National Resource Network’s jobs numbers could have been out of date, but as unemployment fell, the cost of housing rose, and the cost of housing is one of the driving forces putting so many Californians into poverty. In fact, PolitiFact itself found it was true that California had the highest poverty rate in the nation using the Supplemental Poverty Measure from the U.S. Census. That measure takes into account costs like housing.

Fifth and finally, thank you to PolitiFact. We might not agree with them on this issue, but we appreciate the work they do.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown Backs Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

Compton Mayor Aja Brown Backs Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

  • Share this Article

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2017

Compton Mayor Aja Brown Backs Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

Mayor is joined by Council Colleague McCoy in endorsing Villaraigosa

LOS ANGELES — Compton Mayor Aja Brown joined council colleague Tana McCoy in announcing their endorsement today of Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor of California.

Mayor Brown Statement:

“Antonio Villaraigosa knows what it means to stand up for his community and fight for equal rights and access. As a former President of the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and organizer for working families, Antonio has a proven track record in defending progressive values. He is the right choice for Compton, and for all Californians.”

Antonio Villaraigosa Statement:

“I am so proud to have the support of these visionary local government leaders,” said Villaraigosa. “We’re going to build a better future for California from the ground up, and I look forward to working with Compton and cities across our state to create opportunities and defend our shared values.”


As a public servant, Villaraigosa served as Mayor of Los Angeles (2005-2013), Los Angeles City Council

Member (2003-2005), Speaker of the California Assembly (1998-2000), California State Assembly Member (1994-2000). Should Villaraigosa become elected, he would be California’s first Latino governorsince 1875.

Join Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for Governor of California, giving voice to every Californian to make our state work for everyone. Visit antonioforcalifornia.com.

###

California Leaders Must Condemn the Threats Against Speaker Rendon and Have the Courage to Stand Up to the Dangerous Rhetoric on Single Payer

  • Share this Article

The rhetoric over single-payer healthcare in California has taken an ugly, even dangerous, turn and now every responsible leader has a role in returning this discussion to a civil and honest debate.

Press reports detail how California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon received numerous death threats after he postponed the vote on the single-payer bill, threats the state Highway Patrol is now investigating.

Speaker Rendon had the courage to pause the headlong rush into a flawed single-payer proposal, calling for a thorough debate in order to properly vet the legislation.

As a result, the Speaker is now receiving threats via social media that include references to various means of execution. One poster is reported to have written he “prays someone checks Rendon’s schedule for baseball practice,” an obvious reference to the recent attempted assassination of members of Congress at a Congressional Baseball practice.

This must stop. This must stop now. We must all condemn this hateful speech at once.

And we should remember, we are better than this. A progressive speaker like Anthony Rendon standing up to make legislation better is not an action to be condemned, it is work that should be praised.

The organizations and leaders raising the temperature of this discussion to the boiling point should also pause and reflect on their own responsibility to dial down the rhetoric and return to a civil debate.

This is not, after all, a debate about whether we should have single-payer healthcare in California. This is a debate about how we will achieve it. Virtually every person engaged in this healthcare discussion supports the concept of single payer. I have been a supporter of single payer my entire career; I introduced and passed a massive expansion of public health insurance for California children when I was Speaker of the California State Assembly.

The current proposal, according the Legislature’s own analysis, would carry a price tag of up to $400 billion and require tax increases of up to $200 billion. It is true that other studies show a lower price tag, but even the authors of the State Senate bill acknowledge their proposal still has many financial details to be resolved.

Even if you accept the best-case data, adopting single payer now will mean massive cuts in other state programs and significant increases in taxes. It will also require explaining to voters why the state will take away trusted providers, like Kaiser and even Medicare, and require every Californian to join a state-run system. Of course, the premise of the proponents’ argument is based on the obviously false hope that President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress would grant a waiver, turning over federal healthcare funds to California.

Given these hard facts, the Speaker is correct to work to improve the proposal before moving it forward.

The supporters of single payer are not responsible for these death threats. But we are all responsible for elevating the level of our civic discourse and speaking out at once against violence and threats.

Protecting Medi-Cal Is Part of the California Healthcare Equation

Protecting Medi-Cal Is Part of the California Healthcare Equation

  • Share this Article

My campaign is dedicated to giving voice to all Californians. And the most powerful thing about giving voice to everyone is that when you actually hear from Californians, you understand clearly that our residents want real solutions – not false promises.

What I am hearing everywhere I go (and that’s just about everywhere) is that preserving The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the very highest priorities for Californians. The ACA is working. The Republican plan to gut it is a false promise that will endanger millions of Californians.

In California, the ACA is bringing life-saving and life-changing care to 3.7 million Californians, and it is one of the most important parts of our health care systems.

That’s why our number one health goal as a state must be to protect the ACA by standing up to the Republican plan to kill it – or, if they eventually do succeed in repealing or gutting this program, to fund it here in California.

Our second goal must be to continue to extend coverage to more Californians, until coverage is universal. We have worked tirelessly to make sure Californians have health insurance and our work is paying off. Nearly 92 percent of the state’s residents now have coverage – including one-third of the state which is covered under Medi-Cal. But 92% is not 100% which is why I strongly support moving forward with plans to craft a “Public Option,” that would allow Californians to buy into public programs for their insurance coverage.

But even when everyone has coverage, we will still need to keep working to make sure that obtaining insurance guarantees quality medical treatment when our loved ones and neighbors need it.

That’s why our goals also need to include protecting and enhancing Medi-Cal, which covers Californians from all walks of life: from the working single mother in National City, to the disabled son of a Central Valley farmer and the college student studying computer science in Arcata. It also covers half of all children in California.

Medi-Cal patients are three times more likely than those with private insurance to have trouble accessing the life-saving care that they are promised. This is largely because Medi-Cal patients far outnumber providers in the Medi-Cal program – and because the doctors, dentists and clinics that Californians rely on for medical care are paid at rates lower than nearly every other state – including Texas, West Virginia and Alaska.

What does this mean for Californians? When a Medi-Cal patient gets sick, they face longer wait times to make an appointment, or they may need to travel thirty, forty or fifty miles to find a provider who can accept new patients. This type of delay is unacceptable when it means a patient must wait months for life-saving cancer treatment.

The good news is that Californians spoke up and overwhelmingly passed Proposition 56, the tobacco tax measure, last November. This $2 tax on cigarettes and tobacco products has generated over a billion dollars in revenues that voters approved to improve patient access to medical and dental care in the Medi-Cal program. The proposition was also written to draw down federal matching funds – so that California has the maximum amount of revenue to invest in the health of its people.

While the compromise spending plan provided $465 million for increased payments to Medi-Cal doctors and dentists, it doesn’t fulfill the full promise of Proposition 56. It is crucial to support the will of the voters and ensure that tobacco tax funds support the nearly 14 million Californians on Medi-Cal.

We should invest every penny of these voter-approved funds to make sure that Californians can see a doctor or dentist when their need is greatest.

California embraced the ACA and became an example to the nation of the success that we can achieve together. Now we must continue to lead by investing tobacco tax funds to ensure that insurance coverage is never separated from access to health care.

More News and Views

Supervisor, Former Latino Caucus Chair Luis Alejo Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

Supervisor, Former Latino Caucus Chair Luis Alejo Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

  • Share this Article

For Immediate Release
June 23, 2017 

SUPERVISOR AND FORMER LATINO CAUCUS CHAIR LUIS ALEJO ENDORSES ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA FOR GOVERNOR

Villaraigosa receives support from top Latino leaders across the State

luis alejo endorses antonio villaraigosa for governor of californiaLOS ANGELES — Today, Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo announced he is supporting Antonio Villaraigosa in his bid to become the next Governor of California. Alejo previously served in the California State Assembly from 2011 to 2016, where he also served as chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. He leads a list of Salinas elected officials endorsing Villaraigosa for Governor, including:

  • Former Councilmember Sergio Sanchez
  • Former Councilmember Maria Bonilla Giuriato
  • Former Councilmember Ernesto Gonzalez
  • Hartnell Community College District Trustee David Serena
  • Former Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Trustee Victor Rey
  • Former Alisal Union School Board Member Francisca Salinas Gonzalez

Supervisor Alejo Statement:

Antonio Villaraigosa is the leader we need to unite all of California, help our state thrive economically and preserve our environment for future generations. No one in this race matches his track record on jobs, the environment, economic development and civil rights. California is at a critical juncture, and Antonio Villaraigosa is the champion that our state needs.

Antonio Villaraigosa Statement:

“It is truly humbling to have the support of Supervisor Luis Alejo,” said Villaraigosa. “With his experience at all levels of government, Luis understands the importance of having a Governor that will work with local and state level leaders that will keep improving California.”


As a public servant, Villaraigosa served as Mayor of Los Angeles (2005-2013), Los Angeles City Council Member (2003-2005), Speaker of the California Assembly (1998-2000), California State Assembly Member (1994-2000). Should Villaraigosa become elected, he would be California’s first Latino governor since 1875.

Join Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for Governor of California, giving voice to every Californian to make our state work for everyone. Visit antonioforcalifornia.com.

###

Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, Coachella Valley Leaders Endorse Antonio Villaraigosa For Governor

Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, Coachella Valley Leaders Endorse Antonio Villaraigosa For Governor

  • Share this Article

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2017

ASSEMBLYMAN EDUARDO GARCIA LEADS PROMINENT COACHELLA VALLEY LEADERS ENDORSING
ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA FOR GOVERNOR

Supporters continue to pour in from different regions across the state

LOS ANGELES — Today, Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, announced his endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa as California’s next Governor. Garcia is joined by Riverside County Supervisor and former Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, as well as Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez and Coachella Valley Water District Board Vice President Cástulo Estrada in announcing their support of Villaraigosa.

Assemblyman Garcia Statement:

No one has a proven record of improving the environment like Antonio Villaraigosa. As Mayor of Los Angeles, he helped reduce carbon emissions by 28 percent in one of the world’s biggest metropolitan areas while growing green jobs. He signed agreements to get completely off coal by 2025. He reduced water consumption by 23 percent. I am confident Antonio will continue the focus on these issues and ensure environmental and economic relief across California.

Supervisor Perez Statement:

Antonio Villaraigosa will fight for good jobs for all Californians. As mayor he had a proven record of growing the economy for youth and both low and middle income workers. I strongly support him to be our next Governor and bring prosperity and jobs to our communities.

Antonio Villaraigosa Statement:

“I am honored to have the support of these distinguished Coachella Valley Leaders,” said Villaraigosa. “We must continue to work together to create a more prosperous California for everyone and make sure that no voice goes unheard.”


As a public servant, Villaraigosa served as Mayor of Los Angeles (2005-2013), Los Angeles City Council Member (2003-2005), Speaker of the California Assembly (1998-2000), California State Assembly Member (1994-2000). Should Villaraigosa become elected, he would be California’s first Latino governor since 1875.

Join Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for Governor of California, giving voice to every Californian to make our state work for everyone. Visit antonioforcalifornia.com.

###

More News and Views

Assemblymember Blanca Rubio, Mayor Lozano, Three Baldwin Park Councilmembers Endorse Antonio Villaraigosa

Assemblymember Blanca Rubio, Mayor Lozano, Three Baldwin Park Councilmembers Endorse Antonio Villaraigosa

  • Share this Article

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2017

ASSEMBLYMEMBER BLANCA RUBIO JOINS MAYOR LOZANO AND THREE ADDITIONAL BALDWIN PARK COUNCILMEMBERS SUPPORTING ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA FOR GOVERNOR

Villaraigosa gains additional endorsements from elected officials in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles – Today, Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) announced her support for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor of California. Assemblymember Rubio leads a list of leaders from Baldwin Park who are endorsing Villaraigosa in his bid for Governor, including Mayor Manuel Lozano, Mayor Pro Tem Susan Rubio and Councilmembers Monica Garcia and Cruz Baca.

Assemblymember Rubio Statement:

As the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa fought to improve opportunities in education for some of our most vulnerable students. As Governor, I know he will continue to fight for equal and fair education for all of our children in California.

Mayor Lozano Statement:

As a former Mayor himself, Antonio knows the importance of having a Governor who will work with local elected officials. I am proud to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa as our next Governor, working to improve the lives of the residents of Baldwin Park and all of California.

Antonio Villaraigosa Statement:

I am honored to have the support of Assemblymember Rubio and these Baldwin Park officials as we work together to help the state continue to lead the nation in providing educational and economic opportunities for every Californian.


As a public servant, Villaraigosa served as Mayor of Los Angeles (2005-2013), Los Angeles City Council Member (2003-2005), Speaker of the California Assembly (1998-2000), California State Assembly Member (1994-2000). Should Villaraigosa become elected, he would be California’s first Latino Governor since 1875.

Learn more about Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for Governor of California, giving voice to every Californian to make our state work for everyone. Visit antonioforcalifornia.com.

###

More News and Views

Former CA Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

Former CA Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

  • Share this Article

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2017

FORMER CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE CRUZ REYNOSO ENDORSES
ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA FOR GOVERNOR

Villaraigosa announces support of Civil Rights legend Cruz Reynoso

cruz reynoso endorses antonio villaraigosa for governor of californiaFormer California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso today announced his support for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor of California. Justice Reynoso was the first Latino appointed to the California Supreme Court and is a professor emeritus at University of California at Davis Law School. He has also served as vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2000, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Reynoso is recognized for his leadership in civil rights, immigration and refugee policy, government reform, the administration of justice, education and legal services for the indigent.

Cruz Reynoso Statement:

Antonio Villaraigosa has been fighting for justice and equality his entire career, from volunteering with the farm workers’ movement as a young man to his work as President of the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. As a legislator and mayor he fought for education and opportunities for all Californians, and I am proud to support him in his campaign to take this work to the Governor’s office.

Antonio Villaraigosa Statement:

In the annals of California jurisprudence, there are few who stood as tall with the courage of his convictions in speaking out for justice and equality. I am so proud to have the endorsement of Cruz Reynoso, a true civil rights champion, in my campaign for Governor.

As a public servant, Villaraigosa served as Mayor of Los Angeles (2005-2013), Los Angeles City Council Member (2003-2005), Speaker of the California Assembly (1998-2000), California State Assembly Member (1994-2000). Should Villaraigosa become elected, he would be California’s first Latino governor since 1875.

Join Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for Governor of California, giving voice to every Californian to make our state work for everyone. Visit antonioforcalifornia.com.

###

More News and Views

RELEASE: Villaraigosa Calls for Democratic Candidates to Debate in 2017

RELEASE: Villaraigosa Calls for Democratic Candidates to Debate in 2017

  • Share this Article

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2017


Villaraigosa Calls for Democratic Candidates to Debate in 2017

“We should have the courage to define and defend our views in public as we shape the future of our party and our state,” Villaraigosa said.

Los Angeles, CA – Today, Democratic candidate for Governor of California Antonio Villaraigosa asked his fellow Democratic candidates to agree to a series of substantive debates on issues that will define the future of the state and, given the size and importance of California, potentially the future of the national political landscape as well.

“All the Democratic candidates for governor call themselves progressive. But we owe it to the people of this state to show how we will make actual progress on creating high-wage jobs, improving our schools, creating affordable housing, protecting immigrants and bringing the state together,” Villaraigosa said.

Villaraigosa suggested setting up separate debates for public pre-kindergarten to 12th grade education, college affordability and accessibility, affordable housing, closing the wealth gap, health care and coverage, the environment, immigration and public infrastructure. He said he was also open to other topics suggested by his fellow Democratic candidates.

“Voters deserve an honest and substantive debate about how we are going to lift up more Californians and close the gap between the rich and poor. We should have the courage to define and defend our views in public as we shape the future of our state,” Villaraigosa said.

Villaraigosa suggested the debates could be co-hosted by community groups or simply by the candidates working together to set up guidelines for respectful and insightful debates on issues. He said he would simulcast all the debates on his website and social media properties, inviting the other candidates, debate partners and hosts to do the same.

“There are already big issues emerging. For example, Gavin Newsom says we should embrace a $400 billion dollar single-payer healthcare proposal, and I believe our first goal should be to protect the millions in danger of losing coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Let’s hear each other out and let the public hear from us directly,” Villaraigosa said.

The former Mayor of Los Angeles said debates with all the candidates, including the Republican candidates, would be equally important and suggested there would be time for those debates next year.

“Californians need more than just talk to tackle the tough issues ahead – we need leaders who can embrace the truth and deliver real solutions. Debating together will only make this party stronger,” Villaraigosa said.

He acknowledges that early debates are unusual. “Business as usual isn’t working in campaigns. Creating a forum for honest and civil debate empowers our rank and file to engage with us, and it helps diminish the power of special interests,” he said.

Villaraigosa said he emailed his fellow candidates and will phone them directly, asking them to debate. He is committed to reporting back on their replies.

###

More News and Views

Hon. Fabian Núñez: I support Antonio for Governor

  • Share this Article

At this crucial moment, California needs leaders who can do more than just talk about problems. We need leaders with the courage and compassion to solve them.

That’s why I strongly support Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor – and I hope you will join me by giving him your personal support.

As a candidate for Governor, he is reaching out to every corner and every community of this state – giving voice to everyone, particularly those who have been left out of our political discourse and, frankly, left behind by our economy.

Antonio has the courage to stand up for the most effective policies, not the politically expedient ones. During his days leading the ACLU of Southern California, he fought to break the school to prison pipeline. As Speaker of the California State Assembly, he pioneered the Healthy Families program, which provides health insurance to hundreds of thousands of children. And as Mayor of Los Angeles, he made improving public schools his highest priority.

The results and his record speak for itself:

  • As Mayor, he closed a budget gap and dramatically lowered crime rates while investing in hundreds of miles of new transit, new affordable housing and better public schools.
  • As Speaker, he stood up for immigrants and fought against attacks on our friends and neighbors – well before it was popular politics.
  • More than a decade before progressive ideas like marriage equality or sensible gun control won the support of most politicians, Antonio was a leader – introducing a comprehensive assault weapons ban and clearly standing up early for marriage equality.

As a former Speaker of the Assembly myself, I know just how hard it can be to stand up to both political friends and foes to put the interests of the people first. It takes guts, and Antonio has what it takes to consistently fight for, and win, progressive policies to move our state forward and bring our state together. Antonio tells it like it is. He stands up for what matters – whatever the political consequences.

More News and Views