President Barack Obama raised almost $20 million in the Los Angeles area for his re-election bid. Now, The Hollywood Reporter
says, several of them with entertainment business ties may be up for plum ambassadorships.
Among them: soap opera producer Colleen Bell (Belgium or Hungary); Democratic activist and executive John Emerson (Germany); HBO executive James Costos (Spain); media executive and political activist Rufus Gifford (Denmark); and political consultant Noah Mamet (Argentina).
Ken Solomon, head of the Tennis Channel is said to be up for consideration later in the president's term. Obama is said to be making some appointments for two years rather than the usual four to allow him to appoint more people.
The ambassadorship to France is still open as well. Hedge fund CEO Mark Lasry was thought to have that one in the bag, but withdrew his name after finding it would be hard to divest all his business dealings to avoid conflict-of-interest requirements. Then there was the issue of his participation in a poker game busted by the FBI over Russian mob ties.
Naming Costos would put both members of a prominent same-sex couple in government posts, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Costos' partner is White House decorator Michael Smith. Smith himself has been rumored to be interested in a diplomatic position, but his spokesman denied it, the Reporter said.
Appointments are expected to be announced in June.
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