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Like the entertainment industry itself, political Hollywood always is in flux. But if you want to raise money for a candidate this time around, these are the names you need on speed dial
J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath
The hot director and his wife are longtime political activists who this season have emerged as key fund-raisers. The couple taps into the town’s younger set but has close ties to the older generation, including the all-powerful DreamWorks troika.
When Jeffrey Katzenberg needed a location for his fund-raiser, Clooney offered his Studio City pad. Now there’s a way to lure those rich people to the Valley. He has committed to raising $500,000-plus for the president’s re-election. “I’m disillusioned by the people who are disillusioned by Obama,” Clooney recently told ABC News.
James Costos and Michael Smith
Smith is the Obamas’ White House decorator; Costos is an HBO vp. The first lady has been among the guests of honor at their fund-raisers, which also have included a debut West Coast event for New York
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. They’ve been to the White House at least twice together.
Cindy and Alan Horn
They’re a longtime activist power couple. Alan, a former president of Warner Bros., and Cindy, an upper-echelon fund-raising veteran, are Democratic stalwarts who never waver in support for the party, no matter who’s at the head of the ticket. The environment is their hot button.
He’s that rich and has been around every block in Hollywood at least twice, picking up a lot of rich friends. The DreamWorks Animation chief raised well over $500,000 this cycle and gave $2 million to a pro-Obama super PAC. His concern: “The attempted hijacking of the elections by Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and other extreme right-wing special-interest money,” he has said.
The powerful producer is Will Smith’s longtime creative and business collaborator at Overbrook Entertainment. In October, he hosted the president at his Hancock Park mansion. He’s considered the go-to guy when looking for support from the industry’s African-American elite.
The CAA powerhouse’s client list includes most of the stars you’d ever want at a party, such as Clooney, Reese Witherspoon and Sean Penn. Access to his smartphone makes any event a success.
Jamie and Michael Lynton
He’s CEO of Sony, and she’s a veteran Democratic activist. The two are raising $500,000-plus for Obama this season. Michael has had almost a dozen meetings at the White House, some regarding anti-piracy. In the 2011-12 cycle, Sony’s political giving has been $321,000, 84 percent to Democrats.
Kelly and Ron Meyer
He runs Universal, and she works tirelessly on behalf of environmental causes. They constantly host political and philanthropic fund-raisers at their beachfront Malibu estate. Kelly has agreed to raise at least $200,000this season for Obama.
The former Univision chief has given $500,000 to Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney’s candidacy. That’s on top of the more than $2 million the former agent has donated this election cycle to another Republican super PAC, American Crossroads, which was co-founded by former George W. Bush senior adviser Karl Rove.
One of California’s most powerful attorneys, he’s chair of USC’s Institute on Entertainment Law and Business. George W. Bush put him on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board, and he’s now its chair. He’s typical of L.A.’s fiscal-conservative Romney supporters.
The media mogul only deals with top players, and the U.S.-Israel relationship is always
No. 1 on his personal list. He puts the “big” in “big macher.” He has had two meetings at the White House, including a session with Obama in December that persuaded Saban to end his two-year “hiatus” and get involved in the president’s re-election campaign.
The former MGM chairman is the GOP’s main man in Hollywood, a job that requires perseverance, unshakable optimism and a sense of humor. The entertainment veteran has all three, which is why he’s popular on both sides of the aisle. He tells THR that he thinks “there will be more support [for the Republican nominee] in the entertainment industry as we get closer to the election.”
Every kingdom needs a gatekeeper and lord chancellor, and this ultracompetitive adviser to the stars and their bosses has the ear of some of Hollywood’s deepest pockets. A $500,000-plus bundler, he’s the Obama campaign’s man on the scene. He has been to the White House eight times under Obama, six of them with Katzenberg. “We’ve sold out every event,” says Spahn. “I expect the president to continue to enjoy strong support in Hollywood.”
The studio head has stepped up this season as one of Obama’s top fund-raisers in New York, hosting several gatherings — including a $71,600-a-couple dinner with co-bundler Anna Wintour at her Sullivan Street residence that raised $2 million. Weinstein also enjoys the distinction of having Obama’s BlackBerry address.
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