Unions were planning a protest outside of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s pre-Oscar party this evening at his official residence in Hancock Park. They plan to stage a “mock red carpet” to call attention to Villaraigosa’s plans to lay off thousands of city workers to resolve a budget crisis.

This is no surprise, but the Oscar nominees have overwhelming affinities for Democrats. That’s according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the giving trends of above-the-line creative types in the major categories. Overall, the nominees gave 87% to Democratic candidates and political committees and just 2% to Republicans. The most prolific donor was Matt Damon.

As a drive to draft him into the race continues, some political analysts say John Mellencamp could be a formidable candidate for Senate in Indiana.

Rapper Jay-Z met with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday, as the rapper was in D.C. as part of his current tour.

Variety’s Peter Bart appeared on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” tonight, and says that, after talking to Mark Burnett, Sarah Palin will be like a “native guide going through Alaska” in her proposed new show. But it won’t be in any way political, he says. Gossip bloggers claim that she vacuumed up at the Oscar suite she visited on Wednesday.

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