Just substitute "at The Biltmore Hotel" for "Beverly Hills."
Los Angeles Times
Barack Obama raises millions in Beverly Hills
TV crews are kept from two Beverly Hills fundraisers as John McCain mocks the Democrat's connection to celebrities.
By Dan Morain and Michael Finnegan,
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
September 17, 2008
It was clear why Barack Obama's campaign barred television crews from a Beverly Hills mansion at twilight Tuesday as the Democratic presidential nominee mingled with movie stars on a giant terrace overlooking Los Angeles.
The cocktail reception was part of Obama's biggest night of Hollywood fundraising so far, an evening capped with a live performance by Barbra Streisand at the Regent Beverly Wilshire
The money paragraph is this one: Lest anyone be diverted by the Hollywood spectacle Tuesday evening, Obama's campaign denied TV crews access to the mansion and hotel events -- perhaps mindful of the political damage wrought by TV images of celebrities at Democratic nominee John F. Kerry's fundraisers in 2004.
See the rest of the column at: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/campaign08/newsletter/la-na-obamafund17-2008sep17,0,211476,full.story
Speaking of Obama, ethically-conflicted public officials and the power of lobbying money, in case you missed it 13 months ago, in the glamorous world of Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter and husband Russ Klenet of Russ Klenet & Associates.
On Aug. 25, Russ Klenet and his wife, Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, will host a $500-per-person breakfast at Cafe Bella Sera in Parkland. Klenet is a registered lobbyist in Tallahassee with a stable of clients that has included everyone from South Florida municipalities to Election Systems & Software, whose much criticized touch screen voting machines have drawn the ire of Democratic activists nationwide...
Klenet and Ritter are named on the invitation as event chairmen, but Klenet insisted his wife is the real draw. "We decided we'd be happy to welcome him to Broward County and that's it," he said. "I'm not making phone calls. I'm not raising money."
Klenet, a former legislative aide to now-state Sen. Steve Geller of Hallandale Beach, is a longtime lobbyist with a client list that includes numerous cities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, as well as the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers, Match.com and Tampa Electric Co
above from The St. Petersburg Times Politics, Obama follows fine line to stay clear of lobbyists
Co-host of a Broward event has state clients, by Alex Leary, Times Staff Writer August 16, 2007
With a big assist to their Politifact: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/32/
And be sure to read the comments below the article about what Oakland-area Obama supporter Zenophon Abraham -or someone purporting to be him- thinks of Floridian's concern about the corrupting influence of the intersection of politics and lobbying in Florida.
Speaking of a local official who gets too much attention, largely because of her money, connections, poor judgment and prenatural tendency to insert foot into mouth, see Bob Norman's recent Daily Pulp blog post at the about Ritter's recent appearance on CNN. titled Stacy Ritter Gets Her Mouth On. Norman also has the YouTube video of her appearance at: http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2008/09/stacy_ritter_gets_her_mouth_on.php
See Norman's strong posts from last July and August on their antics and roles in our collective lives, 1.) Marital Law, Does Stacy Ritter's lobbyist husband swing her vote? at http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2007-07-26/news/marital-law/ ,
2.) The Stacy 'n' Russ Show Ritter & Klenet sounds like a lobbying firm at http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2007-08-02/news/the-stacy-n-russ-show/
3.) Reporter Accused of Stealing Notebook, at http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2007/07/reporter_accused_of_stealing_n.php
Another post of his about Klenet was this one from 2004, called Lobbyist- Lovin' Lori, How cash-fueled politics and a grudge could cause another election fiasco http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2004-07-01/news/lobbyist-lovin-lori/
And since we're still in hurricane season, might as well go back 13 months ago to the Herald's Glenn Garvin commenting on her big mouth: South Florida politics: Profiles in Hypocrisy, part 9,027 http://miamiherald.typepad.com/changing_channels/2007/08/south-florida-p.html
That came a month before yet another Herald story on Sept. 1st about their complicated intersecting personal and professional relationship and the voting machines the county would be purchasing. http://www.miamiherald.com/top_stories/story/222413.html
Miami Herald, Ritter's vote still raising eyebrows, By Dan Christensen
Just so there's no misunderstanding my point here, when Florida voters say they support, in theory, the concepts behind proposals like Lesley Blackner and Ross Burnaman's Hometown Democracy project -see http://southbeachhoosier.blogspot.com/2008/04/good-news-re-signature-petitions.html and http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&resnum=0&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tab=wn&q=%22Florida+Hometown+Democracy%22&scoring=n - Comm. Ritter's husband is one of the persons who gets paid very handsomely to frustrate those citizens on behalf of very rich and self-interested groups like big government, Broward style.
Simply put, they don't want voters having an effective veto power over local officials' bad decisions involving planning and zoning over multi-million dollar projects thru an actual vote.
See his list of clients at http://olcrpublic.leg.state.fl.us/by_report.cfm?rpt_id=4387&CFID=3252&CFTOKEN=61690
As it says clearly on that website, he and his firm are the lead lobbyists in Tallahassee for the Broward League of Cities, which represents the interests of elected municipal officials, NOT the interests of the citizens whom those officials are supposed to represent.
When those interests conflict, guess who wins?
The evidence is all around you -elected officials, not citizens.
For instance, see these minutes of the January 18, 2001 meeting of the Broward County Charter Review Committeee: http://www.broward.org/charter/pdf/pii01174.pdf.
Mr. Weiss [ CRC member Richard Jay Weiss, Esq.] suggested that a member of the LOC attend every future CRC meeting and plan to inform the CRC of the League’s concerns regarding any agenda items. It was determined that all agendas and minutes of the CRC will be forwarded to Ms. Eileen Cudney, Executive Director of the LOC.
That's the same warped thinking that gives the (elected) hacks at the Broward League of Cities two prospective votes on the Ethics Board in the future if the measure is approved by Broward voters in November, even though their president at the time, HB mayor Joy Cooper, publicly questioned the need for the Ethics Board at the Hallandale Beach City Commission meeting held one week before the final public meeting of the most recent CRC in April.
(Like the CRC could really care what HB's City Commission thought, given that they were against so many of the very important ballot issues that the CRC members had been poring over for months! I guess I don't need to remind you that HB didn't have a single rep on the CRC.)
I know that because I was present for the entire length of both meetings and still have my contemporaneous notes. To quote something from my own blog:
"Laws and Constitutions go for nothing where the general sentiment is corrupt."-New York Times, September 22, 1851
"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?" -Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper at April 2, 2008 City Commission meeting, in discussing possible inclusion of Broward County Charter Review Commission's proposal for Ethics Commission to deal with Broward County Commission, on November 2008 ballot.
Six YEARS after the county's voters overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the County charter requiring its adoption, the Broward County Commission has yet to live up to its responsibility.