Laker Fans Get a Davis Moment During Halftime
Fair is fair. Arnold Schwarzenegger goes from being an actor to being a governor; why shouldn’t Gray Davis go from being a governor to an actor?
That really was California’s ci-devant chief executive on the floor during halftime at a recent Los Angeles Laker game. The sketch for the CBS sitcom “Yes, Dear” puts actors Tim Conway and Jerry Van Dyke in the owners’ box with Davis and, for some reason, a tussle ensues, and Conway tosses a drink at Davis -- a simple carbonated beverage, nothing alcoholic.
The former guv chased Conway onto the Staples Center floor during an actual halftime performance. A Davis aide wondered what the audience must have thought, especially inasmuch as, the aide said, “I haven’t seen the governor sprinting after anyone, ever in my life.”
Davis’ was a guest appearance, and it paid accordingly, but he’ll need two more gigs in a year before he has to join the union. It’s not the career he’s seeking, the aide said; it’s just that “he’s not opposed to taking himself a little less seriously than he has over the last 20 years.”
“Yes, Dear” is not to be confused with “Yes, honey,” Schwarzenegger’s exit line when he got the high-sign from Lynda Gledhill to wrap up a recent Sacramento press conference: “I will listen to her, because that’s what I do at home. I listen to my wife. I’m smart enough to say always, ‘Yes, honey, yes, honey, yes, honey.’ ”
The episode airs on CBS on March 1 -- the day before the California primary.
Another Actor Turned Politician
Bob Dornan used to tick off Democrats; now, ecumenically, he’s doing the same thing to Republicans. “B-1 Bob” is Orange County’s actor-turned-congressman who once called a Democratic colleague a “sneaky little dirtbag,” who was banned from the floor of Congress for saying President Bill Clinton was a traitor, who burned Jane Fonda in effigy and who yanked another congressman’s tie during a quarrel -- he was just straightening it, really, he said later.
Dornan lost his House seat to Democrat Loretta Sanchez, and now he’s moved south to run a primary campaign against Huntington Beach Rep. Dana Rohrabacher -- to the embarrassment and annoyance of fellow Republicans like past state party Chairman Shawn Steel. “I don’t know what his goals and ambitions are,” Steel lamented, “but he took a lot of his political capital with folks who tolerated him and used it up. Unfortunately, he’s become a caricature. It might have been just sad, but he’s turning it ugly.”
That’s the surfer v. surfer race (Dornan says he used to surf; Rohrabacher says he still does.)
You can sometimes catch Dornan in reruns -- not on C-SPAN, where his rants and denunciations made memorable TV, but in snippets from his acting days. A cable channel recently reran a 1965 episode of the sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie,” and there, for all of about 30 seconds, was Dornan playing Carson the Astronaut, looking wordlessly to his right and to his left when a commanding officer asked for volunteers to give VIP tours.
Dornan also appeared regularly in the TV series “Twelve O’Clock High,” and in several films, two of them with “hell” in the title, but the residuals from those probably wouldn’t finance a campaign for PTA president.
And Rohrabacher doesn’t seem rattled enough to ask for equal time.
Wesson Dishes Gossip at Farewell as Speaker
The state Assembly now has its eighth speaker in nine years. The seventh, Herb Wesson, laid down the gavel and hoisted a sandwich at a farewell lunch for the Sacramento press. Asked for an amusing anecdote from his speakerhood, the one he trotted out recalled a Capitol balcony moment with Assemblymen Jay La Suer, a La Mesa Republican, and Joe Canciamilla, a Pittsburg Democrat.
La Suer had forgotten his dress shoes on some trip, and “cheapskate that he is,” Wesson said, he went to a discount shoe store and saw “a big aisle of shoes where it said, ‘Shoes $5.’ ” La Suer bought them and wore them once, but the second time, it was raining, and the shoes -- cardboard, as it turned out -- dissolved, coating his feet in black dye.
Canciamilla’s family is in the funeral trade, and, Wesson said, “Joe goes, ‘Oh yeah, those are mortuary shoes’ ” -- the kind of shoes they put on poor dead people at funeral homes.
On the day Wesson retired, he issued a memo saying there would be no floor passes or staff passes and that any other access arrangements were “suspended.”
Surely he wasn’t worried that someone would sneak onto the Assembly floor and pinch his new $12,000 watch -- a lovely parting gift from his Democratic colleagues.
Council Hopeful Is Way Ahead in Fundraising
Money still talks even when term limits make elected officials walk.
Termed-out Cindy Miscikowski is leaving the L.A. City Council next year, and the big money so far is going to the campaign of former Adelphia exec and longtime public affairs show host Bill Rosendahl.
Already tossing checks into Rosendahl’s tossed-in-the-ring hat: philanthropist Eli Broad, former Police Commission president and liberal Diogenes Stanley Sheinbaum, former state Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, West Hollywood’s mayor, Jeffrey Prang, and Marvin Braude, who spent a long time in the 11th District council seat himself.
Braude says he’s also supporting Flora Gil Krisiloff, who heads the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission and the Brentwood Community Council. Candidate No. 3 is Sheila Bernard, head of the Lincoln Place Tenants Assn. and the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council. Rosendahl’s campaign total to date is $4,400 -- but it’s $4,400 more than the other two, who haven’t yet begun raising money.
* Rosario Marin, in the running for the GOP nomination to take on Sen. Barbara Boxer, got the endorsement of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher; Rohrabacher was just the beneficiary of a fundraiser ornamented by Gov. Schwarzenegger, who has endorsed one of Marin’s opponents, Bill Jones.
* The proposed White House budget would raise the rent that San Francisco pays for its Hetch Hetchy reservoir from $30,000 a year to $8 million, a proposal the city says it will fight. The reservoir rent hasn’t gone up in more than 70 years; on the other hand, fees under the federal Mining Act haven’t gone up since Ulysses S. Grant signed the law in 1872.
* The Latino troupe Culture Clash, political comics Will Durst and Paula Poundstone and actor/activists Ed Asner and Ed Begley Jr. are on the bill for “lies and laughter,” a Feb. 19 benefit at Los Angeles’ University Synagogue on behalf of Interfaith Communities United for Justice & Peace and the Catholic peace group Pax Christi.
* In the “silver lining” category, the Holiday Inn Express in Belmont, in a press release noting that it is less than three miles from the courthouse where Scott Peterson is to be tried in the death of his wife, is advertising a special media rate of "$85 per night plus tax” with extended-stay rates, breakfast buffet and free high-speed Internet access.
You Can Quote Me
“The Bush budget plan has more holes in it than the front of Janet Jackson’s shirt.”
Carol Migden, chairwoman of the state Board of Equalization, on the White House’s budget proposal.
Patt Morrison’s columns appear Mondays and Tuesdays. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Her previous columns can be read at www.latimes.com/morrison.
This week’s contributors include Times staff writers Steven Herbert, Jean O. Pasco and Nancy Vogel.