On August 16, some of Hollywood’s most powerful figures will attend a fundraiser for Democratic California gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Gain Newsom on the lot of Universal Studios.
“Gavin’s a northern California guy but he knows he needs southern California’s money to dominate this race,” someone described as “a regular contributing industry insider,” told Deadline.
Guests at the $1,000 to $29,200 a ticket event at the Grill at Universal Studios will reportedly include Universal Pictures Chair Donna Langley, NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer, J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Universal Filmed Entertainment boss Jeff Shell and wife Laura, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Starz boss Chris Albrecht, NBC chief Robert Greenblatt, Star Wars leader Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Comcast execs Amy Banse and David L. Cohen, State of Play producer and investor Andrew Hauptman, Real D’s Michael V. Lewis, and ex-Paramount boss Sherry Lansing to name a few.
Acclaimed interior designer Ramin Shamshiri of the Shamshiri Studio and C Home, and his wife Donna Langley will also attend.
Aside from Tinseltown support, last week Newsom received the endorsement of former President Barack Obama who praised him for being “the first to recognize the right to marry who you love” when Newsom briefly legalized gay marriage in 2004, while he was mayor of San Francisco.
Newsom is competing against Republican John Cox, who was endorsed by President Donald Trump before the June primary where he finished in second place behind Newsom.
The two candidates have clashed on several issues, including immigration and the gas tax.
Several days after he cleared the competition to compete against Newsom in November, Cox said, “Gavin Newsom is going to make this race all about President Trump. Well, you know what, I welcome it. President Trump is going to come here and campaign for me and for you!”
In addition to devoting their time to their gubernatorial campaigns, Newsom and Cox have engaged in a so-called “proxy-war” of campaigns to help other candidates in their respective political parties.
Dan Schnur, a veteran political analyst who teaches at USC sees a strategy behind this. “Neither one of them is in a position to motivate their party’s base, so they both turned to something else to do it for them,” Schnur told the Los Angeles Times. “There is nothing for California Democrats as motivating as Donald Trump, and there’s nothing as motivating for California Republicans as the repeal of the gas tax. Both candidates have figured out it’s a lot easier to surf a wave than it is to create a new one.”