Spielberg, Geffen lead parade of stars donating to boost Booker's Senate bid

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) got a big assist from a bevy of A-list celebrities — including Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg and "Alias" actress Jennifer Garner — who helped push his second quarter fundraising haul to $4.6 million. 

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According to the Bergen Record, Booker received the maximum $10,400 donation from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and heiress Ivanka Trump. Trump is hosting a fundraiser for Booker at her Manhattan home this week.

Booker is currently the frontrunner in New Jersey's Senate special election to fill the seat vacated by the death earlier this year of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D). 

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape, and his wife both gave the maximum amount to Booker as well.

Other tech donors include Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, who gave $5,200, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who gave $10,400.

Hollywood also gave big to Booker, with "Lost" producer J.J. Abrams giving the maximum amount. DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen gave $5,200; actress Jennifer Garner gave $5,000; and director Steven Spielberg and his wife both gave $2,600.

Booker has well-publicized relationships with a number of celebrities, most notably Oprah Winfrey and Zuckerberg, whom he lobbied for a $100 million donation to the Newark school system in 2010.

Those relationships have helped Booker amass a considerable war chest for his Senate run, putting him far ahead of his Democratic opponents. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D) raised nearly $3.5 million and Rep. Rush Holt raised about $1.1 million in the second quarter.

But Booker's celebrity connections also opened him up to criticism that he's spent too much time jetting to California to meet with the rich and famous and not enough time back in Newark, dealing with the city's problems.

Those criticisms have not yet been a factor in the Senate race, however. Booker remains solidly in the lead in every poll, hovering near or above 50 percent.

The primary is scheduled for Aug. 13, and the winner of the Democratic nomination is favored to win the October general.