BREITBART: The true face of Hollywood

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sometimes I just don’t get the Republican Party.

Back in 2004, a smart, good-looking moderate Republican Hispanic ran for Congress. At the time Victor Elizalde was just under 40 years old and working as an executive at a big-time Hollywood studio. As an ethnic minority, a family man and a rare open conservative in an industry dominated by liberals, Mr. Elizalde represented hope and change for the Republican Party.

Yet because he was running for Henry A. Waxman´s safe seat, Mr. Elizalde got no support from the Republican Party . In fact, no one in the party´s leadership took notice of him. As a result Mr. Waxman trounced Mr. Elizalde with 71 percent of the vote.

Mr. Elizalde has since moved on with his life and is no longer pursuing a political career. What a major waste of talent. Yet again, I blame the conservative movement and the Republican Party for writing off Hollywood completely.

Mr. Waxman has run virtually uncontested for 35 years now. And he causes nothing but problems for Republicans. To hear him speak, you´d think the Grand Old Party is the No. 1 scourge in the world. Yet Republicans are nice to him and do nothing to hold him accountable for his miserable failure as Hollywood’s key congressional representative in Washington.

In 2006, Time magazine dubbed him “The Scariest Guy in Washington,” touting that Mr. Waxman has spent the previous “eight years churning out some 2,000 headline-grabbing reports, blasting the Bush administration and the Republican Congress on everything from faulty prewar intelligence and flaws in missile defense to the flu-vaccine shortage and arsenic in drinking water.” Two years later, Britain’s Guardian newspaper similarly described him as “the scariest politician in Washington.”

Since Mr. Waxman was first elected to office in 1974 to represent much of the entertainment business’s core working population, many of the industry´s rank-and-file jobs have flown the coop. Film and television production have gone to places like Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Romania and beyond - because California is no longer hospitable for doing business.

According to a recent report from the Center for Entertainment Industry Data and Research, Hollywood has been rocked by lost feature-film production. Despite a 30 percent rise in overall production, the value of productions in the U.S. has declined from $3.93 billion in 1998 to $3.38 billion in 2005, a statistic that when ripple effects throughout the economy are added in, the Center estimated has cost 47,000 jobs per year and $23 billion.

Where was Henry?

Over the same years, the Center wrote that “feature-film production in Canada grew from $430 million to $1.2 billion (179 percent). For the same period, production in the U.K. and Ireland increased from $486 million to $809 million (66 percent) … production in Australia and New Zealand rose from $113 million to $717 million (531 percent) … production in Eastern Europe jumped from $30 million to $308 million (927 percent).”

All that money should have stayed in the United States, and most of it should have stayed in California, most especially in Mr. Waxman’s district, which covers much of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

Where was Henry?

Runaway production should be my congressman’s biggest concern - but instead he continues to investigate the Bush administration. But that’s what his daffy constituents elect him for, year in and year out. There’s nothing a selfish, vain, vindictive and spoiled Hollywood liberal likes to hear more than to hear conservatives are to blame for everything.

During Mr. Waxman’s 35-year tenure, Hollywood has not just shipped countless jobs overseas, it has become the ultimate outsourced industry. Films are invariably financed by foreign countries: Russians, Saudis, French and Germans, to name but a few guilty parties, now dictate the content of what many consider the DNA of American culture.

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About the Author
Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is the chief political correspondent for The Washington Times, the author of five books and a nationally syndicated columnist. His twice-weekly United Feature Syndicate column appears in newspapers across the country, including The Washington Times. He received the Warren Brookes Award For Excellence In Journalism in 1995 and in that same year was the host and co-writer of ...

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