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.