Hollywood Shifts Away From Anthony Villaraigosa in Race for Governor

During his eight years as mayor of Los Angeles, Anthony Villaraigosa did some good things for one of the city's most famous suburbs, Hollywood. However, Tinseltown does not seem to be returning the favor in Villaraigosa's bid to be the next governor of California. Many Hollywood elites are instead giving their financial support to a Democratic rival, current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is seeking the same office.
In his quest to replace current Gov. Jerry Brown, whose second term will end in 2019, Newsom has raised nearly $2 million from donors who are in some way associated with the entertainment industry. This is nearly double the amount raised from the same sources by Villaraigosa. The total amount raised so far by Newsom, around $16 million, also far exceeds the $5 million in political donations accumulated by Villaraigosa.
The former mayor of Los Angeles has not been totally abandoned by Hollywood, since a larger proportion of his funds have actually been taken in from the entertainment industry. Villaraigosa's supporters include NBC/Universal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer, comedian George Lopez, producer Norman Lear and actor/producer Rob Reiner. Newsom has some big names on his side as well, including Barbra Streisand, famed agent Tim Toth and comedian Bill Maher.
In his two terms as mayor, Villaraigosa would become popular in Hollywood circles by fighting for tax credits to help increase production activity in the city. During his service as mayor of San Francisco, Newsom took similar action to promote production in his city. Newsom is himself no stranger to television, often appearing as a guest on Maher's "Real Time" show.
Some political experts have attributed Hollywood's shift away from Villaraigosa as based primarily on ideological grounds. Although both are considered liberal candidates, Newsom is often identified as being the most progressive. He had supported marriage equality long before most other Democrats, including President Barack Obama, and also voiced support for the legalization of recreational marijuana. His advantage may also come from the simple fact that Newsom has been in the race for a much longer period of time, having announced his candidacy nearly two years before Villaraigosa. More about Hollywood's influence in the race for governor is available at www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-hollywood-money-governors-race-201708....
Hollywood is known for its connections to liberal causes and Democratic candidates. The industry donated some $24 million to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who ended up losing in 2016 to a reality TV star!


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