Even though Republican incumbent Rick Scott is winning the money race over challenger Charlie Crist, there is one arena in which the newly-minted Democrat is leading: Hollywood cache.
According to the latest campaign finance reported posted online, Crist recently received major contributions from Hollywood icons Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
On May 23, Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw donated $12,000 to Crist’s political committee “Charlie Crist for Florida.” Katzenberg also donated $12,000 to Crist’ committee.
“This is the biggest race in the country and it is the most winnable race in the country,” said committee chairman Bob Poe. “It’s only natural for this race to attract the biggest donors in the country.”
But what should most worry Crist’s opponent Rick Scott, Poe says, “is the more than 18,332 donors who have contributed less than $100 to Crist’s campaign compared to the Scott campaign’s 368.“
Still, receiving donations from two of the biggest names in Hollywood is sure to turn heads.
Spielberg is arguably American film’s most recognizable director and producer and is one of most influential people in the entertainment industry. As an “A-list” movie director and producer, Spielberg has won three Academy Awards, and directed some of the highest-grossing films of all time. His credits include blockbusters “ET,” “Jaws,” and “Schindler’s List.”
Katzenberg is the CEO of DreamWorks, the studio he co-founded with Spielberg.
Katzenberg and Spielberg were major donors to President Obama’s re-election. Both contributed $1 million each to the Obama-aligned super PAC “Priorities USA.”
Forbes magazine puts Spielberg’s wealth at $3.4 billion, No. 491 of the world’s billionaires. He earned $100 million between June 2012 and June 2013, second only to Madonna in Hollywood, and stands to another major boost from the next “Transformers” movie, scheduled for release this summer.
Over the years, Spielberg has supported such progressive names such as Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Patrick Leahy, Richard Durbin, Sherrod Brown, John Edwards, Carl Levin, Rahm Emanuel, Frank Lautenberg, Bill Richardson, Charles Schumer, Walter Mondale, Diane Feinstein, and Michael Dukakis.
Among the groups receiving support have been the Voters for Choice/Friends of Family Planning, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, HillPAC, the Democratic National Committee Services Corporation, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Progressive Politics Network.