Are you keeping your friends close and your enemies closer postelection? If so, you might be interested in the Southern California politicians, thought leaders and businesspeople who have strong connections to the incoming administration of Donald Trump. Maybe you'll want to boycott anything they touch. Maybe you'll want to send them a holiday card.
Given that Hillary Clinton received 72 percent of the L.A. County vote compared with Trump's 22 percent, we're guessing you'd be more interested in the former option. In any case, information is power. Here are a few of Trump's closest California allies:
Geoffrey Palmer. At one point this Beverly Hills developer, known for his Italianate apartment complexes just west of downtown, was Trump's biggest campaign donor (excluding the GOP candidate himself). Palmer, who successfully sued City Hall to keep low-income units out of his projects, is widely loathed for the insular, cheesy architecture that characterizes his buildings. Strangely, Trump has yet to name Palmer to a cabinet position.
Steven Mnuchin. The Wall Street financier who started at Goldman Sachs, created his own hedge fund and went on to became a Hollywood producer (X-Men, Avatar) is now Trump's choice to lead the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Industry insiders called him a money guy, not a creative, who will “not … be greatly missed” in Los Angeles' film biz. He has no government experience.
Dana Rohrabacher. This longtime Orange County Republican congressman was rumored to be a candidate for secretary of state in Trump's forthcoming administration. The rumors were stoked by the unofficial media arm of Trump, Breitbart News, which noted that Rohrabacher said, “I'd be very willing” to take the job. The SoCal surfer has been vilified by many Latinos for his vehement stance against those here illegally, but he's also been praised by some liberals for his marijuana legislation.
Peter Navarro. This economics and public policy professor at UC Irvine is advising Trump on matters related to the economy. He's also been long rumored as a possible cabinet pick, with Forbes' opinion section asking last month, “The Important Thing Now Is Which Job Does Peter Navarro Get?” He has long been critical of our trade relationship with China, so that might explain Trump's affinity. The bodysurfing prof has been called an “anti-establishment provocateur” by the Union-Tribune in San Diego, where he led an anti-development movement in the late 1980s called Prevent Los Angelization Now.
Thomas J. Barrack is the so-called high-interest re-financier to the stars, reportedly including Michael Jackson and photographer Annie Leibovitz. His firm, Colony Capital, is based in Santa Monica. He was a big Trump campaign supporter, so of course he was rumored as a possible Treasury pick, at least until Mnuchin took the opening. After the election, Barrack said Trump needed to repair bridges with certain parts of the electorate. “He's going to build a wall of understanding,” Barrack said. And Mexico is going to pay for it.