Los Angeles Mayor’s Race: Jeffrey Katzenberg Donates $600,000 To Pro-Karen Bass Committee As Mayoral Primary Nears

Jeffrey Katzenberg has donated $600,000 to an independent committee backing Karen Bass for Los Angeles mayor, as polls show the California congresswoman facing a tight race against billionaire developer Rick Caruso.

The contribution was made earlier this month to Communities United for Bass for Mayor 2022. Katzenberg was among the initial donors to the committee, with a $250,000 contribution to help get the committee started in early March. Other contributions have come from J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath, who each gave $125,000, as well as other industry figures including Barry Meyer and Jennifer Garner. The committee also is backed by the SEIU. The Los Angeles Times first reported Katzenberg’s recent donation.

Katzenberg was among the people who helped convince Bass to run last summer, the candidate told Vanity Fair. At the time, there was concern among a number of Los Angeles Democrats that the field needed a star candidate — and Bass fit the bill. President Joe Biden considered her a vice presidential possibility in 2020, as she has served in Congress since 2011 and is the former speaker of the California State Assembly.

Bass, meanwhile, is holding an event on Tuesday at Abrams’ Bad Robot, with co-chairs including McGrath, Shonda Rhimes, Norman and Lyn Lear, Damon and Heidi Lindelof, Nina Shaw, Christy Haubegger and Matt Johnson.

But Caruso’s entrance into the race in February changed the dynamics of the race, creating a genuine rivalry for the front-runner spot. Caruso has been able to use his own personal fortune to blanket the Los Angeles airwaves in a campaign that has focused on homelessness and City Hall corruption. The Los Angeles Times reported in late April that Caruso had spent more than $23 million, compared to $800,000 for Bass. A poll last month shows the two candidates just about tied. Among the Hollywood figures backing Caruso are Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and UTA’s Jay Sures.

The field competing in the June 7 primary has narrowed in recent days. Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino dropped out last week and endorsed Caruso, while Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer exited the race on Tuesday and threw his backing to Bass. Also running is Councilman Kevin de Leon.


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