Scott Brown jabs Elizabeth Warren’s Hollywood supporters
Republican Scott Brown, in a close race to keep his Senate seat in Massachusetts, is mounting a new fundraising drive using donations to rival Elizabeth Warren by a bevy of Hollywood talent as catnip for potential donors.
“What do actresses Charlize Theron, Sally Field, Kyra Sedgwick, Kate Capshaw, and Reese Witherspoon have in common? ” Brown asked rhetorically in an email to supporters on Thursday. “They’re all big bankrollers for Professor Elizabeth Warren who raises money like she wants to be the first United States Senator to represent Hollywood.”
The Brown campaign is smarting after trailing Warren in the second quarter. For April-June, Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and former Obama administration official, raised $8.67 million to Brown’s $5 million. Brown still holds a $2 million advantage in cash on hand for the final months of the closely watched Senate campaign.
Warren’s campaign has emphasized the number of small donors that coughed up for her campaign, but disclosures also show some famous Left Coast celebrities. Besides Field, Theron et al., donors included actors Edward Norton, John Krasinski of “The Office” fame, and former “Spiderman” Tobey Maguire, directors Aaron “The West Wing” Sorkin and Richard Donnor, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, and Barbara Streisand, once named among “The Top Ten Hollywood Liberals Conservatives Love to Hate.”
“It’s easy for the Hollywood elites to support Warren. They won’t be put out by the 700,000-plus job losses the respected accounting firm Ernst & Young says Warren’s small business tax hike plans will cause. But the rest of us will. That’s why I need your help again,” Brown’s email said. “Even if you can’t contribute $5,000 like Susan Sarandon or Oliver Stone, your online contribution for $10 or $20 or $30 or $40 will sure be appreciated.”
Out-of-state donations are not unknown to Brown, whose victory in a special January 2010 election was fueled by millions of dollars that poured in from conservatives around the country who sensed a chance for a long-shot win in the seat held for decades by liberal icon Ted Kennedy.
Brown’s fundraising has been more home-grown in recent quarters, especially as he forges a reputation as one of the more centrist Republicans in Congress – a disappointment to some of his early, out-of-state backers. About 60 percent of Brown’s itemized second-quarter donations – those above $200 – came from within the state versus 40 percent for Warren.
Warren’s Hollywood star-power is arguably matched by Brown’s popularity in the financial sector. His largest campaign contributors in the 2012 cycle have been FMR Corp (an arm of Boston-based mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments), Goldman Sachs, and insurance company Liberty Mutual.
Separately on Thursday, the group Progressive Change Campaign Committee said it was marking the one-year anniversary of launching a “Draft Warren Campaign” that helped to pull the progressive star and political novice into the Senate race. PCCC “has raised over $800,000 for Warren with an average donation of $17 over the last year,” the group said.
Photo credit: Senator Scott Brown speaks during a Senate Armed Services committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 3, 2010. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang