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Local Democrats Endorse City Council Incumbents

West Hollywood Democratic clubs overwhelmingly vote to back Prang and Duran.

Local Democrats this week endorsed West Hollywood City Council incumbents in the 2013 election.

On Monday the Stonewall Democratic Club voted 111-15 to support Mayor Jeffrey Prang and 89-38 for Councilman John Duran. The West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club tally on Wednesday was 70-9 for the incumbents. 

Stonewall Democratic Club President Stephen Simon said "there is a strength in being an incumbent. ... Both Jeff and John are known entities to us."

The Stonewall meeting wasn't without controversy. Candidate Steve Martin sharply criticized Duran, which prompted club member Ed Buck to deliver a scathing critique of Martin.

"We've seen some ugly campaigning and some ugly speeches," Simon said in reference to Martin, who spoke against endorsing the incumbents. "I just don't think my membership responds well to that."

Martin reportedly chastised Duran for what he called a "misogynistic slur" against former state Assembly candidate Torie Osborn, according to WeHo News. Duran accused Osborn of stacking a Weho/Beverly Hills meeting with her supporters in order to secure the endorsement.  

"My comments about Duran being a misogynist arise from his verbal assault on ... Torie Osborn, a long time lesbian activist and former executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Center," Martin said in an email to Patch.

He described an incident last year when Osborn received the Weho Dems' endorsement:

"Duran interrupted her acceptance speech saying, 'This is bullshit. We are not all lesbians.'  I am not quite sure exactly what Duran was trying to accomplish with his tirade, but it was pretty bizarre. ... I understand an objection about the process, but what does 'we are not all lesbians' have to do with anything?"

Duran did not respond to a request for comment.

Buck, a longtime political activist, Weho resident and former council candidate, told Patch he was next in line to speak after Martin and felt compelled to respond.

"He has no case, so he's going to go off and personally attack a guy like John Duran," Buck said.

Simon noted that despite the club's support for incumbents, some 2013 challengers have potential for future political success.

"We interviewed some other candidates and we thought some of them were very good, and some of them needed to be a little more seasoned, a little more experienced," said Lillian Raffel, president of the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club. "The incumbents are very popular and well-liked, and people feel that they do a good job and don't deserve to be fired."

Prang, a former president of the West Hollywood Democratic Club, noted the advantage of being a familiar face to club members.

"The Democratic clubs are very much all politics at their very base," Prang said. "They are a lot of give-and-take, a lot of relationship, a lot of history goes into these sort of decisions."

Prang added that his opponents "often times like to dismiss (political clubs) as the instruments of the powers that be, and that's simply not the case. People involved in the Democratic clubs are very involved in politics and governance."

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me January 20, 2013 at 07:30 AM
HA!....read your first sentence.....or doesn't it apply to YOU?.... oh, and what is it that you "remember" ?????
George January 20, 2013 at 07:39 AM
Steve is at ever meeting and the most outspoken, so I am not surprised that there are the same ole supporters of these incompetent council members who want them making important decisions like the purposed Plummer Park renovations. That's a perfect example at how they handled things and when the folks spoke up they were told to shut up by John Duran. He later apologized but that was only to do damage control. People were shocked at his outburst at the time.
Ken C January 21, 2013 at 04:40 PM
I'm voting to send the incumbents walking. We are long due for change. I've seen council members skirt around thier own laws to support development. One example now leaves a condo taller than the cities' code allows in my neighborhood. I get that the city needs revenue, but selling out to developers is not the answer. We lose faith in you when you can't abide by your own rules regardless of the circumstances. Steve Martin may be heavily criticized, but he dares to challenge and cares deeply about our city. I want a council member who has the balls to be outspoken and willing to challenge council members who have become lax because they are so deeply rooted in their position, experience and associations. I also believe that some new blood, someone who has never sat on the council would be good for change. Vote to change out the two seats up for re-election!
JJMP January 24, 2013 at 08:25 PM
If you really want to laugh, then GO VISIT A WEST HOLLYWOOD DEMOCRATIC CLICK (CLUB) MEETING - a small bunch of really, really old people who, I think, have 100% of the time voted for incumbents. Usually there are about 35 TOTAL MEMBERS who vote & that includes both Beverly Hills and West Hollywood residents. The only reason there were 2x the average # of voters at the last meeting were all of John Duran's "New Members" who all sat in the back few rows and couldn't wait to go to dinner together afterwards. I would bet huge $ we will never see them again. The way they run this Click, A good portion are appointees of committees or city employees. It is the most UN-democratic joke. I used to look at the mailers with interest, and stupidly took the endorsement cards to the polls. This is NOT A LEGITIMATE GROUP - they are a bunch of entitled losers with nothing better to do. As for me, I am going to look carefully at our choices. DURAN NEEDS TO GO...really.
hahahaha January 24, 2013 at 08:40 PM
oh....have another drink ed

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