Barack Obama’s new VP choice Joe Biden has never received much financial support from Hollywood, unlike so many Democratic senators. According to the Center For Responsive Politics, which follows political money, Biden throughout his U.S. Senate career has raised only $390,298 from the TV/Movies/Music sector, including a mere $187,600 from entertainment industry donors in 2008 while he was running for President. I took a look at some of Biden’s biggest Hollywood donors in 2008 — big being a relative term here since individual contributions to the candidates are capped at $2,300 a person — and they included: 2-time MGM/UA owner Kirk Kerkorian, Fox Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Tom Rothman, Westwood One Broadcasting owner Norm Pattiz, Carsey-Werner TV mogul Tom Werner, singer Barry Manilow, Endeavor agency partner Tom Strickler, Warner Bros Pictures Distribution SVP Howard Welinsky, Warner Music chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr, IAC chairman/CEO Barry Diller, indie filmmaker Sidney Kimmel, and Santa Monica movie producer Bill Benensen and his wife Laurie. For the 2008 Iowa caucus, Biden enlisted The West Wing‘s Richard Schiff (aka Toby Ziegler) to spend the weekend barnstorming across the state with Biden. News reports said Schiff championed the 6-term Delaware senator as an experienced pol who wouldn’t “have to spend two or three years learning how to be president.” Biden dropped out shortly afterward, complaining he couldn’t garner media attention what with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton receiving all the fanfare because, “This is about celebrity.”
But it’s surprising that Biden was never able to raise more money in Hollywood given that his senior position on the Senate Judiciary Committee put him in the middle of infotainment controversies over intellectual property, privacy and antitrust law. On telecom issues, Biden supported net neutrality as a recent presidential candidate, but he’s not seen as necessarily a string supporter of pro net-neutrality legislation. And, on the intellectual property front, “Biden doesn’t seem to have strayed from the rest of the judiciary committee democrats’ stance of being more of a friend to Hollywood than to Silicon Valley,” according to Wired.com. Also, his focus has been on piracy, and he co-chairs the congressional international anti-piracy caucus. “Our ideas, our music, our books, our movies, our innovations are just as precious as any tangible property,” Biden has said.
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