It's odd to find a Republican event where the only wasps are the ones buzzing around the fruit salad and lemonade, but such was the case at the Republican Jewish Coalition of Southern California's (RJCSC) third annual summer barbecue at the Old West-themed Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills.
Openly gay and conservative KABC talk show host Al Rantel kicked off the daylong skewering of Gov. Gray Davis. In response to Davis' portrayal of the recall effort as "partisan mischief," Rantel beamed with pride as he labeled himself a "mischief maker."
"He's a crook," Rantel said. "Davis sold our state to special interests."
To bolster GOP support during the recall, Rantel took a cue from Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America" and suggested "Republicans should have a contract with 10 things they'd do for California."
Erstwhile gubernatorial replacement candidate Bill Simon, who dropped out this week, called Rantel and other conservative talk show hosts the "word leaders of our party" and thanked the 200-plus audience for their recall support.
"Never underestimate the people of California," he said. "But never underestimate the incompetence of the governor's office."
While most supported the recall, dissenting opinions were also present.
"Why don't we just let Davis do a lousy job?" said Republican activist and writer Carole Wade, hoping for a GOP shoe-in during the next regular gubernatorial election.
Other attendees: Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith; former Rep. Steve Kuykendall; state GOP Vice Chair Mario Rodriguez; Assemblyman Robert Pacheco (R-City of Industry); Gayle Pacheco, who is already in the 2004 Republican primary for her husband's 60th Assembly District seat; Calabasas Mayor James Bozajian; RJCSC Executive Director Michael Wissot and fiancée Cantor Alison Wienir of Stephen S. Wise Temple.
"At least we don't have to destroy [RJCSC Chair] Bruce Bialosky's house this year," Rantel told The Circuit, referring to last year's Studio City barbecue. -- Adam Wills, Associate Editor
Dig Those Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are playing spectacularly this season -- well, the Maccabee version, anyway. Michael Kadish, who coaches the Dodgers, ages 10-12, in the Maccabee Baseball League of Greater Los Angeles, reported that after a slow start, the boys qualified for the playoffs and defeated the Giants (8-3) in a dramatic Father's Day game to win the season championship.
University Women, a fundraising arm of the University of Judaism, celebrated its 40th anniversary at a Beverly Hilton gala by honoring 18 past presidents.
Cookie Lommel, founder of Operation Unity, the nonprofit that creates a multicultural kibbutz experience here in Los Angeles, has been named executive director of the Jewish Labor Committee's Western region.
a Doctor in the House
The State of Israel Bonds' Medical Division held a reception at the residence of Dr. Alain and Myra Gabbay. Dr. Gabriel Barbash, professor of epidemiology and director of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, was the keynote speaker.
Stephen S. Wise Temple Summer Camps held their Camp Mitzvah Day on July 1. Local projects included a Hop-a-Thon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, making lunch for the Los Angeles Union Rescue Mission and painting birdhouses for Habitat for Humanity. The kids also sewed dolls for Jewry in Cuba, made mezuzot for sister shul Congregation Hineni in the Former Soviet Union and a quilt for an adopted Israeli family through Adopt-a-Family.