Hollywood Liberals Donate Generously to Udall, Energy and Natural Resource Sector Backs Gardner

July 24, 2014
By

WASHINGTON — Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Barbra Streisand topped the list of liberal Hollywood legends donating money to Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in the last reporting period.

Spielberg, who has directed such classics as “Jaws” and “E.T.,” and his wife each gave the maximum contribution of $2,600. Katzenberg, who founded DreamWorks with Spielberg, also gave the maximum donation.

Streisand, the darling of the liberal left, limited her contribution to $1,000, according to the latest finance reports of campaign fundraising activity from April 1 to June 30.

Udall’s success at raising money from Hollywood luminaries helped give him a fundraising advantage over his Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner. Udall has raised more than $13 million for the closely contested race with just under $6 million left in the bank.

Udall’s supporters are mostly from out of state — 58 percent of his contributors were located in New York, California, Virginia and other states.

Comparatively, 70 percent of Gardner’s campaign contributions were from donors living in Colorado, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Gardner got a late start in the campaign announcing his intentions in late February, but has raised nearly $5 million with more than $3 million cash on hand from business and political supporters, including more than $300,000 from the oil and gas industry.

Former Vice President Dan Quayle and his wife, Marilyn, each cut a $2,600 check, and Romney for President, Inc., contributed $2,000 to Gardner.

Legendary stock investor Charles Schwab maxed out with $2,600, and six members of the DeVos family that owns the Amway Corporation each contributed the maximum $2,600.

Russ Choma, a reporter for the Center for Responsive Politics, said A-list liberal and conservative donors are taking the outcome of Colorado’s Senate race seriously.

“These are iconic names. It says something how important each side thinks this race is. They are kind of campaign finance royalty,” Choma said.

Udall has collected nearly $2 million from political action committees (PACs), the largest contributions coming from the single-issue or ideological sectors, while Gardner raised just over $1 million, largely from the energy and natural resources sector.

Interestingly, Udall has only collected $21,000 from environmental PACs, his key supporters in his first race for the Senate. Udall’s major PAC supporters came from fellow politicians, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who is hoping to keep the Senate in Democrat control.

Udall, 64, is seeking a second six-year term in the upper chamber while Gardner, 39, is seeking a first Senate term.

The two men are waging a closely pitched battle with a Quinnipiac Poll showing Gardner ahead two points, and a Democrat-leaning polls showing Udall ahead by as many as seven points.

In addition to his Hollywood supporters, Udall raised cash from the titans of Silicon Valley, K Street in Washington, and the abortion industry.

John Doerr, the legendary venture capitalist of Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield, and Byers, which provided early funding to the founders of Google and Amazon, contributed $2,600.

Former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux, a lobbyist at Patton, Boggs in Washington, donated $1,000. Robert Barnett, the “super lawyer” of Williams & Connolly who has represented clients from Bob Woodward to Sarah Palin, gave $500 to Udall.

Warren Hern, a doctor who performs abortions well into the second- and third trimester in Boulder, gave $1,000 to Udall.

Gardner’s high-profile supporters included Charles Koch, the founder of Koch Industries, Inc., a major contributor to Republican candidates. Koch and his wife each donated $2,600.

Several members of the Coors Brewing Company, including William Coors, a former president and chairman, also contributed the maximum amounts.

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