Political and media hands have been lamenting the demise of the annual holiday party thrown in Hancock Park by the Times' Janet Clayton and her husband Michael Johnson. For many of the town's shakers, it was the only time during the year they would see Times Editor John Carroll, who isn't visible in the city like previous editors. Now Howard Fine reports in the L.A. Business Journal that Mayor Jim Hahn has dropped his own yearly gathering with the media at Getty House. The mayor's office says he is too busy, but it may be also that the party would remind reporters of Hahn's cozy relationship with Fleishman-Hillard. The mayor's favorite PR firm sponsored the party in recent years. In case anyone forgot, just before last December's event the Daily News quoted email from Fleishman's then-boss Doug Dowie (pictured above) advising Hahn's office to skimp on the food and drink: "Cripes, it's the media. Chips and plain-wrap booze."
The agency's new L.A. boss, Richard Kline, says there were no discussions with the mayor's office about a party this year—and since Hahn is now a candidate, he says, "even if we were asked to contribute to a holiday party, our policy would prohibit us from doing so." The L.A. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is filling some of the missing holiday cheer, gathering Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Redwood downtown.
Also: Fine writes that the tradition of Getty House holiday parties began with Mayor Richard Riordan. Monday's L.A. Times checks in on Riordan's tenure as state education secretary and finds that he's not influential within Schwarzenegger's circle: "Part of the problem, legislators and others say, lies in the perception of the 74-year-old Riordan as an absent-minded bumbler and a loose cannon in an administration that demands discipline." Riordan is scheduled to appear on KPCC (Airtalk with Larry Mantle) at 10:30 this morning.
And: Add Jan Perry to the list of city council members endorsing Hahn's reelection (bottom of LAT column). That's at least eight: Garcetti, LaBonge, Miscikowski, Reyes, Smith, Zine, Perry and Janice Hahn. It will be news if council president Alex Padilla and Tony Cardenas don't sign on too. Likewise, it will be a surprise if Martin Ludlow doesn't join Jack Weiss in endorsing Antonio Villaraigosa. Bernard Parks is supported by none of his council colleagues, nor have Bob Hertzberg or Richard Alarcon gotten any council endorsements. It will be interesting to see where Wendy Greuel, a potential candidate for Controller in four years, comes down on the most contested challenge to a sitting mayor in decades.