Katzenberg to Hollywood Pals: Support Grimes Over Mitch McConnell

Image: Katzenberg to Hollywood Pals: Support Grimes Over Mitch McConnell

Tuesday, 03 Sep 2013 11:06 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Democratic Party mega-donor and Hollywood powerbroker Jeffrey Katzenberg has opened his wallet, and is urging industry pals to do the same, for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes' run to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The deep-pockets DreamWorks Animation executive — who gave $3 million to President Obama's super PAC Priorities USA Action in 2012 — sent out a message urging Los Angeles Democrats to turn out for Grimes' fundraising foray to Los Angeles on Sept. 25 and 26, The Hollywood Reporter said Tuesday.

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Katzenberg disclosed he's already maxed out donations to the Grimes campaign, calling the race "a pivotal election that can get the Senate working again," Politico reported.

He's asking fellow Dems to fork over individual donations of $5,200 and $10,000 per couple, The Reporter said.

"There is no more important election being held next year in this country," Katzenberg wrote in the email, the publications reported.

"As the Senate’s Minority Leader since 2007, McConnell has used the filibuster 420 times to block legislation and appointments that were supported by a clear majority of senators … We are talking about outright obstruction of the democratic process."

Katzenberg called Grimes "the antidote to McConnell and all he represents.

"She can win, and she will win if she gets the support she needs," he wrote.

Grimes, who announced her campaign in July, files her first fundraising report after the end of the quarter on Sept. 30.

Republican McConnell, 71, had nearly $10 million in the bank at the end of the last reporting period.

Katzenberg's financial largesse has been rewarded with a spot on the White House guest list in the past, including a state dinner. The hobnobbing paid off, The Reporter noted; Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping signed off on an overseas deal benefiting Katzenberg's studio.

In his email, Katzenberg acknowledges the Hollywood glitterati "may not yet know the name Alison Lundergan Grimes."

"But," he says, "I’m certain you know the name Mitch McConnell."

Katzenberg didn't comment to Politico about the fundraising events; a Grimes campaign aide said only that "people across the country share the same feeling as the people of Kentucky" when it comes to McConnell.

McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said it’s "no surprise that Obama’s liberal Hollywood friends are supporting Alison Lundergan Grimes' campaign against Mitch McConnell."

"They’re obviously not concerned about Kentucky’s representation, but they know that a Grimes victory would mean eliminating the last obstacle to enacting the full Obama agenda, implementing Obamacare, and officially taking out Kentucky’s coal industry," Moore said.

The Reporter said Diane Hamwi, Hillary Clinton's California fundraiser in 2008, is also on board as Grimes' California finance chairwoman.

Circulating Katzenberg's letter to her own network of donors, Hamwi wrote: "We can beat Mitch McConnell and Alison is the one to do it! As KY's secretary of state, she has already won statewide and at 34 years of age, represents our next generation of leaders."


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