In addition to his blog here at LA Observed, Bill Boyarsky is a regular columnist for Robert Scheer and Zuade Kaufman at Truthdig. They actually pay him, unlike here, and now they're sending him on the road to report on the presidential campaign, starting soon in Iowa and New Hampshire. Bill was a political writer for AP and the Los Angeles Times, in addition to being a columnist and the city editor, so the presidential campaign trail is nothing new. Bill says he'll try to keep posting here about L.A. politics, time permitting, but he'll take a leave from his classes at USC Annenberg. Last night at a party at the home of Doug and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Boyarsky's assignment and his new book from UC Press — Big Daddy: Jesse Unruh and the Art of Power Politics — received an enthusiastic reaction. Those schmoozing included, among others, author and former Washington Post political writer Lou Cannon, City Controller Laura Chick and deputy Rob Wilcox, CNN senior analyst William Schneider, former Times editor Janet Clayton, Times editorial writer Robert Greene, Jewish Journal Editor Rob Eshman, Republican analyst Allan Hoffenblum, Democratic Party figures Carmen Warschaw and Donna Bojarsky, AP's Linda Deutsch, Channel 2 political reporter Dave Bryan and his former colleague Linda Breakstone, Current Affairs Forum honcho Emma Schafer and USC Annenberg profs Murray Fromson, Bryce Nelson and Judy Muller.
Also feted on Sunday: Former UCLA chancellor Charles Young and the recently appointed chancellor, Gene Block, spoke at a campus reception for Margaret Leslie Davis and her major new biography, The Culture Broker: Franklin D. Murphy and the Transformation of Los Angeles. It's also from UC Press. Davis said she began the heavy lifting on the book confronted with 91 boxes of archive material, but learned that it's always best to start with the last box — in it she found a letter that Murphy, a former chancellor and chairman of Times-Mirror, left behind for his future biographer. The manuscript went through eleven drafts. The reception was held in the serene Franklin Murphy Sculpture Garden, which Young recalled used to be an ugly gravel parking lot.