Hollywood actors and movie industry moguls are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’s Senate campaign.
About 120 actors and film executives have maxed out in their contributions to the campaign, each giving $2,600 — the maximum an individual can give to a candidate for federal office. In total, “maxed-out” Hollywood donors have given Grimes $312,000 this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records.
These “maxed-out” donations also come from Hollywood film industry environmental activists that have championed anti-coal industry policies. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director James Cameron both gave Grimes $2,600.
DiCaprio has recently become very active in the environmental movement, opposing the Keystone XL pipeline and taking part in the “People’s Climate March” last month. The actor has also put out a film called “Carbon,” which calls for policies to keep fossil fuels, like coal, in the ground and tax carbon dioxide emissions. In the film, DiCaprio calls coal, oil, and gas an “ancient menace.”
Cameron may be best known for movies like “Terminator” and “Alien,” but his latest film called “Years of Living Dangerously” sounds the alarm on global warming. The film paints fossil fuels as the cause of catastrophic global warming.
In the film, Hollywood actors travel the world “from the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy in the tri-state area to political upheaval caused by droughts in the Middle East to the dangerous level of carbon emissions resulting from deforestation,” according to the film’s one-pager. “The project will portray the current and intensifying effects of climate change on everyday Americans and demonstrate how they can take action and be part of the solution.”
Allison Moore, spokeswoman for Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, said:
You couldn’t find a collection of people anywhere in America who are more hostile to Kentucky values and conservative principles than the ones on Alison Lundergan Grimes’s major donor list.
It says a lot that Grimes spends all her time chatting with professed enemies of coal, Obama enthusiasts, and noted Hollywood liberals but refuses to tell Kentuckians who she voted for in the 2012 presidential election.
Grimes’s true feelings on coal have been questioned by McConnell’s campaign. A recent video by video journalist James O’Keefe showed Grimes supporters and staffers candidly admitting they did not think the Kentucky Democrat was sincere in her support for the coal industry.
“She’s saying something positive about coal because she wants to be elected,” Grimes campaign staffer Ros Hines was recorded saying. “And in the state of Kentucky, if you are anti-coal, you will not get elected, period, end of conversation.”
The Grimes campaign derided O’Keefe’s video as an attempt by the McConnell campaign to bash her coal credentials even though coal mine jobs have plummeted while he’s been in office. Grimes also has the support of the United Mine Workers of America, the nation’s top coal miners union.
But Grimes’s Hollywood donations don’t stop with environmental activists. She has also gotten maxed-out donations from actors Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Nicholas Cage, Ted Danson, Danny Devito, Cameron Diaz, and Tom Hanks. She’s also gotten donations from Steven Spielberg and his wife as well as Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks Animations.
Many of these Hollywood types also heavily supported President Obama in his election bids. Katzenberg and Spielberg, for example, were big Obama supporters in 2012. This could be a problem for Grimes, who has been trying to distance herself from Obama and some of his more unpopular policies.
Grimes has repeatedly refused to answer questions on whether she voted for Obama in the past two presidential elections, asserting last night:
I am not going to compromise a Constitutional right provided here in Kentucky in order to curry favor on one or the other side, or for members of the media. There is no reluctancy. This is a matter of principle. Our constitution grants here in Kentucky the constitutional right for privacy at the ballot box, for a secret ballot. You have that right.
Reports have surfaced that Grimes campaign spokeswoman Charly Norton voted for Obama in 2012 and worked for the Obama campaign’s press shop in Chicago that year. Reports also indicate, Grimes’s father donated $46,000 to Obama’s victory fund in 2012.
This report, by Michael Bastasch, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.