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Huffington's Grand Old Party

September 28, 1997|IRENE LACHER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

She's been back in town for two months, and the controversial author -onetime -Repubican -conressional -would -be-senatorial -wife -and-current -conservative-pundit Arianna Huffington is up to her new tricks.

Feting Democrats.

Democrat, anyway. One Dennis Kucinich, a congressman from Cleveland who also happens to be buddies with Huffington's lefty "Left, Right and Center" co-host on KCRW-FM (89.9) and Los Angeles Times contributor Robert Scheer. Huffington and Scheer may hail from different parties, but there was one party on which they could agree--the one they recently threw for Kucinich at Huffington's new Brentwood manse.

Huffington likes his way of "encouraging citizens to do more to solve social problems." Could a national race be far behind?

Reveler and former L.A. Police Commissioner Stanley Sheinbaum was in a tizzy about another national figure, Ronald Reagan, whose acquaintance he'd made a few days earlier. In the buff.

"I was in my doctor's office getting a medical," Sheinbaum said. "I knew he was also Reagan's doctor. He said, 'Why don't you meet him?' He opened a door and there he was, standing stark naked."

Six months after the former president returned to L.A. from his perch in Washington, the doctor had mentioned to Sheinbaum that Reagan had Alzheimer's. "I said, 'How long before he came back did he show signs of it?' He wouldn't say."

Other guests included Oliver Stone, Michael York, Disney V.P. Anna Perez and restaurateur Hans Rockenwagner, who supplied the salads and sausages. They milled about Huffington's Georgetowny new digs and pool in the shadow of the house in which Marilyn Monroe died.

Huffington moved to L.A. so she could share custody of daughters Christina, 8, and Isabella, 6, with her ex-husband, Michael, who has a production company here. "It's a friendly divorce," she says. "He comes and goes. He picks them up from school and comes for dinner."

*

You were wrong about what WASP stands for. It means "We Always Say Please." A member of the nest set us straight at the opening night of "Heavy Breathing," one of Scott Carter's two monologues at the Theater at the Improv. Carter talked about his earlier life as a soft-core porn writer and went where no comedy writer has gone before. He chatted about the lighter side of being a severe asthmatic.

Carter, who sports a Tom Wolfeian taste for white linen suits, has a day job as executive producer for ABC's "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher." Not surprisingly, there was a small bevy of comedians in attendance, among them Rita Rudner, Beth Lapides and Edie McClurg. Margaret Cho, who was appearing next door, stopped by for intermission, always a sure bet, and Stupid Pet Tricks inventor and KABC-AM (790) weekend talk-radio host Merrill Markoe's cup dribbled over for co-host Joe Crummey:

"It might be the most evolved relationship I've ever had with a guy because I would scream at him and figure out how to still talk to him." That's called paycheck therapy.

Or maybe they're soul mates, judging from Crummey's response when their old home--KTZN-AM (710)--announced it was filling children's Monkees music needs by switching to Radio Disney last month. "When they announced the change, a silence came over the room," Markoe says. "Joe raised his hand and said, 'I'd like to point out that Merrill and I had the most childish show on the radio.' "

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