Hollywood Played Leading Role in LA Mayoral Race

Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013 04:09 PM

By James Hirsen

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As a feisty campaign for Los Angeles mayor wrapped up, Hollywood was positioned to put someone friendly to the entertainment industry into the job.

Both of the frontrunners in Tuesday's primary, City Councilman Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Greuel, had exploited their connections in the entertainment industry and both were endorsed, financed, and generally influenced by different sectors of the Hollywood community.

Greuel was once an executive at a major Hollywood company, DreamWorks.

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Garcetti and Greuel touted their past industry-related accomplishments, which include having addressed some concerns that had been affecting the entertainment business. They have also indicated that they would continue their Hollywood-oriented policies if they won the mayoral contest.

Garcetti’s campaign boasted that he promoted an entertainment multimedia tax incentive, which capped gross receipts taxes in redevelopment areas, protected the areas of Hollywood specifically zoned for studio and postproduction facilities, and assisted Paramount in the modernization of its facilities.

Garcetti also proposed the elimination of city fees for television pilot production.

Greuel supported an increase in the cap of the state film tax credit and plans to establish an entertainment cabinet, which would focus on issues that are important to the industry.

Both candidates said they wanted to lower the Los Angeles business tax, a move that would not only assist Hollywood but would help all commercial enterprises in the city.

The entertainment community split its endorsements between the two. Garcetti obtained the support of more than 200 notable Hollywood figures, while Greuelreceived endorsements from the powerhouse trio of Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, and David Geffen, who contributed $50,000 apiece to an independent committee that supported Greuel’s campaign.

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Two other candidates, Councilwoman Jan Perry and attorney-talk show host Kevin James, also made Hollywood an integral element of their campaigns. Perry pledged to fight to keep entertainment jobs in Los Angeles by maintaining a business-friendly focus on economic growth. James vowed to bring Hollywood production back to L.A. by reducing and simplifying business taxes.

The top two vote-getters in the primary will face each other again in a May 21 runoff.

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