Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Celebrity Cash Fueling Booker's Big Dreams

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Celebrity Cash Fueling Booker's Big Dreams

Article excerpt

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is tapping high-tech billionaires, Wall Street hedge-fund managers and Hollywood's A-list as he builds a bankroll for this year's special U.S. Senate election -- and beyond.

Booker is taking four times the limit for one election from deep- pocketed donors, apparently presuming that he will need money to run for a full term next year after he wins the primary and general election this year to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg's term.

Booker raised $4.6 million between April and June, and a 1,385- page report that became public Tuesday shows dozens of donors, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and business-woman/heiress Ivanka Trump, giving $10,400.

That's four times the legal maximum of $2,600 per election. Booker was able to take that much because he is accepting contributions for four elections at the same time: This year's Aug. 13 special primary, the Oct. 16 special general election, and the primary and general election in 2014.

"It would be foolish for any campaign not to be taking the opportunity now to prepare for the future," said Booker spokesman Kevin Griffis. "The people who are giving to this campaign are doing so because they think the mayor is the best candidate in this race and the right choice for 2014."

Other donors giving the maximum $10,400 include Maria Cuomo Cole, the daughter of New York's former governor and sister of the current governor; Wal-Mart billionaire Christy Walton and writer/producer Jeffrey Abrams.

Venture capitalist and Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and his wife, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, gave $10,400 each.

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google Inc., gave $5,200. So did David Geffen, the music, film and theatrical producer -- whose occupation was listed only as "founder" on Booker's report.

Motown founder Berry Gordy gave $5,000, as did actress Jennifer Garner. Kate Capshaw-Spielberg and husband Steven Spielberg gave $2,600 each.

Wall Street investment managers and executives also were a rich source of contributions for Booker. Daniel S. Loeb and Joshua Targoff of the hedge fund Third Point LLC each gave $10,400, for example, as did Richard M. …

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