Priorities USA Action, the SuperPAC run by former White House aides Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, collected $2.5 million in March, including a $100,000 donation from TV personality Chelsea Handler.
Democrats have had a difficult time raising money via SuperPACs, and the most recent month shows that, despite a $1 million contribution from Bill Maher, there’s not exactly a flood of top dollar support for the independent expenditure committee.
The Obama campaign has given its blessing to Priorities, even while the president has criticized the influence of unlimited money in politics. Nevertheless, entertainment industry figures have a very mixed feeling toward abandoning their ideals for saner election spending vs. seeing the massive contributions as just a fact of life if the president is to compete against a tidal wave of SuperPAC money on the GOP side.
Jeffrey Katzenberg is among the top donors to Priorities USA Action, having given $2 million last year in a kind of kickoff to what organizers hoped would raise $100 million this cycle. Among those who doesn’t plan to give is David Geffen, the fellow founder of Dreamworks, who has said that he “doesn’t contribute to them or approve of them.”
The hope is that the coming months will change sentiments, particularly if Mitt Romney pulls ahead and SuperPACs like American Crossroads have tens of millions left to spend.