Tonight's Los Angeles Political Roast raised $575,000 for the American Diabetes Association, but the 1,000 or so people who packed into a Century Plaza ballroom found a curious centerpiece at every table: a box of Krispy Kreme donuts. It spurred some questions, but City Hall lobbyist Arnie Berghoff — who organizes the annual banquet with lobbyist Harvey Englander and Mitch Englander, chief of staff to Councilman Greig Smith — explained it was a joke aimed at the roastee, LAPD Chief Bill Bratton. (Cops and donuts: get it?) Fair enough. Other jokes at Bratton's expense centered on his relish for the camera, Bostonian accent, too-good-to-believe crime stats and, especially, his relationship with his predecessor, Councilman Bernard Parks.
"Parks asked me to give you his best," County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told Bratton. "But they wouldn't let me bring it in." When it was his turn, Bratton pulled on boxing gloves and quipped "These are the lightweight version. I'm going up against Councilman Parks tomorrow." Parks wasn't there to defend himself, but twelve members of the City Council were, along with ex-mayor Jim Hahn (and his girlfriend), many other elected officials and what seemed like all the lobbyists in the world. Here's Patrick McGreevy's report in the LAT.
Notebook bits: DA Steve Cooley got a big hand when he quipped "If I want bullshit I check the L.A. Times"...Cooley also joked about Villaraigosa getting his wedding ring sized...Villaraigosa skewered Cooley's rough delivery and off timing: "Steve, I would have written a joke for you but after those lines no one will even remember you were here"...There were jokes about the photo of Villaraigosa resting his eyes at the state of the Union and his famous photo with Paris Hilton, plus needles about Bratton's travels and the weaponry foibles of ex-Bratton aide John Miller, who sent his regards by video from Washington....Emcee Eric Garcetti: "You don't get to be Council President without servicing your members."
Feeling the heat: During the pre-roast reception, several attendees of the elected and unelected variety razzed LA Observed for calling Felipe Fuentes, former chief of staff to Councilman Alex Padilla, the niece of public works commissioner Yolanda Fuentes in today's Morning Buzz. D'oh! He is her nephew, as a good dozen emails also pointed out.
* Added: Randal Archibold filed for the New York Times' politics blog The Caucus about Bratton's bury-the-hatchet meeting last week with Rudy Giuliani. They had clashed when Bratton was chief in New York, but after the roast he told Archibold, "We had a good half hour of time together and it was the first opportunity to actually be together for more than a ‘hi, how are you’ in 10, almost 11 years."
Photo: Chris Buck