Surprised when Scarlett Johansson, of all people, got a prime speaking role on the closing night of the Democratic National Convention? You shouldn’t have been. The young actress is a true believer who has written some big checks for the president’s reelection campaign: $14,000 last spring to the Obama Victory Fund.
Now, of course, that’s not Eva Longoria-style money. The former “Desperate Housewives” star, who also addressed the Democrats, has given $75,800 to various reelection funds over the past year in addition to raising hundreds of thousands more as a VIP bundler.
Do celebrity speakers have to pay-to-play? Apparently not: Federal Election Commission records show Kerry Washington, who preceded the other actresses on stage that night, has made no contributions since a $1,000 check to the DNC two years ago.
Nor are there any records of donations this cycle from Clint Eastwood — who, as you may recall, memorably opened for Mitt Romney at the Republican convention last month, not long after attending an Idaho fundraiser for him.
A rep for Washington said she was busy working and unavailable for comment; Eastwood’s aide said he was on vacation and out of reach. As for the stars who made the scene at the convention halls without getting speaking roles — well, they were all over the map, too. Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas gave $75,800 to Democratic election funds this year. But there was no record of 2012 contributions from Jessica Alba, who lent her name to a big Democratic super-PAC bash, nor Ashley Judd, a delegate from Tennessee. Similarly zilch from GOP gadfly Jon Voight .
Granted, the latest federal filings only cover contributions through the end of last month; some VIPs may have waited to open their wallets at fundraisers like the one Jay-Z and Beyonce hosted for Obama in NYC last week or Romney held in Beverly Hills over the weekend.
Or maybe if you’re a big celebrity, you figure your presence is present enough.
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