Hillary Clinton fundraiser, Hollywood donors spur seven-figure haul for Democratic ‘super joint’ committee

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Hillary Clinton headlined a fundraiser for a Democratic 'super joint' fundraising committee in Los Angeles in October.
Hillary Clinton headlined a fundraiser for a Democratic “super joint” fundraising committee in Los Angeles in October.

Within five days of a star-studded Los Angeles fundraiser headlined by Hillary Clinton, a Democratic joint fundraising committee raised close to $1 million, according to filings that landed Thursday on Sunlight’s Real-Time Federal Campaign Finance tracker.

Hollywood heavyweights and perennial Democratic donors like Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and Eva Longoria each cut checks for $32,400 within that timeframe to the Grassroots Victory Project, a committee that benefits the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a handful of state party committees and the Senate campaigns of candidates in competitive 2014 races. “The Big Bang Theory” star and Emmy-winning actor Jim Parsons gave $32,400, as did filmmaker J.J. Abrams and actor Robert Downey Jr.

A invite for the Oct. 28 fundraiser posted on Political Party Time shows that Spielberg, Katzenberg and their respective spouses hosted the fundraiser along with Disney exec Alan Horn and his wife, Cindy; venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar; Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and his actress wife, Jolene; Democratic fundraiser Andy Spahn and his wife, Jennifer Perry; and music industry executive Laura Wasserman and her husband, Casey. DSCC Chair and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are also listed on the invite as attendees at the reception and dinner at Brentwood hotspot Tavern.

Clinton got top billing as the evening’s “special guest,” and the Hollywood Reporter called it a “coming out of sorts” for Clinton among entertainment industry donors, should she opt to run for president in 2016. In her 2008 bid for the White House, deep-pocketed Angelenos memorably opted to put their monetary might behind then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Tickets to the fundraiser went for $32,400 per person, but a note on the RSVP section of the invite states that “an individual can contribute up to $211,200 to the committee.”

Although individuals can give a maximum of $32,400 to national political parties, the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. FEC decision earlier this year eliminated the cap on total contributions that an individual can give to political parties and federal candidates. The decision opened up the door to so-called super joint fundraising committees, which can have more than seven payees, the previous limit for joint fundraising committees. The Grassroots Victory Project lists 26 beneficiaries.

The $954,600 one-week haul was part of the almost $2.5 million the group brought in from Oct. 1 to Nov. 24. Other bold-named donors to Grassroots included in the most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission: Actor Jack Black gave $10,000, while filmmaker George Lucas, composer John Williams, actress Cameron Diaz and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon all gave $32,400 each.

This is the second time this year that Grassroots Victory Project reported bringing in such a hefty sum. In September, Real-Time shows that the group collected $1.3 million.