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As the general election moves into its final phase, a range of Hollywood A-listers are turning to digital, social and traditional media in attempts to influence the campaign.
This week, Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress Julianne Moore addressed what she hopes will be a viral web appeal to women on President Obama’s behalf. Working with the incumbent’s re-election campaign, she asked recipients of her e-mail to go to a star-studded web video that highlights the differences between Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney on issues of particular concern to women.
The video features Moore along with Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Jane Lynch, Eva Longoria, Julianna Margulies, Olivia Wilde, Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd, Sheryl Crow, Cecile Richards, Padma Lakshmi and Kerry Washington.
“Here’s something I can’t imagine,” Moore wrote, “having to tell my daughter that she may not have the same opportunities as her brother because this country elected Mitt Romney as president. But that’s what’s on the line in this election. It seems ridiculous to me that we’re even having this discussion in 2012, but here we are: We risk progress on equal pay for equal work. We’re looking at cutbacks in child care programs and Head Start programs. We’ll lose access to affordable health care and additional funding for higher education. …
“Women can have an enormous impact,” she continued. “We can help him win this November, but we have to vote. We have to show up, and we have to bring our friends, our moms, our sisters and our kids to the polls with us. With only 36 days left, we’re running out of time. That’s why I’m doing whatever I can to help spread the word. The future for me and my kids deserves nothing less.”
The e-mail concludes by pointing readers to a site where they can donate to the president’s re-election campaign.
Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company has enlisted an array of young stars in Vote 4 Stuff, a bipartisan social media campaign aimed at engaging younger voters. Among those participating are Tobey Maguire, Sarah Silverman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zac Efron, Selena Gomez, Ellen DeGeneres and Jonah Hill.
In a video posted to the web this week, DiCaprio urged younger Americans to use social media to discuss issues of concern to them and then to go to the polls in November. Vote 4 Stuff plans additional videos based on the topics young voters raise in response to the initiative.
“This is one of the most important elections of our lifetime,” DiCaprio told the Associated Press. “We are using the power of social media throughout the Vote 4 Stuff campaign to incite bipartisan conversation around real issues, encourage registration and voting in November.”
Meanwhile, Will.i.am is the latest celeb to create a video for OurTime.org, in which he tells young voters that though the odds seem stacked against them, they should vote — and failing to do so would make them punks.
On a more traditional plane, billionaire businessman William Louis-Dreyfus — the France-born father of Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus — took to The New York Times and other leading newspapers with a full-page ad decrying alleged Republican attempts to suppress the vote in various states.
The ad, addressed to other wealthy Americans, originally was posted as a letter on the website of New York University’s Brennan School of Law. “There is no right more fundamental to our republic than the right to vote,” Dreyfus wrote. “And yet there is a countrywide effort to prevent hundreds of thousands of people from voting. Many supporters of that suppression effort have admitted or implied that its purpose is to win an election by preventing voters thought to be of a different political persuasion from voting at all.
“If the election were to be decided because of that effort, then a poison will have been injected in the blood of our democracy, and that represents as great a danger to our democracy as has ever existed from within our borders,” he added. “If that effort succeeds, we will have become a false democracy.”
Dreyfus, a former Wall Street lawyer, made a personal fortune as an energy sector investor. He is a scion of the family that established the Paris-based international commodity trading titan Louis Dreyfus Group, in the mid-19th century.
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