Hollywood ponies up to help out Feingold in tough re-election fight

Some of Hollywood’s most recognizable names are digging into their deep pockets to help Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, one of the Senate’s most reliably liberal voices — and a top Republican target this fall.

Among Feingold's contributors are filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Harvey Weinstein, actors Michael Douglas and Edie Falco, as well as music executive David Geffen, and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, according to CQMoneyLine.com.

Writer and producer Tom Fontana, creator of the television series “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Oz,” also ponied up for Feingold, as did actress Kathryn Erbe, who has appeared in "Law and Order" and "Oz."

In fact, Weinstein, Douglas and Fontana all gave donations that were over the $5,000 legal limit per cycle and had to be reimbursed for the surplus.

Feingold, an 18-year political veteran, is in a surprisingly tough battle against GOP newcomer Ron Johnson, with the latest polling showing the senator down anywhere from 6 to 11 percentage points.

A champion of greater limits on campaign-finance, Feingold had spent nearly $16 million as of Aug. 26, compared to Johnson’s nearly $11 million.

Johnson, an owner of a plastics manufacturing plant, has the backing of several Tea Party groups, and has been running ads linking Feingold to job losses in the state; he says 82,000 jobs have disappeared since Feingold voted for President Obama’s stimulus bill. Feingold is countering with ads that cast him as a man who has stood for his principles and refused to let Washington change him.

This story was updated at 10:15 p.m.


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