Hollywood’s A-List delivers for New York Democrat
Posted 7/19/2006 8:18 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AP) â€” If Hollywood has a Da Vinci Code, Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has cracked it.
Top stars such as Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson donated to the New York senator in recent months, generating the kind of cash usually associated with a major box office opening â€” or a potential presidential bid in 2008.
Clinton, who doesn’t face much of a challenge in her re-election, received $4,200 from The Da Vinci Code star Hanks, the Academy Award-winning actor, and his wife, Rita Wilson.
The itemized donations were made public Wednesday, with the paperwork for April through June more than 4,000 pages. In that period, Clinton raised almost $5.7 million, bringing her total for her re-election effort to $43 million to date. She had more than $22 million cash on hand.
That’s more than Owen Wilson’s new film You, Me, and Dupree made in its opening weekend. Wilson gave Clinton $2,100.
Another contributor was Chris Rock, one of many comedians who made bawdy jokes at the Clintons’ expense after the investigation into Bill Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Rock gave the senator $2,100.
Singer Bette Midler gave the maximum allowed by law, $4,200, as did actor James Caan.
Other donors included Donald Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples, who gave $2,000, and director Rob Reiner, who gave $3,200.
Billy Crystal donated $4,000, and Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger gave $2,100.
The senator’s star-studded donor list even included some famous sports names. Baseball’s home run king Hank Aaron donated $300, New York Knicks assistant coach Herb Williams gave $1,000 and retired New York Rangers goaltender Mike Richter gave $4,200, as did Richter’s wife.
So what did Clinton spend her millions on? In this election cycle, the senator has spent more than $21.7 million even though she has yet to run a single television ad. Her two woefully underfunded would-be GOP opponents have spent more time trashing each other.
Clinton has spent millions on direct mailings to prospective donors. In the most recent three-month period, she spent more than $200,000 on postage alone. The campaign paid nearly $650,000 to a company that handles direct mail business.
The records also provided a tantalizing clue for would-be Clinton sleuths that she’s serious about a White House run: two bills for unidentified campaign worker travel at the Hampton Inn in Des Moines, the state with the first caucus in the presidential nomination process.
One bill for $182.25, was dated April 17; a second, for $145.77, was dated April 26.
Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said the receipts were nothing more than a clerical error, and that the amounts reflected hotel bills for trips to Albany, N.Y., and Austin, Texas. He said the paperwork would be corrected.