And the winner is?
February 24th, 2011
06:18 PM ET
3 years ago

And the winner is?

Washington (CNN) - As Hollywood prepares to give out the Oscars on Sunday honoring best performances in movies, a Washington watchdog group is getting in on the action - giving out its own awards based on which Academy Award nominees gave the most money to politicians and political groups.

For the second year in a row, OpenSecrets.org, part of the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, is handing out its Money-in-Politics Oscars to a series of nominees as it tries to shed light on what it calls "the cozy relationship between the cinematic and political elite." The center tracks the influence of money in politics and lobbying.

Jeff Bridges, up for a Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar in "True Grit" wins this group's award. According to the center, he and his wife donated nearly $68,000 in contributions to federal candidates, party committees and the political group MoveOn.Org.

Among the five nominees in the Best Actress category, Annette Bening, who is in "The Kids Are All Right," is the winner. She has contributed more than $26,600 to left-leaning politicians and Democratic party committees, the center says.

Of the various persons up for the top six Academy Awards, 19 contributed to politicians, political parties, political action committees or independent expenditure organizations since 1990.

The center finds that of the $1.3 million donated by these individuals just to federal candidates, parties and PACS, more than $1.24 million benefitted Democrats.

That doesn't count the money that went to independent expenditure groups, which can accept unlimited donations. The producer of "The Kids Are All Right," Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, and his wife gave more than $3.6 million to so-called 527 organizations - and more than $3.3 million went to ones identified with Democratic or liberal causes. The Levy-Hintes also contributed more than $884,000 to federal candidates and party committees.

The center also came up with its own special categories. Among them:

Most Popular Party Committee. The winner is the Democratic National Committee, which received nearly $344,000 in donations from this year's nominees.

Outcast Award. This one goes to Michael De Luca, producer of "The Social Network," who gave one of only two contributions to a Republican group or individual. He gave $7,500 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2004 cycle.


Filed under: Fundraising
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Bankruptcy

    Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, and his wife gave more than $3.6 million to so-called 527 organizations – and more than $3.3 million went to ones identified with Democratic or liberal causes. The Levy-Hintes also contributed more than $884,000 to federal candidates and party committees.
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    WOW!! Talk about rich people corrupting our politics!!! Look at what the liberals don't want you to know... They just like to make people believe rich people on the Republican side are buying politicans and corrupting the process. And I wonder how much George Soros handsout to all the leftist causes? Likely into the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. oh, but that must all be good money with no strings attached... rrrriiiigggghhhhtttt!

    February 24, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Where is the award for the hidden contributions by corporations (thanks to the republican leaning supreme court). Many of these "corporations" are now foreign owned. The right wingers on the supreme court sold the U.S. to the highest bidder. Is it China, who hates us and has financed every enemy of the U.S. since WWII?

    February 24, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  3. Joe

    Imagine that. Hollyweird supports the dems. Movie stars make millions but give peanuts as contributions to political and charity. But they will tell you how to spend yours.

    February 24, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. Pretzel Logic

    Wow the amount donated by the "liberal Hollywood elite" is almost 1/5th of the amount donated by the Koch Brothers to conservative neanderthals.

    February 24, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. Bill

    Apparently all the money isn't in conservative hands.

    February 24, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. Inmyopinion

    Nothing like the very rich, extremely wealthy, the elite society members of our country getting together to discuss politics while everyone else is hoping they won't raise our taxes. These people are so very rich they don't even know how much they're paying for gas for their golf carts or their electrical, water bill or bodyguards. Most of them probably don't remember how many homes they own around the world or cars or jewelry. I doubt if any of them would even speak to most of us.

    February 24, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. Chandler02

    This is absurd. Actors are NOT at the top of the power and money food chain, they are just the face for Hollywood. The biggest money donors in the US are the people that run the companies (not just in Hollywoood, but across the US). The media likes to prop actors up as "powerful", but they are just the puppets. OpenSecrets would do a greater service by releasing how much people like the Koch brothers donate.

    February 24, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. mlc in CA

    So what? Corporations shell out much, much more to elect their mouth pieces. So where's the dollar amounts for them? Oh, I forgot, CNN is part of a media corporation....

    February 24, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |