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Chris Dodd emerges as front-runner for Hollywood's top lobbying job

Hollywood's seemingly endless search for an industry lobbyist appears to be zeroing in on former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).

Dodd, a former U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful who recently retired from the Senate, has long been a candidate to head the Motion Picture Assn. of America, replacing former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, who resigned as chief executive a year ago.

But a person close to the MPAA, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said that over the weekend Dodd had emerged as the top contender and was now the only candidate in negotiations for the job, which pays $1.2 million a year.Dodd

The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that Dodd was among three finalists. On Monday, the website Politico said he was the only candidate in negotiations.

Dodd has already been interviewed by several senior studio executives and a deal could be reached in the next several weeks, but it could also fall apart, the source cautioned.

Indeed, Dodd is still weighing his options, a representative said. "He hasn't made any decision yet,'' said Mike McKiernan, a spokesman for Dodd. "He's still talking to people in both the private and public sectors to figure out his next step."

If recent history is any guide, there is good reason for caution. Last summer, the role looked like it was going to be filled by former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.). But the MPAA's board eliminated him from consideration after he expressed last-minute reservations about the job and the prospect of moving to Washington, D.C., from his home in New York.

Other leading candidates have since come and gone, including former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.). Washington lawyer Antoinette Cook Bush also was considered a finalist as recently as last week.

But the MPAA's search committee was focusing on Dodd because they've been searching for a high -profile candidate who could pull strings in Washington.

Dodd, 66, served five terms in the U.S. Senate where he was known for his expertise on family and children's issues, as well as financial services. He served as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee after an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008.

But Dodd's political career was also marked by its share of controversy. He took heat for his role in allowing insurance giant AIG to pay $165 million in bonuses in 2009 at a time when the company was receiving federal bailout money.

In 2008, Dodd also was investigated by a Senate ethics panel over allegations that he received improper discounts for mortgages he received from Countrywide Financial Corp. In August 2009, the committee found "no credible evidence" that Dodd had violated any rules but criticized Dodd and his former Senate colleague Kent Conrad of North Dakota for not avoiding the appearance of impropriety.

Though the entertainment industry is new to Dodd, he is not a total stranger to Hollywood. He played himself in the 1993 political satire "Dave."

 -- Richard Verrier

Photo: Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) speaks to the media after a visit to the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven to discuss the Family Medical Leave Act in New Haven, Conn. Credit: AP Photo/Jessica Hill.



Comments () | Archives (15)

This is the perfect storm. MPAA is an organization without major studio support, funding, respect and influence.

Chris Dodd is a 'tainted' politician who was literally thrown out as Senator by the people of the state (Conn), as well as, being investigated at the federal level for his 'unethical' actions.

MPAA and Chris Dodd are a perfect match as both have run their course as being relevant and having any real impact.

Hiring Chris Dodd will only hasten the complete demise of MPAA by combining an impotent organization with an impotent political leader, who has lost the respect of both his constituency and the Washington establishment. And, unfortunately, MPAA no longer has the resources to lobby with any serious impact.

It is the perfect, and probable, fatal storm for an already terminal MPAA.

MPAA should hire Chris Dodd, and put itself out of its misery. Together, they will be the final nail in the MPAA coffin.

The only reason MPAA has not found a replacement for Dan Glickman (who I believe chose to leave) is that no one qualified wants the job even with its million dollar salary.

The question is not "if", but "when" MPAA fades to black.

well if he does what he did for the country, then Hollywood will go bankrupt.

BTW- in CT we are glad he is gone. Good luck with him- you'll need it.

Dodd.....the movie

he's also known for the banking reform bill from last year. you know, that famous massive historic fix to the broken banking system? his political legacy.

i guess the l.a. times already wants to forget that. like everyone else.

I love this country. A CORRUPT, HASBEEN politician gets a job paying 1.2 million, only in the US of A.

Chris Dodd will do a great job and he deserves the opportunity. He was an excellent Representative for Connecticut.

They are looking for a high profile Washington insider, who is capable of pulling strings. Is there anyone in Connecticut now (including the left wing fanatics) who can't see just how this guy did business while in office? This is all the confirmation anyone with a brain would need. He has always been about what was good for Chris Dodd, and will always be all about Chris Dodd. He is a sleazy politician now, and will soon become a sleazy lobbyist. It's amazing how these lying scumbags talk about how they have never been influenced by special interest groups, yet once they've bled as much from the system as they possibly can, so many of them can't wait to become what they claim has no influence.

Please please please let this be true!!! Then we in Connecticut will be rid of him once and for all!!

I never would have believed anyone would be so stupid to hire him, and that we'd be stuck with him forever, so frankly this is a miracle for my state!

A perfect storm! Dishonesty begets Dishonesty!

When things got hot, Dodd said he was going to retire from the Senate so he could spend more time with his family. Now he is going to be a lobbyist? So much for his family. He was scared that the people of Ct. were going to vote him out and that would have destroyed his massive ego.

As a resident of Connecticut, all I can say is the reason he retired was because he knew that he would never get re-elected. Look at his record as the chairman of the banking commission. He is THE reason that people are paying 29% interest on your charge cards. He got "Sweetheart" deals on his mortgage. I wish he would go to his "Cottage" in Ireland, and stay there, never to be herd from, again. His father was a crook, like father, like son. I guess it runs in the genes.
I would not walk across the street to spit on him. Typical politican, a low life, scum bucket bottom feeder. Anyone that wants to give this piece of scum a job that pays over a million dollars a year, should be water boarded.

Hire me instead. I don't know anybody, but you can introduce me. I am not corrupt, but I'm willing to learn. Plus, I'll do it for half the salary and cutting costs is important in today's economy. If you ask me, its a perfect fit. I'll wait for your call.

This is obscene.

That's a serious mistake for Hollywood, both because there are ethnical issues in his background and because he's such a far-left Democrat who someday may have to deal with a Tea Party influenced right-wing Senate. They need to pick a moderate with class. If they want a Democratic ex-Senator, I suggest Evan Bayh. Moderate and a man with class.


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