Katzenberg Writes $1M Check to Priorities USA

DreamWorks CEO joined by Steven Spielberg, Simpsons creator, Eychaner, more

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg in 2011. (AP)
October 20, 2012

DreamWorks chief executive officer Jeffrey Katzenberg gave another $1 million to the Obama-affiliated Super PAC, Priorities USA, best known for a campaign ad that suggested Republican nominee Mitt Romney was responsible for a woman's death from cancer, according to September filings. This brings the total donated by Katzenberg this year to $3.2 million.

Fred Eychaner gave $2 million to the Super PAC last month; the reclusive political activist has now given $3.5 million to Priorities USA.

Director Steven Spielberg ($1 million) and "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening ($500,000) were also among the donors to Priorities in the most recent filing.

Katzenberg has a close relationship with President Obama's reelection campaign. He is the leading fundraiser for Obama's presidential campaigns in 2008 and this year, raising $6.6 million since 2007. He has hosted multiple fundraisers for the president this year -- including a $15 million fundraiser with actor George Clooney -- and has been personally thanked by Obama on multiple occasions.

"I've got to say it publicly, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg have been tireless and stalwart and have never wavered through good times and bad since my first presidential race, back when a lot of people still couldn't pronounce my name," the president said at a Oct. 8 fundraiser. "And I will always be grateful to them for just the incredible support that they've given. So thank you very much."

In February, Katzenberg's studio announced a $2 billion deal with the Chinese government that will allow the animation company to build a studio in Shanghai. The deal was made public just days after the Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited Washington, D.C., and met with White House officials, including President Obama. Shortly after, Xi continued to Los Angeles, where he met with Katzenberg.

At the time, a spokeswoman for Katzenberg denied to the Washington Free Beacon that the White House was involved in the deal, but it was later revealed that Vice President Joe Biden was personally involved in arranging meetings for the deal.

In May, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into accusations that Katzenberg bribed Chinese officials for rights to produce and distribute films in China.