October 7, 2000 -- Foothill Leader
(Anthony Portantino) About food, clothes and one surprise
By Anita Susan Brenner
* * * Liu emphasized the lack of dissent on the La Canada Flintridge City
On Tuesday, my family stayed home to watch the Bush-Gore debate. I
went to the Pasadena University Club's Local Candidate Forum. I thought
the evening would be routine.
Brian Carlson, the club's general manager, was a genial host. Chef
Constantino Nava provided an elegant repast. About 80 people showed up.
In my never-ending search for irony, I took voluminous notes.
Congress was in session, so incumbent Jim Rogan appeared by speaker
phone. His opponent, state Sen. Adam Schiff, wore a slate gray suit, blue
shirt, burgundy tie, black silk socks and black loafers. State Senate
candidates Jack Scott and Paul Zee wore gray suits with white shirts. Zee
sported a South Pasadena pin (he is a councilman) and a pocket
handkerchief. Assembly candidates Carol Liu and Susan Carpenter McMillan
looked good. Liu wore a black pants suit, leather flats, pearl necklace
and cluster earrings, and a pink-on-blue "Liu for Assembly" pin.
Carpenter McMillan wore a charcoal gray slim wool skirt, white ribbed
turtleneck, and a red sweater tied over her shoulders.
I took notes on what people ate (cheese and crackers, vegetables, mini
Croque Monsieur, pate a chou with crab salad, teriyaki beef),
what they wore (gray, gray, gray, red, black), and what they said.
The presentation was divided into three parts. The TV reporters left
after Schiff-Rogan. The print reporters left after Scott-Zee. I am not a
reporter. I am a columnist. The real action came toward the end of the
"We have nothing to do with being divisive, with name calling or
pointing fingers," she said.
In response, Carpenter McMillan said, "Ms. Liu is a lovely woman. She
is a sweet woman. There are four other council members who serve with
her. There is only one other woman on the council and she endorses me.
The only person on the council who endorses Ms. Liu is someone who worked
Say what? After the panel ended, a lady from La Canada Flintridge
approached Carol and asked if Anthony Portantino had been paid to work on
her campaign. A group of La Canadans began to gather around. And Liu said
"It was only for the primary," she said. "It was just a video. He was
paid for what he did."
When I got home, I checked Liu's campaign filings online at the Secretary of State's website. Except for a $129.87 check for office supplies, which was
later voided, Portantino is not listed. None of the local papers have
covered this story, but people are talking about it. People talk about it
over coffee and on the street, at Ralphs and at Vons, on the phone and in
Some of Portantino's and Carol's supporters have told me this is a
nonissue. If Liu and Portantino follow the disclosure laws, they have no
obligation to tell us more. But others say, "We want to know if one
council member works for another. If it's no big deal, why not tell us?"
copyright October 10, 2000 Anita Susan