There's a political money story behind the Oscars, too 

Millions of Americans will tune in Sunday to see which movies and celebrities get to make fatuous thank you speeches and head home, Oscar in hand, to live happily ever after in LaLa Land.

Millions of Americans will tune in Sunday to see which actors and actresses get to make fatuous thank you speeches and head home, Oscar in hand, to live happily ever after in LaLa Land.

But did you know there is a far more serious side to the Academy Awards, one that links events in that industry to events in Washington, D.C., in the most direct manner possible?

Many of the Oscar nominees are big political donors, giving thousands of dollars to candidates and causes. As they do with every important development in politics and money, the folks at OpenSecrets.org have compiled the data behind the Oscars and come up with the winners of the Money-In-Politics Oscars.

Take the Oscar nominees for Best Actor, for example. Whichever nominee takes home the Oscar Sunday night, Jeff Bridges is the winner in the OpenSecrets.org tabulation, according to Cassandra LaRussa:

"The nominees in this category are: Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman and Jeremy Renner. And the money-in-politics Oscar goes to … Jeff Bridges!

"Bridges and his wife have given about $64,800 in federal campaign contributions and party contributions since 1990. The couple gave $2,300 to President Barack Obama and the rest was split among 18 Democratic candidates; party committees such as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee; and political action committee Moveon.org.

"Bridges, who appeared in 'Crazy Heart,' faced stiff competition in this category: George Clooney has donated $57,000 to recipients that include Obama, seven other Democrats, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee. Morgan Freeman placed third, with $7,400 in campaign cash going to Obama and four other Democrats."

Not surprisingly, all but a tiny trickle of the flood of Hollywood money tracked for this feature by LaRussa and OpenSecrets.org went to Democrats. Go here for the rest of the nominees, the winners and the recipients of their cash.

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Mark Tapscott

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