UPDATE, 3:40 AM: Sheila Kuehl has defeated Bobby Shriver to become the newest member of the LA County Board of Supervisors. With 100% of the votes counted, Kuehl received 52.8% of the vote to Shriver’s 47.2%. The final vote tally was 114,348 votes for Kuehl and 102,319 for Shriver. Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and most influential executives and agents were among Shriver’s biggest campaign donors, but Kuehl raised far more money from public and private unions. The race is important to Hollywood because the winner will have a chance to make the decidedly film-unfriendly Board of Supervisors more amenable to the needs of the local industry’s film and TV production. Both candidates told Deadline that they want to be Hollywood’s voice on the board.
PREVIOUS, 8:01 PM PT:There are few sure things in American politics, but if there was one this year it was that Jerry Brown would be re-elected governor of California. Forty years after he first was elected to the post, that’s exactly what happened tonight with the increasingly Hollywood-friendly incumbent solidly besting his Republican challenger Neel Kashkari. Results are expected later tonight in the race involving a scion of another political family. Bobby Shriver is trailing in his Tinseltown-supported campaign for the L.A. County Board of Supervisors against former child actor and state legislator Sheila Kuehl.
Despite decades on the political scene, Democrat Brown didn’t have the close links to Hollywood of his predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger when he returned to the governorship in 2010. Going in to his re-election, the now-incumbent did, however, have moguls lining up to contribute to his campaign as early as a year ago. “These guys want to bet on a winner, and Brown was a sure winner this time round,” one studio exec told me of the support Brown had among the industry’s upper echelon.
DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg, Warner Bros’ Barry Meyer and Kevin Tsujihara, Fox’s Jim Gianopulos, Universal’s Ron Meyer, Paramount’s Brad Grey and Sony’s Michael Lynton all pledged to raise $54,440 each for Brown’s re-election campaign. Even with those contributions from the studio bosses and $27,400 from the likes of Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Brown’s strong lead for all of the campaign meant he had to spend little of the money coming in on the race itself. Now the election is over, which leaves the governor with a multimillion-dollar war chest for causes and candidates he wants to support down the line, aka 2016.
When it comes to money, Brown did make a hefty rise for Hollywood production a reality this summer. After spending months sitting on the fence, the financially prudent Brown jumped into the dealmaking to expand California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program and fight back against production and jobs leaving California. Despite the Legislature approving hiking the incentives to $400 million, on August 27, the governor struck a deal with Sacramento political leaders to bring the increase in at $330 million a year until 2020. Brown signed the widely supported and multi-sponsored Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act into law in Hollywood on September 18.