Hollywood Coughs Up Cash for Obama Inaugural
Updated, 4:12 p.m. ET: Despite concerns about donor fatigue following the presidential election, contributions to Barack Obama's Presidential Inaugural Committee are rolling in. Especially from Hollywood.
Among the big names who have given the maximum allowable donation of $50,000 so far are: Hollywood actors Sharon Stone, Samuel Jackson, Halle Berry, Jamie Foxx, and producer James Lassiter.
Giving top dollar guarantees donors entry to private lunches and dinners and, of course, inaugural balls - and even a candlelit dinner with the Obamas. The Presidential Inaugural Committee promises to provide premium seating to the following events in exchange for a 50K contribution:
• 2 tickets to a private concert on Saturday night
• 2 tickets to a private Sunday brunch
• 2 tickets to Sunday Official Inaugural Kick Off Ceremony (Obamas to attend)
• 2 tickets to a private Monday morning political briefing
• 2 tickets to a private candle light dinner on Monday night (Obamas to attend)
• 4 tickets to the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday
• 4 reserved seating Inaugural Parade tickets
• 4 tickets to a 2009 Official Inaugural Ball (Obamas to attend)
The festivities for donors begin late on the night of Jan. 17, when Obama is scheduled to arrive by train in the nation's capital.
Other entertainment types who have given $50,000 to help fund Obama's inaugural celebration include Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, and Lisa Henson, daughter of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson.
Christopher Guest, creator of the mockumentaries "A Mighty Wind," "Best in Show," "Waiting for Guffman" and - the Sleuth's favorite - "For Your Consideration," has given $25,000. So has Jamie Lee Curtis.
Katherine Kendrick, the general counsel of Dreamworks Animation, has given $25,000 as well.
Liberal billionaire financier George Soros - not surprisingly - is a top donor to the inaugural effort. He has forked over $50,000, as have his two sons, daughter and daughter-in-law.
Obama's inaugural donors also include plenty of corporate titans and executives. Among them: Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs; Vicki Palmer, an executive vice president at Coca-Cola; Microsoft's Steven VanRoekel; and Chicagoan and longtime Democratic donor Fred Eychaner, who owns Newsweb Corp. (Random: the Sleuth attended a small party about seven years ago at Eychaner's stunning Lakeview home, a modern marvel of concrete and glass, surrounded by gardens and sculptures, built by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Eychaner was a very nice and interesting guy, and worth hundreds of millions of dollars.)
Mary Ann Akers
December 15, 2008; 1:15 PM ET
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