EXCLUSIVE: The once and perhaps once again Speaker of the House of Representatives may be “100%” sure the Democrats are taking back the lower chamber of Congress in today’s midterm elections but Jeffrey Katzenberg is playing his cards a bit closer to the chest than Nancy Pelosi, at least for now.
“I’m cautiously optimistic about our chances to win the House,” the Quibi boss and one of Hollywood’s top donors for the Democrats told Deadline.
As the number #1 bundler for Barack Obama over his initial White House run and 2012 re-election campaign, Katzenberg has put his money where his hopes are this political cycle too.
While simultaneously gearing up his Meg Whitman run mobile video start-up, the ex-DreamWorks Animation boss has raised millions for the Democrats in the past several months. Just a few weeks ago, Katzenberg and his political consigliere Andy Spahn hosted a pricey Beverly Hills event for former Vice-President and potential 2020 contender Joe Biden and his American Possibilities PAC. Focusing on the state as well as national contest, Katzenberg was among the H’wood elite hosting an August slow dance with current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom in his bid for Jerry Brown’s job
Back in June, Katzenberg and spouse Marilyn hosted Pelosi attended deep pocket filled fundraiser at Spago that raked in $4.5 million for California congressional candidates.
“Of course, his money and connections are welcomed by the big players in the party,” another major Hollywood donor said to Deadline of Katzenberg. “Unlike a lot of donors here on the Left Coast, Jeffrey’s also taken seriously for his command of the issues and strategic approach.”
With just 23 seats needed to put Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair, California is critical for the Democrats to break Donald Trump and the Republicans’ current leghold trap grip on the federal government tonight. “It would signal a rejection of Trump’s politics of division and it would give me hope for 2020,” Katzenberg asserts of the House flipping today.
The mogul is also known to be particularly interest in the Florida and Georgia governor’s races. In a tight battle, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum could become the Sunshine State’s first African American leader. Over in the Peach State, Stacey Abrams looks poised to potentially make history tonight as the first African American woman to lead a state ever.
Donating heavily to the House Majority PAC, the Senate Majority PAC, and the State Government Citizens’ Campaign Super PAC, the couple with the Tinseltown golden rolodex and checkbook make up a hefty chunk of the near record $44 million that Hollywood has raised and handed out for this year’s midterms. That track record this year, and in past elections, has made the Katzenbergs a prime target for the GOP behind billionaire and super donor George Soros.
Despite predictions of a blue wave to send Trump and the GOP a stern message and a kick closer to the curb, it looks like the Senate will likely remain in Republican control. So, with the first exit polls coming in and voting set to close in just under an hour in parts of Indiana and eastern Kentucky, get ready for a long night Hollywood.
And if you haven’t, go vote.