He helped bankroll Barack Obama’s re-election and now the DreamWorks Animation CEO is aiming to take out the Senate Minority leader in next year’s midterms. Jeffrey Katzenberg today sent an email to fellow local Democrats urging them to turn up and hand over checks for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes during her fundraising visit to LA on September 25-26. “Alison is the antidote to McConnell and all he represents. She can win, and she will win if she gets the support she needs,” said Katzenberg. “There is no more important election being held next year in this country,” he also wrote. The DWA boss and top Obama bundler said he’s already given all he legally can to Grimes’ campaign but asked for donors to hand over $5,200 and $10,000 to the Democrat. Politico first reported the Katzenberg letter. The only scheduled event planned so far is a lunch at Il Moro on September 25 but an insider tells me that a full mogul itinerary is being put together to introduce Grimes to all the major players and donors. She’s going to need every dime they give her. Expecting a strong challenge in 2014, Senator McConnell has already amassed a campaign war chest of almost $10 million according to fundraising report records – and that’s without RNC support and other third party backers.
Even with Katzenberg wading in, the race to unseat McConnell almost had a even tighter Hollywood connection earlier this year when Kentucky native Ashley Judd was contemplating a challenge to the GOP incumbent. On March 27 she decided not to run. The Grimes event comes less than two weeks after Obama is expected in town for September 9’s $32,400-a-ticket fundraiser at Friends co-creator and producer Marta Kauffman’s home. It also comes two days after another fundraiser for another midterm Democratic candidate — New Jersey Senate hopeful Cory Booker, already a Hollywood favorite — at Ron Burkle’s house on September 23.