Farewell to Russert


That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Tim Russert is remembered today at a private funeral in Washington, followed by an invitation-only memorial service at the Kennedy Center. Thousands of mourners, including President and Laura Bush, paid their respects at a wake and viewing at St. Albans School on the grounds of Washington’s National Cathedral. Barack Obama and John McCain attended services this morning.

Revival of HWPC?:
The Politico’s Jeffrey Ressner reports that some of Los Angeles’ top female activists are planning a Sept. 27 fund-raiser for Senate candidates. The group includes alums from the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, the org that wielded great influence in the 1980s and 90s until it was disbanded in 1997 over concerns about the excessive amount of money in politics.

Now, the Campaign: The Los Angeles Times has extensive coverage of all of the same-sex weddings throughout Southern California on Tuesday — and the images of all the joyous couples may be the most effective ways of defeating a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay unions.

Nevertheless, the race is on the raise extensive amounts of money and to get ad spots on the air. Groups like the National Gay and  Lesbian Task  Force  and Human Rights Campaign are among the big donors trying to defeat the ballot measure, while Colorado-based Focus on the Family is a big backer of efforts to pass such a ban.

Among the individual contributors so far: “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick, who chipped in $5,000 to defeat the constitutional amendment, and character actor Orson Bean, who contributed $100 to the effort to pass it.

More Coverage: Karen Ocamb rounds up all the marriages on the Bilerco Project, with input from a consortium of journalists around the state.

She also reports that as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 648 marriage licenses were issued in Los Angeles County.

Farrow’s Address:
Mia Farrow spoke about the Darfur crisis to the United Nations Security Council  today.

Jolie’s Message: Angelina Jolie debuted a spot for World Refugee Day.

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