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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thanks to LGBT advocacy, state AG candidate Patrick Murphy gains star power

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Pennsylvania Attorney General candidate Patrick Murphy's appearance in a documentary about the history of Don't Ask Don't Tell not only helped draw attention to last year's repeal of the law, it also likely helped provide a financial kick to his campaign coffers.

Among the usual contributions from Pennsylvania residents, attorneys and labor groups, Murphy received several contributions out of California -- several from the entertainment business, according to a campaign finance report filed last week.

In 2011 Murphy, who is running against former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane, participated in the HBO documentary, The Strange History of Don't Ask Don't Tell. The film outlined the law's history and was first aired at midnight on Sept. 20, 2011 -- the same time the law was repealed. Murphy is a former congressman, military prosecutor and combat veteran who helped lead the legislative battle to repeal DADT.

Among Murphy's contributors tied to the project was $1,000 from Sue Naegle, the president of HBO, $500 from the film's producer Randy Barabto, and $500 from Jeff Guthrie, senior vice president of HBO.

But that's not all of Murphy's Hollywood contributors. Other contributors were Bryan Lourd, the managing director of talent agency Creative Artists, $5,000; Kevin Huvane, an agent with Creative Artists, $1,000; John Carrasco, creative director for the production company, Sterling Winters, $2,500; Bruce Cohen, a producer of films including American Beauty and Milk, $500; Joe Keenan, a screen writer for the television shows including Desperate Housewives and Frazier, $1,000; David Kohan, producer and writer who was also the co-creator of TV's Will and Grace, $500; James Miller, manager of Mosaic Media Group a film production and talent agency that represents talent including actor Will Farrell, $1,000; Rick Rosen, a partner in the William Morris Endeavor talent agency, $500; and TV movie producer Frank von Zerneck, most famous for TV movies about Natalee Holloway and Elizabeth Smart, $1,000.

In an e-mail, Murphy campaign manager Nat Binns says it's "fair to say Patrick's work to repeal DADT and end the war in Iraq play a big role."

But Binns took pains to note that most of Murphy's support isn't from Hollywood; more than 3,000 Pennsylvania residents "have sent a check [and] we've seen an outpouring of support from folks around the country who believe in Patrick," Binns wrote.

Having cash on hand will be important in the primary's final weeks. Kane has nearly $2 million in her campaign war chest, though most of that is from a $1.75 million loan from her husband, an executive at his family's trucking and logistic firm. Murphy, despite outfundraising Kane, trails her on the balance sheet, with slightly less than $1.2 million on hand.

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