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Obama Fundraiser in LA

Obama Controls Stars, Puts Together Constellation of Bucks

What do Cindy Crawford, Seal, and Dennis Quaid have in common? Nope, it's not a movie remake version of Three's Company (I wish). They were just three of the celebs who came out to a pricey, glitzy Obama fundraiser last night in LA.

For the crowd of 900, Seal performed "A Change Is Gonna Come," while the campaign sang all the way to the bank. Estimated take from the shindig where VIP dinner tickets went for $28,500 per couple? About $5 million smackers. Not bad for a night's work — public funding does seem puny when your own public is the fabulously wealthy.

Other luminaries included Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Beals, and Lost producer JJ Abrams. Quaid introduced Seal's performance saying, "he's here tonight to sing for the superman for everyone — Barack Obama."

Is Barack snapping up the center square for the win in this money game of Hollywood Squares? It would seem so. To find out how,


A study by the Center for Responsive Politics showed that Obama has collected more than $4 million from movie, TV, and music types, Clinton took $3.4 million, and McCain? A not-so-big $636,000, with donations from Jerry Bruckheimer and Lorne Michaels.

A McCain spokesman explains his relegation to "extra" like this:

Hollywood is always an uphill climb for Republicans. I think that we're very encouraged by the support that we've been able to get from the folks in the entertainment industry, and John McCain is a great fan of a lot of the work that they do.

He did have a role in Wedding Crashers after all.

Obama is looking to share his wealth — he's asked donors to help bail Hillary out of her debt yesterday, and he's not all celeb centric — he did just downplay all the hoopla surrounding the infamous "ScarJo" emails. Does this type of fund raising keep in line with Obama's quest to abandon a "broken system" and fund his campaign by the people? What draws celebs to the Democratic party?


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lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Anyway, I'm off for the day. Have a fun night of debating the issues!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I am remiss to use this website because I don't know it well, but I don't have time to look for another source and the original source of the article is the WSJ:
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Right, UnDave said Obama would win the money game in Hollywood, not just in front of the camera. And I definitely wouldn't say corporate America "heavily" favors the Republican party in its donations. They tend to favor whomever can get more done for them. Since the Democrats have been in the majority, "corporate types" have been giving increasingly to Democrats.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"And I don't think anyone ever said that celebrities are the world's most powerful people." UnDave commented that Obama would win the money game in Hollywood. I was merely pointing out that the real money and power is found behind the camera. As a seperate point, I was saying that corporate america dominates the wealth in the US, and they heavily favor the Republican party.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Thank you for the clarification lilkimbo and I'll make do note of it.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Anyway, back to work! (I just like talking campaign finance stuff because I feel like it's one of the areas where I'm an expert; before I started this job I knew very little about it. Now that I do it every day, I find it very interesting, but most other people don't, so I get excited to discuss it.)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Not unless they are breaking the law and doing some serious "creative accounting" with their records. PACs have to file reports with the FEC that detail where all of their money came from. Typically, money in PAC accounts that are connected with a corporation come from employee donations, either by payroll deduction or through checks, etc. (From what I can gather, payroll deduction is the most common.) I guess you could say that corporations over pay their employees and "force" them to donate to the PAC, which has probably happened, but is highly illegal. I could see why a candidate would want to stay away from corporate PACs, but I personally don't see a problem with them.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I see. That is what I gathered and on the surface I don't really see anything wrong with that (PAC) either. On the other hand I can also see if a corp. has alignment with a particular PAC wouldn't it be possible for that corp. to filter money to the PAC?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
You made yourself clear, but in my eyes, they have not found ways to do so. To me, employees donating is vastly different than a corporation donating. And PAC money is simply money coming from individuals that gets bundled together. Basically, a PAC organizes individuals. Obama has made a big deal out of not accepting PAC money; that's his thing and I'm glad he's sticking by it. I haven't seen McCain make a big deal out of PAC money at all. Show me some sources if I'm wrong, though.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
And I don't think anyone ever said that celebrities are the world's most powerful people. Interestingly, most of the CEOs of media companies donate more to Democrats, too. Democrats are certainly not free from receiving donations from those in the corporate world. It's not a one-or-the-other situation.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
O.K. well I guess I didn't make myself clear, my bad. I know that corporations can not legally contribute directly to a campaign, but is it not a problem that they have found ways how to do so? These are the loop holes of which I speak. You mention PAC money that is a term that has been treated as a hot potato through out this election on both sides. What is the deal with those that the candidates are criticizing each other over it?
Jillness Jillness 8 years
In the grand scheme of things, it is Corporate America that owns the media companies and decide what images are on our magazines, the news on our tvs, the music/news on the radio, the advertisements we see...essentially the context through which Americans are shown the world. The "talent" are at the bottom end of the feeding pool when it comes to money, power, and influence. While people like Mel Gibson proclaim that they are the "King of Malibu" with a worth of around $300 million...the CEOs that are worth BILLIONS giggle behind his back. The world's wealthiest and most powerful and influential people are not actors, musicians, or celebrities.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Actually, Hypno, I work in campaign finance and it's not a loophole. Federal candidates are expressly prohibited from accepting corporate donations. They are allowed to accept donations from corporate PACs, but those PACs are not allowed to accept donations from the corporations themselves; the money in the PAC accounts comes from employees. Corporate PACs are subject to the same contribution limits as all other PACs. In my eyes, accepting $5,000 from a corporate PAC is just like accepting $1,000 from five individuals who all happen to work for the same company.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Not to be disagreeable lilkimbo but I believe it's called a loop hole. This is precisely why we need to stop dragging our feet and pass comprehensive campaign finance reform.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Although, I do have to say, it's not as if these celebrities are unwillingly "thrust" in to the public eye. For the most part, they choose to make their support public.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Corporations can't donate to federal candidates. I see what you're saying about heads of corporations, though.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I don't know that celebrities get criticism necessarily because of their donation, as much as they get criticism for the viewpoints they spout while donating the money.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"donating celebrities get flogged with criticism because their thrust into the public eye. If we thrust donating Corporations into the public the public eye the tables would turn so hard they'd topple over." So true, Hypno, so true.
stephley stephley 8 years
Nica, let's hope you're overreaching. He'd be crucified.
nicachica nicachica 8 years
or am i overreaching???
nicachica nicachica 8 years
I'm assuming Obama might have wanted to keep his distance because he's a married man and if he's constantly being compared to JFK and ScarJo is constantly being compared to Marilyn Monroe...well, you can see why he might want to nip that in the bud before people start thinking things...
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Well that's an easy one, because we let it happen. Campaign finance reform is desperately needed.
flutterpie flutterpie 8 years
im sorry but this is total crap...the forefathers intended for the everyman to become president how can that happen if you need hollywood/oil/corporate connections?
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
"ScarJo" is annoying by the way. I don't get her appeal, she is pretty when done up for the red carpet but boring as an actress.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
I don't take Scarlett Johannsen too seriously. I don't begrudge other celebs their opinions, they are human after's just the attention given to them (or some) can get annoying.
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