UPDATE, 6:52PM:President Obama addressed a crowd of about 450 supporters tonight during a fundraiser hosted by Shonda Rhimes and her Scandal star Kerry Washington. According to White House pool reports, the president gave his traditional fundraising remarks but couldn’t resist citing the ABC drama about a D.C. fixer and her capital intrigue. “No offense — Scandal is a great show,” Obama said, “but it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out.” Earlier, Washington introduced Rhimes as “my boss,” then the prolific producer said of the president, “He’s been doing his job like a boss.” Obama later complimented Washington, saying “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign than she did. Rhimes also was a big supporter of both of his presidential bids as a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank. Singer Janelle Monae also was there, and the president joked about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor. ” Now, this is top secret,” he said of the video. “She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.” He joked later, “I did not drop in splits, but I did bust a move.”
Pool reports say the commander in chief arrived at Rhimes’ Spanish-style Hancock Park home a little after 5PM. With tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400, the event was held in the backyard, which was adorned with white umbrellas and U.S. and California flags. Among the guests were various members of the Scandal cast such as on-air President Fitz Grant, played by Tony Goldwyn. HBO’s Michael Lombardo, who held an event recently at his home with Michelle Obama, and ABC’s Paul Lee were also in attendance this evening. The President is staying overnight in Beverly Hills and has another fundraiser set for tomorrow at the home of Live Nation head honcho and transplanted Canadian Michael Rapino – so expected more traffic delays on Wednesday.
Less than 10 months after President Obama appointed Shonda Rhimes to the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts’ Board of Trustees the ScandalEP is doing the Commander-In-Chief a solid with a big bucks fundraiser next month. Heading out to Hollywood once again to hover up cash for the Democratic Party, Obama will be the headliner at a $32,400 a ticket event at Rhimes’ home on July 23. To help make it a fully scandalous affair, Kerry Washington, the star of the ABC political intrigue series, is serving on the host committee for the shindig. This is not the first time Rhimes has worked for Obama. The producer was a big supporter of both of Obama’s campaigns for President as both a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank.
Tickets for the late July event range from $1,000 to the more than $30,000 for high rollers. Patrons who pay out the top price will not only get entertained by a yet unnnamed musical act and get their pic with POTUS but also participate in an up close and personal dinner the Fundraiser-In-Chief will have with 30 couples. “This type of thing has proven a real … Read More »
Partially in jest and partially dead serious, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tonight told a mogul-heavy big ticket fundraiser at the home of Fox’s Jim Gianopulos and his wife Ann that NY was the birthplace of film in America. He also said he has no qualms about trying to bring more of the film and TV business back to the Empire State. With tickets going for up to $50,000 a couple, a crowd of over 100 tonight packed the “intimate evening” fundraiser for the Democrat’s reelection held in the Gianopulos’ backyard, which had been set up with tables and heat lamps. Introduced by the MPAA’s Chris Dodd, who himself was introduced by Gianopulos, Cuomo spoke for about 20 minutes. Among a number of topics, the Governor stressed on the importance he puts on protecting Intellectual Property. Having helped lure The Tonight Show back to NYC last year, Cuomo also discussed the value he puts on what the industry can contribute to the NY State economy. New York has a film/TV tax incentive of more than $420 million – the highest in the country. Even with a reelection war chest estimated at over $33 million, the over $600,000 raised tonight was a hefty contribution to Cuomo’s campaign.
One of a growing number of pricey midterm election fundraisers being held by moguls, the Cuomo gathering tonight was strictly top tier. DreamWorks Animation boss and Hollywood … Read More »
If you aren’t attending the two big-ticket fundraisers President Obama is headlining in Beverly Hills tonight, you might want to stay out of West LA today. Because of Obama’s two-day visit, the LAPD says there’ll be street closures from the 405 Freeway to La Cienega Boulevard and from Santa Monica Boulevard south down to Venice Boulevard today from 4:45-10 PM. There will also be closures from Fairfax to Western and from Beverly Boulevard to Pico from 8-10:45 AM Tuesday for a Hancock Park fundraiser. Also expect delays in the Glendale area from 10:30 AM-1:30 PM when the President heads over to big bundler Jeffery Katzenberg‘s DreamWorks Animation for a speech on the economy and the entertainment industry.
Today, Obama is set to fly into LAX at 4:30 PM and then chopper over to the Veterans Administration building at 11000 Wilshire Blvd near UCLA. Coming to town from San Francisco, POTUS will head first to a $2,500-$15,000 a ticket gathering at Magic Johnson’s Beverly Hills house; Obama is scheduled to speak at the event around 7:10 PM. Staying in the neighborhood, the President will then head to the home of Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl for a $16,200-a-person or $32,400-a-couple dinner. A longtime Democratic Party supporter who had an event with Hillary Clinton last month at his house, this marks the first fundraiser the Power Rangers billionaire has held with Obama directly. After delivering remarks at 8:20 PM, Obama will head to a hotel, likely the Beverly Hilton, for the night. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The last time President Obama was in town back in early August he had a private dinner with Jeffrey Katzenberg – now the Commander-in-Chief is heading over to his top bundler’s DreamWorks Animation Glendale campus for a very public pre-Thanksgiving visit. While in town next week for a series of fundraisers, Obama will be dropping by DWA on November 26 in the afternoon, I’ve learned. While there, the President will be giving a speech to company employees and invited guests at Katzenberg HQ. Of course, Obama’s visit to DWA isn’t the only political face time on Katzenberg’s calendar in the next week – the Animation CEO is co-hosting a mogul heavy fundraiser today for Governor Jerry Brown at Disney Studio boss Alan Horn‘s Bel Air home.
Hillary Clinton is in town today getting some one-on-one with Hollywood but Barack Obama is coming back to LA in late November to soak up some more Tinseltown cash. As was widely expected, the President will be here on November 25 to more than make up for a September fundraising visit that was scrapped first because of potential military action in Syria and then, with First Lady Michelle subbing, because of the government shutdown. Hitting town to raise dough for the Democrats midterms coffers, Obama is first the headliner at a $2,500 to $15,000 a ticket gathering at Magic Johnson and his wife Cookie’s house. The opening acts include Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Then the President heads over to the Bev Hills home of Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl for a $16,200 a person or $32,400 a couple dinner. The Sabans hosted a $15,000 a ticket fundraiser on October 30 for Terry McAuliffe’s ultimately successful Virginia Governor bid where Clinton was the marquee attraction. The next day, Obama finally makes it over to the home of Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, where he was originally going to attend that September fundraiser. Like its previous incarnation earlier this year, entrance to the somewhat informal event comes at a price of $32,400 per guest and is expected to raise over $1 million for the party. In what is being set up as … Read More »
His re-election is a year away and as much of a sure thing as anything can be in politics but Hollywood moguls unsurprisingly are already opening up their check books for Jerry Brown now. A $1,000 to $27,200 a ticket November 21 fundraiser for the Democratic incumbent has been scheduled at Disney Studios boss Alan Horn and his wife Cindy’s Bel Air home. Maybe the studio chieftains who are co-hosting the event will want to talk to the Governor about the state’s Film and TV tax credits program that everyone but he seems to want raised when it comes up for renewal next year. And make no mistake, this is an unofficial studio chieftains conference that even out shines the fundraiser Barack Obama had at Peter Chernin’s place in June. Warner Bros’ Barry Meyer and Kevin Tsujihara as well as Fox’s Jim Gianopulos, who was at the Obama event, Universal’s Ron Meyer, Paramount’s Brad Grey, Sony’s Michael Lynton and DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg all serving as co-hosts also with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. Following up on his support last month of a Hollywood visit by Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to raise money to challenge Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, this is another move by Katzenberg positioning himself as a big donor for the midterms like he did for last year’s Presidential … Read More »
20th Century Fox Film chief creative officer Tony Sella isn’t formally out the door yet, as Deadline exclusively revealed yesterday, but his departure is already a sales tool in some Hollywood circles. “You fired Tony Sella, saved some money there,” quipped producer Mark Gordon last night at a charity auction to Fox production president Emma Watts in front of a crowd of powerplayers. Generating a brief giggle from some of those present, the remark from the PGA co-President came during a one-liner filled big ticket auction he was conducting Saturday at the An Evening Under The Stars gala fundraiser for the LA Gay & Lesbian Center at director Roland Emmerich’s house. Gordon went on to say “Tony’s a great guy” but still thought Watts could pony up some dough and successfully bid for one of the several item like 5 days in Emmerich’s London home or 5 days on his yacht off the coast of Thailand that were on the block to raise money for the Center. She declined. Along With Emmerich, Gordon and Watts, CAA’s Bryan Lourd,Glee/American Horror Story boss Ryan Murphy, Independence Day co-writer Dean Devlin, X-Men director Bryan Singer, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, HBO’s Michael Lombardo,Criminal Minds/Teen Wolf producer Jeff Davis, Scandal actor and writer Dan Bucatinsky and actress … Read More »
She hasn’t officially thrown her hat in the 2016 Presidential ring but Hillary Clinton is already out there raising money from Hollywood. The former Secretary of State and presumed Democratic candidate is the marquee name for a $15,000-a-ticket fundraiser on October 30 at the Beverly Hills home of Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl, according to an invite that went out this week. Selling tickets individually or for $25,000 a couple, the lunch on the day before Halloween lunch is actually for former DNC chair and longtime Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Governor bid. With that election on November 5, Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton have a number of McAuliffe events scheduled in the next week, and on Monday the DNC sent out a McAuliffe donation solicitation email from Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is lining up Hollywood support if she makes her widely expected 2016 decision to run. Deep-pocket donors like Saban, Peter Chernin, and Jeffrey Katzenberg as well as the likes of Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams have pledged financial support to a Clinton 2016 campaign once it is made official, sources say. Chernin, Katzenberg, Spielberg and Abrams were all hefty financial backers of President Obama, both in the 2012 election and in the lead-up to next year’s mid-terms.
President Barack Obama won’t be coming to town after all for the DNC fundraiser that was originally scheduled for September 9 but First Lady Michelle Obama will. The event is now set for October 11 at the LA home of Everybody Love Raymond creator Philip Rosenthal, says an email the DNC sent out today. Announced on August 27, the September fundraiser was first set for the home of Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman. However, due to the possibility of military action against Syria and a now postponed vote in Congress, Obama’s trip was taken off the calendar on September 5. With tickets ranging from $1,250 to $32,400, the October 11 fundraiser will be a one-hour event with a photo opp for the lower ticket buyers and a smaller Q&A gathering for the top tier paying donors, just like the President’s event was supposed to be. Largely absent from midterm fundraisers this cycle, the First Lady is back on the trail and will be heading up to San Francisco for another event on October 13.
UPDATE, 10:40 AM: The private dinner that was off the White House schedule Tuesday night was revealed this morning. President Obama and Jeffrey Katzenberg had dinner last night, the White House has confirmed. The dinner came after Obama taped his sixth appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno last night. The DreamWorks Animation CEO was a major contributor to Obama’s reelection campaign and other Democrats last year. He was not among the moguls present at the big bucks fundraiser at former News Corp No. 2 and now independent producer Peter Chernin’s house that Obama attended during his last trip to LA in early June.
Read the edited Pool Report here:
Press Secretary Jay Carney tells pool that POTUS had dinner with “his longtime friend, Jeffrey Katzenberg,” the CEO of DreamWorks, last night in Los Angeles. The two dined alone at POTUS’s hotel, the Hilton Woodland Hills.The two dined in POTUS’s hotel room. POTUS paid. The White House did not release information about POTUS’s plans last night despite questions from pool.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:19 PM: This was President Obama’s 6th visit to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno today. After the pre-taped interview, the President will be having a private dinner with Hollywood supporters while in town, sources say. Officially nothing is on the White House schedule. “Private is the key word,” said one insider.
Crystal Nix-Hines was nominated today by her old friend President Barack Obama to be the U.S.’ Permanent Representative to the UN’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Currently Of Counsel specializing in entertainment law and IP at LA’s Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, the former State Department employee was a writer, executive editor and co-producer on big Obama fan JJ Abrams’Alias from 2002-2003. Having worked on the corporate side from 1992 to 1993 as assistant to Capital Cities/ABC Inc’s legal SVP, Nix-Hines was a consulting producer and writer on ABC’s 2005 female-president series Commander-In-Chief. She also wrote for The Practice in 2001 and 2002. “I am proud that such experienced and committed individuals have agreed to serve the American people in these important roles. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead,” said Obama today in announcing the former primetime producer and others for diplomatic posts. The job has to be confirmed by the Senate. Read More »
UPDATED 1:46 PM: Star attraction President Obama told some of the Hollywood’s biggest players and his biggest contributors that he understands if they’re feeling “donor fatigue” from all the times he’s hit them up for money. “We don’t have time to be fatigued because we’ve got too much to do,” he addressed the crowd at the two sold-out DNC fundraisers at former News Corp No. 2 and now independent mogul Peter Chernin’s house today. Tickets today range from $10,000 to $32,400. I’ve learned that longtime Obama supporter Disney boss Bob Iger flew back directly from a Fortune mag confab in China to make the lunch. And I’m told Fox Film chief Jim Gianopulos is also there along with Haim Saban as well. StarTrek/Star Wars director JJ Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath and HBO’s Mike Lombardo and his partner Sonny Ward, who held a fundraiser for the Obama/Biden campaign in the their home last year, are also in attendance. White House pool report and press office excerpts below:
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. (Applause.) Oh, we’re okay, guys. Sit down. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Well, to Peter and Meg, I just want to thank them so much. Not only have they been longtime supporters, back when a lot of people couldn’t pronounce my name — (laughter) — but more importantly,
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., was set to retire after his fifth term expired next year. But the oldest member of the US Senate — and its last World War II veteran — died today, potentially throwing the race to replace him into high gear if a special election is called. Newark Mayor Cory Booker wants to fill that suddenly vacant seat, and he’s coming to town for a June 10 fundraiser with young Hollywood at the London West Hollywood. Booker’s not the only Eastern Seaboard Democrat with Senate hopes heading west with hat in hand: Rep Ed Markey, D-Mass. – who’s tuned in to Hollywood via his role on the House telecommunications subcommittee — has his eye on the Bay State seat vacated by newly minted Secretary of State John Kerry, and he’s got a fundraiser set for Sunday at Haim and Cheryl Saban’s house. Democratic industry types might develop a blister from reaching for their wallets in the next several days: President Obama will be the star attraction at a fundraiser Friday at Peter Chernin’s place.
UPDATE: 3:24 PM: Just over two weeks after breaking bread at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Barack Obama and Harvey Weinstein were back together today. This time it was at the producer and his wife Georgina Chapman’s Manhattan home for a fundraiser. Unlike the big bucks, Weinstein raised directly for Obama during last year’s election, Monday afternoon’s event (read the edited Pool report below) was for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee 2014 midterm war chests. The President began his remarks thanking “Harvey and Georgina” for “their friendship and support, and for the amazing movies that they’ve made.” Throwing red meat to his Blue State crowd, Obama in his remarks also blamed the GOP for being too “concerned what Rush Limbaugh might say about them” to break the gridlock in Washington. The President will also be attending two other midterm fundraisers Monday while in NYC before returning to the White House tonight. Read More »
The President isn’t running for office himself but he’s still looking for some cash from Hollywood. Barack Obama will be the main act at a lunch fundraiser at Peter Chernin’s house on June 7, Deadline has confirmed. The President will be in town raising money for the Democratic National Committee’s 2014 midterm election war chest. “Since we do not take money from special interests, corporate lobbyists and political action committees, we must rely on dedicated Democrats like you,” the invite says. And knowing that Hollywood is a good place to raise cash, the DNC is heavily relying on local Dems. Prices for tickets to the event at the former News Corp President and COO’s Santa Monica home go from $10,000 each to $32,400 if you want to be a recognized co-chair. The latter not only get their pic with Obama but get to participate in a semi-private chat with other co-chairs and the President as well. This isn’t the President’s first Western fundraiser since vacuuming up millions for his own reelection last year. Obama was up in San Francisco earlier this spring hitting up the tech crowd for money for the DNC as the party gears up for what all expect to be a rough fight for the House and Senate.
Cory Booker hasn’t officially said he’s running to become New Jersey’s next Senator but Hollywood is planning to shovel money into his campaign treasure chest. Anointing Booker as Hollywood’s new favorite politician, invites went out this week for a “Special Evening In LA” April 25 fundraiser for the Newark Mayor at the Beverly Hills home of producer Jerry Weintraub and girlfriend, producer Susan Ekins. The event has a marquee host list that cuts across party lines and into deep wallets. It costs $5,000 a ticket to attend the fundraiser with the money going to Cory Booker For Senate. The event is one of eight the telegenic Democrat has lined up in the next two months in anticipation of a 2014 run to replace departing fellow Democrat Frank Lautenberg in the heavily Blue state. The Beverly Hills fundraiser certainly shows that backing a potential winner cuts across party lines. Republicans like Bush family confidante Weintraub and Bruce Willis are listed on the invite but so are avowed Democrats like Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was one of the largest single contributors to Barack Obama’s reelection, Steven Spielberg and new Star Wars director J.J. Abrams and their wives Kate Capshaw and Katie McGrath.
The taped appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Livewas Michelle Obama‘s debut on the late night show. But it was not the first time the First Lady has shared a stage with Kimmel. The late night host was the host of this year’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Michelle Obama’s appearance and interview on the ABC show wil air later tonight. Read More »
3RD UPDATE, 5:54 PM: President Barack Obama at a Hollywood-studded fundraiser tonight reviewed The Dark Knight Rises and Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman performance. “She’s spectacular. I got a chance to see Batman, and she was the best thing in it. That’s just my personal opinion.” Obama said. After an intro by Weinstein calling Obama “The Paul Newman of American presidents”, POTUS also praised The Newsroom’s Aaron Sorkin. The fundraiser was hosted by Hathaway, Sorkin, Paul Newman’s widow Joanne Woodward, and Weinstein at the producer’s Connecticut home. Tickets went for $35,800 each. The 60 guests included Vogue editor Anna Wintour and TV talk show host Jerry Springer. Here’s the condensed of the White House Pool Report which includes a description of Harv’s country estate:
The motorcade departed Stamford at 7:13 p.m. and, after a short trip north on I-95, arrived at 7:33 p.m. at the Westport home of movie producer Harvey Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman. Along the way in Westport there were clusters of supporters along the road, waving, some holding signs such as “Westport loves Obama.”
Upon arriving at the estate, your pool was led up a long driveway, past the valet parking sign, past the broad lawn dotted with weeping willows and a badminton court, to the home. It’s a two-story, graceful, white home with black shutters, looking like a large, updated classic New England farmhouse (reportedly 8,900 square feet). Poolers eventually were led into a room