Most people don’t think of conservatives when they think of Hollywood. For decades the entertainment industry has been a bastion for liberal causes, donating heavily to both of Barack Obama’s presidential elections and being forward thinking on many social causes such as same-sex marriage. So why then is the biggest lobbying group for Hollywood sponsoring the largest annual Republican conference?
The Motion Picture Association of America is one of the biggest funders for this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, which kicks off on Thursday at the National Harbor. And CPAC isn’t the only conservative cause getting money from the MPAA. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, released a report last week showing a major increase in MPAA money going to right-leaning “dark money” groups, such as Americans for Tax Reform and American Action Network, which both received large sums from the entertainment lobby this past year.
What makes this even stranger is that MPAA is run by former Democratic lawmakers. Former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd currently serves as CEO, and before 2010 Representative Dan Glickman on Kansas served in the top spot. Of course, for an association lobbying in Washington it is important to have a presence on both sides of the aisle, and MPAA’s decision to sponsor CPAC may be part of a larger strategy to curry favor with the Republican controlled House of Representatives.
Currently the Trans-Pacific Partnership is being hotly debated on Capitol Hill, and its passage would be a big win for the entertainment industry. The trade agreement would bring stronger enforcement to Hollywood’s copywrites, and is strongly supported by House Republicans.
So while you probably won’t be seeing any Ted Cruz biopics coming out of the movie studios anytime soon, it’s important to remember that entertainment is a big business, and any business needs to play both sides of the aisle if they are to protect their interests in Washington.