Hollywood Republicans feeling more comfortable expressing their political views, insiders say

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Published October 17, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Who said Hollywood is a liberal's paradise?

Last week, Lindsay Lohan and Stacy Dash surprisingly came out in support of Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, joining an “out and proud” group GOP-leaning Hollywood players like Scott Baio, Jon Voight, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Bruckheimer, Kelsey Grammer, Adam Sandler, Gary Sinise, Patricia Heaton, Bruce Willis, Gene Simmons, Stephen Baldwin, Joe Perry, James Caan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to more than a few.

“A large number of celebrities are coming forward and declaring their support for a new administration,” publicist Angie Meyer told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “For the first time in a long time, conservatives in Hollywood are resisting the bullying from the left. They are ready to speak their minds.”

OpenSecrets.org lists Romney campaign donations coming from the likes of Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns, country singer John Rich, and former Metro Goldwyn Mayer studio chief Harry Sloan, while the candidate's victory fund has been upped by Jerry Bruckheimer and Scott Baio. 

Three Romney fund raisers have also taken place in the Hollywood vicinity this election cycle, compared to zero Hollywood fund raisers in 2008 for GOP candidate John McCain. 

Registered Republican Scott Baio (you may know him as Chachi), said the GOP community isn’t as small as many assume it to be.

“The people who believe are much quieter about it,” Baio told us in an interview last week.

Except for Kelsey Grammer. 

In 2008, Grammer told us in an interview for his film “Swing Vote” that while he has his own devout “political views,” he didn’t think “it was important to share.” Cut to four years later and the “Boss” star is all about sharing his stance. “Romney would make a terrific president. I think he’d be very good at it,” he enthused in a recent interview. “He’s a clear thinker. He’s a kind man, and he makes a lot of sense.”

The Hollywood Congress of Republicans, a grass-roots organization affiliated with the California Republican Party, was formed in 2001. It boasts a website promoting regular meetings and mixers with the “intent on bringing people together socially and professionally to help transform the political landscape of the entertainment industry in Hollywood.” The site also features an extensive list of “recommended” Hollywood personalities listed as being “right” including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jessica Simpson, Marie Osmond, Robert Duvall, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sammy Hagar and Jean-Claude Van Damme, among many others.

“It seems that more conservatives in Hollywood are ‘coming out.’ Whether it is ‘more acceptable’ (to be a conservative in Hollywood) remains to be seen. There is a real threat of losing work in the conservative Hollywood community,” explained the organization's president Mell Flynn. “The ever tolerant Hollywood left isn't really too tolerant at all. I personally think politics should be left out of the work place. If I am on set and others start speaking negatively about conservatives, I will jump in and defend them. I refuse to let the left get away with their spin and lies. More conservatives in Hollywood need to come out, there is power in numbers.” 

Yet as Flynn pointed out, the consequences of standing up for Republicans in Hollywood can sting. Most recently, Stacey Dash’s tweet expressing her Romney voting intention became fodder for extremely intense press coverage, debate and backlash, including vicious, racially-charged attacks from Obama supporters.

“I have even more respect for Stacey’s brave statement supporting Romney. Given the outrageously cruel reaction to her tweet, I don’t expect many more celebrity endorsements. That’s very sad indeed,” noted Los Angeles-based comedian and radio host Moxie Cathedra. “An admission of being a conservative or libertarian is not quite career suicide, but you are guaranteed to lose some so-called friends who will be far less likely to bring you into their projects.”

Cathedra said a very successful friend of hers in the film and television business, who at some point had “liked” Chick-fil-A on Facebook, came under fire when it was revealed that the owner of the fast food chain made donations to anti-gay marriage groups. “[My Friend] was harassed by liberal Hollywood industry colleagues until he removed that ‘like,’ but he did add that he still eats there and loves the food,” she said. 

Film producer and marketing expert Mark Joseph, a self-proclaimed registered independent, says that despite more Republicans' increased ease expressing their political views, the majority of Tinseltown conservatives still prefer to keep their lips sealed.

“Liberals feel the freedom to be more outspoken about their beliefs whereas conservatives tend to keep their beliefs to themselves for fear of backlash," Joseph said. "My general rule in any election year is that I can tell who the conservatives are because they’re the ones who aren’t saying anything about either candidate. With each person who steps out for the GOP, whether it’s Clint Eastwood or Stacey Dash or Lindsay Lohan, whatever stigma there is, is lessoned.”

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