Los Angeles County supervisorial candidate Bobby Shriver on Thursday abruptly dropped out of appearing at a promotional event at a Rolls-Royce dealership in Beverly Hills, saying he had just learned about it and that it had been scheduled by mistake.
Billed as an "intimate evening" featuring Shriver as a guest speaker, with "specialty cocktails and scotch tasting," the emailed invitations began circulating Wednesday. The invitation is topped with an image of a $285,000 Rolls-Royce Wraith, one of the dealership's newest models.
Bill Carrick, Shriver's campaign consultant, said a lower-level staff member had mistakenly scheduled the April 22 appearance without getting approval from Shriver, Carrick or Sarah Dusseault, Shriver's campaign manager.
"It was just a bad mistake by the staff,'' Carrick said. "Bobby, me, Sarah, we just had no idea that this was going out.... This ain't gonna happen again, I can guarantee you."
Since he entered the race in late January, Shriver has tried to downplay his well-heeled lineage as a member of the Kennedy political dynasty. He has focused much of his campaign on ways to help the homeless and improve conditions for people who are mentally ill or living in poverty.
Parke Skelton, campaign consultant to Shriver opponent Sheila Kuehl, said he found it "amusing" that Shriver "believes his campaign needs to target Rolls-Royce buyers." The more important issue, Skelton contended, "is that when his campaign plans are inconveniently revealed, Shriver's instinct is to dissemble, cover it up and blame a staffer.
"This is not the integrity and accountability we deserve in a supervisor,'' Skelton said.
Carrick dismissed Skelton's remarks as "wildly exaggerated" and a "dishonest attack by a desperate campaign."
Calls and emails to Rolls-Royce Beverly Hills seeking comment were not immediately returned.