Republican hopeful takes tour of Tinseltown

While much attention in the past week has been paid to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s courting of the entertainment industry, Republican presidential hopeful Rudolph Giuliani is planning to visit Los Angeles today for a fund-raiser.

Giuliani, who has not yet publicly declared whether he will run for president, will raise money for his exploratory committee at the Pacific Palisades home of Bill Simon, who ran for governor of California in 2002 and is spearheading the former New York mayor’s fund-raising efforts in the state. Giuliani is planning another fund-raising visit to the Los Angeles area in March.

Although overall Hollywood giving skews Democratic, the GOP candidates have been able to count on a healthy amount of high-profile donors. Arizona Sen. John McCain visited on Jan. 12 for a fund-raiser hosted by MGM chairman Harry Sloan and others, such as Univision chief A. Jerrold Perenchio and MGM Mirage CEO Terrence Lanni.

Although McCain has been courting industry donors and laying the groundwork for a run for quite some time, what will be interesting is to see the extent of Giuliani’s support in the entertainment industry. His moderate-to-liberal stances on social issues and conservative positions on national security and the economy could have some resonance among Hollywood centrists. Giuliani already has the support of former studio chief Frank Price and writer-director Lionel Chetwynd, among others.

Earlier this month, the New York Daily News obtained and published the contents of a strategy memo that showed Giuliani was looking to Brad Grey to help round up Hollywood support, even though the memo stated that the Paramount CEO is uncommitted.

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