Katzenberg Funnels $6.6 Million to Obama

It pays to have a friend in White House when under SEC investigation

Jeffrey Katzenberg / AP
September 13, 2012

The New York Times reported Wednesday on previously undisclosed documents showing the breadth of Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg’s support for the Obama campaign since 2008.

While the Obama campaign has itself disclosed that Jeffrey Katzenberg is a bundler for the Obama campaign, the campaign had only said that he had raised more than $500,000 for President Obama’s reelection.

In fact, the actual amount raised by Katzenberg and bundled for President Obama is more than 13 times the publicly disclosed figure. The total is more than $6.6 million.

Katzenberg has been well rewarded by the Obama administration for his support.

As the Free Beacon noted in May,

Katzenberg’s movie studio, Dreamworks, recently finalized a deal to build a studio in Shanghai, China. The nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation notes that Katzenberg’s deal was made possible with help from the Obama administration, which arranged a meeting for Katzenberg with Chinese Vice President and heir apparent Xi Jinping after his White House visit in February. Xi traveled from the White House to Los Angeles to sign the deal with the major Obama donor.

The Sunlight Foundation asks if "Katzenberg’s support for Obama fast-track[ed his] movie deal with China?" But Dreamworks would not respond to on-the-record questions from the good government watchdog group.

Moreover, the Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating Dreamworks for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in relation to its dealings with the Chinese government. The investigation focuses on possible bribes Katzenberg and his associates may have paid to Chinese officials in order to get the deal approved.

Katzenberg has also invested deeply in building financial relationships with the regime in Beijing. Katzenberg’s silent partner in his new China-based studio is Jiang Mianheng, the son of former Communist Party leader and Chinese President Jiang Zemin.