Hollywood's "cultural elite" is having the last laugh in its battle with the Republican Party over family values by channeling its sizable war chests to the Democratic Party.
Supporters in the entertainment industry gave $640,000 to the Democratic National Committee last month alone."It's a very large one-month influx and it's a pretty clear response to the Bush campaign's verbal assault on Hollywood," said Joshua Goldstein, a campaign finance analyst with the private Center for Responsive Politics.
The explosion of contributions helped the Democrats out-raise their GOP counterparts in the area of so-called soft money donations. The law allows unlimited contributions to the political parties, which can be used indirectly to help the candidates, while contributions to candidates are capped at $1,000 per election.
Among the big Democratic givers were MCA Inc. and its chairman, Lew Wasserman ($150,000 combined); Walt Disney Studios and its chairman, Jeffrey Katzenberg ($120,000); movie and record producer David Geffen ($120,000) and Sony Corp.'s music and entertainment divisions ($100,000).
Common Cause President Fred Wertheimer said the large donations collected by the parties in August "symbolize a political system in Washington that has lost touch with the American people."