L.A. Mayor Weathers Free Gift Storm

Antonio Villaraigosa getting help from his friends


Some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Free for All

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is getting by with some help from his friends. They are helping him pay nearly $42,000 in fines -- plus legal fees -- from a free ticket scandal.

The L.A. Times says Villaraigosa failed to report freebies to more than 30 events -- such as concerts and ballgames. Villaraigosa says he didn't violate any rules because he was performing ceremonial duties.

Some political allies ponied up thousands from their own re-election committees. Villaraigosa's three legal defense funds pocketed more than 123,000 bucks.

Parading Around

Sao Paulo, Brazil's city council has approved legislation for a heterosexual pride parade. It is tentatively scheduled for December.

The councilman who authored the legislation says it's -- quote -- "not anti-gay, but a protest against the privileges the gay community enjoys."

More than 3 million people attended the city's gay pride parade this year.

The gay community says a straight parade could provoke violence -- quote -- "the celebration of heterosexual pride is inappropriate. Unlike homosexuals, heterosexuals are not discriminated against simply for being heterosexuals."

The mayor still needs to sign the bill to make it official.

Made In?

And, a few Republican presidential candidates are professing ignorance that their American-loving campaign gear is actually foreign made.

ABC News looked at eight campaigns and found those of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Ron Paul were hocking products not made in the USA.

Gingrich said -- "I didn't order it. I didn't do it." Cain and Santorum had similar responses.

Free-market libertarian Ron Paul said -- quote -- "I wasn't aware of it. But I wouldn't change it. I would argue the case that the market should determine it."