Obama: No Cash From Denzel, Spike, Motown & Others..
Obama: No Cash From Denzel, Spike, Motown, Despite Oprah Backing
Sunday, January 06, 2008
By Roger Friedman
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Obama: No $$$ From Denzel, Spike, Motown
Oprah Winfrey’s backing of Barack Obama for president hasn’t influenced a lot of other heavy hitting black celebrities to join her yet.
Her two most favorite authors, Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison, have not opened their pocketbooks yet for Obama. (Angelou has traditionally been a Clinton supporter.)
Neither has Spike Lee nor Denzel Washington, although the latter’s wife Pauletta sent Obama $2,300. Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. has put his bucks in Hillary Clinton’s campaign, as has Quincy Jones.
Also missing from Obama’s list of donors in the current election cycle is BET Chairman and Founder billionaire Robert L. Johnson. The regular Democratic donor did give Hillary Clinton $4,600 in 2007. The last time he sent a check to Obama was in 2006, for $2,100.
Obama’s celeb donors include the recently controversial Will Smith, but not Chris Gardner, the multi millionaire whom Smith played in "The Pursuit of Happyness." Obama did receive donations from the newly married Eddie Murphy and the always funny Chris Rock.
But neither Sean "Diddy" Combs nor Shawn "Jay Z" Carter has pitched in for the Illinois senator as of yet. Jay Z’s fiancée Beyonce Knowles has also remained silent. Her father, Mathew, last sent Obama $1,000 for his senate campaign.
Winfrey, meanwhile, may like Obama but hasn’t put the weight of her fortune behind him yet.
Oprah and boyfriend Stedman Graham, according to federal campaign records, donated only $2,300 each to Obama’s campaign at the party held at Winfrey’s Montecito, California mansion last September. They could have donated twice that amount.
Aside from that event, the enormously charitable Winfrey seems to have been otherwise uninterested in politics all these years. It’s been a decade since she’s donated even a penny from her hard earned empire to any candidate’s cause. Even now, her endorsement of Obama hasn’t led to any contribution to the Democratic Party in any form. Maybe she’s waiting to see if Obama is the official candidate.