Hollywood has long been fertile fundraising ground for Democratic presidential candidates, and the second quarter of 2019 was no exception. Famous names were littered throughout 2020 Democrats’ Federal Election Commission reports.
Pete Buttigieg, the overall leader in second quarter fundraising among Democrats, was a favorite of celebrity donors. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow hosted a fundraiser for Buttigieg at her home in Southern California in early May, with actor Bradley Whitford co-hosting alongside a number of famous attendees.
Among Buttigieg’s notable donors this quarter: Actress Sharon Stone, who gave the full $5,600 max; actors Michael J. Fox and Kevin Bacon, who each gave the primary max of $2,800; and actors George Takei, John Stamos and Mandy Moore, who each gave over $1,000 in the period. Actor Pedro Pascal gave Buttigieg a smaller contribution, while director/producer Rob Reiner, who attended the Paltrow fundraiser, also contributed $2,800 to Buttigieg’s campaign.
Larry David, creator of “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and his daughter, Cazzie David, each gave Buttigieg $2,800, as did both Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Buttigieg also received a smaller contribution from Jennifer Aniston.
Home state senator Kamala Harris also benefited from Hollywood’s largesse. She received $2,800 contributions from actors such as Rita Wilson, Emma Roberts, and Jennifer Garner (Garner and ex-husband Ben Affleck split their support, with Affleck giving to Cory Booker’s 2020 campaign in the same period). Others like Don Cheadle, Lily Tomlin, Leslie Odom Jr., and Cecily Strong made smaller donations.
Harris also received a full $5,600 max from actor and director Sean Penn, who also gave $2,800 to fellow Californian Eric Swalwell’s since-ended campaign. A number of celebrity donors appeared unable to commit to just one candidate – the aforementioned Wilson gave to both Harris and Biden, for example, while Takei gave to Buttigieg and Biden.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden’s second quarter report was also studded with some famous names, including Wilson, Takei and Tom Hanks, who contributed $1,400 during the period.
Despite swearing off private fundraisers and fundraising calls, Sen. Elizabeth Warren also managed to haul in a fair share of celebrity contributions in the second quarter. Actress and singer Bette Midler and actress Scarlett Johansson both gave Warren $2,800, while comedian Amy Schumer gave Warren a full max of $5,600. Actor Ryan Reynolds also gave $2,000 in the period, while showrunner Shonda Rhimes contributed $2,800.
Bernie Sanders also saw a cadre of celebrity supporters – some of whom backed him in 2016 – open their checkbooks in the second quarter. Actress Shailene Woodley, who vocally backed Sanders’ last presidential bid, gave $2,000 in the quarter, while filmmaker Adam McKay contributed $2,800.
And Cory Booker received some celebrity support in the second quarter – including from his girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, who contributed an additional $731 in the second quarter to bring her cycle total to the primary max of $2,800. As mentioned above, Affleck gave Booker $2,800, while Whitford gave Booker $1,000, despite co-hosting a Buttigieg fundraiser just weeks later, and actor Glenn Howerton also gave $500.
And it wasn’t just top-tier Democrats who reported notable donations in their second quarter reports. Actor Steve Buscemi gave Bill de Blasio’s presidential campaign $5,600, and actor Jeff Bridges gave Steve Bullock’s campaign $500. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey contributed $5,600 to Tulsi Gabbard’s 2020 campaign the day after her performance at the first debate.
CNN’s Aaron Kessler and Alexander Cohen contributed to this report