Obama Hits Hollywood on Fundraising Juggernaut, Streets Closed, $$$ Raised

I’m staying in my jammies all day because there’s an Obamajam ahead.

Monday POTUS attended two fundraisers in Beverly Hills, one at the home of producer Haim Saban, the other where he was joined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NV)  at chez Magic Johnson, who called Obama

“the greatest leader in the world,” and highlighted the benefits of Obamacare.

I don’t know how affordable this Affordable Care is really going to be. My insurance went up from $222 to $388 for the same coverage, and I don’t understand why men and women past childbearing age are paying for maternity care, since they can’t have babies…

Anyway, today Obama is busy collecting checks for the House Senate Victory Fund, a joint committee to raise money for Democratic House and Senate candidates–tickets for the Saban party where guests included former ambassador Nicole Avant and her husband, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos; Eli and Edythe Broad; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Berry Gordy; Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were $16,200 per person. And at Magic and Cookie Johnson’s $2,500 to $15,000 per person affair, where organizers expected about 160 people, including LaToya Jackson; the Los Angeles Clippers’ Antawn Jamison and Ashley Lewis; Diane Keaton; the Clippers’ J.J. Redick and wife Chelsea; as well as a number of members of California’s congressional delegation. He’ll will attend a $32,500-per-person breakfasty/60-person roundtable co-hosted by Melanie Griffith at the home of of producer Marta Kauffman and her husband Michael Skloff. That’s in Hancock Park, and major streets will be blocked off.

From there, well, we’re expecting serious traffic trouble as the presidential motorcade heads to DreamWorks Studios in Glendale, basically just northeast of the Griffith Park Observatory, no word on what route the motorcade will take but it will affect all of Hollywood and most likely my neighborhood which is between Hollywood and Glendale. There Obama may be faced with a sea of green shirts which DreamWorks employees are wearing in solidarity with

visual effects artists stung by the loss of work due to outsourcing of jobs to countries that offer subsidies. Outside of DreamWorks Animation, plans are in the works for a protest that is not aimed at DreamWorks, but the subsidies. They want the Obama administration to pursue a duty on imports of subsidized special effects work, and believe that such a duty can be imposed without Congress and that it can be applied to digital goods.

DreamWorks was chosen because they are a job creator, though one wonders if Obama is aware of how many jobs in Hollywood have been outsourced, and how run-away production has gutted Hollywood. Variety reports that White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest explained the choice to visit the studio:

that Katzenberg’s support of Obama — the DreamWorks Animation chieftan was one of the biggest fundraisers for Obama’s reelection campaign — had “no bearing on our decision to visit there.”

“Contributing to the president’s campaign or being a political supporter of the president doesn’t guarantee you a presidential visit, but it shouldn’t exclude you from one either,” Earnest said.

“DreamWorks obviously is a thriving business and is creating lots of jobs in Southern California and the fact of the matter is Mr. Katzenberg’s support for the president’s policies has no bearing on our decision to visit there,” Earnest said. “Rather, it’s an opportunity to highlight the success of one business and the success that they’re having creating jobs in Southern California.

Obama supporter, liberal giver and general rich guy (I believe he’s in the 1%) Jeffrey Katzenberg has invited other show-biz bigwigs to the closed meeting, including, according to Variety,  MPAA chairman Chris Dodd, CBS’s Leslie Moonves and possibly Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara and Barry Meyer, and Fox’s Jim Gianopulos.


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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.