By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Fanfare for the Common Guv
The drill at last weekend’s state Democratic convention was clear and unvarying: Speakers, when introduced, toddled straight to the podium and began speaking. The only exceptions were Al Gore and Bill Bradley, who entered on the convention floor, made their way to the stage through a sea of delegates, pumping hands as they went while music blared throughout the hall. The standard entrance, that is, for presidential candidates.
Except, it wasn’t just presidential aspirants who did the Big Dude Walk. Governor Gray Davis entered that way, too, to the pompous strains of John William’s “Olympic Fanfare,” suitable music for Groucho’s presidential inaugural in Duck Soup. Gray took his time, shaking the hands of standing delegates, sitting delegates, sleeping delegates — taking so much time that the “Fanfare” finished with Davis not even on the stage yet. And abruptly, the room was filled with . . . silence. What had been visually apparent during the “Fanfare” was now aurally apparent: Nobody was clapping. It was a ghastly moment, yet not a single delegate thought to stop the silence by applauding. Undaunted, Gray shook in silence until the convention techs restarted the “Fanfare.”
Davis has a thing for fanfares. When he signed the state budget last summer, he did it under a broiling Sacramento sun, so that a troop of trumpeters could toot him on. But trumpeters or no, the dirty little secret of California politics is that Democrats — at least, the activists and insiders — don’t really like Davis. On the basic Dem- ocratic causes — expanding health insurance, investing serious money in schools and such — Davis has to be hauled along kicking and screaming. Not that the delegates were hostile to their governor. They just saw no reason to applaud.
So the Weeklyis prepared to step into this breach and make you an offer, Governor Gray. You bring California’s per pupil spending up to the national average, build three more UCs, six more CSUs and 20 more community colleges, create a universal health program so that California is no longer home to 7 million residents with no health insurance, sign legislation mandating the licensing of handgun owners and the registration of their guns, and build a bullet train that traverses the state. And, if you live up to your end of the bargain, the Weekly will pay the L.A. Philharmonic to serenade you with the complete Beethoven’s Ninth every time you so much as step outside your office door.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city