Martha's Eldorado

September 07, 1994|By Art Buchwald

Martha's Vineyard -- ONE OF THE DOWN sides of Martha's Vineyard getting so much publicity is that everyone is under the impression that this island is loaded and ripe for political fund-raisers.

The politicians now call it "Martha's Eldorado."

I realized how bad it had gotten when I received a call from Bladings Landing. "I'm giving a cocktail party for Mugsy Krewpshaw who's running for governor of Hawaii. Since you live on the island it will only cost you $1,000, unless you want to shake Mugsy's hand. That will cost another $500."

"I know this is a silly question, but why would someone who lives on Martha's Vineyard care who gets elected in Hawaii?" I asked.

"Because you live on an island, and everyone must pay attention to the politics of other islands around the world."

"When is it?"

"Wednesday night."

"I can't come, I'm going to a clambake for Katherine Bannetti, who is running for senator from Oregon," I said regretfully.

"Why are you doing that?"

"Because the Lundenfellers are giving it, and I am hoping to get in the Felix Neck golf club. Lundenfeller, who is on the board of Felix Neck, indicated I had a much better chance of getting in if I gave $1,500 to Katherine."

"Go to both."

"It's not just the Lundenfeller's blast. The Renwicks want me to come to a square dance for Edsel Cowbelt who is running for district attorney in Denver. They're charging $1,000 to get in and $1,500 extra if you want to dance with Cowbelt's wife. Frankly I'm getting a little tired of all these political fish fries. Why can't we enjoy our vacations on this island like everyone else?"

"No one says you have to come to the party. Just send us a check for $1,000 and we'll mark you present. Martha's Vineyard has now become the fatted calf of fund-raising, replacing Southampton and Malibu Beach."

"How do you know we have so much money?"

"Princess Diana doesn't vacation with poor people. I'll make a deal with you. If you give me a check for $750 we'll take your picture with the candidate, which is suitable for framing."

I passed on the Hawaii bash -- but it didn't matter because, as soon I hung up, the phone rang. It was Iris Caplan, who wanted to make sure I was coming to a fund-raiser for Rep. Doggerel of Florida. She promised he would give a private briefing on his plan to clean up the water in the Everglades.

Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.

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