Magic is in the air: Hoops legend gives $64k to Democrats

A picture of former NBA player Magic Johnson dribbling the ball
Photo credit: Flickr user Kip-koech

Congressional Dems scored a fundraising slam dunk last quarter, thanks in part to a large contribution from a hoops Hall of Famer. Campaign committees’ financial filings are rolling in as Friday’s midnight deadline at the Federal Election Commission approaches and the House Senate Victory Fund — the joint fundraising committee for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senate Campaign Committee — reported receiving a whopping $64,800 from Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson on its way to posting nearly $2.5 million in receipts in 2013.

The hefty contribution — which is the maximum amount allowed under campaign finance rules — came just one day after Johnson and his wife Cookie held an A-list political fundraiser with President Obama at the Johnsons’ home in Los Angeles. The bash drew a ‘who’s who’ of Democratic leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., among other members of congress. For a $15,000 contribution, attendees received a “VIP clutch,” photo with the president and admittance to a private reception.

“For anybody that loves basketball as much as me, there’s nobody who is a bigger icon than Magic Johnson” Obama told the crowd according to a White House pool report, citing Johnson’s prominence as an advocate for HIV research and success in the Los Angeles business sphere.

The November shindig marked a banner month for the Democrats’ joint fundraising arm — the group also scored large donations from Hollywood executives and major Democratic donors. Eli Broad, the California-based entrepreneur and liberal donor contributed $32,400 as did Sharon Rising, the wife of real estate developer and major Democratic benefactor Nelson Rising while Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger gave $16,200 and actress Diane Keaton contributed $15,000. All of these contributions took place within a week of the Johnson-hosted fundraiser.

Contributing: Palmer Gibbs