By James Hirsen Special for USDR
Hollywood is one of the primary places on which Democrat candidates rely to garner endorsements, organize fundraisers, and secure the much-needed donations that have become the lifeblood of political campaigns.
Typically, the lack of a singular national personality serves to make midterm election campaigns less attractive to entertainment notables. And with the track record of Democrat congressional members also in play, one might think that the amount of celebrity donations that were tumbling into Democrat coffers to maintain power in the Senate or pick up seats in the House of Representatives might be on the wane.
Not so. Leave it to the usual gang of Hollywood liberals to reach deep down into their bank accounts and provide Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the assist he needs to remain at the governmental helm and to attempt to aid former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gain back her leadership position.
Throughout the spring and summer of this year, President Obama was hard at work priming the Hollywood money pump. He managed to take a trio of fundraising trips to Los Angeles in a short three-month period.
The president’s last journey in July of 2014 involved two lucrative political fundraisers that were scheduled during his brief 24-hour stay. The first fundraising stop was at the Hancock Park home of television producer Shonda Rhimes, and the second star-studded campaign finance fest took place at Michael Rapino’s residence, the CEO of Live Nation. Both events corralled plenty of currency for the Democratic National Committee to use in the upcoming midterm elections.
The incessant presidential fawning even snagged the attention of left-leaning HBO host Bill Maher, who quipped, “Hollywood liberals, they are still crazy in love with him. Even when his motorcade turns the freeway into a parking lot, they’re like, ‘that was the most inspirational traffic jam — the way all the cars came together…’”
Big-name stars have been writing sizable checks to assist the Democrats in their midterm challenges. Hollywood backers include the likes of Barbra Streisand, Ben Affleck, Steve Martin, James Cameron, Nicolas Cage, Cameron Diaz, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Motivated by the possibility that the GOP might pick up the six seats needed to wrest control away from the Democrats, perennial Dem supporter Streisand forked money over to the DNC, current House Minority Leader Pelosi, and a host of U.S. Senate candidates. The singer and political activist gave $10,000 to the DNC and also shelled out $2,600 to Pelosi. She additionally gave $1,000 each to Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Udall, Jeff Merkley, and Mark Begich, all who happen to be considered potential Republican takeover targets.
Affleck singled out two high-profile Senate candidates to fund with $12,700. The actor gave $7,500 to Sen. Cory Booker, an individual that some in Hollywood would choose to cast as a future presidential candidate. He also gave $5,200 to the campaign of Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat candidate who is attempting to dethrone GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Director Cameron and actors Cage and Diaz each donated $5,200 to Grimes, who has gathered up a mountain of Hollywood money, having raised more than $100,000 from a list of celebrities that includes Jack Black, Danny DeVito, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Damon also wrote a $10,400 check to Sen. Booker while Martin gave former SNL cast member Sen. Al Franken $5,200. Franken, who is in a close race against GOP candidate Mike McFadden, is receiving generous financial support from Hollywood. In addition to fellow comic Martin, Franken is getting donations from former SNL mainstay Jane Curtin, “West Wing” star Bradley Whitford, singer Jason Mraz, and comedy writer Carl Reiner.
Louis-Dreyfus, who portrays a vice president on the HBO show “Veep,” gave $2,600 to Rep. Lois Capps while Paltrow gave $1,500 to Rep. Tim Bishop.
Michelle Nunn, daughter of Sam Nunn who was a longtime Democrat senator from Georgia, has brought in more than $22,000 in a run for her father’s former gig. She, too, has Hollywood donors that include the names of Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington.