L.A. Mayor Race: 'The Closer' Creator Gives $25,000 to Eric Garcetti Super PAC

James Duff
James Duff
 Getty Images

James Duff's donation to the group "Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2013" officially sets off a Hollywood duel with the pro-Wendy Greuel PAC supported by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.

The independent-expenditure committee supporting Eric Garcetti’s Los Angeles mayoral candidacy has been up and running for only a day, but the committee already has secured its first significant contribution -- $25,000 from The Closer creator James Duff, officially kicking off a duel between Hollywood-backed super PACs.

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The pro-Garcetti group, called "Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2013," was formed as a counterweight to the DreamWorks-supported independent-expenditure committee backing City Controller Wendy Greuel’s candidacy. Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen have collectively given $150,000 to the PAC and have urged others in Hollywood to give thousands more. This is the first municipal election in which super PACs have played a role, and many analysts think their importance will dramatically increase if, as is expected, Garcetti and Greuel face each other in a May runoff election. (Neither candidate appears poised to capture the 51 percent of the vote required to win the March primary outright.)

Writer/director Duff on Tuesday became the first person to donate to the pro-Garcetti independent-expenditure committee, according to longtime Hollywood activist Rick Jacobs, who co-founded the PAC along with Mary Jane Stevenson, who directed President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in California.

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The most recent polls show Garcetti holding a narrow lead over former DreamWorks executive Greuel. Kevin James, the only Republican in the mayoral field, is backed by a PAC funded by a conservative Texas billionaire.

Jacobs told THR that it is “unfortunate” that Garcetti’s backers have had to organize an independent-expenditure committee, but that they “don’t want Eric to be outgunned” by Greuel supporters’ ability to buy television and radio advertising in the campaign’s closing weeks.

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