- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sen. Al Franken’s re-election bid has received a major boost from his Hollywood bigwig friends, as recent figures reveal the Minnesota Democrat’s campaign coffers topping $19 million — compared to Republican challenger Mike McFadden’s $3 million.

The former “Saturday Night Live” writer has a lot of friends in the movie-making business, from director Steven Spielberg to actors Dan Akroyd, Mike Myers and Jason Alexander, and all are ready to hit the political circuit for their former comic colleague.

Al is a friend … he’s got what it takes to do the hard thinking, hard work of being a politician,” said Bob Odenkirk of AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” who once worked with Mr. Franken on “Saturday Night Live,” ABC News reported.

Mr. Franken’s campaign is trying to downplay the amount of support he’s received from Hollywood’s glitterati. A campaign spokeswoman, for instance, said 97 percent of Mr. Franken’s donations have come from those giving $100 or less, ABC News reported.

But the star-power backing brings in a lot of donations that otherwise might not be offered, at least one analyst said.

“When voters hear about well-known stars supporting a candidate, it can give them some luster,” University of Minnesota political science analyst Lawrence Jacobs told ABC.

The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the Hollywood industry has given about $400,000 in direct contributions to Mr. Franken so far.