Bush's GOP Soiree Attracts a Veteran at Pressing the Flesh

By Richard Leiby
Thursday, May 19, 2005

When a news release crossed our desk yesterday proclaiming that a porn star named Mary Carey would attend a June dinner with President Bush , we figured it had to be a hoax. But it's true. It just won't be an intimate dinner with the prez.

Carey's boss, hard-core porn producer Mark Kulkis of Los Angeles, has ponied up $5,000 for two tickets to a National Republican Congressional Committee event called the President's Dinner and Salute to Freedom. Kulkis, who locked in his tickets by credit card yesterday, tells us he will take the 24-year-old Carey (real name: Mary Cook ) as his date.

The star of such XXX videos as "Grand Opening," Carey ran as an independent candidate for California governor in the 2003 recall election, coming in seventh with 10,110 votes. Kulkis managed her campaign.

Committee spokeswoman Caryn Alagno assured us that the porno pair would be among hundreds of donors attending the June 14 dinner at the Washington Convention Center.

"If he says that he's coming, he's coming," she told us. "This dinner is in a huge ballroom and there are going to be lots of people there."

Contemplating a run for California lieutenant governor next year, the voluptuous actress says she hopes to network with GOP officials here. "I'm especially looking forward to meeting Karl Rove," she cooed in a statement. "Smart men like him are so sexy."

Kulkis, who donated $500 to the NRCC earlier this year, said in his news release: "Republicans bill themselves as pro-business. Well, you won't find a group of people more pro-business than pornographers. We contributed over $10 billion to the national economy last year." He is also an honorary chair of the NRCC's business advisory council -- a title gained by contribution, of course.

Said Alagno: "There will be many honorary chairs."

Can't wait to see the seating arrangements.

America's False History

· Fans of our "This Date in Gossip" items, which revived Washington scandals of years past, should be on the lookout for a new book by Michael Farquhar, the Post staffer who prepared those items as our uncredited resident historian. "A Treasury of Deception," his third scandal-focused book, will be published May 31. Therein he reprises many of the town's great episodes of lying and hoaxing. Two we found illuminating:

· How a president took the nation to war on the flimsiest of pretexts, insisting to Congress that the enemy nation posed an immediate threat. That would be James K. Polk, whose claims about Mexican aggression were vigorously opposed by a young congressman, whom some branded a traitor for speaking out. His name: Abraham Lincoln.

· How students from Gonzaga College High School, in 1969, tricked the government into allowing them to turn the Washington Monument purple as a science project testing the effects of casting light on a "white oblique object." With a huge spotlight and 67 square yards of purple celluloid, they lit up the landmark for 35 minutes in a prank that outraged Vice President Spiro Agnew , who condemned the defacement of a national monument.

Out-Sourced: The Column Heads Into Hibernation

· Last Item: After 17 months on the job, writing some 230 columns consisting of more than 1,000 items, Richard Leiby, the self-styled quidnunc of the nation's capital, is giving up his job as The Reliable Source. Today marks his final column. Until editors name a replacement, this space will be occupied by the Names & Faces column. He will offer readers a final chance to share gossip with him at noon today on washingtonpost.com.


· Steak House Rock: After a party for Hill types celebrating Las Vegas's centennial, Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.), Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman , an Elvis impersonator and a glitzy showgirl headed over to the Prime Rib on K Street on Tuesday night. One problem: The King didn't have a tie, a requirement for entry. "I don't wear a tie, but I'll be happy to tie one on," quipped the impersonator (real name: Jesse Carron ). But he relented and put on a red cravat provided by Prime Rib owner Buzz Beler, then sauntered from table to table to entertain guests.

· It has almost been a year since civil rights lawyer Elaine R. Jones stepped down as head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, but as the group learned this week, it pays to have her in its corner: Her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, has made a $1 million donation in Jones's name. Though it's no Skull and Bones, the Deltas hold sway as a network for notable black women. Attending the event besides Jones were sorority sisters Mary Frances Berry , the outspoken former chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and Cora Masters Barry , wife of D.C. Council member Marion Barry .

· Meanwhile, his ex-wife Effi Barry served as celebrity bartender at a fundraiser this week for Hope House, an organization that keeps children in touch with their incarcerated fathers. Kids involved with the group performed "Who Does the Time?," an original play about their experiences. Assisting were actors Frederick Strother and Erik Todd Dellums from HBO's "The Wire," Channel 4's Susan Kidd and C-SPAN's Robb Harleston.

With Chris Richards

© 2005 The Washington Post Company