Celebrities lend a hand to Ky.'s Alison Lundergan Grimes

Hollywood investing thousands to help unseat U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell

By Roger Alford/Associated Press, Published:

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is getting financial support from some of the biggest names in Hollywood in her bid to unseat Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Steven Spielberg, Jerry Seinfeld, Danny DeVito and Barbra Streisand were among a long list of celebrities in Grimes’ first fundraising report to the Federal Election Commission.

Grimes received $2.5 million in contributions from July through September and still had $2 million cash on hand. McConnell raised $2.3 million over the same period, bringing his overall total to $17.7 million. He reported $10 million cash on hand.

Both have been working hard to raise money from inside and outside Kentucky. Grimes tapped into her celebrity windfall with help from Jeffrey Katzenberg, the chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation, who hosted a Los Angeles fundraiser for her last month.

Donors included Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirk Douglas, Ben Affleck, Woody Allen, Nicholas Cage, Ted Danson and Ben Stiller, most of whom gave maximum $5,200 contributions.

Grimes, Kentucky’s 34-year-old secretary of state, entered the race only after actress Ashley Judd, a former Kentuckian, decided not to challenge McConnell, the five-term GOP leader who has been targeted for defeat by Democratic leaders.

McConnell’s campaign was quick to lambast Grimes taking money from “Hollywood liberals.”

“You couldn’t find a collection of people anywhere in America who are more hostile to Kentucky values and conservative principles than the ones on Alison Lundergan Grimes’s major donor list,” said McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore. “It sure is curious that she spends all her time chatting with professed enemies of coal, Obama enthusiasts, and noted Hollywood liberals but can’t say a word about what she believes back in Kentucky.”

The Grimes campaign noted Tuesday that she also has received contributions from residents of every county in Kentucky. Grimes political adviser Jonathan Hurst also pointed out that McConnell has raised most his cache from outside the state.

“The success of our campaign is built on strong support from right here in Kentucky,” Hurst said.

McConnell, already Kentucky’s longest serving U.S. senator, is seeking re-election to a sixth term next year. Because of his leadership position in Washington and poll numbers that show him vulnerable in Kentucky, McConnell has become the top target for Democrats in the 2014 elections.

But unseating him is no easy chore in Kentucky, which has a track record of supporting Republicans in federal elections despite being predominantly Democratic by registration. Both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats are held by the GOP, as are five of the six House seats.

McConnell sparked the Republican revival in Kentucky nearly three decades ago, helping to pick off Democrats in the state’s federal delegation that was then sparse on Republicans.

McConnell faces a Republican primary challenge from Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, who raised $222,000 since July and loaned his campaign $600,000.

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  • Maybe you missed my point...which shows that you are as out of touch as those Republican Congressmen that you keep supporting even though they certainly do not have your interest at heart.  Kentucky's Republican Senators haven't done a dang thing for tradesmen in this state ever that has been worthwhile.  They forced a federal government shutdown with a stunt for nothing that cost the nation $25 Billion dollars, and took us to the brink of an international financial disaster with the threat of defaulting on our nation's credit, causing another drop in our credit rating. The main reason that this election is such a big deal nationally is because Mitch McConnell is a very well known international slime ball who has orchestrated most of the mess in the Senate as well as the House.

    And lets face it, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirk Douglas, Ben Affleck, Woody Allen, Nicholas Cage, Ted Danson and Ben Stiller aren't gonna get much in the way of personal favors for a measly $5,200.  But you can bet that the "celebrities" who gave $millions to Mitch have got their hands under the table for their handouts, which Mitch has been delivering in spades for going on 6 terms.

    "Bloomberg reports:

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’s seeking a sixth term in 2014, began this year with $7.4 million in campaign funds. 

    The Kentucky Republican raised $769,000 in the final three months of 2012, according to a report McConnell’s campaign filed late last week with the Federal Election Commission.

    McConnell received political donations from companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co, United Parcel Service and Koch Industries."

     

    Wolfe, replacing McConnell with Lundgren isn't an even trade because Mitch has shown what a slime ball that he is over time.  He is the worst of the worst...and KY keeps putting him back in despite knowing that selecting the sizzle and not the steak every time.  Kentuckians seem to be very susceptable to the negative campaign style that McConnell has perfected...and continuously vote against their economic best interest to keep this charlatan in power.  The get the kind of government that they deserve. 

  • The real shame here is that all the money raised by the candidates could be used for a better purpose. The real losers will be the citizens of Kentucky only replacing one career polititian with another.

  • Maybe you missed my point...I don't care about Kentucky Democrats donating, or Kentucky Republicans for that matter. Your parody of my comment shows that you are as out of touch as those Hollywood celebs.  For them, reality is that annoying thing that greets them in the morning right before they snort their first line...

  • So, what possible interest could all of these Republicans have in Kentucky?  The short answer is none.  They are just using this as a tool to advance their own agenda.  So aside from all of the " DItch Mitch" rhetoric y'all need to look at what they really want to achieve.  Will the Republicans bring more jobs to Kentucky?  Probably not. Will they help with Kentucky's educational system?  Probably not.  I'm not super fond of Mitch either, but I really don't like the idea of a bunch of Republican Sycophants messing in our business.  Just sayin'

  • So, what possible interest could all of these celebrities have in Kentucky?  The short answer is none. They are just using this as a tool to advance their own agenda. So aside from all of the " DItch Mitch" rhetoric y'all need to look at what they really want to achieve.  Will the celebs bring more jobs to Kentucky?  Probably not. Will they help with Kentucky's educational system?  Probably not.  I'm not super fond of Mitch either, but I really don't like the idea of a bunch of Hollywood Obama Sycophants messing in our business.  Just sayin'

  • Go Alison. McConnell's days are numbered and it's about time.

  • Ditch Mitch, Ditch Mitch.....Get. R. Dun. !

  • Love it, the backward voters of KY are getting nervous that Fat CAT Mitch might get ousted, Bringit Hollywood !

  • Stay out of KY hollywood "elites", well elite in their mind.  Most of them probably can't find KY on map.