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Tom Hanks, Donald Trump Among City's Celebrity Campaign Donors

By Jill Colvin | July 16, 2012 4:37pm | Updated on July 16, 2012 8:27pm
Actor Tom Hanks is among City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's campaign donors.
Actor Tom Hanks is among City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's campaign donors.
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NEW YORK CITY — The city’s 2013 candidates are adding star power to their campaigns, raking in contributions from some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Actor Tom Hanks and producer Rob Reiner are among several high-profile donors who helped add more than $654,000 to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's campaign coffers over the past six months, the latest campaign filings show.

The Academy Award-winning Sleepless in Seattle actor contributed $500 to Quinn’s campaign in June, when she visited California on a major fundraising jaunt. Reiner was even more generous, contributing $1,000, while Universal Studios President Ronald Meyer donated the maximum $4,950, the records show.

Donald Trump is among the high-profile names contributing to the city's candidates.
Donald Trump is among the high-profile names contributing to the city's candidates.
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Actress Lorraine Bracco of "The Sopranos" also gave Quinn $2,500, noted Capital New York.

Also getting in on the action was bombastic developer Donald Trump, who gave $250 to Bronx City Councilman James Vacca in April. The money came after Trump won the right to operate the golf course at Ferry Point Park, which is in the councilman's district.

A spokeswoman did not immediately comment on how the Councilman felt about the sum, given Trump's history of controversial comments questioning the President's place of birth.

Former Downtown Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin also drew some star power, with a $2,500 donation from Robert De Niro's son, Raphael, a real estate broker, and $180 from Silda Spitzer Wall, Eliot Spitzer's wife.

The filings show that Quinn remains the mayoral race’s fundraising powerhouse and is already raising cash to spend after the 2013 primary.

She now has more than $5 million cash in her campaign war chest — which, when combined with public matching funds, is more than the $6.4 million candidates are allowed to spend during the primary — leaving her with $2.4 million for the general election or a potential run-off with a fellow Democrat.

Despite the impressive sum, Quinn again trailed fellow contender, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who raised $760,000 over the past six months. However, de Blasio has also been burning through money, leaving him with just over $2.1 million cash-on-hand to spend on the race.

On the other end of the spectrum was Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who posted lackluster numbers, bringing in just $425,000 over the six months — the least of any of the major candidates, including embattled Comptroller John Liu, whose campaign is current under federal investigation for fundraising fraud.

But Stringer’s campaign was quick to point out that, when combined with money he locked away for a 2009 run, he has now raised $3.67 million — the second-most of the presumptive mayoral candidates.

“We’re excited,” said campaign spokeswoman Catherine Butler, who said the team was celebrating its “amazing supporters [and] amazing momentum,” and expected to reach the contribution cap in the next six to eight months.

City Comptroller John Liu also managed to continue raking in funds, bringing in more than $570,000 over the past six months, despite the arrests of his former treasurer and a top fundraiser, the filings show.

However, Liu also burned through cash, spending more than half of what he raised on expenses, including tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees.
Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson hass not yet submitted his paperworke, but his camp planned to report having raised nearly $500,000 over the past six months, his spokesman said.
With reporting by Julie Shapiro.