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Marylouise Oates

Progressive Group Cancels a Fund-Raiser

December 11, 1987|Marylouise Oates

The best-made political plans certainly go astray, especially when the event involves presidential candidates.

That's one of the reasons the Independent Action fund-raiser honoring Sen. Alan Cranston got scratched for Saturday night. Independent Action, the political action committee that supports "progressive" candidates for the House and Senate, was trying to duplicate the success of a similar event in D.C. last June, which netted $160,000.

Early this week, the pieces began to fall apart. Those familiar with the dinner, to have been held at the Culver Studios, said that of the six Democratic presidential candidates listed on the invitation, only three were still keeping the dinner on their schedules--Bruce Babbitt, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. Independent Action's executive director Bill Wachob said the date of the event had been switched from Dec. 5 to Dec. 12 to accommodate the schedule of Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.), who then bowed out.

Threatened Demonstration

A second wrench was thrown into the plans for the event when some gay activists in town began threatening a demonstration over Cranston's recent vote for the Helms AIDS amendment. They said the amendment, sponsored by North Carolina's Sen. Jesse Helms, cut off funding to AIDS service organizations for educational materials.

The final straw, and the one singled out by Wachob, was that on Tuesday the Senate leadership decided to call the body into session this Saturday, making it difficult for Cranston and Independent Action's chair, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), to make the event.

Wachob said the event would be postponed until early 1988, but with the candidates' own fund-raising and campaign schedules, wasn't getting them all together in one place a tough thing to do? "It's very difficult to schedule the closer you get to the Iowa caucuses," he said. "We have not given up and we do have an enormous amount of leverage, since the senator from Iowa is the chair of Independent Action."

One political insider said half-kiddingly that the group should schedule the event after Super Tuesday, March 8, since "They won't have as many candidates, or candidates' schedules to juggle."

Ticket sales for the event were going well, according to Charlotte Conway, who was organizing the dinner, and who said the biggest disappointment was opening the mail Thursday morning and finding checks for still more tables.

ARTS AWARDS--The first Los Angeles International Arts Award went Wednesday night to Dr. Franklin Murphy in a ceremony that incorporated two of the city's art treasures--Los Angeles County Museum of Art Director Earl Powell III and Museum of Contemporary Art Director Richard Koshalek. The gala benefit was part of ART/LA87, a five-day exhibit and sale of contemporary art at the Los Angeles Convention Center. . . .

Set for this Sunday, at the County Museum of Art, is the Director's Roundtable Holiday Party. Families that are part of the LACMA family will be there--with RSVPs including Mike and Kathy LeRoy, Peter O'Malley, Steve and Kitty Moses, Allan and Joan Burns, Gordon and Timi Freshman, Mike and Tory Harahan, Tom and Stefanie Safran, and Fran and Ray Stark.

MORE AWARDS--Sunday, the Hollywood Women's Press Club does its 47th annual Golden Apple Awards Christmas Party. Lynn Redgrave is doing the emceeing honors at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and Loretta Young will be getting the Louella P. Parsons Award from Jimmy Stewart. There will be awards for those "new on the scene," and for "star of the year," but, as always, the spotlight will dwell on the Sour Apple Award. This year the nominees are Jackie Collins, Don Johnson and Bruce Willis.

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