Candidates Jockey for Hollywood Money
Los Angeles' next mayoral election is a year away, but City Council president Eric Garcetti, who long has represented most of Hollywood, already has shown he is determined not to cede showbiz support to city treasurer Wendy Greuel. Hollywood usually takes a hands-off attitude toward local politics, but Greuel, a onetime DreamWorks executive, has received the support of the Steven Spielberg-Jeffrey Katzenberg-David Geffen troika. Billionaire mogul Haim Saban also is a fan. Garcetti is slugging it out with Greuel in the fund-raising competition. He has held five recent fund-raisers on the Westside, with tickets scaled from $250 to $1,000, and has matched the $1 million Greuel has raised, putting the two of them ahead of declared candidates including billionaire financier Austin Beutner and county supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Greuel's connections to the entertainment industry's political A-list (and its fund-raising experience) is a clear advantage. But over the years, Garcetti -- the son of former district attorney Gil Garcetti -- has received contributions from such Hollywood notables as Salma Hayek, Jake Gyllenhaal, Weeds creator Jenji Kohan and producer Gavin Polone. Winning the Hollywood campaign-contribution race will be crucial to the March 2013 election. "Obviously, the entertainment industry is the biggest business in town," says Democratic political consultant Bill Carrick, Garcetti's campaign manager. "If you want to have the resources to compete in the mayoral election, you have to be able to raise money in Hollywood."