Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener is a contributing editor at The Nation and teaches American history at the University of California, Irvine.

Recent Articles

Check, Please

It was my first $1,000-a-plate Democratic fund-raiser (courtesy of a friend), and all I got was mashed potatoes, spinach, and water. The setting: Ron Burkle's Beverly Hills mansion. The problem: too many people -- 1,500 -- who came to see John Kerry. Organizers seemed overwhelmed by the turnout, which was a measure of the anti-Bush passion in liberal strongholds like this one. The March 30 event had originally been billed as "a meet-and-greet for a couple of hundred people," then it was redefined as a 750-person event with a performance by James Taylor. But twice that number signed up. Burkle's backyard was big enough for 1,500 people, but getting all of them up a narrow hillside road to the five-acre compound proved a great organizational challenge. We were told not to try to drive to the house, as the street would be closed. Instead, we were told to report to a parking structure in downtown Beverly Hills, where waiting vans would transport us up the hill. But gridlock quickly froze...