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The Politics Of Hollywood Tax Credits

Gov. Jerry Brown has been mum on whether he supports the buffed up California Film and TV Tax Credit Program bill that just passed the state Assembly, but others who strongly favor the legislation are alive and well after yesterday's votes were tabulated. Dominic Patten reports.

Voting boothUPDATED, 11:14 AM: Former DreamWorks executive Wendy Greuel has conceded after coming up short in her Congressional bid. The Democrat finished third in the race to succeed retiring long-time U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, earning 17% of the vote compared with Republican Elan Carr (23%) and Democrat Ted Lieu (19%) in a crowded field of 17 candidates. Lieu and Carr will face off in the Nov. 4 general election for one of the wealthiest districts in the nation, and a district where Democrats from around the country have long come to raise money for their own races. The mostly coastal district includes heavily Democratic areas such as Santa Monica, Malibu, Westside Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and more conservative areas on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and in Agoura and Calabasas.

Related: It’s Time To End Lottery For Calif. Tax Credit Program (Video)

Incumbent Assembly Democrats Mike Gatto and Raul Bocanegra, who co-sponsored legislation to expand California’s Film and TV Tax Credit Program, cruised to easy primary victories Tuesday and are likely to win re-election in November. Their film tax credit bill, which california-tax-credits3__120901092343__120929195413__131031165021was approved unanimously by the state Assembly last week, now moves on to the state Senate, and if approved there, it will go to the governor. Whether the budget-conscious Gov. Jerry Brown will sign it remains to be seen, though two years ago he signed a two-year extension of the program. In his race, Gatto got 67% of the vote against Republican challenger Todd Royal, who only got 33% in the heavily Democratic 43rd Assembly District. Bocanegra received 63% of the primary vote in the 39th District against fellow Democrat Patty Lopez (23%).

Related: Where Hollywood’s Union Jobs Are Going: The Runaway 3 States

PatricVerrone__120131184801Former WGA West President Patric Verrone finished seventh in a field of eight candidates vying to represent California’s 26th Senate District. Democrats Ben Allen and Sandra Fluke will face off in the November general election. Allen led the pack with 22% of the vote, and Fluke got 20%. Verrone finished with only 2,698 votes – just 3% of all the ballots cast. He still has a seat on the WGA West board of directors.

Related: Friends And Old Foes Support  Verrone’s State Senate Bid

Former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, also a child actor best known for her role as Zelda Gilroy in “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” and former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver will square off in November to succeed Zev Yaroslavsky on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Kuehl led a field of eight candidates with 36% of the vote; Shriver finished second with 29%.

In late morning, Greuel, a former Los Angeles city controller and council member, issued a statement: “I send my congratulations to Elan Carr and Ted Lieu on last night’s election results and offer my appreciation for the efforts of all the other candidates.  This was a close, hard fought campaign, and I wish them the best of luck in November.

The race to replace Congressman Henry Waxman is an historic and important one. Henry Waxman is a giant in the halls of Congress, a national progressive voice, and a champion for our families across Southern California.  The next representative from the 33rd has huge shoes to fill.

This campaign has been about the issues that matter most: fostering innovation in our schools, tackling climate change, protecting our beautiful beaches and mountains, and standing up for civil rights. This campaign was about ensuring women earn equal pay for equal work and that all women have the right to make their own health care decisions.

I cannot thank my volunteers and supporters enough for their tremendous passion and energy. Every phone call they made and door they knocked motivated me to work even harder because we were all in this to improve the lives of every resident in this district and every citizen of this country.”

Center For American Progress Hosts 10th Anniversary ConferencePREVIOUSLY, 1:15 AM: Election night in California is shaping up as a mixed bag for candidates who support the state’s tax incentives to stem the tide of runaway production. In the biggest race of the night, Gov. Jerry Brown, who has remained mum on the proposed expansion of film and TV tax credits, easily secured a spot on the November ballot with 54% of the vote. That’s with 92% of the ballots counted. The only question is, which of two Republican candidates will lose to him in the November 4 general election: the one who backs increasing the tax credit program or the one who opposes it?  Neel Kashkari, who advocates scrapping the incentives program, is in second place with 19% of the vote, and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Tea Party favorite who favors expanding the program, trails with 15%. Whichever of those two gets the most votes will face Brown in the fall.

In the race to replace Henry Waxman in the U.S. Congress, Hollywood favorite Wendy Greuel is in third place, trailing Republican Elan Carr (22%) and state Sen. Ted Lieu (20%). With 79% of the vote counted, Greuel, a former DreamWorks executive who campaigned “to protect intellectual property rights, combat piracy, stem the tide of runaway production and keep these jobs in Southern California,” trails Carr by 5% and fellow Democrat Lieu by 3%. A Greuel rep tells Deadline they’re expecting long wait for results after historically low turnout and with 16 candidates (plus an announced write-in) still in the race for a geographically sprawling district. With the all-comers primary and a redrawn district that now includes such heavily Republican areas as Palos Verdes and Agoura/Calabasas, the lone serious GOP candidate could attract enough of the vote to get into a runoff against the top Democrat. The county registrar says at least 15 percent of vote, a critically large percentage, won’t be counted until Friday. Meanwhile, Lieu doesn’t appear to have been hampered by published reports that he’d been interviewed by the FBI in connection with a scandal that brought down fellow state Sen. Ron Calderon, who was charged earlier this year with taking a bribe from undercover FBI agents posing as movie producers in exchange for supporting an expansion of the film tax credits program.

Former WGA West president Patric Verrone is heading for a resounding defeat in his bid for a seat in the state Senate. With 76% of the ballots counted, Verrone has received only 3% of the vote in the eight-way race to represent California’s 26th Senate District. The only candidate he leads is Barbi Appelquist, an entertainment attorney who favors expansion of the film tax credits. Ben Allen, a Santa Monica school board member who supports expanding the tax incentives, leads the race with 22% of the vote, followed closely by Sandra Fluke (19%), who has campaigned for expanding the film tax credits, and Seth Stodder (18%), a Republican-endorsed “no party” candidate who hasn’t taken a position on runaway production.

Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver, both of whom support efforts to stop runaway production, appear to be headed for a November runoff in the eight-person race to replace Zev Yaroslavsky on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Kuehl, a former actress (The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis) and longtime state legislator, leads Shriver, the former mayor of Santa Monica and a Kennedy family scion, with the top two vote-getters going on to the November general election.