Somewhere in the midst of the rock 'n' roll din, actress Rosanna Arquette told the crowd at L.A.'s Hard Rock Cafe that she and some of her brand-name-celebrity buddies were going on the road to promote the Toxic Waste Initiative. "Listen guys, this is important," she told the noisy crowd, which had raised $65,000 for Californians Against Toxic Chemical Hazards. Arquette looked very environmental, with leaf-trimmed leggings showing beneath her short skirt. But her announcement was anything but cutesy:
". . . Our dedication can be powerful and successful. . . . Supporting the 1986 Toxics Initiative is as important as any political or humanist issue. Just as the nuclear bomb is the ultimate form of instant destruction, the hazardous amounts of toxic chemicals in the air, the soil, and the water represent merely a slower form of death. We are systematically killing ourselves."
News photographers were banned--hey, this was serious political stuff, even if it was amid the Hard Rock's razzle-dazzle re-creation of a '50s hangout (donated for Monday evening by owner Peter Morton). So no one could catch shots of Barbra Streisand--now becoming almost a standard at Westside political events--holding court at one of the upper-level booths, with elected officials like Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner and Assemblyman Tom Hayden stopping by. Singer Don Henley whizzed around greeting the movies' Beverly D'Angelo and Jeff Bridges.
Distinctive in a pin-striped man's jacket, Whoopi Goldberg made her way through the crowd, as Deputy Mayor Tom Houston (who helped put together the benefit) gave an impassioned speech to folks like Interscope's Ted and Barbara Field, political rainmaker Al Gersten Jr., attorney Lisa Specht and her husband, PR exec Ron Rogers, and MCA Music v.p. Larry Solters.
And, as far as the "Hollywood Clean Water Caravan," Arquette and political activist Havi Shindler explained that 40-plus celebrities would be recruited for a two-day bus trip up the Coast, with several big-ticket events along the way, all to raise money and consciousness for the initiative, which would toughen anti-pollution laws (beyond reason, according to its opponents). The measure is expected to qualify for the November ballot.
As far as consciousness among the fund-raiser guests, it certainly was high. Shouts of derision greeted one person's request for "a glass of water, please."
GOING. GOING. GONE. The 97-cent price tag on the mailing from Sen. John Heinz, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, was certainly an eye-catcher. The missive said that "donor apathy is destroying our chances of retaining Republican control of the U.S. Senate. That's why I am sending you this letter via certified mail." What is needed is $612,500 in the next 15 days, the Pennsylvania senator pleaded, "or I'll be forced to cut our candidate funding budget." Heinz continued that "I think you should know that as of today, our latest polling figures reveal the grim fact that we are running behind in six Senate races. We haven't actually lost these six seats yet, but we are dangerously close. And lack of money will push these candidates over the edge." Certainly such a plea seems impressive--and wasn't it just two weeks ago that Rodney Smith, speaking here before the GOP Unity Luncheon the day after the primary election, said that senatorial candidate Ed Zschau could expect $1.7 million from that very same Senate Campaign Committee? . . . Although the invites to Rep. Jack Kemp's July 8 fund-raiser have just gone in the mail, and although the tab is $500 a napkin, one Republican insider says 92 tables have already been sold. Very impressive. . . .
HANGING OUT--Even if jazz is not your forte, the weekend at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl proved delightful entertainment. Playboy president Dick Rosenzweig and wife Judy Henning hosted their buddies, like Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky (who got through the afternoon with earplugs and a difficult crossword puzzle) and Barbara, author Anne and Gary Gilbar and Marsha and Dr. Paul Herman. (Gary and Marsha are business partners.) A day in the sun with great music is just what makes folks move to Los Angeles. Or, as transplanted New Yorker Gene Stone, the West Coast editor of Simon and Schuster put it, "Hey, it's like the beach. With a great stereo. And no sand."