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Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

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Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by watching on Fri Apr 22 2011, 08:12

Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

April 22, 2011 12:49 AM
From ABC News' Sunlen Miller and Jon Garcia:

President Obama hit up some big names in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles Thursday to pick up millions of dollars for his re-election bid in 2012.

Obama swooped into three fundraisers in four hours, including two dinners and a large rally at Sony Studios in Culver City, Calif. (This capped off six total fundraisers over two days.)

The first of the two intimate dinners took place in the Sony Studio commissary and included Motown's Barry Gordy, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragosa and actor Dennis Haysbert—best known for playing the president on the television hit series "24" or, alternatively, the Allstate pitchman.

Then later at Tavern restaurant in the exclusive Brentwood section of LA, actors George Clooney, Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks, director Steven Spielberg and industry executive Jeffery Katzenberg listened as Obama thanked them for sticking with him in 2008 and said he was counting on them for support in his re-election bid in 2012.

“You all got involved when the prospect of electing Barack Hussein Obama was slim. None of you asked for my birth certificate. It was a complete leap of faith,” he told about 100 folks at the restaurant, referencing the perpetual questioning of Obama’s place of birth, newly-revived by Donald Trump.

At the Sony dinner he told a different group that “We’ve made incredible progress over the last two and a half years, but we’ve got so much more work to do... this is going to be just as hard, if not harder, than 2008 and I’m going to need all of you just as engaged, just as motivated, and taking as much ownership over the campaign as you did then,” he said.

At the large rally for younger donors, a group dubbed Gen44, singers Jamie Foxx and Jason Mraz and actress Rashida Jones warmed up the 2,000 plus audience in Sony’s Studio 30.

The soundstage was used to film parts of "Spiderman 4," "Cast Away," "Men in Black 2," "Iron Man 2," Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes," "The Ring," "The Dirty Dozen," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and many of Esther Williams' films, Sony VP Jim Kennedy told reporters.

Obama entered to his signature theme from the band U2, “City of Blinding Light” and chants of “Four more years!” (Though Obama corrected them to say it was more like five and a half.)

He launched into what are now becoming very familiar themes in his stump speech: the progress made coming back from recession and the challenges ahead, such as comprehensive immigration reform, revamping energy policy, reducing the deficit and implementing ‘shared sacrifice.’

That sacrifice includes ending the Bush tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest 2 percent of earners and closing “loopholes and tricks” in the tax code.

“We want a society where if we’re asking people to sacrifice, don’t just tell millionaires and billionaires you don’t have to do anything, just count your money,” Obama said.

“It’s not that I want to punish success, I want everybody here to be rich,” Obama continued, adding that success should not come by hitting the lottery but by being successful.

On a lighter note, Obama said a few things have changed since the 2008 election including the fact that he’s got more gray hair.

“See folks here in Hollywood they can go gray and they can say ‘that was just for a part’ and they can rinse. I can’t do that,” he said to laughter.

And Tom Hanks quipped to the press at the Tavern dinner, “Hey, this is a private event.”

Democratic party sources said the tickets for all three events started at $100 and ranged up to the maximum legal limit of $35,800.

All of the money raised goes to the Obama Victory Fund and though officials declined to give a final tally, estimates suggest millions of dollars from about 2,700 donors.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by Merlin on Fri Apr 22 2011, 08:26

President's last fundraiser of the night

President Obama's third and final fundraiser of the evening was a star-studded dinner in a small room at Tavern restaurant in Brentwood.

Speech was mostly the same stuff - altho he suggested gas prices are to blame for his lower poll numbers, said the budget debate crystallizes what 2012 will be about, and made a birther and a George Clooney joke.

Among the 60 or so donors in attendance were Steven Spielberg, Will Farrell, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and George Clooney.

POTUS introduced by Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

"We all feel very lucky to have you as our president," Mr. Katzenberg said. "Four more years."

"Thank you Jeffrey. Technically it's actually five and a half years," POTUS said.

He thanked the donors for being early supporters and made a birther joke.

"A lot of you got involved when the prospect of electing Barack Hussein Obama to the Oval Office was slim. None of you asked for my birth certificate," POTUS said, drawing laughter. "It was a complete leap of faith."

POTUS singled out California Gov. Jerry Brown and Nicole Avant, the U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas.

"It's a nice gig isn't it?" he said to Ms. Avant, who was seated at one of the two tables closest to him down front.

Mr. Clooney was also at that table, and POTUS worked him into his remarks, too.

He said there's "a lot of revisionist history going on right now" about how easy the 2008 campaign was. He acknowledged Democratic angst.

"We just started, and we've got a lot more work to do. And there have been times I'm sure during the past two and a half years where you're reading the papers or your watching TV and you're saying, 'Ah, Obama, you know, why's he compromising with the Republicans?' Or 'Aw, why did health care take so long? and I want single payer plan anyway' and 'Golly, you know, if he was just as good a communicator as George Clooney, I'm sure the American people would understand exactly what needs to be done,'" POTUS said.

This cracked the room up. Then POTUS went back to being serious.

"That's understandable because there've been times when I've been frustrated," POTUS said. He told them

"What we've done here has been historic and we're only a quarter of the way through," he said.

Mr. Obama said the current budget debate in Washington "crystalizes" the debate he'll be having in the 18 months until November 2012.

That debate will be about values and "about who we are," he said.

He suggested his poll numbers are dipping because of rising gas prices.

"My poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people," he said.

People are too busy to be paying attention to squabbles in Washington, he said, adding, "If I wasn't professionally in this, I wouldn't be following all of these debates in Washington."

He closed with a pitch about the campaign being about more than him and continuing beyond his time in office.

Pool was ushered out as POTUS began to go table to table.

As we exited Tom Hanks turned around in his seat and said to his table mates, "Five and a half more years!"

Overall the event's setting was pretty simple - six round tables with about 10 chairs each. Lighting was dim, candles and bottles of wine on the tables. The walls were bare. It smelled like sewage outside the room.

Some seating arrangements in the room:

David Plouffe sat next to Will Farrell and leaned across the table to shake hands with Governor Brown. Jay Carney next to Steven Spielberg.

Correx to quote in last pool report, although check against transcript. After the audience member shouted about needing his leadership, POTUS said, "I'm going to give it but I'm going to need yours as well." Not I'm here - that shouldn't have been in quotes.

We're holding at a coffee shop that's playing nonstop Elvis.

Carol Lee
The Wall Street Journal



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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by watching on Fri Apr 22 2011, 08:27

Bit more about the dinner. This is from the LA Times.

Obama talks about successes and continuing challenges at final L.A. fundraiser
April 21, 2011 | 10:42pm


President Obama arrived at his final fundraiser of the evening about 8:20 p.m. Thursday after traveling along the 405 Freeway, which had been shut down for the motorcade ride from Culver City to Brentwood.

The dinner was at Tavern, in a private room that held about 50 people. There was major celebrity wattage at the event: Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife; George Clooney; Steven Spielberg; Tom Hanks and wife, Rita Wilson; and Will Ferrell.

Tables were covered with forest green tablecloths, and potted trees and twinkling white lights created an atrium-like setting.

Obama was introduced by Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation SKG's chief executive. Katzenberg noted that about three years ago, most “everyone in this room embarked on a great journey and adventure with you,” he said, directing his remarks to the president.

“I think we all would agree that nobody has ever inherited a set of challenges -- and nobody I think could possibly be better in tackling them. So we all feel very lucky to have you as our president for four more years,” Katzenberg said to the audience's applause.

“Four more years,” Obama said, taking the microphone. He added: “Technically it’s actually 5 1/2 more years,” which got a round of laughter.

“A lot of you got involved at a time when the prospect of electing Barack Hussein Obama to the Oval Office was slim. None of you asked for my birth certificate. It was complete leap of faith,” he said to more laughter.

He acknowledged Brown -- to applause -- and Nicole A. Avant, the U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas. “It’s a nice gig, isn’t it?” he asked her, to more laughter.

“When we started this journey -- it was actually about four years ago -- I think we understood that the country was at a crossroads and we were going to have to make some fundamental changes so that we could make sure our kids, our grandkids, the next generation inherited the same kind of big-spirited America that we inherited from our grandparents and parents,” the president said.

“We didn’t maybe know how steep the climb was going to be to get to where we needed to go. But we understood it was not going to be easy....

"And it hasn’t been, but we have made extraordinary progress over the last 2 1/2 years. We’ve pulled this economy out of a recession. We’ve stabilized the financial system. We’ve passed historic health care legislation to make sure that 30 million people aren’t going to go without coverage," Obama said to applause. "We’ve repealed ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We have put two women on the Supreme Court including the first Latina. We’ve passed equal pay for equal work.

"We can go down the list," he told the audience, "but we also know we’ve got a lot more work to do. We’ve just started, and we’ve got a lot more work to do.”

Obama said the budget talks “crystallize the debate that we are going to be having in this country over the next 18 months about who we are, what we care about, what our values are, what our commitments are to each other.”

He noted that his poll numbers “go up and down depending on the latest crisis -- and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people.”

He said that when he talks to "ordinary folks" about their values and what they care about, "They say, of course, we should make sure every child has a good education and gets opportunity. And absolutely we’ve got to make sure our commitments to seniors are met.... And, yes, internationally we want to stand on the side of human rights and democracy.”

Government has to live within its means, Obama said, but “we think we can live within its means and still ensure that we’re delivering for the next generation.”

He closed his speech by saying that he has faith in the next generation and that the "commitments we made to each other as Americans" have not ended, but need to be fought for and worked for every day.

Obama left the fundraiser about 10 p.m. He is expected to leave from Los Angeles International Airport on Friday morning.

-- Maeve Reston in Brentwood

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by watching on Fri Apr 22 2011, 08:30

Getty Images has some pictures of George and Speilberg going into the event. He is suited up and dateless. Do a search for Tavern in the past 24 hours to locate. The shots will most likely be posted shortly.

(Not sure of our posting policy on naming the agency with shots. If inappropriate, let me know and I will delete.)


Last edited by watching on Fri Apr 22 2011, 08:32; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : edit)

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by laetval on Fri Apr 22 2011, 09:40

PICS of George

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by Katiedot on Fri Apr 22 2011, 11:50

@ Watching: I've no problem with naming the agency and links to their site, just please don't post any of their pictures here.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by lucy on Fri Apr 22 2011, 11:52

It seems like bettabuns doesn't get invited out much anymore.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by watching on Fri Apr 22 2011, 12:23

She seems to get the invitees to events that are about him being Mr Movie Star (premieres, award shows, events were he is being honoured for the Darfur work, fashion shows, etc) but any event that isn't about George or being the movie star cliche (Haiti telethon, funeral for the Omega guy, White House visits, etc) Betty doesn't get to tag along.

So what - does Betty have to wait until Oct to be get to hit up another red carpet? She will be livid. And poor Cavalli. How can he trade on the association if Betty isn't walking the red carpet and getting papped in one of his outfits? Her not being there makes me more surprised that she wasn't at the sushi dinner the night before. That at least would have been some press coverage to tide her over.

No sushi, No Obama - what next? No birthday?

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by Katiedot on Fri Apr 22 2011, 12:50

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by cindigirl on Fri Apr 22 2011, 13:43

Katie, thanks for the pics of him in a suit. It's so nice to see him out of those ratty jeans!

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by watching on Fri Apr 22 2011, 14:54

More details. $36 grand per plate - could be why Betty wasn't there.


President Obama, Hot In Hollywood

"Five and a half more years!" is rallying cry at final $35,800/plate dinner...

Hollywood heavyweights George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, Will Ferrell, Tom Hanks and his wife, actress/producer Rita Wilson, were among about sixty guests at President Obama's DNC fundraiser on Thursday evening. The $35,800/plate dinner, the final stop on a two-day western campaign swing, was in a small room at Tavern restaurant in Brentwood, California, owned by chef Suzanne Goin and sommelier Caroline Styne.

Earlier in the day, President Obama spoke to a crowd of about 2,500 supporters on the backlot at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, then attended his first fundraising dinner of the evening, at the Commissary on the lot. It was small only in the guest count of about fifty: It was another $35,800/plate feast. The President was introduced by John Emerson of Capital Group.

At the Tavern dinner, the President's top aides were scattered among the stars, who sat at six candle-lit round tables with about ten chairs each, and plenty of bottles of wine. White House senior adviser David Plouffe sat next to Ferrell, while Press Secretary Jay Carney scored a seat with Spielberg, who has visited the White House--but before Carney took up his post.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and Nicole Avant, the U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas, were seated with Clooney at a front table.

Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg introduced the President.

"We all feel very lucky to have you as our president," Mr. Katzenberg said. "Four more years."

"Thank you Jeffrey. Technically it's actually five and a half years," President Obama corrected.

He thanked the donors for being early supporters and offered a birther joke, which is becoming a theme in his stump speeches, thanks to Donald Trump's current obsession.

"A lot of you got involved when the prospect of electing Barack Hussein Obama to the Oval Office was slim. None of you asked for my birth certificate," President Obama said, drawing laughter. "It was a complete leap of faith."

President Obama said there's "a lot of revisionist history going on right now" about how easy the 2008 campaign was, and acknowledged Democratic angst from the left, as he worked Clooney into his remarks. The actor was recently at the White House to lobby the President about Darfur.

"There have been times I'm sure during the past two and a half years where you're reading the papers or your watching TV and you're saying, 'Ah, Obama, you know, why's he compromising with the Republicans?' Or 'Aw, why did health care take so long?" President Obama said. "And I want single payer plan anyway' and 'Golly, you know, if he was just as good a communicator as George Clooney, I'm sure the American people would understand exactly what needs to be done."

The room was filled with laughter. There was less laughter as the President suggested his poll numbers are falling because of rising gas prices.

"My poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people," President Obama said.

People are too busy to be paying attention to squabbles in Washington, the President said, adding that if he was a regular fellow, he'd be ignoring Washington, too.

"If I wasn't professionally in this, I wouldn't be following all of these debates in Washington."

The President closed with a now-standard pitch about the campaign being about more than him, and continuing beyond his time in office.

As reporters were ushered out of Tavern, Tom Hanks was heard to exclaim "Five and a half more years!"

All proceeds from the three Los Angles jaunts went to the Obama Victory Fund, according to aides.


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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by laetval on Fri Apr 22 2011, 15:39

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by Katiedot on Fri Apr 22 2011, 15:48

Thanks, Laetval


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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by lucy on Fri Apr 22 2011, 16:19

At that price no wonder he went alone. Besides with bettabuns being linked to resent scandals not a good date choice for this event.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by Atalante on Fri Apr 22 2011, 18:51

Oh my god, oh my god, Eddy Mmmmmmmmmmurphy ! lol!

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by laetval on Fri Apr 22 2011, 19:41

VIDEO leaving the Obama fundraiser : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by melbert on Sat Apr 23 2011, 01:57

Thanks everybody for your contributions! He looks mighty fine!!! alone!!!!

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by melbert on Sat Apr 23 2011, 01:59

And Watching - LOVE your avatar!! However, I feel like she really is "watching" us... Twisted Evil

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by Dexterdidit on Sat Apr 23 2011, 02:48

That had better have been some good food! Bette would have loved being there it would have shown a supportive partner and that it was serious enough for them to be seen at such an even together. But then we all know it isn't like that with those two. I wonder if we will get some more pictures of Bette buying some more water in the next day or two. George has gotten alot more attention then she has it must be killing her!

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by emeraldcity on Sat Apr 23 2011, 03:33

The $36,000 a plate may have been the reason he didn’t take Eli , it was all Hollywood movers and shakers in the room, George likes to network at parties and dinners so she would have been a bit of a third wheel.

Still, no reason for her not to be at the sushi dinner if she is still in LA , so it seems less and less like she is in George's life on a regular basis, it will be interesting to see if she turns up in Cabo, London or at Como in the next few months.

He could still push the girlfriend angle for the red carpets and awards dinners for The Descendents and Ides of March at the end of the year, it would be a lot of bother to break in a new girl before then or he would have to go solo. Yes please!.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by melbert on Sat Apr 23 2011, 03:37

Well, he does seem to move quickly when it happens. Sarah was "courted" in June and showed up at events in the fall; Eli was July and showed up at events late summer. So, maybe he'll start interviewing for the next one while in London or Como, then slip a pic out in June or July, just in time for all the events coming up this fall for him. Just a thought.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by lucy on Sat Apr 23 2011, 04:12

Maybe he'll take a break, like he did after SL.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by lolo"layla" on Sat Apr 23 2011, 04:42

that's big smile george , don't u agree? to whom ....?

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by watching on Sat Apr 23 2011, 05:34

Melbert - I changed my avatar from George to Betty as she hasn't been getting her expected level of media attention in the role of the girlfriend of. She's back in LA and no outings with George. One pap shot that came out a week later possibly due to lack of interest. No work offers on the horizon as an actress (which was the whole point she said last year as to why she would base herself there - and you know, love (barf)). Her modelling gigs only came about due to who she is dating. All that famewhoring for 18 months now and now no-one is interested? It must be killing her. The only people interested are the Italian paps and press and she had said that she isn't interested in working there anymore so she has most likely burnt those bridges. She craves the attention so I thought I would help her out for a few days. And the picture just screams Betty, doesn't it?

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by lolo"layla" on Sat Apr 23 2011, 06:10

from what u said watching it's not Betty it's pitiful , sorry.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by Dexterdidit on Sat Apr 23 2011, 06:57

Oh lovely one of Bette's non modeling shots. LOL She does need our help maybe we can organise someone to go take a picture of her just so she can have her fix. What it shows by george not taking her to these things is that she isn't a serious part of his life. The others took their other halves along but not George, it isn't good when you don't want to be seen in public with someone. It doesn't say much about their relationship in general in fact it seems to prove she is just arm candy for his movie events. There isn't any reason why he needs to keep her around he stayed single for a long time and when he first was with Lisa he actually never took her on any red carpets or award shows. So he can go by himself, this girlfriend of thing really started with Lisa the second time around and SL. Also no reason why he can't showup with someone new. I think it is pretty clear Eli has worn out her welcome and no one is interested in hiring her. Normally you can get work using his name but she seems to have burnt many bridges! He needs to admit it's over and move on and let Eli open up her little shop which will be lucky to last a few months!

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by lucy on Sat Apr 23 2011, 10:50

Maybe the West LA pics was the area of her shop? I haven't lived in LA since early 80's and don't remember much about West LA,does anyone know if it's a good location for shop? Rents got to be cheaper than some fav celeb shopping places.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by lucy on Sat Apr 23 2011, 10:51

Sorry, for going off topic.

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 24 2011, 10:49

loving suited Mr Clooney - very handsome

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Re: Big Names in Los Angeles Raise Some Big Cash for Obama -- and Didn't Ask for His Birth Certificate

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