Friday, July 20, 2007

Pelosi Palooza Comes To Hope Ranch!

There was no mention of it ahead of time in the local press, but Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made an appearance at a Democratic fundraiser held in Hope Ranch mid-day Friday and I, along with about 250 others, was there.

I was so anxious to get a chance to see and hear the speaker, I postponed my departure for the weekend to attend.

The event was held at the home of Betty Stephens who co-hosted the event with Judith Hopkinson and Congresswoman Lois Capps. The event was sponsored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

While about 60 or so folks who paid $5,000 each to attend a special VIP reception before hand were getting the opportunity to meet the speaker at a nearby residence, the rest of the attendees socialized and awaited the arrival of the guest of honor while munching on a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and french frys while listening to great jazz music from a band put together and led by former County Supervisor Frank Frost.

With such a large crowd parking was off-site at La Cumbre Plaza. I rode in the shuttle bus to the event with Santa Barbara City Council Member Iya Falcone. When we got out of the bus we were greeted by one of the volunteers, old friend Willie Rowan, whom I hadn't seen in years. When she greeted Iya, she asked her; "Where did you dig him up?" Er, uh no, we're not an item, and I guess Willie doesn't keep up with the blogs.

Other city council members in attendance included Mayor Marty Blum, Helene Schneider and Grant House, who was there with wife Peggy Jo.

Roger Aceves was there from the Goleta city council as was Second District County Supervisor Janet Wolf.

Former State Assembly Member Hanna Beth Jackson sat behind me and Vicky Riskin, who is very active in the local chapter of Human Righs Watch, sat next to me. Across the way I could see former Second District Supervisor Susan Rose sitting with husband Al Ghitterman.

Speaking of Roses, political consultant Mary Rose (no relation to Susan) was there

Before Pelosi took the podium she was preceded by the great opera singer Marilyn Horne who sang a song to the tune of "California Here I Come!" about the importance of the Democrats holding onto the majority in congress. (It's a funny how a great singer can sound like anybody else when signing ordinary material.) But the song was fun and the crowd was entertained.

When Pelosi took the podium she spoke about the terrible costs of the war in Irag not only in terms of lives lost but in the lost opportunity by spending trillions on the war when it could be spent elsewhere on problems that are solvable.

A number of readers of my blog approached me and introduced themselves including Joni Kelly who told me that both she and her husband are big fans.

The media was well represented including Barbara Lanz-Mateo, editor and publisher of Coastal Woman Magazine former News-Press editor Jerry Roberts; retired journalists Lou Cannon and Sander Vanocur and Montecito's J'Amy Brown, who writes for The Independent and Edhat; retired gossip columnist, Rona Barrett and News-Press society writer Lorraine Wilson.

Kathy Rodriguez, who is the better half on John Zant who writes for the Indy was also there.

No TV news crews were present. There was some murmuring about not wanting any press coverage for the event, so if anybody asks you how you heard what happened there, you didn't hear it from me.

I've posted some of the photos I took at the event.

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