Posted: April 22, 2016 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Charitable organization, Clint Eastwood, Conservative, Friends of Abe, Gary Sinise, Hollywood, Internal Revenue Service, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jon Voight, Kelsey Grammer, Los Angeles, Patricia Heaton
The Friends of Abe has acted as a clandestine club for Hollywood conservatives for more than a decade, hosting secret events where they could vent rightwing views and hear speeches from visiting Tea Party luminaries.
But on Thursday the organisation – which counts Jon Voight, Jerry Bruckheimer and Kelsey Grammer among its 1,500 members – made an abrupt announcement: it was dissolving.
“Effective immediately, we are going to begin to wind down the 501 c3 organization, bring the Sustaining Membership dues to an end, and do away with the costly infrastructure and the abespal.com website,” the executive director, Jeremy Boreing, told members in an email, a copy of which the Guardian has seen.
“Today, because we have been successful in creating a community that extends far beyond our events, people just don’t feel as much of a need to show up for every speaker or bar night, and fewer people pay the dues that help us maintain that large infrastructure.”
The announcement caught members by surprise and fueled speculation that infighting over Donald Trump’s candidacy, among other factors, had drained commitment. Others said the group had been losing steam for years.
Instead of electrifying the organisation, California’s 7 June primary, a final and potentially decisive showdown between Trump and his GOP rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich, appeared to frazzle it.
Lionel Chetwynd, a producer and screenwriter and co-founder of the FOA, recently spoke of the primary campaign causing a “civil war in slow motion”, which fractured friendships and shredded solidarity.
Boreing, a director and producer, put a positive gloss on the announcement, saying the initial hunger for fellowship had prompted the group to build an expensive website, rent offices and hire staff, including lawyers and accountants.
“It’s time to change how we do it. As our group has grown in size and success, many of the structures that helped us grow have become less useful … It means an end to the standing organization, but not an end to the mission or the fellowship.”
Boreing vowed to maintain the mailing list and stage events, but without the infrastructure, staff or budget requirements.
“We will still get together for drinks and speakers, but we may reassess how we approach those events logistically. In short, FOA will return to its roots. It will be a passion project, like it was in the beginning … We’ll still be a private organization that protects the names of our members at all costs.”
Boreing did not immediately respond to interview requests.
Members expressed surprise and dismay at the weakening, and perhaps loss, of a refuge from what they see as Hollywood’s bullying liberal ethos.
It was the one place where many of its members – actors, producers, writers and technicians – felt safe from liberal sneers and potential retribution. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 5, 2014 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: 20014 Election, Bobby Shriver, Campaign donors, Chris O'Donnell, David Geffen, Harvey Keitel, J.J. Abrams, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jessica Alba, Jimmy Iovine, Joan Cusack, Katzenberg, Larry David, Michael Douglas, Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe, Steven Spielberg, Ted Danson, Tom Hanks, Warren Beatty
Bobby Shriver’s loss marked the end of a day that saw industry politicos’ favorites defeated and Republicans back in control of the U.S. Senate
From The Hollywood Reporter:
Tuesday’s midterm elections brought defeats for many Hollywood-supported candidates…Hollywood politicos turned their attention to Bobby Shriver, the industry pick to replace longtime Los Angeles County supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who was forced to retire because of term limits….
…The scion of American political royalty had received thousands of dollars in Hollywood campaign contributions in his effort to represent the Westside of Los Angeles and parts of the San Fernando Valley on the Board of Supervisors.
Bobby Shriver‘s campaign finance report read like a list of Oscar attendees. Among the donors: Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, J.J. Abrams, Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jimmy Iovine, Warren Beatty, Jessica Alba, Chris O’Donnell, Rob Lowe, Larry David, Ted Danson, Joan Cusack, Harvey Keitel and Michael Douglas.
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