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It’s been nearly two years since New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tapped Democratic Hollywood’s deep pockets, but with reelection time drawing near, he’s back.
Thursday, Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos and his wife, Ann, will open their home for what’s being called an “intimate evening” with the Empire State’s popular chief executive. Co-hosts include a selection of entertainment industry A-listers, including DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Paramount’s Brad Grey, Sony CEO Michael Lynton, Disney chairman Alan Horn, CBS CEO Les Moonves, NBCUniversal’s Jeff Shell and Ron Meyer, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara and Hollywood’s man in Washington, Chris Dodd.
Andy Spahn, Katzenberg’s political advisor, is pulling together the event with tickets priced from $25,000 per person down to $5,000. Polls show a commanding majority of New York’s likely voters favor Cuomo’s reelection, but it’s an expensive state in which to campaign, so he’s already amassed a war chest of more than $33 million, $7 million of which has been raised in the past six months.
In an email to the reelection campaign’s finance committee, Cuomo’s fundraising consultant, Jennifer Bayer Michaels, wrote, “I know that many of you have great networks and contacts in L.A. and we would love your help in showing the Governor a warm welcome.” With Katzenberg and Spahn working their Rolodexes, he can be pretty certain of that.
During Cuomo’s last major fundraising trip to Los Angeles, in November of 2011, he raised $500,000 from an evening fundraiser at the home of White House decorator Michael Smith and then-HBO executive James Costos, now America’s ambassador to Spain.
At the time, Cuomo was fresh from his legislative triumph establishing marriage equality in New York and there was talk of a possible presidential bid. In Hollywood, that’s mostly faded in the face of the Hillary Clinton juggernaut, but if she were to decide not to run …
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