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#66: "I'm Clay Aiken, and I Approved This Message!"

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New video via email, from the current NC Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall. (She lives in his district!) However, it's unlisted, so I can't link it here.

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I made one more donation last night. It was a LEEETLE more than I originally planned. *Note to self: never make a donation when tired...*

But it's for a good cause, right?

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Silva Benlian

Hanging out with my new friend Clay Aiken

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Larry Weissman FB

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Frontiers magazine ‏@FrontiersMag

.@clayaiken in LA for fundraiser. Says will debate 2nd CD opponent on Monday. @FrontiersMag

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Eric Criswell

26 mins ·

Hanging out with future congressman Clay Aiken.

Report from artquest

Permaswooned and I got in the RedMobile and headed up Laurel Canyon Blvd. to our hill top destination. What a gorgeous house. And so pristine! Perma and I decided that elves had come through and removed all the clutter and human detritus and dumped it in the garage where no one would see it. Kinda a Dorian Gray Room...

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(Permaswooned has picture of The Man, so she'll be posting those. Let me say that he has NEVER looked or sounded better!)

Anyway, tonight was the antithesis of the spring event at CAA here in Los Angeles. There were 60-70 people, some fans but mostly what looked like sharply dressed industry types. I had a chance to talk to Berkeley, always a pleasure, as well as others of the usual suspects. Unlike the spring though, for me, there was some real mixing with the non-fan group. A nice young man named Eric introduced himself to us. (And there's his photo up in DisplacedNCgirl's post #761.) Under some gentle questioning, he revealed that he is a maker of documentary films, that this is what he always wanted to do and enjoys it very much. Perma and I told him about the British doc makers who were following Clay, and just like that, there they were. Eric said they were using an extremely expensive camera. He seemed impressed and wished them luck in selling their film.

Clay worked the crowd in a friendly but thorough way, spending real time with each conversational group. Then, after some awesome munchies (including lamb chops and amazing cupcakes), Clay gave his speech. He talked about why he was running, why he had come to California to get support for a race in North Carolina, and the need to raise as much as he could before midnight. The speech was focused just right. He's come so far in the last six months. He's polished but not smarmy, professional but accessible. Well done.

Along with the British filmmakers, there was another guy with a big video camera and a helper who showed up later. He did an interview with Clay that, according to our spies, was about the comments he had made on naked photos on the Internet. His explanation was apparently a good one.

There was a desk set up at the door we passed on the way out with folks asking one last time for contributions. There was a backup there of folks giving yet again. Yay, L.A.!

SCOOP!!!

As Perma and I were leaving, we saw the second film crew loading their truck, so we stopped and asked them about the interview. They said it was going to be on Extra. No date given.

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Liz Imbrie @ElizabethImbrie

.@clayaiken, Greg Louganis, Michael Corbett, Bruce Vilanch in a gorgeous midcentury modern view home, talking politics? That was FUN!

Aubrey @gotthelook

I spent tonight at a party with Clay Aiken and Bruce Vilanch. There's no joke here, I just feel I should tell somebody.

Tami Goveia @TamiGoveia

#clayaikenfornorthcarolina. At a political fundraiser for Clay Aiken. Had the opportunity to meet Greg Louganis Fun!

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I always loved Greg Louganis; I still remember being shaken up when he conked his head in the Olympics. He's looking GOOD!

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I made a donation too that was a little more than intended and last night I thought I might make one last one but I got home too late.

I went to see a movie of the Globe Theatre's production of Henry V. Really good but the sound was too low and it was a strain to hear. I ended up focusing too much on the dialog and not on the acting. After the intermission (it was 3 hours long) the sound was better so I enjoyed it more.

Ok when will we find out if we get a new song?

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I tell you what: I'll be refreshing my email all day to find out about that song. I have a feeling we might have done it -- I've read several people at CV that managed to get sizeable donations out of friends and family.

I also have a speculation about what the song is that we can get...if we did it, that is....

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Recap of last night's fundraiser, reprinted with permission, from pngdancer:

OK, Artquest wrote a nice recap so I'm going to be very superficial here. I don't know how to post pics but will try this evening when I get home.

We arrived at a gorgeous home in the Hollywood Hills around six. Drop dead gorgeous home and the view to die for. Several people were already there including Perma and Artquest. Headed for the bar out bu the pool and got a drink. The bartender donated her time and alcohol etc. The dining room table had quite a spread. Very good food. Walked around and met people. Everyone was friendly and very nice. We were standing not far from the door when our hosts said we need a greeter (kidding) so I volunteered since I was standing there. The next people through the door were Clay and Nick so I did my job well. I can't tell you what Nick was wearing, although he looked very nice. Clay however was in a navy jacket with a blue, white and pink checked shirt open at the collar with nothing underneath. Chest hair showing a bit! Oh my. Pants were a peanut butter color and shoes were brown wing tips with no laces. Sorry no sock report. He looked amazing. I was wearing five inch heels and still had to look way up. I'm only 5 feet so I needed the height. He worked the room well. I'm sure he impressed everyone. He started taking selfies and I was right there so I got mine and he used my phone for others so if I get permission I will also try and post those. No promises on pics but they will be on FB later. Mine already is. Lots of taping by photogs. I imagine the same ones that have been with him. I didn't speak with them. His speech was pretty much the same with a few asides. I'd guess there were around 70-75 people in attendance. Clay and Nick were getting ready to leave. They had a ten o'clock flight to New York. Oh Nick told us they drove down from Napa and it was good because Clay couldn't get away from him so tey were able to take care of some business. Clay said he also got a few hours with Parker which made me smile. So glad he did. So we said our goodbyes and in the midst of the Aiken fog headed home.

Sorry if this seems convoluted but I'm sleepy and late getting out to work. If I ink of anything else, I'll post it later. So glad I decided to go. It was amazing.

Her selfie:

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Yes!!!

... and you were able to raise just over $24,000!!! Congratulations Blue and Gold Teams! You successfully completed Clay's challenge, and Clay will be releasing his previously un-released song sometime in the very near future.

Thank you all your hard work and your generosity. We finished the quarter by raising more than any of us expected, and you all were a huge part of that.

You can expect to hear from us again soon with details on the release of Clay's song.

Again, thanks for everything you've done and continue to do!

Charlie Flanagan

Deputy Finance Director

Clay for

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It does! I've read that the next big push will be in the middle of the month....

A recap of the LA fundraiser, with permission, from 4evrgonzo"

artquest Greg Louganis & partner had to leave early for another event. I got a chance to chat with Greg. He's very, very gracious, busy with a lot of acting projects and a documentary about his own story. He's also athletic mentor for the USC diving team.

BTW thanks for the great recap. Should I give one, most of the details Clay fans are interested in have been covered by other, more eloquent and observant fans. I spent a lot of time talking with other attendees, many of whom were there representing others or were there at the invitation of members of the host committee. Not that many were from the fan community.

Some of these folks knew something about Clay's run, had not heard him speaking on issues or even why he was running. His now very polished and fluid presentation, with which we are familiar, covered these things, of course. He did throw a few extra barbs at his opponent, but I won't go into those. The main ones you have already heard. He also gave some encouraging words about how he is gaining in the polls, but still has a way to go.

My favorite part of Clay's presentation was his description of the exercise where everyone starts in a line in the middle of the room. Those in line have to take steps based on statements like: "If you are white, take a step forward, if you are black or any other minority, take a step back." There are a whole series of statements and at the end of the exercise, those who started life with the most privileges are in the front of the room, those with the least are in the back. Clay says he does not want to take anything away from those in the front of the room, but his aim in running is to be a voice & a force to bring more folks forward, at least to the center of the room, with the goal of achieving equal opportunities for all, particularly through education. Powerful message.

As artquest mentioned, an active camera crew was following him, then the "Extra" folks set up for their segments. A woman from a PR firm walked around, taking a lot of photos throughout the evening, both candid and staged. Wonder if they'll be up on his Instagrram. I spoke with the writer of the FrontiersLA.com article. She was disappointed Clay would not give her an interview, but he had time constraints, with the "Extra" piece already scheduled, plus his travel plans.

I also chatted with Bruce Vilanch, who writes the Oscar show. He's very funny,dropped some wicked remarks. He supports Clay as a member of the LGBT community.

I was very impressed with Jim, Michael Corbett's partner. He career is in mental health; he runs an institute that trains professionals working on advanced degrees. The institute teaches them what they need to know in order to serve economically and socially disadvantaged at risk youth and their families from many different specific ethnic communities. In order to be effective, these professionals have to understand the cultures of the people in the communities they serve and learn how to communicate with them.

Is there a fan club for Nick Leisey? He is the warmest, most down to earth and approachable person, always gracious, even with the demands on his time. What an asset he is to Clay!

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Why is Clay trending number 1 on facebook. Hope it's all good.

Make that money make that money Clay!!

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I just noticed that. I checked it out...and it's mostly about Bill Maher taking Clay to task, regarding Clay's comments in that New York Times article about "not needing" President Obama to campaign for him. Here's the section of the interview:

]Do you think Obama has been a good president? I think every president is on a sliding scale somewhere. There are certainly areas where I disagree with him.

Do you want him to come campaign for you? I don’t need that. We’re doing well.

There are times when I really agree with Maher -- but this isn't one of them. I think Clay knows his constituents better than Maher, and I also believe that no President is perfect. Clay isn't one to be "lock-step" with his party, from everything he's said. I don't see that being a problem, but I think Maher does.

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Playbill ‏@playbill · 3m3 minutes ago

Beth Leavel, @BettyBuckley, @Jordan_Roth, @xtineebersole came out in support of @clayaiken! http://www.playbill....onal-bid-332052

Here's the article:

PHOTO CALL: Christine Ebersole, Jordan Roth, Betty Buckley, Beth Leavel and More Step Up in Support of Clay Aiken Congressional Bid

By Matthew Blank

02 Oct 2014

Tony Award winners Betty Buckley, Christine Ebersole, Beth Leavel and producer Jordan Roth are among the Broadway luminaries who are rallying to help support Clay Aiken in his North Carolina congressional run. Members of the Broadway community gathered in New York City for an Oct. 1 fundraiser for Aiken's campaign.

Aiken, who is running on the Democratic ticket, became a household name in 2003 as runner up on "American Idol," and later appeared in the Broadway production of Spamalot in 2008.

The openly-gay performer turned his art into activism in recent years, taking on a UNICEF ambassadorship in 2004 as well as creating the National Inclusion Project and being appointed a two-year term on the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Aiken is currently running on the Democratic ticket in North Carolina's 2nd congressional district in his home state of North Carolina after winning the Democratic primary in May.

"How exciting that a great voice on Broadway could become a great voice in Congress. We're all proud to support one of Broadway's own," Jujamcyn president and producer Jordan Roth said.

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More pictures from the Playbill article:

Playbill President and CEO Philip Birsh, Judith Birsh and Clay Aiken

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Clay with Constantine Mouralis (AI Season 5, Broadway person as well)

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Pets pretty new avatar...

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arisetv360

2 hours ago

American Idol Alum & Candidate for U.S. Congress Clay Aiken! @clayfornc

Arise TV is some new channel. It looks as if it might be their entertainment show though...

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