This year's Los Angeles mayor's race is already drawing an unusual level of engagement from entertainment, and one reason is the independent committees that have been set up to raise unlimited amounts from donors and get around citywide contribution limits.
After union and show biz supporters of Wendy Greuel set up Working Californians in January to support her candidacy, with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen chipping in $50,000 each, backs of Eric Garcetti set up their own org, Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor. In the past few days Michael Ovitz and Jimmy Kimmel have each given $10,000, according to records from the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. Also giving $10,000 was entrepreneur Elon Musk. Walking Entropy, one of the production entities behind "The Closer," on which Garcetti has appeared, gave $25,000.
The pro-Garcetti group is run by Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs and Mary Jane Stevenson, a key organizer for the Obama campaign. Jacobs said that the Courage Campaign is run separately from the pro-Garcetti group, and that although it has been critical of the flow of money in politics, he did not want to see a situation where the Garcetti camp would "unilaterally disarm" while Greuel's side benefited from five- and seven- figure contributions.
Meanwhile, Working Californians has collected recent contributions from Relativity Media, $25,000; director Brett Ratner, $10,000; Cindy Horn, $15,000; and Gary Winnick, $10,000.