Hollywood Figures Start PAC to Boost Democrats in Six States

Stacey Abrams
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WASHINGTON — A digital content and entertainment executive has created a political action committee and a series of events to raise money and support for Democrats running for governor, secretary of state, and attorney general in Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, and Florida.

The PAC is called OMG WTF — an acronym for the first letter of each state, but also what its founder, Ben Sheehan, says represents what is at stake when it comes to the influence that elected officials have on the electoral process.

On Thursday, Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ attorney who is considering a 2020 presidential bid, will be a guest at an event for the PAC at Tramp Stamp Granny’s, a Hollywood piano bar that opened in April. The hosts are Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jon Vein, Michael Auerbach, Heather T. Roy and Learka Bosnak, and Mia Swier and Darren Criss.

Sheehan, former vice president of digital content at Scooter Braun’s SB Projects and head of talent at Funny or Die, said the committee will be focused on raising money for candidates, creating content, and staging events. They have recently hosted events with Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic nominee for governor of Michigan, and Stacey Abrams, the nominee for governor of Georgia.

Sheehan said a lot of their effort is aimed at explaining how the races are relevant to younger voters aged 18-35, and to counter the impact of gerrymandering and voter suppression. He said the group “spotlights the political power held by these executives in terms of checking the Trump administration and impacting the issues we care about.”

He said the races for governors, secretaries of state, and attorneys general are often overlooked, with so much attention by Democrats focused on winning back control of Congress, even though the state-level officials can play a role in “blocking the Trump agenda.”

Sheehan said their goal is to create fundraising events that are more offbeat and irreverent than traditional political events, which he dubs “chardonnay in the backyard.”

Among those who have already participated in events are JR JR, Joel Ward, America Ferrera, Tim Meadows, Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, Colton Dunn, Milana Vayntrub, Phil Augusta Jackson, and Lamar Wood, along with Upright Citizens Brigade co-founders Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, and Ian Roberts.

Sheehan was executive director of a super PAC, Save the Day, that was launched by Joss Whedon in 2016 to boost voter turnout.