WASHINGTON (Official Wire) — Shrek would be green with envy. Movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg is animating the presidential race this election season, raising more money than any other Democratic donor.
The DreamWorks Animation CEO joins two other media moguls, a personal-injury lawyer and a philanthropist in giving millions of dollars to help President Barack Obama win a second term. They are helping fund a presidential election on track to cost nearly $2 billion, with money going toward the individual Republican and Democratic campaigns as well as independent, “super” political committees working on the campaigns’ behalf.
Political donations can open doors that are closed to most people. Big-dollar donors are often invited to state dinners at the White House and other events with the president. They also may be asked to weigh in on public policy, especially if it affects their own financial interests. And the ranks of ambassadors, advisory panels and other government jobs traditionally are filled with those who have been unusually generous during the campaign.
Based on an examination of more than 2.3 million campaign contributions — the methodology is below — The Associated Press has ranked the top five financial supporters of Obama’s:
No. 1: Jeffrey Katzenberg, 61, Hollywood film producer and chief executive of DreamWorks Animation.
Total: $2.566 million
Katzenberg is President Barack Obama’s top donor when tallying his contributions to a “super” political committee, money to Obama’s campaign and the money he arranged for others to write for the president. The biggest contributions include $2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC. It was founded by former White House advisers and is the key pro-Obama PAC this election cycle. Katzenberg has helped “bundle” more than $500,000 for the president’s second term, making him among the campaign’s top volunteer fundraisers. He’s also given more than $66,000 to Obama’s campaign and the Democratic Party. The Hollywood icon has been invited to White House events, including a state dinner. Such high-profile soirées put him in proximity earlier this year to Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who signed off on an overseas deal benefiting Katzenberg’s studio.
Read more at Official Wire. By Jack Gillum.