When Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took office on July 1, he could have handed out thank-yous to groups all over the city for his Election Day drubbing of incumbent Mayor James Hahn.
Jews, in all their local permutations, were a big part of Villaraigosa's victory: Orthodox Jews, Valley Jews, Westside liberal Jews -- and also the politically emerging community of Iranian Jews.
"The Iranian Jewish community is very much a part of this city," said David Nahai, a Century City attorney. "What happens to Los Angeles happens to us and so we have a deeply vested interest in the outcome of this race."
Only recently have many prominent Iranian Jews in Southern California become more involved in political races -- after realizing the impact elected officials have on their business interests, which for many include substantial real estate holdings.
The angry man in the back of the room at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana was shaking his fist and calling us crooks.
I made a big mistake -- eye contact. With me in his range, he raised his hand, and I think his middle finger, and yelled, "You!" Being a city ethics commissioner, I didn't think I should be called a crook in public.