Capitol Weekly reported last week that the cost to buy television time has gone up by as much as 50 percent in just the past three weeks. That means the cost of a significant statewide television buy has gone from $2 million to $3 million a week. And as tough as it is for Angelides, imagine what it means for the down-ticket races, where it is already difficult for candidates to raise funds and get any attention for their campaigns. In the meantime, the Schwarzenegger campaign continues to portray itself as above the day-to-day fray and has been bolstered by two recent polls showing him with leads among voters ranging from 10 to 17 percentage points. The campaign is continuing to caution restraint, however, amid expectations of a low voter turnout and Angelides moving up in the polls as Election Day nears. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa got a fair amount of attention last week when he was one of the celebrity models at a fashion show. Villaraigosa donned a Hugo Boss suit as he sashayed down the catwalk. It was an odd situation for the mayor, who boasts of being able to wear suits off the rack and never paying more than wholesale. How low is interest in the Nov. 7 election? So low that the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils was forced to cancel a forum last week on the City Council’s term limits/ethics reform proposal because of lack of public response. Organizers said only about 75 people responded to an invitation that normally would have attracted response from more than 200 people. Then, too, they couldn’t even get a supporter of the measure to appear on its behalf. [email protected] (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! If there is one lesson of Los Angeles that never changes it is this: Money talks. Nowhere may that be more true than at the University of Southern California, which announced last week that several notable alumni will be among those honored at its annual Celebration of Leadership dinner. The featured guest is golfing legend Arnold Palmer, graduate of Wake Forest University, who is being saluted for his work with nonprofit organizations. Also on the list is Beverly Hills real estate developer Alan I. Casden, who a year ago was embroiled in one of the money-laundering scandals involving former Mayor James Hahn. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Casden was never accused of wrongdoing, but his firm and associates ended up paying more than $147,000 in penalties to the city Ethics Commission for exceeding campaign contributions. USC officials said they had no comment on that situation. They said it did not factor into their decision to honor Casden, a 1968 graduate of the USC Leventhal School of Accounting. Casden is being presented with the Vanguard Award recognizing “an individual who is on the forefront of business and civic activities,” USC said in a press release. “These outstanding … alumni exhibit the true essence of leadership, vision, integrity, commitment, courage, confidence and strength of character.” As if he didn’t have enough problems trying to catch up with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic challenger Phil Angelides finds the cost of television ads escalating dramatically.