The money from Freeman last month brought the monthly total to $6 million for Priorities USA, its best month since it was started last year by super producer Jeffrey Katzenberg with a donation of $2 million. Irwin Jacobs, former director of Qualcomm Inc., gave $2 million in June as well.
While the Freeman donation gets big headlines, it is just a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to the exorbitant amounts flowing into superPACs that support Republic Mitt Romney. A super PAC supporting Romney called Restore Our Future raised an exorbitant $20 million last month—the highest total ever for a super PAC in a single month—but published reports indicate that half the money came from one person, casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Restore Our Future refused to answer any questions about its donors—a primary benefit of the super PACs is that they don’t have to reveal their donors. Adelson already spent millions to help Newt Gingrich, but after his campaign fizzled Adelson changed his allegiance to Romney. Adelson and his wife Miriam also donated $5 million last month to YG Action Fund, a super PAC aligned with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican.
Freeman said that others should follow his lead to help combat the financial resources of Obama’s opponents.
“President Obama has done a remarkable job in terrible circumstances,” Freeman said in a statement. “He has ended combat operations in Iraq, put in place sensible reforms of Wall Street, saved the auto industry and protected the healthcare of every American with a preexisting condition. He has recognized the full equality of all our brothers and sisters and placed impressive, accomplished women on the Supreme Court. In return for this he is being targeted by hundreds of millions of dollars in special-interest money. I for one am proud to lend my voice – and support – to those who defend him.”
Paul Begala, a senior advisor to Priorities USA Action, called Freeman “a national treasure” and said the group was “honored that he has lent his powerful voice to our cause.”
Other high-profile Hollywood celebrities who have contributed to the pro-Obama super PAC are director Steven Spielberg, comedian Chelsea Handler, and producer/writer J.J. Abrams.