The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Green Zone

The Hollywood Loophole

Hollywood is already a major player in the political money world but federal election regulators have just given industry executives a new way to contribute without running afoul of the McCain-Feingold donations limits.

By a 4-to-1 vote, the Federal Election Commission ruled that Hollywood executive Michael King could lure music or movie artists to volunteer their services to federal campaigns or political parties by making a charitable donation to a favorite cause. The commissioners ruled King's charitable donations would not constitute political donations even though they were aimed at arranging free performances for political candidates or parties.

Under the ruling handed down earlier this month, campaigns will now be able to get big-name acts without paying the hefty price tags. And they'd still benefit from the enthusiasm and support such performances would generate, like when rocker Bruce Springsteen did a series of concerts for John Kerry's presidential campaign back in 2004.

The commission also decided that King may spend money to publicize his efforts without that money counting against his federal political donation limits.

--John Solomon

Posted at 2:41 PM ET on Jul 30, 2007  | Category:  The Green Zone
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