Ueberroth Rumors Are Reaching Olympian Scale

Times Staff Writer

Top-level Republican operatives say that the widespread rumors about the possible U.S. Senate candidacy of Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth have "immobilized" major fund-raisers and money givers. The rumors are rampant: He's running. He's not running. He's having a press conference to announce that he's running. He's calling up everybody to say he's not running.

But the rumors keep coming. One source said that political pros keep interpreting Ueberroth's actions--speechmaking, stands against drugs, his autobiography--as meaning "he has something else on his mind." They also love the fact that the former Los Angeles Olympics head knows how to get on the front page as well as the sports page.

And even these ungrounded reports that he might get into the race to oppose veteran California Democrat Alan Cranston--despite the commissioner's disclaimers and the fact that no one can point to specific acts promoting his candidacy--are enough to keep what one source said was a large majority of GOP rainmakers (money raisers) sitting on their hands, on the sidelines. Of course, everything changes when filing for the seat closes March 7.

WITH MOSTESS--The social shuffle is definitely under way. One of the top hostesses emerging from the crowded field of younger contenders--in L.A. that means under 60--is Beverly Hills-based Jane Nathanson. She'll chair two major events this spring--the party accompanying the giant art auction benefiting the Museum of Contemporary Art and the launching of the cross-country PRO-Peace march. Her co-chairman for the museum event is Lynda Palevsky and, in charge of the auction itself, Marcia (Medavoy) Ross and Margo Leavin. TV producer Doug Cramer is executive producer of the entire event set for May 16 at the new MOCA on Bunker Hill. (This is the only time for partying inside the auction structure, since once the art is hung, food and drink become taboo.) Thank goodness, style or chic or whatever some people are calling it this week actually does return this spring, and at the MOCA party, there will be dancing under the stars in a one-night-only disco. Fox trots will be confined to yet another dancing area. What all this partying is about is "raising money," Nathanson said. "We're hoping to raise at least $300,000 to $400,000. That's what the evening is for. And to show people the long-awaited museum, which is unbelievably fabulous." . . . Nathanson also chairs the PRO-Peace Departure ceremonies March 1. But, wow, look for her honorary co-chairmen--Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman--to be at the Museum of Science and Industry party that day. The benefit is adjacent to the Coliseum, where the marchers start on their 3,000-mile trek. The march itself only begins after a star-studded rock concert.

WOMEN'S PLACES--Apparently the feeling that a woman's place is not just in the house but in the Senate is catching fire. That's the emphasis Thursday night, at Vicki Reynolds' Beverly Hills home, when she, City Council President Pat Russell, Councilwoman Joy Picus and Santa Monica Mayor Chris Reed host an introduction of Rep. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) to local VIP women. . . . The National Organization for Women holds a press conference today announcing the West Coast segment of the National March for Women's Lives. They say the bicoastal, two-day events are the first marches in "defense of abortion and birth control rights" since the Supreme Court's 1973 decision legalizing abortion. . . . The California Abortion Rights Action League hosts a reception this evening at the home of Billie Heller, "celebrating the anniversary of safe and legal abortion in America."

FORGETFUL--OK. So Alan Thicke is one of this season's hot TV properties. And the word is out that three national magazines are doing pieces on the star of "Growing Pains." And he's going to appear on the ice at the National Hockey League's All-Star game Feb. 4. You also may remember him as the fellow who was supposed to put ole Johnny Carson out of business with his show "Thicke of the Night." Now he's set to chat with Johnny Feb. 7.

FAMOUS SPEAKERS--One can catch Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu at the community breakfast hosted by Assemblyman Richard Katz Friday at the Sportsmen's Lodge, $15 . . . or one can hear New York Mayor Ed Koch at lunch at the Beverly Hilton Monday, hosted by Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky. The tab is $22.

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