Hollywood Money Lost in Campaign Embezzlement Scandal

From The Wrap:

Hollywood donors are high on the list of political donors whose money is presumed lost in an alleged embezzlement scheme that led to the arrest last week of a longtime Democratic operative.

Sony, Disney, News Corp., labor group IATSE and the Motion Picture Assn. of America are among the top donors whose funds have been lost, along with several million dollars in the campaign war chest of California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (left), according to Opensecrets.org.

Feinstein says her campaign treasury has been “wiped out” by Kinde Durkee, a treasurer and political operative who apparently also misused funds from an unknown number of other politicians’ accounts in the state.

Congresswoman Susan Davis, a Democrat from San Diego area, suggested that Durkee might be “the Bernie Madoff of campaign finance treasurers.”

As the full extent of the damages emerges, the Democratic Party is faced with the unenviable task of going back to donors for more money. L.A. County Democratic Party chair Eric Bauman, who’s also vice chair of the state Democratic Party, told TheWrap that process is already underway.

“I can’t say for sure [who will contribute], but we’ve started to reach out to our friends at Warner Bros., Universal and Sony, and donors like that,” he said.

TheWrap’s investigation of federal election records determined that the major studios, showbiz law firms, guilds like the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees all contributed to Feinstein’s war chest.

Feinstein’s top donors from 2007-12 include IATSE at $30,000, Manatt Phelps and Phillips law firm at $18,750, Sony Corp. at $17,200, Walt Disney Corp. at $16,600, News Corp. at $15,625 and the Motion Picture Assn. of America at $14,700, according to OpenSecrets.org. (Sitting atop the roster was the utility PG&E at $69,100.)

Full article at The Wrap.


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