Industry Prepares for Back-to-Back Blowouts

It’s enough to make you wonder: Will there be anyone left who hasn’t maxed out on political contributions?

That is overdoing it, but long lists of Hollywood donors are lining up for back-to-back fund raisers for John Edwards and Hillary Clinton on March 23 and March 24, respectively. What’s more, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, among the so-called “second tier” of presidential candidates, will be in L.A. on March 24 to address the Human Rights Campaign and its annual Southern California gala.

Last month, when Barack Obama held his fund-raiser at the Beverly Hilton, it drew what seemed like all of Hollywood’s major studio heads. Many expect many of those same faces to show up next week as well, as much of the industry tests the waters to see how the race shakes out. The campaigns are in a frenetic schedule of raising money before the March 31 deadline, after which they must make their list of donors and fund-raising totals public.

Edwards’ $2,300-per-person event, which includes cocktails and a co-chair dinner, will at the home of attorney Skip Brittenham and actress Heather Thomas, both prominent fund-raisers in recent election cycles.

While listed donors have been making the rounds at other candidates’ fund-raisers, the Edwards invite features an extensive list of names. So much publicity has gone to Clinton and Obama’s fund-raising activity this quarter, and there has been some speculation that Edwards would have a tougher time raising money with the two superstar candidates in the race.

They include Chris Albrecht, Hank Azaria, Rachelle Carson and Ed Begley Jr., Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Armyan Bernstein, James L. Brooks, Conway Collis, Laurie David, James Duff, Darren Star and Dennis Erdman, Skip Paul and Van Fletcher, Shari and Richard Foos, Sherry Lansing and William Friedkin, Ruth Fletcher and Chris Gage, Erika and Tom Girardi, Cindy and Alan Horn, Earl Katz, Lyn and Norman Lear, Trudi and Irv Loh, Al Meyerhoff, Chris Pak, Paul Pflug, Brett Ratner, Pat and John Rich, Gary Ross, Donna Scott, Julie Bergman Sender and Scott Sender, Cheri and Naren Shankar, Betty and Stanley Sheinbaum, Lorraine and Sid Sheinberg, Stacey Snider, J.C. Spink, Trina and Adam Venit, Lynne Wasserman, Paula Weinstein, Carol Mendelsohn and Andrew Wolf and Melissa Zuckerman.

Clinton already has visited twice in preparation for her March 24 gala, which will be at the Beverly Hills home of Ron Burkle. Tickets are $4,600 for a VIP reception and dinner, and $2,300 just for the dinner. (The campaign is raising money both for the primary and the general election).

The chairs of Clinton’s event are Burkle, Cheryl and Haim Saban, Steve Bing, Debra and Sim Farar and Daphna and Richard Ziman. Co-chairs are Susan and Scott Corwin, Kimberly Marteau and John Emerson, Carol Hamilton and David Khon, Norman Hsu, Noah Mamet, Lisa and Brad Mindlin, Jane and Marc Nathanson, Eric Smidt and Laura and Casey Wasserman.

The host committee includes Eileen Austen, Jacqueline and Clarence Avant, Irv Bauman, Carol and Frank Biondi, Katie Buckland, Michel Chagouri, Lissa and Adam Chesnoff, Laura Chick, Bruce Cohen, Aileen Adams and Geoff Cowan, Gray and Sharon Davis, Alex De Ocampo, Tal Finney, Leah and Sam Fischer, Earl Gales, Chad Griffin, Laura Hartigan, Yashar Hedayat, Amy and Andy Heyward, Ruth Hunter and Sean Daniel, Marta Kauffman, Skip Keesal, Michael Kives, Toni Holt and Robert Kramer, Jennifer Long, Paul Marciano, Leah Mendelsohn, Tom O’Gara, Debra Olson, Richard Park, Kelly and Jamie Patricof, Rashel Pouri, Teddie and Michael Ray, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, Aviva and Dan Rosenthal, Lila Sadafi, Diane Lander Simon, Ari Swiller, Beverly Thomas, Sherri and Stanley Toy, William Wardlaw, Brian Weinstein and Denita and Anthony Willoughby.

Whew.

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