Sunlight Foundation Puts Spotlight On Katzenberg’s White House Ties

It’s no secret that Jeffrey Katzenberg is among President Obama’s biggest fundraisers: He’s listed as a $500,000 bundler in this year’s campaign, along with his political adviser Andy Spahn. And Katzenberg’s $2 million donation to the pro-Obama SuperPAC Priorities USA Action makes him one of the largest donors to Democrats, period, in 2012.

The Sunlight Foundation has posted a story about Katzenberg’s close ties to the White House and what it means to Dreamworks. Specifically, it is focused on Vice President Joseph Biden’s breakthrough in easing Chinese imports of studio films, with Vice President Xi Jinjing allowing 14 more films as long as they are Imax or 3D. Studios also upped their box office take to 25% in China.

Sunlight’s Bill Allison writes, “Katzenberg went one better for his company. On the same day that the WTO issue was resolved, Katzenberg announced his new joint venture, Oriental Dreamworks. Because the joint venture will produce its films in China, it won’t be subject to the same quotas U.S. studios face. 

Allison adds, “The resolution of the China WTO deal was an important win for Hollywood–and came after the entertainment industry was thwarted in its attempt to get Congress to pass tougher copyright and intellectual property enforcement measures, including a House bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and its Senate counterpart, the Protect Intellectual Property Act, or PIPA. Over the years, Katzenberg has contributed $58,650 to two of the SOPA cosponsors, California Congressmen Howard L. Berman and Adam Schiff, both Democrats, and more than $110,425 to 19 Senate Democrats who co-sponsored the bill.

“Perhaps most tellingly, when it appeared that the bills were in serious trouble, and the White House would signal opposition to the measures, Dodd, the former senator and architect of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Bill, one of the key legislative achievements of Obama’s tenure in Washington, reached out to Katzenberg to find out what the thinking was in the White House.”

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