In the attorney general’s race, Los Angeles County may be GOP candidate and L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley’s home turf, but it appears Hollywood has fallen for his opponent, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.
Campaign records show Harris (who has some star power of her own – she recently posed for an Oprah magazine shoot featuring the talk show host's picks for most powerful women) is raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from actors, studio executives, talent agents, producers, writers, attorneys and others who make their living off the celebrity-driven town.
Warner Brothers and its executives gave a total $28,500. Director Steven Spielberg and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw Spielberg, donated $1,500 each during the primary and the maximum $6,500 each during the general election. Entertainer Jamie Foxx chipped in $6,500. DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn Katzenberg, contributed during both the primary and the general elections for a total $26,000.
Other notable donations include $13,000 from comedian George Lopez and his wife, $5,000 from Disney CEO and president Robert Iger, $1,500 from actress Reese Witherspoon and $1,000 from actress Holly Robinson Peete.
And it’s not just the Hollywood crowd sending in cash. Campaign records show Harris has received more than $1 million from the southern half of the state since the beginning of the year – a significant chunk of change for a Northern California politician. Predictably, Harris also has plenty coming in from Northern California heavyweights, like labor groups and the Fisher family (owners of Gap Inc.).
Although he did score $6,500 from actor James Belushi, Cooley’s funding isn’t quite as star-studded. The largest donations to the L.A. district attorney, who according to a recent Field Poll has a slight 4-point lead over Harris, come from law enforcement and business groups, like the Association for L.A. Deputy Sheriffs and the California Chamber of Commerce. The Anschutz Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, gave $6,500 as did Stanley Shuster, the owner of an international chain of members-only cigar clubs.
As of June (the most recent month available for detailed data), Cooley and Harris were essentially tied in fundraising, with each bringing in just under $1.7 million since the beginning of the year. Harris, who has been fundraising since early last year, was outspending Cooley at $2.7 million to his $1.7 million, records show.
Harris and Cooley, who have spent recent weeks attacking each other over questionable campaign donations, abortion and the death penalty, will face off Oct. 5 in a debate at UC Davis. Harris will hold several more fundraisers in L.A. next month, according to her website.