LA Mayor denounces Schwarzenegger of misusing the state's ballot initiative process

Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in an unexpected broadside, accused Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of misusing the state's ballot initiative process to force his political agenda on the Legislature.

Schwarzenegger is pushing four ballot measures that deal with teacher tenure, union dues, a state spending cap and redistricting.

"I'm opposed to all of his initiatives," said Villaraigosa, a former state Assembly speaker, who had appeared eager to work with Schwarzenegger. "In this instance it's very clear that the initiative process is being misused," Villaraigosa said. "These are matters that could and should be addressed by the Legislature."

Todd Harris, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger's campaign, said the governor decided to take the issues before voters in a Nov. 8 special election because the Legislature was unwilling to work with him.

"The governor could not agree with the mayor more that the Legislature should have worked with the governor to pass these reforms," Harris said. "Instead, the Legislature focused on its own priorities, things like gay marriage and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants," reports the AP. I.L.

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