Ladies and gentlemen, we present Prop Zero's first annual “Plunketts”-- a sort-of “political Oscar.”
It’s named for George Washington Plunkett, an old-time, political boss.
Plunkett, part of New York City’s Tammany Hall machine, became famous mainly for his maxim: “I Seen My Opportunities and I Took ’Em.” (If that motto doesn’t celebrate the intersection of politics and Hollywood, nothing does!)
And now, the Plunkett Awards— paying tribute to California pols and their performances over the last year:
For Best Performance by a Democrat
Governor Jerry Brown, for his performance in “A Finger in the Dike,” in which Brown semi-successfully saves California—at least for now--from drowning in red ink. Brown has brought savvy pragmatism back to the role of Governor.
The runner-up for this coveted award is L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, for his “Hamlet,” and the wrenching monologue, “To be L.A. Mayor—or not to be.”
For Best Performance by a Republican
Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, edges out Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Whip.
Evoking the drama of Javier’s single-minded pursuit of Jean Valjean in” Les Miserables,” Issa has starred in several controversial hearings on Obama Administration actions, including, most recently, "Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?"
McCarthy played his role in "Young Guns," along with co-stars Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), brilliantly. Elected in 2006, McCarthy led the House GOP’s successful recruitment program in the 2010 election cycle and is now the third most powerful Republican in Congress.
For Best Supporting Actor
Sutter Brown, California’s First Dog (Eat your heart out, Uggie!).
The Golden State’s Canine-in-Chief edged out the late Seamus Romney, who was nominated for his brave performance in “Travels with Seamus on the Car Roof.”
Sutter is honored for his work as Governor Jerry Brown’s intrepid, social-networking sidekick. His role is to—you should excuse the pun—“humanize” the sometimes-gruff Governor. An authentic post-partisan, Sutter has friends on both sides of the legislative aisle.
For Best Supporting Actress
Anne Gust Brown, the First Lady of California and unpaid “Special Counsel” to her husband. Gust Brown has tempered and focused the former “Governor Moonbeam,” and strongly influences his politics and policy agenda.
For Best Original Screenplay
Kindee Durkee’s Campaign Accounts. Durkee, the once-prominent Democratic campaign treasurer, was arrested by the FBI last September on suspicion of mail fraud. During an interview with the FBI, the Orange County Register reported, Durkee “admitted that she had been misappropriating her clients' money for years and that forms filed with the state were false.”
For Best Adapted Screenplay
California’s 2012-13 State Budget. Adapted from last year’s script, this clever sequel to “Kicking the Can Down the Road,” shows the State faces the same issues-- a still wobbly economy, high unemployment, anemic revenues and a polarized Legislature.
For Best Song
“California, Here I Come,” from “The Road to the White House.” We’ll be hearing this ditty sung a lot in the next several months--by President Barack Obama and the Republican Presidential candidates as they return to the Golden State for more rounds of high-octane fund-raising.
For Best Picture (or Worst, depending on how you look at it)
“California 2012,” produced by the state’s Citizens Redistricting Commission. Heralded by fans—good government types and a lot of Democrats, and trashed by critics—Republicans and threatened Democratic incumbents, this epic saga of drawing redistricting maps provides both high drama and broad humor.