You’re invited

This coming Thursday, the 18th, marks the release of the new Wes Clark campaign bio video, which is supposed to do for him what “A Man from Hope” did for Clinton. The campaign has decided to do the release at a nation-wide chain of house-party fund-raisers, at which Clark fans new and old will watch the video and then participate in a coast-to-coast conference call with campaign honchos, and perhaps with the candidate himself.

The timing coincides with the last push to win the coveted “money primary” for the fourth quarter. I’m told that Clark is on track not merely to out-raise Howard Dean but to enter 2004 with more cash on hand, but the bigger his score in that department the more it will do to reverse the idea that Dean is inevitable. (No one, apparently, told Andrew Young, who just endorsed Clark.)

I’ll be hosting one of the parties, and Wes Clark, Jr., a Hollywood screenwriter who is also a political junkie and a very engaging speaker, will be there. That makes it a VIP event, so we’re asking for donations of $150 rather than the $50 that is the standard for Thursday’s houseparties.

I have no compunction about standing up in front of a group of people and explaining why they should give, but I do have a strong aversion to hitting up my friends for money. So if you’re a friend and are reading this, please consider this your personal impersonal invitation. (And you’re welcome to drop by without contributing, though I hope you will do both.)

If you’re what Will Rogers called “a friend I haven’t met yet,” I’d love to see you there. Bring your checkbook.

The shindig starts at 6:30. I live on the Bel-Air/Sherman Oaks border. Send me an email to say you’re coming, and I’ll send back directions.

If you have the misfortune not to live within driving distance of the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains, there’s surely a party planned for your area. Or why not host one yourself?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com