LA Mayors Race: me pissed at Emily’s List

UPDATE: notice ping back in comments, this post was picked up by some outlets regarding this subject.  Yeah, for once it not just me!


LA Mayors race is STILL going on. Some developments have caused me to BREAK TIES and SPEAK OUT against politicos who I use to respect.   To recap, my pick Eric Garcetti came in first in the primary.  No one got 50% so now it’s between him and City Controller Wendy Greuel.

I left town for 2 weeks over spring break and somehow the Garcetti campaign cobbled on without me! Cobbled meaning continued endorsements and a rise in the polls.

two of the best guys in LA!

As soon as we got back I felt I needed to jump back in and within a day Rex and Vivien were playing at Chez Garcetti with Eric’s adorable little girl while I phoned voters downstairs with other volunteers and his wife Amy. Two days later Mark was cooking a show stopping dinner at a friends fab house to raise money for the Garcetti campaign.  The food was extraordinary. It was great to see not only Eric, but it was really great to see his whip smart wife when we weren’t canvassing!  Those of us seated by her were transfixed as she told us about  why they chose to be foster parents and some of the connections they have made over the years.  When she got up the rest of us were saying stuff like, “oh, what a great thing to do, how wonderful, don’t think I could do it.”  But, that’s not for the mics.

In front of the mic, my former old favorite Bill Clinton really ticked me off because he announced his endorsement for Wendy Greuel.  Sure, that’s his right, but why?  It’s a race between two Pro Choice Democrats in a city that Clinton has NO connection or history too. Keep your nose out of it. I haven’t been this mad at Bill since the Blue Dress.  Greuel supported Hilary in ’08, but dang it so did I.   Bubba, don’t you have enough going on?  Go bring medicine to Africa, somewhere you can be useful. Ironic, because I think Eric Garcetti has Clinton-like intelligence and charisma.  An ability to speak from the heart to all types of people. To be fair, Clinton hasn’t said anything bad about Garcetti. But, a group I USE to like has.

MY deep rage I save for Emily’s list.  They endorsed Greuel and have given her a pot of money.  Now, this group is about supporting pro choice women candidates, so I’m not mad at them for following through with their mandate.  Over the years I have given them money.  I gave them money to support women, not make sexist ads and tear down a feminist man.  Check this out:  Wow, Eric has nice legs and pretty blond hair. I’ve been to Eric’s house, I’ve seen what he drives, he does not live like Paris Hilton.   Garcetti was endorsed by NOW (California chapter of National Organization of Women)  He has a great record of supporting women’s issues, hiring women on his staff and addressing everyday concerns of women.  He increased parks in his district and put after school programs in the schools in his district.  This is about him being up 10% in up in the polls.

Also, if that picture of the blond came from a male led group cries of sexism would be immense.

Last year I stopped giving to the Democratic Senate fund because I realized, hey some of those people I don’t like.  I would rather pick my own candidate.  I feel that way about Emily’s list now. I will do my own picking.


out of sync

As so often happens in my life.  I’m out of sync.  I’ve been working for my chosen mayoral candidate like I’m getting paid, I’m encouraging voters like, I dunno, it’s a right people have DIED for and then I see this:  Only 16% of LA voters voted.  It’s not just the mayors race I was keen on.  The school board race is darn important and a battle between entrenched LAUSD ( a behemoth) and parental choice.  Comic and former co worker John Fugelsang recently twittered “If you supported the Iraq War you don’t have a right to complain about the deficit.” Here, here. If you live in LA  and you complain about city services, pot holes, the schools, and you didn’t vote SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE.

Don’t tell me candidates don’t talk about what they would really do to solve problems.  Yes, they do.  I was front and center, and not looking that good, the day after the election.

from LA Daily News

Eric Garcetti came in first, but didn’t get 50% of the vote so he and Wendy Greuel now have a run off for May 21st.  Sure, he starts with general campaign stuff, but then did get into specifics  ( I’m sure it’s the same for all the candidates).  On TV that night they only showed a quick clip of him saying something general.

Do parents understand that the school board makes choices that directly affect their children’s schools? That even if you don’t have children you have a stake in how our future generations are educated? In other cities they must.  Chicago has 48% for city elections.  One of my picks was defeated, one won and the other Antonio Sanchez is in a run off.  I do not live in his district, but I still go and hear him speak and wrote a little check for the dude and while I did I yammered on about changes I wanted to see to the school system.  Do you think they listen to people who don’t show up, knock on doors or write checks ( not Bloomberg money here, probably enough to get some subs for hungry volunteers)?  Why would they?

In this country people have died trying to vote.  In other countries they still do.  It’s your responsibility to be educated about the issues and the politicians.   If candidates seem to have a narrow scope it could because they are targeting the handful of people who come out to vote, unions and old people.

In LA everyone else is too busy complaining about the pizza and pining for snow.  Be where you are, live where you live.


Idol and Water

I felt the Cool in my url last week thanks to two outings.  The darling Soyan On, stylist for Idol, got me tickets to see an Idol dress rehearsal.  That is at 2pm the day of the taping of the show.  Waiting in the hot sun with masses of people wearing black (I was also wearing black, not very original) wasn’t much fun, but when we were let in we saw the mentor for the week Harry Connick Jr onstage.  I have always thought him attractive, but ALMOST LOST MY PANTIES seeing him in person.  Cha-ris-ma!

Ryan Seacrest doesn’t dress up, but the Idols do and they largely run the show true to time.  They redo some things.  There is a hilarious array of fake judges.  Fake Randy calls everyone dog, Fake Ellen likes everything, Fake Kara gushes.  All true to life.  Fake Simon barely gets to speak, so not so true to life.

For Idol watchers it was interesting, because Casey did sound MUCH better in rehearsals, than he did in the show later, which Harry Connick Jr told Ryan later in the live show.  I screamed from my granny gown in my room, “That’s right, he did.”

Actually they all sounded better in person.  TV kills the sound.

Later that day, Mark and I were picked up in a brand new Lexus and taken to a gallery not far from us for a dinner sponsored by Fiji water.   A rep from their company had asked me if MP would attend when we were at the Palm Desert food festival.  Being half in the bag as I was (see earlier post on that) I said, “SURE”. As it got closer, we were both like, “What’s this dinner?” I wasn’t sure what to expect, so when we arrived and I saw candles and champagne I was so glad Mark had worn his suit and I had worn my textured hosiery.  It was on one of MP’s few nights off so that was cool.  They called it Tastemakers of LA.  Other chef’s were there, Susan Fenniger, Mary Sue Miliken, lovely gals, both.  The last winner of Top Chef and Ilan Hall, who won TP before.  I made Mark twitter about him and generally promoted him around the room, so I will try not to be bruised that he didn’t return my email after he said he would be thrilled if my dinner club came to his new restaurant, The Gorbals, next month.  Sigh, whatev.

The dinner was also benefiting Meals on Wheels, a charity Mark has worked with for years. The dinner was cooked by Nobu.  He was there himself.  Pretty cool.

There were some designer reps there, but I didn’t know that until later.  Something I love more than fashion was about to eclipse all other wattage in the room.  In walked Mayor Villaraigosa.  I, being the daughter of a former local politician, waved him over to us ASAP.  We talked for while about wine, food, city deficits, the usual.  Very cool.  Then figuring we had monopolized His Honor enough we drifted toward the tables for dinner.  There were only three tables in the room full of chunky, rough hewn wood, concrete floors and rusted chandeliers.  I saw that the Mayor was at the head of one of the tables and who was seated next to him? My husband.  Well, hello, “A” table! I was on the right side of MP and across from me was Eric Garcetti, President of the City Council and his darling mother Sukey (for  those out of LA, you might remember his father Gil Garcetti was the D.A. during the O.J. trial). After 35 years working in restaurants MP seems to know everyone.  He embraced Mrs. Garcetti.  I’m thinking, I didn’t know you knew them.  Ends up her daughter had worked in one of his kitchens many years ago.

A rep from Fiji water was on my right and I asked her, “What’s this dinner for?”  She said, “We want you to have a good association with Fiji water.”  Well,it was a great evening of intelligent conversation and I regaled them with my tales of growing up with local politics, they could relate to the battles and such.  And Council-member Garcetti and I compared primary stories, he slogging through the snow in Iowa for Obama, me eating Chimichanga’s while working for Clinton.

My mom-self came out when I found out Garcetti was a Rhodes scholar, Naval reserve and he and his wife have fostered children.  I turned to his mom, “How did you raise this kid? I have to duplicate it.”

“Hold them them close and then set them free,” she said cheerfully.  Nice, but there has to be more to it then that.

We stayed late enjoying the hobnobbing with bold face names who were all fun and down to earth.  It was a good association.

It’s News! Sort of.

On the eve of The State of the Union speech by President Obama, I was trying to watch some political shows per usual.

“Vivien, let me watch the end of ‘Hardball,’ and then I will play dress up dolls with you.” I played dress up dolls while Hardball was on. Compromise.

I’m sure you are like me. You sit at home watching the news or reading it online, and you think,

“No, no you aren’t getting it.”

or “Um, that’s not how I see it.”

So here are a few of these random thoughts in no particular order.  I would love to hear from you about when you challenge the conventional wisdom of a news story. Political, pop culture, whatever.

QUIT CALLING IT A HUG! Florida Governor Charlie Crist did NOT hug Obama. It was nothing like that pathetic shot of McCain Squeezing George W Bush like his momma after she has been out of town for a few days. Crist grabbed Obama’s arm while they shook hands. It wasn’t even the “Straight Man hug,” the embrace while they each loudly pat each other on the back. Crist may be an overly tan moderate who has gotten on the wrong side of some conservatives, but news people stop saying he hugged a guy he didn’t.


Yeah, not really. The Bay state sent a message that charisma plus retail politics still rules the day. That race was decided the same way most are: who is more likable? Who would you rather have a beer with? Martha Coakly seemed cold and officious and couldn’t talk about baseball (among other gaffes). Scott Brown is a hunky, likable pro choice Republican. He handled questions very well and the first person he called when he was elected was Vicki Kennedy. That’s a smart politician (weird comments about his daughters came after he was elected, oops). Yeah, the economy still stinks, people get nervous about some big proposals, but I think if I had met Scott Brown years ago I probably would have slept with him.  I’ll vote for that… in my mind.


I may scream if I hear some hack pundit say this one more time. Way to allow the health care business–and it is a business– to set the debate. It does have to do with jobs, it does have to do with job creation. If a business is crushed by the cost of insuring their employees, will they hire more people? No. Will they try to hire less employees and only pick up freelance people whom they don’t have to pay benefits too?  It’s already happening. If health care costs eat up the little profit margin a small business has, will they stay in business? The costs are soaring. I’m still perplexed at how cost containment isn’t more front and center for the debate on both sides. I’m not saying the Obama plan can fix these issues. I am a big hair less Dane or Swede in my heart when it comes to health care, I’m for cradle to grave, but fat chance getting that in the US. Bottom line, health care debate is NOT separate from jobs.


Barf, who wants to see that head case parade her newly bounced back body? Not me. Right, I’m sure you are mother of the year with your 14 kids and your workout routine. Good for you. Go away.

And most importantly,


Can we please discuss how our emphasis on being a war machine bleeds education and safety from our kids, robs the middle class of resources, and leaves our mentally ill and poor to wonder the streets and annoy as we walk out of Trader Joe’s? One doesn’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool hippie to see that these huge companies that make the weapons and support staff (Blackwater anyone?) hide behind our patriotism and support our troops sloganeering. It’s called war profiteering, and it’s so ingrained in our country, few see it, and less speak about it. It’s not a mainstream discussion, and this mother thinks it should be.

What are some of your fist pounders or head scratchers?

Just cuz he’s cute…

Who’s Running in 2012?

Poor pundits. I get it: it’s hard when an election is over, the President is a lame duck (emphasis on lame), the President-elect hasn’t made any big appointments all week… they need an angle. But, “Who is running in 2012?” Even a big political nerd like myself can’t get on board with this. (Check out my vlog on Vivien’s chances for the top job in Vivien for President.)

Smart Women Vote Obama -

Here’s my thinking:

1) We don’t know what the next couple of years will be like. If Obama messes up royally, the Dems will back in Iowa, too.

2) Do we know who’s going to rehab themselves? Palin should do what Brittney Spears needed to do a long time ago: Vanish. She should get back to her job and quietly pen her “Dreams of My Father,” then go on to do The View and so forth. But if she doesn’t leave the stage and bone up on the big issues, she won’t get her second act. Ditto Mitt Romney, who needs a cause to keep him relevant.  And Bobby Jindal, who should get older and keep Louisiana on his side. You know who is beyond rehab? Dick Cheney.

3) Can you buy charisma? Because the GOP is going to need it. That, and a new coat of paint.

Instead of talking about who’s running in 2012, I prefer the “Who’s going to get bailed out now?” discussion. Because we’re giving tax money to the people who built the Geo Tracker, really? Would you give your kids even $5 if they had D’s on their report cards?


Even though the polls were showing an Obama victory, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel. I wanted him to win, but didn’t want McCain to suffer the fate of Mondale – a humiliating defeat. I think McCain is a good person, but Bush screwed him in 2000 and left the GOP smelling like pee, so it was an uphill battle. Plus, like I reluctantly came to believe with Hillary, it was not his moment in history. That moment was Obama’s.

Moms celebrate Obama victory - Cool Mom

I did LOTS of phone calling for Kerry in ’04 and Hillary in the primary, but when my sister Carole and I phonebanked to Virginia Tuesday morning, I saw further evidence of the Obama campaign’s superior orgnazing skills. We were given not just names of people, but their birthdate, address, other family members, polling place, everything short of blood type. I looked at Carole and said, “No wonder he beat Hillary in the primary.”

I was lucky to be with family and friends at Campanile (my husband’s restaurant) on Tuesday night. They had an amazing set-up with flags and big screen TVs, which is not the norm at this fine dining establishment. There were also election facts and a political quiz put together by yours truly. (I love quizzes.)

It was looking good and we were done with dessert. I turned to say hi to a lady I had seen at the phone bank and suddenly… Obama’s win was announced by CNN! Everyone erupted. I ran to my sister Cecily and hugged her, saw my friend Bonnie crying, hugged her. Then I started crying. Looked at my friend Molly’s sister-in-law Maureen, a school teacher who had made many calls for Obama, silently crying, and I walked to her and we shared a long embrace. I cry thinking of it now. The important struggle of African-Americans in the US is, in a sense, coming to an end. It’s a victory for all Americans, showing that anyone can achieve their dreams here.

Moms calling for Obama - Cool Mom

I was soooo mad about Bush being elected in 2004 ( I don’t count it as a re-election). I was pissed at many Americans. But finally people saw that he was the wrong track. And this is is such a 180-degree turn that it is exciting. 

I am so excited that  I can write in my son’s baby book that when he was born, the president was Barack Obama. My dear stepdaughter Vanessa texted me that she was so happy that Vivien and Junior (his pre-natal moniker) “Are going to grow up never wondering whether America would ever elect a black person as president in their lifetimes.” America beat my expectations, I freely admit.

Next up? Hopefully a woman!

On Momversation: Politics and Family

I’ve just started a new project in addition to Cool Mom – Momversation, a video show and website for moms. In our first video, I’m gabbing with some other mom-bloggers, including Heather of, about politics; specifically, what to do when you and your loved ones disagree on politics.

Cool Mom Poll: The Election is Going to End?

What? How can this be happening? I started watching the debates in April 2007. That means I’ve been following the election for a year and a half. Which makes it one of my longest relationships ever! Gosh, the old days. Back when there were like nine Democrats running, including that crusty liberal from Alaska. (I blogged about it on my other website.)

Cool Mom Election 2008

I cottoned to Hillary, worked for her in Texas. Resigned myself to her defeat, told Hillary people who were pissed we needed to move on and support Obama – some told me to shove it. I had my healing during the convention and just when I emotionally could have added an Obama sticker to my car next to my anti-Bush one, I realized, “What’s the point? He’s already going to win California.”

Through Sarah Palin and Rev. Wright and all the twists and turns, I have been there. Now people say, “I want it to be over, enough already.” Really, what do you have that’s filling your life up? Does your reality not depend on cable news and the newspapers and, ’cause I think mine does.  

So for the poll today, as we bid farewell to SNL having any funny moments and campaign surrogates wipe off their pancake makeup, let’s make our predictions. Now this isn’t what you WANT to happen, but rather what you think will happen (since I know this site leans towards Obama supporters). So what do you think will happen on election day?






And please tell me what you are going to follow on November 5th. Oh, I know: the building of the transition team!

My Week So Far: From Sprained Arm To Ice Cream

Well, I’m now wearing a splint (see picture below). And if one more guy asks me if I have a bowling injury…

Sometimes I have to take it off to get stuff done, like right now, as I am writing. I skipped my 9 holes this week, and I’m trying to be good, but it’s hot and this splint bugs me.

Also, I’m suppose to do hot-and-cold immersion a few times a day… I barely do it once. Need to get on that. Vivien hates the sling and wants me to take it off; I can’t pick her up as easily with this injury. But, it is a reminder to keep it on.

I take it off when I shot my show. Yesterday, I did a shoot with Nate Berkus (the decorator who goes on Oprah) – what a doll. We talked about trends in home furnishings. He has a new line on HSN (Home Shopping Network) that is vintage-inspired, and I collect vintage pieces so, oh my, Nate and I, we got along! He also said stone was a hip trend, like polished stone table. It “grounds” a room. I thought, “Just keep giving me those blue eyes and you had me at ‘table.'”


My dad’s “home” took a field trip to an outdoor food market right near us, so I got to have lunch with him, which was great (and I got to skip the long drive to see him). He seemed good and I told him about the post I did about elder abuse. He said, “Glad my girls looked out for me.”

Later Viv and I went to Giggles N’ Hugs, an eatery on the Westside of LA that caters to kids and parents. Great magic tricks and the BEST balloon-animal maker I have ever, ever seen. The guy made Vivien a monkey on a tree, with a face, all in a balloon! If you live in the area and want to use him, email me and I will hook you up. As a bonus, we were joined by Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy) and her young son, so between that, the fries, and Jersey Jim’s magic act, Vivien was in hog heaven. I was trying to pull her out of there so I could watch the debate.

We had most of the family together for the debate: Both of my stepsons, hubby, and mother-in-law, but after about 30 minutes, I started to nod off. It was a snooze. They both did fine, but I was missing the Bill Clinton emotion, which Obama doesn’t have. I wanted him to feel someone’s pain. And there was no wacky audience member who made people uncomfortable, asking questions like, “Senator McCain, I have HIV; will you share a sandwich with me?” I think whoever you started liking in the beginning, you still like. The economic downturn isn’t starting to make them both seem a tad irrelevant. It only seems to be getting both candidates more FREAKED.

Then Mark was a stud and made homemade vanilla ice cream with a peach swirl for Viv’s preschool potluck, where it was nice talking to the parents. Good folks. But phew, I’m tired, and my arm needs a rest.