Corrected version and updated

Gavin Newsom is in Santa Monica today for a town hall meeting — with much symbolism that the San Francisco mayor is making such a foray so very close to fellow gubernatorial prospect Antonio Villaraigosa's backyard.

What Newsom also is doing is trying to make inroads in the entertainment community, in a race that very well may be as hard-fought as the Clinton-Obama battle for industry dollars.

Newsom appeared last night to speak to prospective donors at the home of NBC's Ben Silverman, addressing a crowd that included familiar names in entertainment/political circles like Rick Jacobs, Eric Paquette, Carol Coote, Kelly Meyer and John and Kimberly Emerson and Dr. Howie Mandel (not the "Deal or No Deal" emcee as I posted earlier).

The governor's race could very well be a much more complicated battle of conflicting loyalties, what with Jerry Brown expected to run, Diane Feinstein a possibility and, on the Republican side, EBay's Meg Whitman, a former Disney exec, already in the race. Each has strong ties to the entertainment business.

Political consultant Chad Griffin, who has not decided who to support (it is still early), says, "A lot of people are conflicted. The good thing is there is a great pool of qualified, accomplished Democats. Unfortunately, that means it's likely that they will be challenging each other."

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