Wyoming voters have sunk U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney’s congressional career, but the anti-Trump Republican is already positioning herself for a presidential run — with a surprising amount of help from Hollywood liberals. Topping those donors are Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, who have already donated to two of Cheney’s Leadership PACs, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
But it didn’t just happen overnight. Last August, the couple together donated $21,600 to The Great Task PAC as Cheney began her ultimately futile fight for re-election. The PAC — which has raised nearly $1 million — was consolidated with Cheney’s campaign committee on election night, according to FEC records. The move gives Cheney a war chest of more than $8 million.
The Katzenbergs also gave $10,000 in 2021 to the Cowboy PAC, another leadership PAC formed to support Cheney, plus $11,600 — the max of $5,800 each — to Cheney’s reelection campaign, according to the FEC.
With Cheney stating Wednesday that she was considering a run for the presidency, the Katzenbergs’ backing will go a long way to guaranteeing more Hollywood donors will follow — despite the fact that the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney is a pro-gun, anti-abortion conservative who voted with Donald Trump 93% of the time while he was in the White House. Cheney, of course, has become an arch-enemy of Trump since voting to impeach the former president following the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021 and now leading the committee to investigate the event.
Overall, Cheney has received tremendous support in California, with more than 1,400 state residents donating nearly $1.4 million to her re-election bid, according to FEC records. In addition to the Katzenbergs, Cheney’s campaign received donations from entertainment attorney Bruce Ramer; Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ wife and producer, Nicole Avant; “Hunger Games” and “Ocean’s 8” director Gary Ross; “Friends” co-creator and producer Kevin Bright and philanthropist Edyth Broad.
Tech moguls Ron Conway, Sean Parker and Reid Hoffman also kicked in cash. Gene Autry’s widow, Jackie Autry, contributed nearly $19,000 to Cheney’s campaign and supporting PACs, while the family’s Autry Community Property Trust donated $100,000 to pro-Cheney PAC Wyomingites Defending Freedom.
Republican voters clearly punished Cheney’s anti-Trump stance with a decisive vote for challenger Harriet Hageman, who received 113,025 votes (66.33%) to Cheney’s 49,316 (28.94%).
Wyoming’s 2021 population is around 564,803, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The state has around 215,000 registered Republicans and a mere 36,000 registered Democrats, a gap that might have been widened this year by as many as 15,000 Democrats registering Republican to vote for Cheney in the primary.
Cheney started what seemed to be a promising career in Wyoming politics when she was elected to the state’s only congressional seat in 2016 — which her father held from 1979 to 1989 (becoming House minority whip in his last year). He served as secretary of defense for President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993, when he oversaw the 1991 Operation Desert Storm that repelled the Iraq invasion of Kuwait — then returned to the White House as George W. Bush’s vice president from 2001 to 2009.