The race for mayor of Los Angeles has hardly begun, but Karen Bass has already taken a commanding lead among Hollywood donors.
Candidates filed their contribution reports on Monday, when showed that Bass has spent much of the last few months winning over the creative community.
Donors to her campaign include stars like Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, and Jennifer Garner. They include Hollywood’s most profligate political benefactors, like Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath, Alan and Cindy Horn, and Damon and Heidi Lindelof. They also include the industry’s activist class — Alyssa Milano, Ed Begley, Donald Glover and Norman Lear — as well executives of both the past (Michael Eisner, Kevin Tsujihara, Jeff Bewkes, Jim Gianopulos) and present (Dana Walden, Jen Salke, Jon Feltheimer).
Bass, a six-term congresswoman, is considered the clear frontrunner at the moment. The race should be scrambled somewhat, however, if mall billionaire Rick Caruso decides to run. He recently announced he has re-registered as a Democrat, and has until Feb. 12 to make up his mind. The primary is set for June 7, with the top two candidates advancing to the general election on Nov. 8. Bass kicked off her campaign last October with an appearance from actor and comedian Tiffany Haddish, and she has emphasized her work as Assembly speaker in 2009 to pass the state’s film and TV tax credit.
Bass reported a total of $2 million raised since she entered the race last fall. Councilman Kevin De León, who ran a progressive challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2018, finished a strong second in fundraising, bringing in $1.2 million. He did so largely without support from entertainment industry donors — though he did receive a contribution from Haim Saban.
Contributions are capped at $1,500 apiece, making it a relatively low-cost way to show support for a candidate.
Mike Feuer, the two-term city attorney, got contributions from Irving and Shelli Azoff, as well as from Nina Tassler, producer and former chair CBS Entertainment. Feuer reported $247,000 in contributions for the last six months of 2021, and $551,000 for the full year.
Jessica Lall, the president of the Central City Association, reported raising $404,000 since launching her campaign last fall. Councilman Joe Buscaino raised $373,000 in the last six months of 2021, bringing his total for the year to $1.2 million.
Other candidates include Mel Wilson, Asher Luzzatto, Craig Greiwe and Ramit Varma.