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Hollywood A-listers host bash for Jerry Brown

State Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, now alone in the Democratic field in his still-unannounced bid for governor, is headed this week to Hollywood, where he’s expected to collect a mountain of cash from some big Tinseltown names.

The event, a Wednesday evening soiree at the home of former talent manager Sandy Gallin, could net Brown more than $1 million. DreamWorks heavyweights Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg are among the event’s 27 co-hosts.

“Every one of the co-chairs is either writing [a check for] and or raising $50,000,” said entertainment industry consultant Andy Spahn, who helped organize the affair. Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison -- California's richest resident, according to Forbes magazine -- and Netflix founder Reed Hastings are among the other co-hosts.

Some checks are already rolling in. Designer Diane Von Furstenberg, former Warner Bros. CEO Robert Daly, TV producer J.J. Abrams ( “Alias” and “Lost”) and actress Katie McGrath have each already given $25,000, campaign finance records show.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, dropped his challenge to Brown last month, leaving the attorney general clear to pad his campaign treasury through the June 2010 primary election.

Two ultra-wealthy Republicans, billionaire former EBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman and near-billionaire Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, are competing in the GOP primary with former congressman and state budget director Tom Campbell.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento

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Comments () | Archives (18)

Why is it that the so called "elite" are Democrats? And who anointed them the "elite"? Wasn't there a revolution in France a while back against the "elite"?

I remember reading about a phrase that grew in popularity back when 'Governor Moonbeam' was in office - 'if it's Brown, flush it'.

Sounds good to me.

Okay let's see, rich movie actor didn't work. Let's try super rich business sort of person, maybe the problem was the governor wasn't rich enough.

We the People, eh?

The swirling water you see is Taxifornia going down the drain if Gov. Moonbeam is elected!

Are you people nuts or have such sort memories? Governor Moonbeam was called that for a reason.

Tom Campbell is the only candidate who understands that California's biggest problem is restoring out economy to health. Everything else will follow.

Jerry Brown will bring more tax-and-spend. I'm taxed to death—aren't you?

Our Attorney General is charged with telling the truth when he prepares the official title and summary for proposed ballot initiatives. Jerry Brown did that two months ago when, in accordance with previous legal rulings, he described a measure backed by Mercury Insurance as allowing insurers to raise or lower premiums based on whether a driver had a lapse in insurance coverage.

Mercury Insurance, a donor to Brown, did not like that, since initiatives that let insurers raise rates don't do well with voters. The company withdrew the proposal, pressured the Attorney General to change the title and summary, and, yesterday, Brown accommodated the company by obscuring the premium increases.

The new Mercury initiative, which the company will start circulating for signatures again now, contains only cosmetic changes from the last one, but below are the differences in Brown's new title and summary. Now only "discounts" are mentioned. Nothing tells the voters about the premium increases for millions of Californians that Mercury's proposal would allow. I have rarely seen political cowardice on this level from a seasoned public official.

State courts have ruled clearly that giving discounts to drivers without coverage lapses automatically results in big premium increases for motorists who have lapses. But notice how Jerry Brown, California's top lawyer, has turned potential premium increases into "lapses in coverage due to nonpayment of premiums may prevent a driver from qualifying for the discount."

Today Consumer Watchdog issued a public records act request to the Attorney General for all communications between Brown's office and Mercury Insurance to determine what type of pressure was brought to bear.

The people of California deserve to know the consequences of the ballot measures they are voting on and this new title and summary hides the true impact on people who must stop driving due to these hard economic times or because they choose to stop using their car for other reasons.

We just wanted to let you know about this deeply disturbing development and that we will continue to do all we can to protect policyholders from the type of injustice in the insurance marketplace that Mercury is proposing. When the state forces people to buy auto insurance, those hurt by this economy should not pay more simply because they choose to stop driving in order to put more food on the table. That's why Proposition 103, which Californians voted for in 1988, bans the practice Mercury wants to legalize.

Our affiliate, the Campaign for Consumer Rights, will oppose the Mercury initiative and has proposed two measures of its own to further regulate and reform insurance companies. We will keep you informed of our progress. Those interested in circulating petitions as they become available can email us as at ccr@consumerwatchdog.org

Billionaire studio heads, Billionaire corporate titans, and multi millionaire actors-actresses are shelling out what most folks make in a year for Jerry Brown's "pay and play schmooze".
Simple question, how do the ordinary middle class people get representation like the billionaire democratic donors that purchase theirs?
I thought only the GOP had billionaires and bought influence.
Thanks to this article I guess we all know otherwise and have for decades.

Funny the way the Times won't let us comment on certain articles -- like the Belmontes death penalty article today. Un-COMMENT-able. Hmmm. Like people don't have an opinion on that subject. www.sfgate.com (SF Chronicle) offers comment option on all articles. Kinda sorta makes LA Times look fascist by comparison -- like Big Brother!

The term elite means that they have power/influence/prestige within their
party. If you want to be critical, point out any particular hypocrisies you
may find, such as someone not paying their taxes while trying to raise yours or by trying to restrict gun control, while having armed guards in their employ.

the same jerry brown who was governor back in the 70's, lived on a futon and ate bologna sandwiches religiously? that's right... we don't need anymore nut jobs in office. what good will a nanny-state democrat do for ca?

I think it might be well to mention the financial status of DreamWorks heavyweights Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg (also billionaires...Jeffrey is close) if we are to label Two ultra-wealthy Republicans, billionaire former EBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman and near-billionaire Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. Wouldn't that be fair? Aren't the tinseltown names ulta-wealthy too?

See what Brown can do for you!

Go, Jerry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is why we need Electronic Voting. We need a button that says, "If your vote was influenced by Hollywood Elites, or Talk Radio blatherheads, click here". Those votes would be automatically subtracted from the totals. Every Vote Counts, but some don't count for much.

This is surrealist. This is from the Twilight Zone. Jerry Brown, the subzero freezer where all the liberal blunders and unworkable ideas are stored just waiting to be taken out of storage, is running AGAIN for governor?? All these millionaires who are supporting them have two things in common;
a) they're rich enough that they dont have to worry about losing their jobs when their employers are driven out of the state through high taxes and anti-business legislation.
b) they probably dont pay taxes here anyway. When you're that rich you can get away with anything.
It's only the average working stiff who gets shafted by all these taxes and 70's style social programs.

For those too young: Moonbeam is so far out there. He's a dreamer who can't connect the dots. It is sad when this is the best we can do. If the campaign is as nauseating as his previous performances, it will be about painting our lives with a rainbow, especially the poor. Right! At whose expense, and whose benefit? Figure it out, and keep both feet firmly planted on earth. The checking account is in the red. The last thing we need is to give it to Moonbeam.

Vote out the Liberals!!!

Voted for the man once. That was enough. Interesting to note that he has had a change of heart re: abortion. No longer feels it should be left up the woman. I wonder how many of the uber liberals he's blindsiding are even remotely aware of what his current views really are?


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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