Bob Iger to Host Fundraiser for Vulnerable Democratic Senators in 2018 Midterms

WASHINGTON — Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO Bob Iger is hosting a fundraiser next week for half a dozen Democratic senators facing tough re-election bids this year.

The Feb. 22 event, which seeks the maximum contribution of $32,400 per person, also will be hosted by Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, and his wife Cindy Horn, a longtime environmental activist, according to an invite.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is on the bill, with the money being raised for Bill Nelson of Florida, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Those six senators face re-election this year and all come from states won by Donald Trump in 2016. They have formed a joint fundraising committee called Senate 2018 IMPACT.

Iger has hosted or co-hosted many events for Democrats in the past, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. His support for the Democratic candidates reflects how personal politics can diverge from corporate lobbying, as all of the senators voted against the recently passed tax reform bill.

Disney and other studios pushed for the lowering of the corporate tax rate, which ultimately was dropped to 21% from 35%. Last month Iger announced $1,000 cash bonuses to each of its 125,000 employees, in addition to the launch of a new education initiative. Other companies, like AT&T and Comcast, also announced bonuses after the passage of the tax bill.

The event is one of many during President’s Day week, which is typically an active period of fundraising in Los Angeles because of the congressional recess.

The same night as the Iger-Schumer event, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and California Gov. Jerry Brown will headline an event in Santa Monica at the home of artist Charlie Kaplan and his wife Jo Ann. With tickets starting at $10,000 per person, the event will raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, tasked with winning back the House. Ben Ray Lujan, the chairman of the DCCC, also is scheduled to attend.

Iger was mentioned as a potential 2020 presidential contender, but he extended his contract at Disney through 2021 at the time that the company announced in December its planned acquisition of most of the assets of 21st Century Fox. The transaction still needs approval of the Justice Department, in a process expected to take up to 18 months.

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