UPDATE: A loyal reader reminded us that Hick took donations not mentioned in Wikileaks from some of Hollywood’s elite as well including:
- Kate Capshaw, wife of Steven Spielberg
- Steven Spielberg, do you really need us to explain this?
- Jeffrey Katzenberg, best known for his work with DreamWorks studio
If you thought Wikileaks was just for military secrets and for outing executives’ rants against the products that make them millions (see: Angelina Jolie and Sony exec Amy Pascal), think again. It’s also for checking out what Colorado politicians are up to in Hollywood. This edition of Wikileaks: Colorado explores some of the interesting connections between Governor John Hickenlooper and the Hollywood elite.
This whole time we thought it was former Sen. Mark Udall who had the Hollywood hookup because of his fundraiser with Robert Redford, but a quick scan of the Sony Wikileaks shows that the response Udall got was more Lady Gaga “Telephone” than red carpet. But, Sony was more helpful for Governor Hickenlooper.
According to an invite that sassy executive assistant to Sony CEO Michael Lynton, David Diamond, reminded his boss about apparently several times (“Plus, as you know, I have to let the Hickenlooper folks know whether you are going”), climate harpy Nancy Stephens hosted a fundraiser at her home for the embattled Governor. While Hick loves to ride the middle on environmental causes, Stephens is squarely left of left. In short, if she wasn’t rich, she might be a fractivist. Here’s a few lines from EcoVote about Ms. Stephens:
“Nancy Stephens is a staunch environmentalist, an avid Democratic fundraiser at the local and national levels, and an ardent supporter of the arts. Nancy has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists since 2001. She is one of four non-scientist citizen activists among a host of esteemed scientists and Nobel Laureates. She is a longtime member of the Leadership Forum of the California League of Conservation Voters and the Advisory Board of Liberty Hill.”
Next time Hick tries to ride the middle on oil and gas vs. fractivists, just remember who pays his campaign bills. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a Democratic front group established in the 1960s to hammer Republican politicians. And, in case you aren’t familiar with Liberty Hill, it’s a “social justice” grantmaker that focuses on issues like LGBTQ, poverty and economic justice, racial equality, and environmentalism.
While Ms. Stephens, apparently, sent in her check four months after her event, it’s odd that there was not a single party supply in-kind noted for this seemingly-swanky luncheon. Who paid for the buffet listed on the invitation? We checked Hick’s expenses, and didn’t find it there either. We have to assume that this event was part of the campaign and not the outside organization supporting his campaign (more later) because this fundraising outfit is listed on Hick’s official campaign expense reports.
Paging Colorado Ethics Watch!
Speaking of that fundraising group…. The company in charge of this superstar fundraiser was Manhattan-based Berger Hirschberg Strategies, which perhaps not surprisingly also represents Gabby Giffords’ gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions. Small world, right?
Finally, the last interesting tidbit found in Wikileaks pertaining to Hickenlooper was the fact that Hick Kitchen Cabinet member, Greg Maffei, was running a 501c4 for the Governor. In fact, as late as September 27, 2014, Maffei was soliciting donations from Lynton for this effort. Not only did Lynton contribute to the Governor’s re-election campaign the day of Stephens’ fundraiser, but he also offered to help with Maffei’s c4. Of course, those are the dark money groups with no transparency that Democrats bemoan constantly, so it’s unclear whether Lynton actually donated or how much.
It’s nice to have help from friends. But, one has to wonder if past Hollywood help now is inspiring so much passion from Governor Hickenlooper about keeping the $5 million film tax credit in the budget when Colorado’s schools are going without.