Democratic Congressmen Howard Berman and Brad Sherman are squaring off in the primary race for the San Fernando Valley’s 30th Congressional District, but a big part of the battle is being fought in Hollywood. They’re frequent allies in D.C. and are pitted against each other because of California’s recent re-districting. But both Demos have track records of backing Hollywood and will look to cash in on that, according to Politico. Berman, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, has for years championed copyright and anti-piracy legislation critical to the industry. DreamWorks founders Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg will hold a Beverly Hilton fundraiser for him in November at the Beverly Hilton that is expected to net more than $1M. Berman told Politico he’s proud of his Hollywood backing. “It demonstrates that I fight for my district,” Berman said. “This is my automobile industry, and I pay attention to it.” But Sherman has been a friend of the biz, too. He chairs the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus and his current district includes the NBC and Disney studios. He counts Ed Begley Jr. and Bill Prady, exec producer of the The Big Bang Theory as backers. Sherman said he thinks he’ll get his share of the dollars and votes. “I think there is going to be a split, the way there is with every community. It’s certainly not monolithic.”
The Hollywood cash each brings in will come in handy. Sherman’s $3.6M war chest is among the highest in the House, and Berman has amassed $1.5M. Eric Bauman, chairman of the LA Democratic Party, predicted the race would total $10M-$12M before it’s over. But fellow Demo Congressman Henry Waxman, a Berman ally for decades, said that Berman will win the race for Hollywood’s hearts, minds and wallets. “It’s because Howard has been there for many years fighting for many of the issues Hollywood cares about,” Waxman told Politico. “They know he’s with them and that he’s a very serious legislator.” Regardless of how it shakes down, it won’t be decided anytime soon. In California’s new “jungle primary” system, the top two candidates in an open party primary run against each other in November. That means they’ll almost surely be running against each other once next June, then again five months later.