LOS ANGELES - Republican Rudy Giuliani once derided Hollywood in his Senate bid against Hillary Rodham Clinton. Today, as he pursues the presidency, he's collecting checks from actors Adam Sandler and Kelsey Grammer, and Paramount studio chief Brad Grey.
The entertainment industry has always been a wealth of cash for political candidates - a whopping $27.5 million in the 2004 election cycle - and Democrats traditionally have been the top draw. In the last election, $7 out of every $10 from the industry went to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Yet, the latest campaign finance reports show Republicans making some inroads, not only with the handful of more conservative stars but also the generous Hollywood players hedging their bets.
Of the GOP candidates, Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, counted several big and small screen donors as well as producers and studio executives.
Sandler, who shares a love of the New York Yankees with Giuliani and tapped him for a cameo in his 2003 movie "Anger Management," contributed $2,100. "Frasier" star Grammer and his wife donated $6,900. Mark Vahradian, who produced "Annapolis" for Paramount, gave $2,100. Writer-producer Lionel Chetwynd, an Oscar nominee for co-writing 1974's "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz," gave more than $4,200.
Grey, who helped the mayor negotiate a book deal, kicked in $4,200 to Giuliani's campaign. Grey, former executive producer of a Giuliani favorite - the HBO mob drama, "The Sopranos" - also contributed to Clinton and to Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.