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Franken draws celeb donors, including Garrison Keillor

WASHINGTON —Keillor was among a handful of celebrities who donated to Sen. Al Franken in the first fundraising quarter, according to The Hill.

Sen. Al Franken's campaign boasts of contributions from some 35,000 individual donors in the first quarter, more than half of which came from those giving less than $100.
REUTERS/Rich Clement

WASHINGTON — The Hill dug into Sen. Al Franken’s first-quarter campaign finance report and found this interesting tidbit:

A slew of Hollywood celebrities, including Tim Meadows, Carl Reiner and Lily Tomlin, have donated this year to Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) reelection campaign.

According to campaign filings, other entertainers who have provided financial assistance to Franken’s reelection bid are “MacGyver” lead actor Richard Dean Anderson, award-winning songwriter Paul Williams, and author and radio host Garrison Keillor.

The former “Saturday Night Live” writer and performer’s Midwest Values PAC, designed to help “elect progressives in the Midwest and nationwide,” has received financial contributions from fellow SNL alums Jane Curtin and Kevin Nealon. …

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Franken held a fundraising brunch at The Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., in January with musicians Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr.

Late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien also raffled tickets to a brunch at his house last month in order to help support Franken’s 2014 race.

Celebrity donations are, of course, a miniscule percentage of Franken’s overall fundraising base — his campaign boasts of contributions from some 35,000 individual donors in the first quarter, more than half of which came from those giving less than $100. He raised nearly $2 million during the first quarter.

But this shows Franken can still leverage his Hollywood credentials into donations from big-name stars, especially as the election gets closer — the O’Brien fundraiser, for example, probably drew an interesting guest list, but its donors won’t be reflected on FEC reports until July.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.