Giuliani once derided Hollywood in his Senate bid against
Hillary Rodham Clinton. Today, as he pursues the presidency,
he's collecting checks from actors Adam Sandler and
Kelsey Grammer and Paramount studio chief Brad Grey.
industry has always been a fount of cash for political
candidates--a whopping $27.5 million in the 2004
election cycle--and Democrats traditionally have
been the top draw. In the last election $7 out of
every $10 from the industry went to Democrats, according to
the Center for Responsive Politics.
Yet, the latest
campaign finance reports show Republicans making some
inroads, not only with the handful of more conservative
stars but also the generous Hollywood players hedging
Of the GOP
candidates, Giuliani, the former New York City mayor,
counted several big- and small-screen stars among his
donors as well as producers and studio executives.
shares a love of the New York Yankees with Giuliani and
tapped him for a cameo in his 2003 movie Anger
Management, contributed $2,100. Frasier
star Grammer and his wife donated $6,900. Mark Vahradian,
who produced Annapolis for Paramount, gave $2,100.
Writer-producer Lionel Chetwynd, an Oscar nominee for
cowriting 1974's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,
gave more than $4,200.
Grey, who helped
the mayor negotiate a book deal, kicked in $4,200 to
Giuliani's campaign. The former executive producer of a
Giuliani favorite--the acclaimed HBO mob drama
The Sopranos--Grey also contributed
to Clinton and Sen. Chris Dodd.
have been an unlikely source of money for Giuliani eight
short-lived Senate bid, the then-mayor scoffed at celebrity
culture, saying of Clinton, ''She can have the Hollywood
crowd.'' Throughout his two terms, Giuliani was no
Hollywood favorite even though he sought to bring film
dollars to the city.
He traded jabs
with Rosie O'Donnell, criticized violence in movies, and
scuttled plans for the launch party for Talk
Magazine, partly owned by Miramax Films, at the
city-owned Brooklyn Navy Yards. Clinton appeared on
the cover of the magazine's first issue.
Asked if Giuliani
was looking at Hollywood differently, officials with
his campaign didn't respond directly.
''We are grateful
for the support for Mayor Giuliani's leadership from
across the country,'' spokesman Jarrod Agen said.
A West Coast trip
for Thursday night's Republican debate at the Reagan
Library in Simi Valley, Calif., provides Giuliani and the
other GOP candidates a chance to pick up a few more
Sen. John McCain
has five fund-raisers in California, including a
reception in Beverly Hills on Wednesday. Giuliani planned
fund-raisers in Los Angeles and Orange County. Mitt
Romney chose another Hollywood venue to increase his
visibility--he planned to trade jokes with Jay Leno on
The Tonight Show.
three-month period in which the candidates raised
money--Giuliani nearly $15 million--the
Hollywood cash was more curio than cascade for the
GOP. Former Reagan White House aide Kenneth Khachigian says
only half-jokingly that you can count the Republicans
in Hollywood on your fingers.
such as Clinton and Illinois senator Barack Obama who
are banking the expected windfall from the left-leaning
Obama has gotten
checks from Tom Hanks, Tobey Maguire, Eddie Murphy,
Edward Norton Jr., Morgan Freeman, and Ben Stiller, among
others. In February he held a closed-door fund-raiser
arranged by DreamWorks studio founders Steven
Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen.
''It's like a
night at the Oscars'' when Clinton or Obama hold
fund-raisers, Khachigian says. Because of Hollywood's
liberal complexion, conservatives ''just don't speak
An analysis by
the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign
finance, found that Democrats took in more than $4 from
donors in the movie, music, or TV business for each
dollar contributed to GOP candidates. Clinton led the
list with $837,000, followed by Obama with $687,000.
Among other leading candidates, John Edwards banked
$322,000; McCain $244,000; and Giuliani, $108,000.
Mitt Romney had $73,000.
McCain lists a
single actress, Mindy Stearns, but also received donations
from producers including Jerry Bruckheimer and Lorne
Michaels. Bruckheimer produced Hollywood blockbusters
like Beverly Hills Cop, Pearl Harbor, and Top
Gun. Michaels is the creator and producer of NBC's
Saturday Night Live. McCain has been a host
on the long-running show.
Romney had only a
single donor in the first-quarter report listed as an
actor, Tamara Gustavson, though he collected money from
producers and writers. (Michael R. Blood, AP)