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Political Panorama: Wednesday

Updated

Reid Hires Hollywood Attorney: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has hired Hollywood attorney Martin Singer for legal work. Singer, who has represented Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, among others, was enlisted by Reid to respond to an Associated Press story that was critical of a Las Vegas land deal involving the Senator. Singer is known for being a particularly hard charging litigator in defense of clients.

More on MPAA’s Day: Piracy and runaway production were chief topics, but the Tuesday’s “Business of Show Business” event gave the industry the chance to lobby the hill, with Dan Glickman and studio chiefs like Michael Lynton and Barry Meyer meeting with Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and Steny Hoyer. Although the event touted the industry’s economic importance to the U.S. economy, some lawmakers also took the opportunity to press the moguls to improve content and reduce the amount of sex and violence in projects. Sen. Diane Feinstein scolded the industry for “far too many movies with little or no social redeeming values.” Rep. Charles Rangel praised the Will Smith pic “The Pursuit of Happyness” but said that Hollywood hasn’t done enough like them, particularly movies about poverty. “For God’s sake, take an interest in this country,” Rangel chided.

Green Scene: Sen. Hillary Clinton hosted a gathering of top fundraisers at her home Tuesday night, with Haim Saban and music executive Clarence Avant among the Hollywood contingent. The gathering was of those who pledge to each raise $250,000 or more this election, and Clinton attended another gathering of bundlers today who commit to $25,000 or more. Although all of the campaigns are playing the expectations game, the word is that Clinton’s camp is aiming to raise some $30 million by the end of the first reporting period on March 31, although Clinton adviser Ann Lewis put the figure at $15 million.

Doves for Dennis: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Smart and Frances Fisher were on hand in a basement room of the Capitol on Tuesday as presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich introduced a new bill to establish a Department of Peace and Nonviolence. All are part of the Peace Alliance, which is promoting such a measure. Although Phoenix didn’t say much at the gathering, Kucinich said, “Joaquin is here to make a statement with his presence.”

More Debates: ABC plans six debates — two in August, two in Octber and two in January. No word on who is committing.

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