A Convention of Democrats on Mini Scale

The details are being ironed out, but look for Democratic honcho Walter Shorenstein to get just the kind of celebration he deserves. The longtime rainmaker will be the honoree at a daylong "mini-convention" in S.F. June 12. It's a joint effort of California money people and the Democratic National Committee, bringing together those who collect and write big checks with candidates who could use them. The daylong session will allow individual presidential, senatorial and congressional candidates to meet with probable contributors--then get together for a fancy fund-raising dinner that evening centering on Shorenstein, with that money going to various national Democratic Party programs. Bay Area Democratic activist Betty Smith said the meeting was also "designed as a way Californians with our late primary (June 1988) would be able to have some say early on as to what we want in a presidential nominee." Presidential hopefuls expected are Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt. Also Sens. Alan Cranston, Bill Bradley (N.J.), Dale Bumpers (Ark.), Lloyd Bentsen (Tex.), Ted Kennedy (Mass.), Bob Graham (Fla.), Chris Dodd (Conn.), Jay Rockefeller (W. Va.), John B. Breaux (La.) and Harry Reid (Nev.). Plus lots of congressmen. On the host committee--Madeleine Russell, Mel Swig, Jack Henning.

In S.F. next week, the by-invite-only preview of the estate of Michael Taylor, to be auctioned later in the week. The auction of furniture by the late designer--as well as his personal effects, cars, jewelry--is attracting a large contingent of Los Angeles design mavens. Heading north--Architectural Digest's Paige Rense, interior designer Rose Tarlow, dealers Leo Dennis and Jerry Leen, music and film producer David Geffen and three women who live in homes designed by the late Taylor--Jane Nathanson, Lynn Beyer and Donnie Smith. In the introduction to the catalogue, Rense writes, "Michael was the designer's designer. His sense of scale was a wonderment unequalled . . . Quicksilver can't be captured."

YOU DON'T SAY--GOP Presidential hopeful Alexander Haig--former secretary of State--was asked in an interview with New York Post political writer Deborah Orin about his seeming good humor. His response: "Anybody that knows me, knows that's my normal demeanor. I'm a pixie." . . . Californians are suddenly getting phone calls from Illinois Sen. Paul Simon who, with Sen. Dale Bumpers dropped out of the Democratic presidential race, is suddenly himself testing the waters.

SPLASH AND FLASH--In Beverly Hills Friday night, Bijan--designer of choice for the deep-pocketed man--unveiled a perfume for women at $90 the quarter-ounce. Natch. An adoring crowd--thick with freshly deplaned New York models, designers and admirers--looked on raptly, as Bijan said he felt it was time he honored the better half: "I couldn't forget that behind every successful man there is a woman." Natch. Then Bijan proudly unfurled a 30-foot-long computer printout of names of women who ordered the perfume scent un-sniffed. Among those enjoying the light floral scent and the beautiful people clustered in his Rodeo Drive boutique were Julian Lennon (a devoted Bijaniste, he says), jeweler David Orgell, Della Koenig (who lives in Gloria Swanson's old Sunset Boulevard mansion) and a clutch of NYC fashion designers and reporters.

BIG PRO BONO BUCKS--Public Counsel, the public interest law firm of the L.A. County and Beverly Hills Bar Associates, hosts its 11th annual William O. Douglas awards Tuesday at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Honored this year with the prestigious award--Laurence H. Tribe, the constitutional scholar from Harvard Law School and advocate on issues including the environment, separation of church and state, extension of the equal rights amendment, etc. For Public Counsel, the legal week continues all year long--as in this past year, when law firms and individual lawyers contributed more than 85,000 pro bono hours. This free legal work--if billed out at the standard base rate of $100-and-hour (and for lots of these firms, that's low) would be $8.5 million in billed time. Bravo to Public Counsel, to honoree Gary Lasi of the Legal Aid Foundation and to the firm of Litt & Stormer.

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