Christopher Dodd mentioned as candidate to head the MPAA
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd spent most of the last two years focused on Wall Street as he helped push financial reform legislation into law. Now, as he prepares to retire next month, could he turn his attentions toward Hollywood?
Dodd, the veteran Democrat from Connecticut, reportedly is a candidate to head the Motion Picture Assn. of America. His name was mentioned by the New York Times along with another retiring Democratic bigwig, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
Richardson's spokesman said Monday that he wasn't interested in the job. Dodd's spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
MPAA spokesman Howard Gantman would not comment on the possible candidates to be Hollywood's top lobbyist in Washington."The decision will be made by the board and they'll announce it when they've got a candidate," he said.
The MPAA, which represents the six major movie studios, has been searching nearly a year for a replacement for former head Dan Glickman. It had its sights on former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey earlier this year, but talks between him and the MPAA board broke down over the summer. Bob Pisano, the MPAA's Los Angeles-based president and chief operating officer, has been serving as interim head since Glickman left.
Dodd hasn't focused on Hollywood issues in Congress, but neither had Kerrey, nor Glickman, another former Washington lawmaker as well as a onetime agriculture secretary. Dodd is looking for his next act after announcing early this year that he wouldn't seek reelection.
Dodd would fit the MPAA's desire to find a chief with the charisma to deal with Hollywood who also is instantly recognizable in Washington. Dodd also has another possible advantage: He has the same hair color as legendary Jack Valenti, who matched his silver mane with a silver tongue to bring the association prominence while heading it for nearly four decades.
-- Jim Puzzanghera
Photo: Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). Credit: Associated Press