Bob Iger and Willow Bay to Host Fundraiser for Sen. Patrick Leahy

12:31 PM PST 01/30/2014 by Tina Daunt
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Bob Iger

Ron Meyer, Les Moonves, Michael Lynton, Brad Grey and Jim Gianopulos are among the co-hosts for the event to raise money for the Vermont senator's 2016 reelection campaign, set for next month in Los Angeles.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy may not be up for reelection until 2016, but some of Hollywood's leading executives are taking no chances with the future of one of the Democrats' most reliable champions of civil rights and environmental legislation.

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, Disney's Bob Iger and his wife, Willow Bay, will open their Los Angeles mansion for a fundraiser on behalf of the Senate president pro tempore -- that makes him third in line for the White House -- who remains the only Democrat ever elected to represent Vermont in either house of Congress. Co-hosts include Wendy and Barry Meyer, Ron Meyer, Les Moonves, Jay Roth, Michael Lynton, Brad Grey, Jim Gianopulos and Leahy's former senatorial comrade Christopher Dodd, who now heads the MPAA.

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Tickets for the evening reception are scaled from $1,000 to $5,200. Fundraising early for favorite candidates has become a common practice among Hollywood studio chiefs. They figure an early show of force will scare off challengers. Beneficiaries of this tactic have included Antonio Villaraigosa, Andrew Cuomo and. Jerry Brown.

Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, was first elected to the Senate in the Watergate class of 1974. He's not only the Senate's leading civil libertarian, but also a passionate Grateful Dead fan who once entertained Jerry Garcia in his Capitol Hill office.

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