L.A. Mayor Race: Who in Hollywood Is Supporting Whom
At a time when national politicians increasingly look to Hollywood for money, a hotly contested Los Angeles mayoral race is starting to draw the entertainment industry's attention.
Invitations have gone out to the city’s monied investment and venture capital crowd for a Dec., 9 event at the Holmby Hills home of investment banker Warren Woo and wife, Carolyn, to raise money for billionaire fund manager, philanthropist and investment banker Austin Beutner’s campaign. Beutner, one of several individuals looking to replace termed-out Antonio Villaraigosa in 2013, is a political protégé of former mayor, Richard Riordan.
Riordan is one of the event's co-hosts, along with Lionsgate's Michael Burns, developer Wayne Ratkovich and wife Joanne, Jeanne and Terry Pritzker, Nick Pritzker, Jody and Scott Siegler, Anne and Bob Simmons, and Earthlink founder Sky Dayton along with partner Arwen Dayton. All have business ties to the entertainment industry.
Beutner was the youngest partner ever in the Blackstone Group and later co-founded, along with former Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, his own fund Evercore, which made him a billionaire. Along the way he found time to serve as a special American emissary to help restructure the Russian economy after the fall of communism and to work as Villaraigosa’s economic policy and business czar, overseeing 13 city departments, including Water and Power, the harbor and LAX.
Tickets to the December, 9 fundraiser are scaled from $250 to $5,000, and the invitation even provides for convenient payment by credit card.
At the same time, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen have sent out a letter backing Controller (and former DreamWorks executive) Wendy Greuel’s mayoral candidacy. The Democratic power trio also is urging friends and associates to attend a December 7 Greuel fundraiser at the Westside home of Ellen and Andrew Hauptman, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Co-hosts include Hollywood philanthropy consultant Marge Tabankin and industry political advisor Andy Spahn.
The way things are shaping up, the March 2013 mayor’s race may be the first since Tom Bradley’s landmark victory in which Hollywood takes a substantial and active hand.