J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Alan Horn: Who are Hollywood's biggest political donors?
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - The next big national elections may not be for another year, but Hollywood types aren't sitting on their wallets until then - Jeffrey Katzenberg, J.J. Abrams, Alan Horn, Tom Rothman and James L. Brooks are among those already donating big bucks to political organizations and candidates of their choice.
The Top 20 showbiz donors have already shelled out an estimated $1.45 million collectively this year, according to an analysis provided to TheWrap from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Florida music producer Bill Edwards and his wife Joanne led the list with $164,800 donated to Republicans, according to the latest figures for the year. But most of the Hollywood money has gone to Democrats.
Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn, the second largest givers, have forked over $137,600 to Democratic campaigns and committees - including $100,000 to the Senate Majority Political Action Committee, which seeks to elect Democrats to the U.S. Senate.
"Star Trek" and "Star Wars" director Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath, have given $117,200 -- the third largest -- all to Democrats.
Their contributions include $32,400 to the Democratic National Committee; $10,200 to Minnesota Sen. Al Franken's re-election effort; $5,000 for Newark Mayor Corey Booker's race for the U.S. Senate; and $5,000 for Alaskan Sen. Mark Begich's re-election campaign.
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Horn and his wife Cindy, former Fox exec Rothman and his wife Jessica, and producer-director Brooks, all also gave money to Democrats.
Republicans are getting some entertainment money, too - but from media execs outside Hollywood. Hubbard Broadcasting CEO Stanley Hubbard and his wife Karen, the fourth largest givers, have given $110,800 overall with all but $10,400 donated to Republicans.
The rankings are based on the latest Federal Election Commission data, which can run several months behind, according to Douglas H. Weber, senior researcher for the center. June and July contributions, when finally incorporated, could affect the rankings.
Democrats have actively courted Hollywood givers this year, with two fundraisers featuring President Obama among the most high-profile outreach activities. In May, Harvey Weinstein hosted a New York fundraiser while Chernin Group CEO Peter Chernin hosted his Santa Monica fundraiser in June.
Neither Chernin nor Weinstein yet show up as contributors in FEC data.
The Democratic National Committee reported it drew contributions in May and June of $32,400 each from Susan St. James, TV producer Jonathan Littman, Uma Thurman, Jamie Alter (the wife of Sony CEO Michael Lynton), Disney CEO Robert Iger and HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said its contributions in June included $32,400 from producer Marcy Carsey and $64,800 from Act 4 Entertainment's David and Susan Johnson.
The top 20 showbiz contributors includes not only Hollywood producers and execs, but cable and satellite execs. It also includes a Broadway producer, a top entertainment lawyer and several broadcast TV execs.
Here's a look at the top showbiz donors:
1. Bill & Joanne Edwards
St. Petersburg, Fla.,-based Bill Edwards has had a twin career as a record producer who's worked with Carnie Wilson, Cheap Trick and "American Idol" finalist Michael Lynche. He also runs a major mortgage refinancing company. Edwards personally gave $4.6 million to Tampa's host committee to offset the cost of the 2012 Republican National Convention.
2. Jeffrey & Marilyn Katzenberg
DreamWorks Animation head Katzenberg has been a longtime major Democratic giver. In the last election cycle, Katzenberg gave $3 million to the Priorities USA Political Action Committee ($2 million of which was in 2011), $100,000 to the Democratic Majority PAC and he and his wife have each made annual contributions to the Democratic National Committee.
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