From the New Gov Watch:
Diamond in the rough? At a joint press conference with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger praised her, saying, "She was against the recall, and I totally appreciate and understand that, and we will be working together like a jewel ... on down the line."
San Mateo Democrat Tom Lantos, who was born in Hungary, was among the California Capitol Hill Mob who met with the Austrian-born incoming governor.
"I told him," said Lantos, "that I am ready to discuss with him the restoration of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy."
A couple of MP3 online musical parodies by "Arnold and the Gropinators," a "Venice Beach garage metal" band, have surfaced. The B-side, titled "Gropenfuhrer Boogie," swings to lyrics like, "You sent him to Sac-ra-men-to; No rotten car tax, no, no! We sent 'im to Sac-ra-men-to; We're not gonna take it, no, no!" And the A-side title, "I Think We Should Make a Carla Sandwich," is taken from a description in The Times of an alleged movie set incident in which Schwarzenegger and his stand-in trapped stand-in Carla Baron next to a food service table. Schwarzenegger supposedly said, "I think we should make a Carla sandwich," and the men squeezed her between them. After they released her, Baron said, Schwarzenegger stuck his tongue in her mouth.
Huffington Withdrawal Foils GOP Pranksters
The Merry Pranksters of Costa Mesa, a group of young Republicans, are still buzzed over the stunt they pulled on an unwitting Arianna Huffington.
During her gubernatorial campaign, Huffington scheduled a series of living-room dialogues around the state for her supporters. The GOPsters, with visions of a "gotcha" session over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, signed up on the QT for one such event.
Alas, it was for the same day that Huffington withdrew from the race, and the campaign canceled the event. The "host," professing to be crushed, asked whether Huffington couldn't at least make a consolatory phone call to the party.
She did, unwittingly thanking each of the three people there, as they furiously made enough background noise to pass for a dozen or more Huffingtonians.
No Personal Gain -- No Problem
The green was clean. Los Angeles' D.A. said there had been no harm, no foul and no crime, when Los Angeles Green Party leader Michael Feinstein, a Santa Monica council member, deposited a $10,000 political donation in a separate bank account and used it to pay rent for office space for a party headquarters without authorization from the county party or the knowledge of the state party.
A district attorney's spokeswoman said embezzlement requires proof of intent to put the money to personal use, but D.A. interviews and documents showed that Feinstein had spent the money on the party, not himself, to secure space that the Green Party used as an office. The man who donated the money had no problem with the way it was handled, the spokeswoman said.
Feinstein's attorney said his client, who blamed intraparty political differences for the set-to, "looks forward to putting this sordid affair behind him."
Republican Welcomes All His Constituents
If no one summons an exorcist between now and next Halloween, you too may once again be able to visit the district office of Rep. Ed Royce on the "Haunted Fullerton Walking Tour." The Republican's office is on the third floor of the 80-year-old Villa del Sol historic building, originally the lavish 121-room California Hotel -- a building that in 1965 came close to being leveled for a car wash.
It is also a building the Orange County Society for Psychic Research has proclaimed to be haunted. No, not by lobbyists, but perhaps a poltergeist.
Motion-detector alarms have gone off inexplicably, and the psychic society people have identified a ghost named Carlos near the corner tower, which includes Royce's conference room.
"I have not," says the congressman, "had the pleasure of seeing Carlos yet. But, I have an open mind, and if he should appear during one of my many meetings, at least I'll know his name. Technically, he would be a constituent of mine. So, Carlos, if you are out there, please let me know if there is ever anything I can do to for you. You know where to find me."
Ideas for Davis Includes Rapper Snooze Z.
Readers of This Space responded to the question about what line of work outgoing Gov. Gray Davis should pursue. Among the suggestions: "Work for the IRS auditing division: pay your taxes or Mr. Boring will come to your house"; become a "lobbyist for morticians"; and this, from Minneapolis reader Jim Pemberton: "He could become a rapper" named Snooze Z. Snooze. "He would turn kids off of rap, and inspire rap artists into a different line of work. He could single-handedly make rap go away!" Pemberton even gave Davis a nudge with a few verses like this: "Yo I'm the Snooze man/And Ima make ya pay/If ya vote the Terminator/on election day."
* The Voter Choice Open Primary Act would restore California's open primary and pit the top two vote-getters in a runoff, whatever their party.
A four-some will lead the initiative effort. The Republicans are Richard Riordan, former L.A. mayor, and Silicon Valley's former state Sen. Becky Morgan. The Democrats are state Controller Steve Westly and former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta.
* Generosity itself: The Metropolitan Water District announced last week that it was providing water to super-scooper planes and helicopters "at no charge to the state from its reservoirs throughout the Southland for firefighters battling the region's wildfires...."
* Former Encinitas Republican Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, termed out in 2000, got a new lease on life when he helped kick-start the recall of Gov. Gray Davis, who had given Kaloogian a kick of sorts when he vetoed one of Kaloogian's swan-song bills. The bill would have let students substitute reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with a passage from the Declaration of Independence. Now Kaloogian has put together a Web site to derail a CBS miniseries about former President Reagan. Leaks and outtakes show the yet-unseen miniseries to be a "smear campaign," Kaloogian says, and he intends to use talk radio and the Internet again to deluge CBS with demands that the miniseries be deep-sixed, and then some.
* Democratic presidential candidate and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich opened his East Los Angeles campaign office with a Halloween fund-raiser.
* PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group that gives annual Litterbox Awards to advertisements that "sell animals short," gave the Bronze Scoop award to Glendale-based International House of Pancakes. The chain's ad showed a littler of puppies with the sign "Free Puppies," to illustrate its message that "some things just naturally belong together." PETA said that the message that "unwanted puppies being handed out like cookies is 'cute' " is belied by the fact that such giveaway animals are sometimes sold to labs, used as bait in dogfights or tortured.
You Can Quote Me
"I never thought I'd make a last speech of a long career."
San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, delivering his final state of the city address after 40 years in politics. (Republicans, familiar with the survivor ways of longtime Democratic Assembly Speaker Wily Willie, will believe it when they see it.)