Just a couple of weeks ago, Hollywood’s Democratic donors were, at the very least, dispirited about the midterms, and at the very most, sensing disaster.
The outlook has improved (common sentiment: maybe it won’t be so bad) since the passage of healthcare reform, a fact that won’t be lost on the steady stream of lawmakers who will be descending on Los Angeles during the two-week spring recess to raise money. Fund-raising is in full swing, as evidenced by bundlers and donors who are telling me, only half-jokingly, that they’ve stopped answering the phone.
It starts tonight with a fund-raiser for Sen. Chuck Schumer’s re-election bid at the Bel-Air home of Russell and Karen Goldsmith. Reception starts at $1,000-per-person, and dinner is $4,800 per person.
On Saturday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) host a dinner at Crustacean Restaurant in Beverly Hills to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Peter and Jane Lowy are the hosts, with event chairs costing $30,400 per person and guests at $10,000.
On March 31, which is next Wednesday, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), facing a tough re-election race, is holding what is called a “lively conversation” — not a fund-raiser — at the offices of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, with George Kieffer and Alan Arkatov as hosts.
The following week, on April 7, Whitehouse returns to L.A., where he is also having a non-fund-raiser conversation, this time at the home of Nancy Stephens and Rick Rosenthal. Although Whitehouse won’t be raising money, you can rest assured that neither he nor Bennet will turn back donations.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) visits the following week, for a $1,000-per-person event at the home of Zach and Barbara Horowitz, also on April 7. The he’ll be at a fund-raiser at the home of Barry and Wendy Meyer, with contribution levels at $1,000-per-person for hosts, $2,400 for patrons and $4,800 for benefactors. The Meyers are hosting along with Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas, giving this event a definite Gotham City tinge. Meyer is chairman of Warner Bros., which has the Batman franchise; Nolan is the director of the most recent Caped Crusader pics; and Leahy has had cameos in several of the studios Batman projects, the most recent being “The Dark Night,” right.
There’s also ample room for bipartisanship. On Sunday, the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors is honoring Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) with their American Spirit Award, along with Debbie Allen. The kudos, to be held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, are for their “support of and commitment to the creative community.”