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With Los Angeles’ mayoral election just a little more than a month away—and absentee voting starting this week—City Councilman Eric Garcetti has dramatically stepped up the presence of high-profile celebrities in his campaign.
Monday, the campaign released a video in which Academy Award-nominated actress Salma Hayek endorses the former council president’s mayoral aspiration. Garcetti has stressed his Latino heritage in efforts to enlist that constituency, and Hayek’s imprimatur may help in that regard.
The video comes hard on the heels of Sunday’s announcement that Moby, Jimmy Kimmel and Will Ferrell will appear with Garcetti for a Feb. 7 fundraiser at the Fonda Theater. Tickets for that event are priced at $250 apiece. Eric Paquette, senior vice president of Sony Pictures Entertainment, is heading up Garcetti’s finance committee.
A joint study by public radio station KPCC and NBC4 showed that Hollywood’s contribution to the mayoral contest now seems sure to top $1 million—with more to come if, as expected, neither of top two finishers collects more than 50 percent of the votes, triggering a spring runoff. As of Jan.10, companies and individuals in the entertainment industry have donated $960,000 with $488,000 of that going to Garcetti and $277,000 to City Controller Wendy Greuel, a former DreamWorks executive.
According to the two stations’ analysis, “The largest single source of entertainment industry campaign dollars is from freelancers. These behind-the-scenes writers, sound, lighting and production employees have given more than $122,000.”
Greuel’s individual donors include such high-wattage names as David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Attorney Kevin James, the only Republican in the race, received an individual contribution from Gary Sinise.
Time Warner’s employees are the biggest corporate givers at $47,000, while Disney workers came in second at $30,000, the study found.
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