“Hollywood stars mum on donations to GOP”

CCP has often worried about the chilling impact that disclosure requirements can have on political speech.  Today, we find out that perhaps nowhere is that impact more deeply felt than in Hollywood.

Andrew Breitbart, author of Hollywood Interrupted, told the Washington Times that celebrities "learn very quickly, if they know what’s good for them, to donate to the Democratic Party.  If they were to donate to the Republican Party, they would be exposed to career-ending ridicule, period."

And despite the fact that "Republican presidential candidates have been drawing support – and cash – from Hollywood celebrities" the Times reports that "few of the stars in super-liberal Tinseltown want to be publicly linked with the Grand Old Party."

The Times reports that "One high-profile celebrity, when asked about her political views, even had her lawyers declare ‘our client’s rights of privacy and other legally protectable intangible rights’ and warn that she should not be labeled a Republican."

The story notes that of the dozens of actors that have been identified as conservative leaning, none would comment publicly.

Terri Hatcher, who is rumored by some to secretly be a conservative, responded to an interview request through her lawyer. "’Please be advised that Ms. Hatcher is not a Republican, but more importantly does not choose to have her political affiliation or viewpoints on any particular candidate or issue in the current presidential campaign included in your proposed article,’ lawyer Barry W. Tyerman said in an e-mail."

However, Adam Sandler, Kelsey Grammar, and Robert Duvall have quietly supported Rudy Giuliani and Chuck Norris has enthusiastically supported Mike Huckabee.

Additionally, the Time highlights that "Republicans have streamed into Hollywood for cash – former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney courted contributors in the state yesterday and held a town meeting just outside Hollywood.

In the first nine months of this year, Sen. John McCain of Arizona pulled in $390,000 from Hollywood, with Mr. Giuliani close behind at $360,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research group based in Washington.

Those numbers pale in comparison to Democrats. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York drew $2.2 million from the movie, music and TV industries over the same period. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois pulled in $2.1 million from some A-list actors, including Tom Hanks, Tobey Maguire, Eddie Murphy, Edward Norton Jr., Morgan Freeman and Ben Stiller."

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.