Capitol Alert: Hollywood interests pony up for Steinberg

jmiller@sacbee.comOctober 31, 2013 

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he will try to encourage the Swiss model of education, in which businesses take a role in preparing high school students for meaningful employment.

RENEE C. BYER — rbyer@sacbee.com

Timing is everything in politics, although not always in a good way.

On the same day Al Jazeera America broke the story of a Hollywood-themed FBI sting ensnaring state Sen. Ron Calderon, a campaign committee of Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg reported several contributions from Tinsel Town movie interests.

Steinberg's 2018 campaign for lieutenant governor collected more than $27,000 in donations from director Steven Spielberg, his wife Kate Capshaw, Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn Katzenberg, according to a filing with the secretary of state's office.

Steinberg is mentioned several times in a 124-page FBI affidavit in which Calderon allegedly tells an undercover FBI agent that Steinberg supports his effort to lower the threshold on the state's film tax credit. Steinberg has not been implicated in the case.

"The senator is proud to be supported by thousands of Californians, including these individuals," Steinberg spokesman Jason Kinney said of the donations. "As is our strict policy, there was absolutely no connection between this outside fundraising and any policy or pending legislation."

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