Hollywood Kicks Off Fundraising Frenzy for Democrats

Jeffrey Katzenberg - H 2013
AP Images

Jeffrey Katzenberg - H 2013

With midterm elections 11 months away, entertainment industry politicos ramp up efforts to raise cash for key races across the country.

This January, the new year’s beginning brings Hollywood not only awards season, but also midterm election frenzy.

With the coming congressional elections still months away, calendars already are filling up as candidates from around the country make plans to hit the entertainment industry fundraising circuit early and often.

First up is Democratic convert Charlie Crist, who is seeking to wrest Florida’s governorship from Republican hands. Given the pivotal role the Sunshine State has come to play in presidential elections, as well as the critical need to see the Affordable Care Act succeed there, it’s a key race for the Democrats. So longtime party stalwart Ken Solomon will host a luncheon today for Crist at his Tennis Channel headquarters.

Democratic superdonor Jeffrey Katzenberg has declared defeating Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell his No. 1 priority in 2014, and has thrown him himself behind the campaign of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergran Grimes, who is running for the senior senator’s seat. Polls give Grimes a strong chance, and she’ll be back in town on Jan. 13 for a fundraiser at the home of animal protection activist Nikki Lafferty and her husband, CAA powerhouse agent Steve Lafferty.

Illinois senior Senator Dick Durbin will drop into town Jan. 20 to top up his reelection campaign coffers with a fundraiser at the Los Angeles home of Jamie and Chuck Meyer. Durbin is the No. 2 man in the Democrats’ senate hierarchy and sits on the Judiciary, Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Rules committees. He chairs both the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights and the Appropriations Committee's Defense subcommittee.

Meanwhile, Live Earth founder Kevin Wall and his wife, UCLA psychiatrist Susan Smalley will host a Jan. 14 fundraising reception at their Beverly Hills home for Eric Schneiderman, who is seeking reelection as New York’s Attorney General. Along with fellow Democrat Kamala Harris in California, Schneiderman has been among the more aggressive state prosecutors pursuing the ongoing investigations into illegal activities by the major banks.

Stay tuned: the fundraising frenzy has just begun.