Waxman Challenger Sails Into the Fray

Posted September 5, 2013 at 1:14pm

Entertainment-veteran-turned-House-hopeful Brent Roske spent his Labor Day doing exactly what he wanted to do: drinking beer on his boat with a bunch of like-minded revelers.

(Courtesy Brent Roske)
(Courtesy Brent Roske)

The only difference between this marathon bull session (per Roske, circa 200 guests mingled from 11 a.m. till close to midnight) and previous dockside shindigs is that, this time, partygoers were not just hanging with a pal. They were providing perspective to the aspiring pol, who is taking on Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif.

“The title of the job is ‘Representative.’ In LA, that means there’s room to have some fun,” Roske told HOH about the deliberately low-key affair, adding, “Celebrating Labor Day with swimsuits and beer is about as American as you can get.”

His would-be constituents couldn’t agree more.

“When Brent told me he was running for Congress, I knew it would be an unconventional campaign. Spending Labor Day weekend sailing and barbecuing, while talking about campaign finance reform and why we need to get out of Afghanistan, proved it,” comedian Ben Gleib said of a summer send-off fueled by edible Americana (burgers and hot dogs) and imported brews (Red Stripe, Dos Equis, Pacifico).

“People don’t want to go to boring fundraisers,” said Corinne Becker, an actress on Roske’s “Chasing the Hill” Web series. “They want to have fun and talk about issues over a glass of wine or two, which is what we did.”

In keeping with his pledge to fund his entire campaign for less than $5,000, Roske told HOH he didn’t collect one thin dime from the folks who spent their holiday in Marina del Rey, Calif., with him.

“To stay true to my ‘2 for 1, $4k’ campaign, I’m not even selling the T-shirts,” he quipped.

The new career path hasn’t been all fun and games, though.

Late last week, Roske waded into the quandary that is the Syria situation via a thoughtfully researched commentary piece. And he hit the trail in early August to stump against runaway film production, a parochial issue he’s had to wrestle with as a professional filmmaker.

“I want to use my time as a candidate as effectively as possible, educating about issues that make the campaign a victory in itself,” Roske said of his status-quo-shaking objective.