Bono Mack


10:00 PM PDT on Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Press-Enterprise

Inland Rep. Mary Bono Mack is standing behind her stepson, Chaz Bono. But it remains unclear whether Chaz and his fiancé will stand before Bono Mack on their wedding day.

After his widely publicized transition from female to male, Chaz, formerly known as Chastity, is making the rounds on the national talk show circuit in support of his documentary and book.

Bono’s stepmother, Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs , isn’t downplaying their relationship. She appeared in recent days on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN, where she emphasized her support for Chaz, whose parents are Cher and the late Sonny Bono.

Bono Mack, who was married to Sonny at the time of his death, has remained close to Chaz.

“This is family, and family is so important,” Bono Mack said on the show. “Chaz has been such a hugely important part of my life.”

Asked whether her support would be unpopular among her Republican colleagues, Bono Mack joked that she wasn’t exactly popular among some of Chaz’s friends, either.

“We put our love for one another ahead of politics,” she said.

Chaz reportedly has said he would like Bono Mack to officiate his wedding to Jennifer Elia. The matter has yet to be decided, Bono Mack spokesman Cort Bush said, adding that the lawmaker has officiated weddings before.

Weighing a rematch

Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, who fell short in his 2010 bid to unseat Bono Mack, is planning to announce his 2012 intentions in the next 45 to 60 days, he said.

Pougnet, a Democrat , filed his “statement of candidacy” papers with the Federal Election Commission on Nov. 8, just six days after Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, won her eighth term by a healthy 51 to 42 percent margin.

But he said he’s waiting until at least mid-June, when the state panel charged with drawing new political lines is set to unveil proposed maps, before he makes a final decision.

Pougnet noted that he must decide whether to seek another term as mayor between July 18 and Aug. 12, so he must decide before the end of that period whether to make another push to represent the district in Washington, D.C.

As currently drawn, Bono Mack’s 45th Congressional District contains Moreno Valley, Hemet, Murrieta and Riverside County’s desert communities. But a decade of extreme growth has made it the most overpopulated in the state, and it will have to shed thousands of constituents in the redistricting process.

Clash with ex-clients

Inland political consultant Brian Floyd isn’t making a couple former clients too happy these days.

Floyd does consulting for the Riverside Sheriff’s Association, which is in bitter contract talks with the county.

The battle between the union and supervisors has taken a public turn in recent months.

First, Floyd in April attended a town hall meeting on pension issues hosted by Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone , a former client, and asked pointed questions about Stone’s own potential retirement benefits. When Stone unsuccessfully ran for state Senate last year, he paid Floyd’s firm $20,000 for consulting work, records show.

Then last week, Floyd sat — and took photos — in the front row at the Board of Supervisors meeting as members criticized the sheriff’s association and its recent fliers on the contract talks.

Supervisor John Tavaglione, another former client, said the county has “backed public safety to the max” over the past two decades and expressed is disappointment with the sheriff’s association.

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