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Of Tributes and Rubber Chickens

Tis the Season…

rubber-chicken.jpgIt is not time to be jolly – many of us in the political arena find ourselves at assorted tributes, fundraisers, love fests and all of the above. They are encapsulated in what I have dubbed “Rubber Chicken” Season. From the “Rubber Chicken” Dinners that are/were less than satisfactory from a gastronomic standpoint. This is one of the reasons I don’t like chicken. Fortunately, this is not a culinary review; however, I believe I can determine which of my three evenings had the superior chicken. (Maybe not, doesn’t chicken always taste the same?)

I thought I would offer up a few insights and summaries of what occurred at these annual love fests. In order: ECCO, Truman and Solidarity, all were held at the Disneyland Hotel. Of note, I have it on good authority that the Rancho Santiago Community College District Chancellor’s Ball was also held at the Disneyland Hotel. Trustee, Larry Labrado and I may be ready to go Vegetarian.

10/13/2007: Beginning with the ECCO Dinner at what is now called the Magic Kingdom Ballroom (formerly, Marina Ballroom), Honorees included Assemblyman John Laird and the Legislative GLBT Caucus, Stockton Councilmember, Susan Eggman, Alicia Berhow, Peg Corley and Ivy Bottini. CTA and Southern California Edison – Lighthouse were also honored.

I was helping out on this one and regret I did not get to hear all of the speakers, presenters and honorees. I admit I enjoyed referring to Former Senator Joe Dunn as my ‘Vanna’ when presenting his namesake’s award to Alicia Berhow. I had the pleasure of conversing with Assemblyman John Laird, Councilmember Eggman and her partner, Blade Editor, Bill LaPointe and others.

My favorite Silent Auction Item: a photograph of Allegra. After the program, we retire to the Lost Bar to hug and congratulate each other.

The Chicken: Breast (w/ skin) and prawns, polenta and some asparagus and a carrot.

10/19/2007: I do not believe I can do full justice to The Truman Dinner. For those of us who have been around, this was the best ever. 1,100 people in the Grand Ballroom (I did not find most of my pals but Commie Girl was resplendent in her animal print dress.), John & Elizabeth Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Larry Agran and Wayne Quint. Supporting roles to Attorney General Jerry Brown, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Mayor Miguel Pulido (a rare sight at Democratic events), Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Former State Senator Joe Dunn, I know I have missed a few. Claudio gave a good report in the o-juice as did our own Liberal OC Blogger, Christopher Prevatt. Props to Melahat Rafiei for showing us what she is capable of and to Christopher for the AV program AND keeping the program from going too long. Although 6:30 – 10pm is a tad rough on the backside.

I would like to focus on Mr. Richard O’Neill, who has been a great leader and mentor to Orange County Democrats. He has maintained his sense of humor and has been a tireless promoter of our youth. Former DPOC Chairman Howard Adler’s was particularly touching. It is always great to see Mr. O’Neill. The other highlight? Welcoming Ali Shakeri back to Orange County after doing time in Iran’s most notorious prison. Welcome Back Ali!

Favorite Silent Auction Item: Tix to see the Eagles and the Dixie Chicks. The opening bid was a tad high for me. I also decided to leave my checkbook at home. We had another after party at the Lost Bar – I do not remember seeing Claudio. I did spend some time talking to CDP Vice-Chair Alex Rooker.

The Chicken: Breast (w/ skin) and prawns, polenta and some asparagus and a carrot.
I learned from Trustee Labrado this evening that this was his THIRD serving of this particular version. I also learned (a few days later) that Jim Rogers was a little ill following the dinner.

10/20/2007: Orange County Central Labor Council’s Solidarity Awards Dinner, again in the Grand Ballroom, the atmosphere is more relaxed and I have the feeling of Deja Vu – all over again (I couldn’t resist). Trustee Labrado and I contemplate what the vegetarian plate might be while schmoozing in the lobby. I learned from Bob and Quan that the photo of Allegra got a good home and Quan very was gracious by buying me a drink. (Short and mild by my standards – drat that family atmosphere)

I was there to see my Tio Al Ybarra get a lifetime achievement award. There was a great presentation regarding the efforts to unionize the healthcare workers in the St. Joseph Healthcare System.

Favorite Silent Auction Item: No Silent Auction – glad I left my methods of payment at home.

The Chicken: Breast (w/ skin) no prawns, a potato/stuffing like medley with olives and some asparagus and a carrot. I was told the vegetarian dish would be Pasta Primavera – my failing as a prospective vegetarian is my acute dislike for cooked vegetables. After I went with the chicken (I was told it was different) the vegetarians got vegetable lasagna. Rats! I regret I left early. My stomach was a little upset and was not going to improve.

There are two or three other tribute dinners coming up that I am aware of. The next one that is definitely on my schedule is the 2nd OCYD William Jefferson Clinton Award Dinner on Tuesday, November 7 at the Hacienda Restaurant. Chicken Enchiladas por favor?