The L.A. County Democratic Party is the New Party

Luna is running for Los Angeles County sheriff as the anti-Villanueva. Will it work? And what the hell is she up to now?

By Bill Maher

The Los Angeles Times

January 5, 2010


When I last went to the Venice Pier and watched Luna Lovegood in a racy red bathing suit, I was pretty sure that she would not have had any chance of winning. Her campaign, after coming out of the shell of her failed 2000 gubernatorial bid, was still so far in the future that it might have seemed absurd. She was one of those who in recent years has used her own celebrity to put her political ambitions back to where they began. I thought, as I looked at her, “What kind of candidate does she have—a reality TV star?”

But this is L.A., where a lot of women get famous without ever having to climb up a skyscraper. Now, because they think that they are more accomplished than they actually are, L.A. is a land where the most visible woman in the world could be the sheriff of the nation’s largest city. And because she is the best-known woman in L.A., her visibility is greater than it would be for a man. Luna is the woman representing the best of the worst in L.A. She is an outsider with one foot in the political establishment and the other in the street, as she seeks to change both.

In Los Angeles, no one takes credit for what should be done. The people do it, through their elected representatives. But when it comes to politics, it is a matter of who gets to do the work and what the results will be. So it is that the L.A. County Democratic Party, in the person of County Executive Steve Poizner, who is, naturally, the party’s executive vice chair, has become the county party. He has taken the party around the county and created a powerful, cohesive, statewide organization, with an ambitious, if imperfect, agenda. He and his deputies have been able to mobilize and build a force that is capable of beating the current political machine.

This is a new political dynamic in L.A. Where, say, in my former home, there might have been a powerful local party with a strong central office in support of strong central office, there is now only a single party holding the balance

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