Photo by James Bunoan State Senator Joe Dunn, Santa Ana's very fine Democrat, is always getting funky and bipartisan with the local Republicans. They, of course, almost never return the favor.
We've seen him before, meandering around the GOP election night spectacle at the Sutton Place Hotel, smiling, coming into the enemy's camp just to say hey. And on Tuesday, we saw him speak graciously at what's billed as the political junkies' Election Day Lunch for 250 that Christine Iger throws 245 of her closest Republican friends and perhaps—perhaps—five Dems. Nah. If there were five Dems there, I'm the Whore of Babylon. Of course, I can't possibly be the Whore of Babylon because the position's already been filled by District Attorney Henchfrau (and new Commie Girl best friend!) Susan Kang Schroeder!
Right. The luncheon! So there were many people there, in suits, to hear Assemblyman Todd Spitzerpump the wah-wah pedal on his electric guitar and sing a little ditty about the California Recall(so last September!), wherein he rhymed "Gray" with "Gray" (to be fair—which I always am—he also rhymed "Gray" with "CTA"). He really wasn't terrible on the ax—he even shredded a little, though he's no Nashville Pussy—and we were all a little impressed, especially considering how deliciously Bob Roberts it all was: Drugs Stink! Retake America! This Land Was Made for Me!Then a Spitzer staffer came out to sing the "God Damn Budget Blues." (The Times' Jean Pasco swears it was "Got Dem Budget Blues"; I choose not to believe her.) Yeah, there's nothing like white boys singing blues songs—blues songs about "The Legislature"—for a good time.
Don't do crack. It's a ghetto drug.
Right. The luncheon! People chortled happily with former Assembly leader Curt Pringle(now a comfortable Anaheim mayor with a comfortable belly) as he gave a Top 10 list of Worst Local Campaign Slogans. One made fun of Garden Grove City Councilman Mark Leyes (unsuccessful bid for the 68th AD) for being a big, gross fatty. Another, for Ken Maddox, was "Vote for me because I haven't shopped at Von's for six months." We thought it was a fabulous slogan—and probably more than Claudia Alvarez (a "Dem" who accepted $1,000 from Safeway during the grocery strike, and thus was edged by carpetbagging Tom Umbergin the 69th) could say, but for some reason our rightwing friend Maddox was pummeled by John Campbell,who's equally rightwing but far outpaces Maddox in the all-important uptight-geek category, for the state Senate seat both were seeking. Final score: Campbell 60, Maddox 30. Oooh. That smarts.
Still, the the biggest laugh came when Pringle used the word shit. Filthy fucking Republicans. And John Campbell was wearing a skirt. Nice sack!
The people, they also liked Rick Reifffrom the OC Business Journal(OCBJ—hee!), but they hissed my boss, glamorous and urbane Weekly editor Will Swaim. I was trying to figure out who was hissing so I could henchfrau for him, but my vision was becoming pleasingly softened, like a Vaselined camera lens on Dame Elizabeth Taylor, from my liquid lunch. What, I was gonna pay for food? Please. You are ridiculous. The hisses came even before Swaim called them a bunch of fags! No! Seriously!
"I'm sorry I'm late," he said, explaining that he had wandered the hotel searching for the gathering, and then found a long line he assumed must be the place. "But then I thought, 'This can't be an Orange County Republican lunch: there's way too many women, and all the men are straight. You've been a great audience! Don't forget to tip your waiters and then have them all deported!'"
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That last part? About the deportation? We only thought of that later. It's what the French call "staircase wit," and Americans call "D'oh!"
Election Night proper at the Sutton Place was the least zippy in recent memory—not that I have a lot of memory of most election nights, but I do have stacks of old cocktail napkins (with charmingly deteriorating handwriting) with which to recreate those golden years of yesteryear. We did have a few highlights this time out, particularly our own Scott Moxley being wrestled out the door of the super-VIP back room—it was the ne plus ultra of the mythic Back Room, lacking only LBJ, Dr. Evil and a dead hooker—by OC Treasurer John Moorlach. Moorlach, who's a giant of a man, is usually much more Gentle Ben and much less Sasquatch, but he was already tossing Mox like a salad when we stopped him by, um, shrieking. Oh, how I hate shrill old me! Meanwhile, sitting around a long table with Scott Baugh, sheriff's guy Jon Fleischmann, the Biebs (we watched Jim Bieber nodding pleasantly as he was trapped in a conversation about fetal sonograms for what seemed like nine months), Supervisor Bill Campbell, pollster Adam Probolsky, Register editorial monkey Steven "Not a Jew" Greenhut and OC Republican Caesar Tom "Et tu?" Fuentes, Susan Schroeder was so bored she was even willing to talk to us. It had something to do with sex and the grotesquely fat, but since I'm her new best friend and all, I'm gonna keep it under wraps. What happens in the back room stays in the back room. Mmmm, power!
Next, Susan and I are gonna braid each other's hair and have a pillowfight and crank call Tommy from math before we put on our power suits and go solve some crimes. Me and Susan? We're like that.