Gun Control Groups Urge Cancellation of Hollywood Fundraiser for Mark Begich and Mark Pryor

Gun Control Groups Urge Cancellation of

Almost a year ago, in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., a number of entertainment industry activists decried a vote that prevented the Senate from moving forward background check legislation. Some vowed to withhold support from Democrats who voted “No,” including Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), both of whom are in the midst of tough reelection races.

That was then, this is now.

On Wednesday evening, Cindy Horn and her husband, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, are hosting a fund-raising event for Begich and Pryor at their home, and it has caught the attention of a collection of gun violence prevention groups.

In a letter sent to Cindy Horn on Wednesday afternoon, the groups urged her to cancel the fundraiser, or, in the alternative, that they instead raise funds for Senate candidates in tough races who voted for the background checks, including Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.).

The groups, including Women Against Gun Violence, the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Violence Prevention Coalition and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, wrote to Horn that “when Senators from far-flung places come to California to fuel their campaigns, we hope that you will remind them that you’re not their personal ATM. You have a right to ask why they deserve their support.

“In particular, you have every right to ask why they helped a Republican minority defeat a Democratic majority and a Democratic president and vice president who worked their heart out on this chance for reform — which may not come again for years.”

The groups asked in their letter, “Is ‘Democrat’ merely a box on a ballot, to be checked at any cost?”

Among those who signed the letter were Margot Bennett, executive director of Women Against Gun Violence; Dallas Stout, president of the California Brady Campaign Chapters; Kaile Shilling of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Los Angeles, and Catherine Stefani, California chapter leader of Moms Demand Action.

In a year since the legislation stalled out, the political landscape has shifted into one that seems much more difficult for Democrats, with a challenge to raise money to match an expected onslaught from the right.

Contribution levels to the event start at $2,000 per person and go to a maximum of $10,400, with money going to a joint fund for their campaigns, according to a copy of the invite. Cohosts of the event include the Horns, MPAA chairman Chris Dodd and Universal’s Ron Meyer and Jeff Shell.  Alan Horn was out of town and not expected to attend, even though he is among the hosts, but his wife, Cindy, is a longtime political activist, particularly on environmental issues.

A spokesman for the studio declined comment.

One donor, who asked not to be identified, said that support for Begich and Pryor reflected a more pragmatic reality of this year’s midterms for incumbents in red states: Withholding money would only increase the chance that a Republican conservative would be their successor, perhaps costing Democrats a valuable majority and stalling efforts on a host of other issues important to progressives. “It is a philosophical question,” the donor said.

The donor noted that also scheduled to attend the event as a “special guest” was Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who is not facing reelection. Her support of background legislation, however, would signal a message of unity among Democrats despite the differences on gun control.

As unlikely as it was that the Horns would cancel their event at the last minute, it is more likely that they and many other Hollywood Democrats will support the list of candidates who did vote for background checks. In fact, the Horns are hosting President Obama for an event, also at their home, on May 7 to raise money for Senate and House candidates.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 14

Leave a Reply

14 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Emenot says:

    Newtown is a HOAX!

  2. Richard Najjar says:

    The irony is that none of these gun control organizations, or Hollywood for that matter, are supported and financed as true citizens grass roots organizations — as is the National Rifle Association. Instead, they are funded from the top down by limousine liberal activists like billionaires George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and other well moneyed elitists, and in this case, Hollywood elitists. Perhaps that is why they don’t do well, and perhaps that is why they have to change the names of their organizations every few years in attempts to gain some traction. Even the liberal mainstream media gets pulled down in their ratings — the terrible cost of trumpeting a rapidly discredited scheme to ultimately control, regulate and disarm law abiding citizens.

  3. ThePixelated says:

    Maybe Hollywood should shut up and start concentrating in writing some original movies instead of making remakes and reboots!

  4. jdberger says:

    Goes to show that gun owners’ rights (like all civil rights) aren’t a Left/Right issue. They’re a RIGHTS issue. It also demonstrates that folks like the Bradys, Moms Demand Action and Women Against Gun Violence are willing to cut off their collective noses to spite their faces. Have at it, I say.

    Finally, since when has any of the above groups done anything to “promote gun safety”? Do they offer classes on safe gun handling? Marksmanship? Train citizens? Provide safe storage devices to people who need them? Offer literature on any of the above? Of course not. Suggesting that they’re interested in gun safety is like suggesting that the Temperance League just wants people to drink responsibly.

  5. By withdrawing support for two Democratic Senators, they’re improving the chances for Republican challengers to capture those two seats.

    That’s a winning strategy if I ever saw one.

    • Ron Britvec says:

      Good points. People should consider that Brady & the President were shot while surrounded by Secret Service agents, possibly the most “secure” walk on the street. And many of the anti-gun people want the rest of us (upstanding citizens) to have less protection. They are not really thinking, they are using wishful, head in the sand, knee-jerk arguments for their point of view. They will never eliminate all the guns, knives, clubs and none of us are Superman nor can we outrun bullets. They would leave us with zero chance to defend ourselves.

    • Rick Simms says:

      Lovin this!! By attacking Begich and Pryor they’re making it that much harder during mid terms. These guy will likely be replaced by GOP folks…good work Moms Demand!!!!

  6. penskefan says:

    Last time I checked homeowners were allowed to have whatever lawful gathering they want in their homes.

  7. Elsie Wilkens says:

    I totally support the Gun Violence Prevention Community in CA and their fight for Background Checks.
    I applaud Moms Demand Action for GunSense in America.
    Those giving money to Senator Begich and Senator Pryor should be made aware of their stance against Background Checks Before the checks are written

    • concerned american says:

      as we all Know guns don/t kill people,people kill people,wheather it be by gun,knife, rock stick or bare hand so how far are you willing to go to stop violence????

  8. Newsflash – those Democratic Senators voted against the legislation in question because THEIR CONSTITUENTS wanted them to do so. They come from Red states and a vote for the gun control would likely result in them being voted out of office. Then, would good would they be to the progressives? Reality check, if progressive donors don’t raise money for these Democrats, merely because of their votes on the gun legislation, then they will end up with Republicans, or worse – even more tea partiers – being elected to the Senate.

  9. Sp60 says:

    Gee, hypocrisy in Hollywood? Who would have thought!

  10. johntshea says:

    ”Is ‘Democrat’ merely a box on a ballot, to be checked at any cost?”
    Yep! And likewise ‘Republican’.

More Biz News from Variety

Loading