Trump courts Hollywood conservatives who fear supporting him in public

There weren’t many media cameras on hand, but Donald Trump dove into the fundraising game this week in a place which is generally considered to be enemy territory for Republicans: Hollywood. But aside from Manhattan, it’s one of the largest strongholds of major cash in the nation and one which Democrats take advantage of liberally. (Pardon the pun.) Still, there are some conservatives in Tinseltown, even if they’re generally in hiding, and Trump was there to begin tapping that cash cow. (Boston Herald)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump entered a new phase of his campaign when he held his first major campaign fundraiser: a $25,000-per-ticket dinner in Los Angeles.

The reception, held Wednesday at the home of Trump’s friend and fellow real estate investor Tom Barrack, was Trump’s final stop after a busy day campaigning across the Los Angeles area that included a rally and an appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

On the show, Trump described the fundraiser as largely benefiting the Republican Party.

Would Trump be well received? We’re talking about an area where liberals rule the roost and being a registered Democrat is a job qualification for most positions, but there are some largely silent conservatives roaming the area. And some of them have a lot of money to give. The problem Trump is facing is that it’s probably even more dangerous (career-wise) for them to openly back Trump than it would be to back some generic Republican in other election cycles. This will keep quite a few of them on the bench for now, but not forever, as Paul Bond at the Hollywood Reporter claims.

The effort won’t include many in the entertainment industry but that is expected to change, according to several insiders, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they say it is too uncomfortable to be a Republican in liberal Hollywood.

In fact, several celebrities and wealthy entertainment executives tried, largely unsuccessfully, to wrangle free entrance into Wednesday’s fundraiser — which costs as much as $100,000 per couple — not necessarily to save money, but because buying a ticket means they’d have to publicly disclose their choice for president earlier than they are willing to do so. By contrast, the famous guests at fundraisers for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats oftentimes are leaked to the press both before and after events to generate media coverage.

This town will get vicious to those who support Trump,” one filmmaker said. “It’s not that Hollywood Republicans are cheap. In the end, they’ll contribute, but they want to wait as long as possible.”

In Hollywood, probably the only thing worse than backing a Republican nominee is backing a GOP candidate who loses. If you wind up on the hit list of the liberals, some of the sting goes out of the association if your guy winds up in the White House or the governor’s mansion because there’s influence to be found in high places. But Trump is facing more of an uphill clime than, for instance, Ronald Reagan. The Gipper was seen as a home town guy and had even been the president of the Screen Actors Guild. That made him a bit more palatable, in addition to the fact that Los Angeles in the 70s and 80s wasn’t quite as monotheistic in honoring the God of Liberalism as it is today.

Trump no doubt brought in some cash for his own presidential bid (I guess that self-funding thing is pretty much out the window at this point) as well as for the RNC and Republican efforts across the country in general. Given his long time connections, it would be shocking if he can’t duplicate that in a number of places and catch up in the money race over the summer. But this is one season where we’ll want to keep an eye on Hollywood as the battle progresses. I’m guessing there will be a lot of relationships fractured and careers altered when some of Trump’s supporters on the left coast begin coming out of the closet.


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