November 29, 2021
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After decades in California politics, Allan Zaremberg has some parting advice for the GOP
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Republican celebrations and Democratic anger reveal a widening political divide
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Matthew McConaughey won’t run for Texas governor in 2022 California Politics Roundup – KQED Kick Big Tobacco OUT of California Political Campaigns launches – Los Angeles Blade After decades in California politics, Allan Zaremberg has some parting advice for the GOP Inside California Politics: Bullpen talks CA redistricting ahead of 2022 midterm – KGET 17 Inside California Politics: Political Correspondent Marisa Lagos on Vice President Kamala Harris – FOX40 Inside California Politics: Representative Karen Bass, Oakland mayor on infrastructure bill passage, CA homelessness – KGET 17 Opinion | The Diminishing Democratic Majority Inside California Politics: Bullpen talks CA redistricting ahead of 2022 midterm – KRON4 Republican celebrations and Democratic anger reveal a widening political divide

Angelyne Stumps for California’s Professional-Celebrity Vote

Last week, as Andrew Cuomo announced that he was resigning as governor of New York, Californians prepared to begin voting on whether to replace their own governor, Gavin Newsom, in a recall election. If Newsom is ousted, he’ll be replaced by one of forty-six candidates, a list that includes the front-running challenger, Larry Elder, a conservative talk-radio host who has referred to climate change as “a crock” and a “myth”; John Cox, a Republican real-estate mogul, who has travelled around the state in a campaign bus with a Kodiak bear named Tag; and Caitlyn Jenner, who recently took a leave from the trail to film “Celebrity Big Brother” in Australia. The other day, another contender, the professional celebrity Angelyne, went to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for dinner to strategize about the home stretch of the race.

AngelyneIllustration by João Fazenda

Angelyne, a Kardashian forerunner—she became famous in the eighties when she mysteriously appeared, scantily clad in pink, on billboards all over Hollywood for a night, and in 2003 she made a bid for governor in the recall election of Gray Davis. (Her slogan: “We’ve had Gray and Brown”—Governor Jerry Brown—“what about blonde and pink?” She finished twenty-ninth out of a hundred and thirty-five.) This cycle, her platform includes U.F.O. conferences; an annual policemen’s ball; rehab for politicians; mandatory bubble-bath day; and the cancellation of daylight-saving time and jury duty.

“I think politics is a dumb circus,” Angelyne said, as she made her way to a private dining room. “I think it has got more of an entertainment interest. I started that!” She wore platform heels and a cheetah scarf over her face. After she sat down, she asked for a chair for her purse and for the lighting to be dimmed to eliminate glare. She was joined by her campaign manager, Jill Morris, who said that her own qualifications as a political operative included contributing to the Onion. “And my ex-husband, who I’m still really good friends with, his family was part of the Aspen Institute,” she said. Morris opened a black briefcase, containing a painting made by Angelyne, of Angelyne, and took out a news clipping for Angelyne to review, from a German car magazine that had recently done an Angelyne photo shoot. “We don’t speak German, so we don’t know what the article says,” Morris explained.

“I think that says ‘politics and spiritualism,’ ” Angelyne said.

Talk turned to the campaign. Angelyne had messaged another candidate, the former Playboy model Mary Carey, on Instagram, demanding that she “stop plagiarizing.” “I’m worried I’ll get confused with that woman,” Angelyne told Morris. “I have this, let’s say, porn-star image.” (Carey has since dropped out of the race.)

Angelyne began making sounds by running her finger along the rim of her water glass. When the waiter appeared, she asked for something soft. “Do you have soup?” she said. She settled for lobster in zabaglione, with creamed mustard greens. She didn’t care for the lobster, so she pushed it in front of Morris. They ordered another round of Diet Cokes and ran through some talking points. “I want to elevate the consciousness of everybody’s goodness at heart,” Angelyne said. She considered the rest of her platform: “I’m against—what’s the pay-for-jail. What’s that called?”

Angelyne said that she was not impressed by the field of candidates. Initially, few observers had given any of Newsom’s opponents much of a chance. The petition to launch the recall had itself seemed to be a long shot, until last November, when Newsom was photographed maskless at a party for a lobbyist at the French Laundry, in Napa. The petition soon reached the requisite million and a half or so signatures. Polls have shown the electorate evenly split on whether to remove him.

After dinner, Angelyne hopped into a pink Corvette, one of three in her personal fleet, for some face time with voters. “One of my cars was in the book ‘The Disaster Artist,’ ” she said; she offers rides in it for fifteen hundred dollars. Wearing a white driving boot on her left foot, she turned on her new track, “Bimbo Baby,” which she recorded this year, and meandered down Hollywood Boulevard, past the Church of Scientology and her campaign office, across from the Egyptian Theatre. “I blew out my voice singing this,” she said. Passersby took photos. Her destination was the Denny’s on Sunset Boulevard. “I love the claw game they have there,” she said. “Jill won all of the stuffed animals in it once. She had to spend hundreds of dollars.” She gestured toward the billboards on Sunset, none of which, at the moment, were hers. “People get numb to them if they’re up there all the time,” she said. “We have to cycle them in and out.” When the candidate arrived, she parked and got out of the car. “Don’t look in my purse,” she said. ♦