Skip to comments.Celebrities vote with their wallets
Posted on 10/14/2004 6:01:22 PM PDT by rhema
Acting legend turned salad-dressing entrepreneur Paul Newman ponied up $50,000 to help elect John Kerry.
"Bourne Supremacy" pretty boy Matt Damon gave $25,000, and "Titanic" heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio tossed in $2,000 to shake up the White House.
Across the aisle, boxing promoter and fright-haired ex-con Don King forked over $44,500 to rehire President Bush.
"Frasier" brainiac Kelsey Grammer salted in $4,000, while martial-arts brawniac Chuck Norris kicked in $2,000 to keep Dubya in office four more years.
From Times Square to Tinseltown, America's celebrities are voting with one of their greatest assets their wallets.
They're funding concert tours, voter-registration drives, get-out-the-vote crusades and attack-dog ads that are the among the most lethal in presidential campaign history.
And this time, it's personal.
"There's something venal and arrogant about Bush, and it drives me up the wall," said actor-writer-comedian Chevy Chase, who gave $32,000 to Team Kerry.
"Rock on, Mr. President. I am praying for you every day," said country music good ol' boy Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers, who sent $7,000.
The New York Daily News reviewed more than 850 contributions made by megastars, wanna-bes and B-listers in 15 states to the candidates, their parties and the political committees that support them.
Donations were examined from 35 zip codes and 150 tony residential and business addresses using federal filings, campaign data and Web sites that track political finance.
Typical was an office building at 350 Park Ave. From that single address, Kerry grabbed $4,000 from Caroline Kennedy, $2,000 from Ron Howard and $1,000 each from Goldie Hawn and Lauren Bacall, according to fundrace.org, as Bush raked in $5,000 from Henry Kissinger.
The bottom line: Most of the high-wattage star power goes to Kerry, whose backers read like the reservation lists at Elaine's, Michael's and Spago of Beverly Hills.
"We give the better parties," said supermarkets czar John Catsimatidis, who shelled out $52,000 to the Democratic National Committee.
"The world doesn't revolve around Hollywood and Manhattan," said Bush campaign spokesman Kevin Madden.
Celebrities backing Kerry include:
Actor Robert De Niro, who contributed $27,000 to pro-Kerry groups, according to campaign finance tracking by PoliticalMoneyLine.com.
Actors Kevin Bacon and Michael Douglas, who offered $17,000 and $15,000 respectively.
"Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau, who gave $56,000 to the DNC.
Design diva Diane von Furstenberg and media mogul hubby Barry Diller, who anted up $30,000 and $25,000 respectively.
Frightmeister Stephen King, who came up with $25,000 before the Democrats had even picked a candidate to oppose Bush.
"I guess he knows a horror story when he sees one," said DNC treasurer Andrew Tobias.
Contrast those marquee names and fat donations with the GOP's leading lights, who tend to give lesser sums:
Country music superstar Reba McEntire gave $4,000 to Bush-Cheney.
Ben Stein, host of TV's "Win Ben Stein's Money," paid $2,000.
Songwriter Judy Hart Angelo, who wrote "Where Everybody Knows Your Name," the theme from "Cheers," gave $2,000.
Ex-Giants football star Jason Sehorn and bombshell wife Angie Harmon, late of "Law & Order" fame, sent $2,000.
"A lot of very prominent Bush backers are still closeted," said Jerry Della Femina, the Madison Avenue ad man and East Hampton, N.Y., restaurateur, who gave $2,000 to Bush-Cheney.
But even when Hollywood's most fabled names do go Republican, they typically get outspent by Democrats:
Richard Darryl Zanuck, producer of "Jaws" and "The Sting," sent $4,000 to Bush.
By comparison, Harvey Weinstein, the Miramax magnate who produced "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Lord of the Rings," wrote checks worth $52,000 to the DNC.
Dwarfing them all was producer Stephen Bing, who won notoriety when he initially denied siring a son with British actress Liz Hurley until DNA tests proved otherwise.
Bing gave a stunning $8.2 million to pro-Kerry groups the so-called "soft money" 527s which can legally spend unlimited sums on advertising.
The celebrity gap is also an age gap:
Charlize Theron, 29, who won the Best Actress Oscar in 2003 for "Monster," gave $1,000 to the Kerry camp.
Ernest Borgnine, 87, who snagged Best Actor in 1955 for "Marty," contributed $2,000 to Team Bush.
Uma Thurman, 34, the vengeful, dressed-to-thrill assassin in "Kill Bill," handed $4,000 to Kerry-Edwards.
Paula Prentiss, 65, the sun-loving lovely who made "Where the Boys Are" in 1960, donated $1,000 to Bush.
Stone Gossard, 38, the grunge guitarist with supergroup Pearl Jam, gave $10,000 to PunkVoter Inc., a pro-Kerry 527.
Wayne Newton, 62, the crooning "Mr. Las Vegas" and teller of millions of cheesy jokes, gave $2,000 to reelect Bush.
And then there's Pat Boone, 70, the clean-cut singer with the boy-next-door image who was the No. 1 recording artist in 1955 and had a huge hit with "Speedy Gonzales" in 1962.
"Bush is doing a brave and conscientious job," said Boone, who contributed $1,430. "But the entertainment community refuses to see it."
In lieu of a monetary donation, Barbara Streisand donated some old nose cartilage and a jar of suctioned cellulite to the Kerry campaign.
And think with their butts.
The rest can go twist in the wind.
Say it isn't so.
I'm disappointed in Ron Howard.
Well then...that settles it. Forget this Free Republic and conservative values..I'm going Kerry and DNC baby!
Yes,that was sarcasm...To think that that line will actually sway some people though is scary and sobering.
Ex-Giants football star Jason Sehorn and bombshell wife Angie Harmon, late of "Law & Order" fame,
Way to go Jason!
And it was money well-spent...SUCKERS!!!!!
Hope they saved enough to emigrate to a patrician paradise whose residents can share condescending stories about bourgeois America.
Oh they think with the heads,
but you nailed where they park 'em.
Yep. They've got their millions. They're much better for the world if they go to New Zealand, France, or wherever and spend the rest of their days drinking margaritas, smoking grass, and telling each other that America is awful. They need to just go away, I don't care where.
How about Heather Locklear, Bo Derek, Tom Selleck, Kelsey Gammar...all Conservatives I hear.
They are both deer hunters, ya know!