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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Movie Industry, In a Switch, Is Courting the GOP - To Rebuild Clout, the Motion Picture Association of America Boosts Giving to Republican Groups

From The Wall Street Journal:

Hit by legislative setbacks in Washington, the Motion Picture Association of America is producing a Hollywood-style remake.

The movie industry's main lobbying group has ramped up its budget and donations to political groups in the past few years, and, in a switch for an industry long associated with Democrats, has quietly reached out to Republicans and conservative-leaning organizations in an effort to rebuild its clout.

Last year, the MPAA replaced its longtime lead lobbying firm, considered to be close with Democrats, with a lobbyist with ties to key GOP lawmakers. Its political-action committee now gives more donations to Republicans than Democrats. And it has sent money to a GOP super PAC, a conservative antitax entity and a business lobby helping Republicans in the 2014 elections.
 
The turnaround comes after Hollywood was handed a major legislative defeat two years ago when Congress bowed to pressure from the high-tech industry and buried legislation that would have made it more difficult for people to illegally download movies and other copyrighted content. It was a clear signal of the rising power of Silicon Valley in Washington, at the expense of Hollywood. "We realized we have to act like a normal trade organization," a senior executive at one studio said of the industry's recent political moves. "We have to reach out…and we can't be all on one side."
 
The rethink brought out tension between Hollywood's personal politics and its business priorities. Democratic candidates usually get most of the donations made by movie industry creative and business leaders, yet Republicans are more philosophically inclined to side with the industry's goals of copyright protection, free trade and lower taxes.
 
The recent shift is part of a broader revamp that began under former Sen. Chris Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who was hired as chief executive in 2011. MPAA turned to Mr. Dodd, a longtime senator and former presidential candidate, in part because they thought he would boost Hollywood's influence in Washington.

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