Hollywood ending not in script for ‘elites’

Heartland steps into the spotlight on Hill

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

According to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records, liberal Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer had 40 Hollywood-linked donors for every one donor contributing to GOP challenger Carly Fiorina. Among Mrs. Boxer’s backers: Miss Streisand, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, Kevin Kline, Robin Williams, Sally Field and Don Henley.

Ms. Fiorina’s star support gave off a far lower wattage, including Mindy Stearns, an actress whose credits include a small part in “The Princess Diaries,” and an ad sales director for the Spanish-language network Telemundo. Mrs. Boxer ended up winning by 10 percentage points.

Even after the electoral reverse, Democrats have trekked to Hollywood looking for support. Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel held a Hollywood fundraiser just two days after the Nov. 2 vote for his planned run for mayor of Chicago in February.

Although Hollywood boasts a few prominent conservative activists, the election may affect the steady stream of “celeb-vocates” who have trooped to Washington in recent years to push pet causes or lobby for funding. Last week on Capitol Hill, Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis lobbied lawmakers on ratification of a long-stalled international convention banning discrimination against women and fellow actress Jennifer Garner testified before a Senate subcommittee seeking more funding for early childhood literacy and nutrition programs.

The trade publication Variety reported last week that a cottage industry of consultants already has sprung up to advise show-business activists on how best to use their celebrity in the “Age of the Tea Party.”

“The Republican House is going to create a need for a shift in strategy for high-profile philanthropists, not just in the entertainment industry,” Trevor Neilson told the paper. The roster of clients for Mr. Neilson’s Global Philanthropy Group includes Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey and Demi Moore.

Entertainment-industry-related issues likely to arise in the next Congress include “Net neutrality,” with many Republicans skeptical of the Obama administration’s effort to establish rules of the road for clogged Internet traffic; arts and broadcasting funding for such agencies as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; a “pay-for-play” bill requiring radio stations to pay performers when their music is played on the air; and copyright and intellectual property issues.

Dan Glickman, a former Democratic senator, secretary of agriculture and president of the MPAA, told Variety, “It is going to be a changed world, regardless of what happens.”

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
David R. Sands

David R. Sands

Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.

At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...

Latest Stories

Latest Blog Entries

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks