Many Hollywood Heavyweights Donated to Al Franken's Senate Run

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 9, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: The disputed senatorial election between Al Franken and Norm Coleman in Minnesota is now in the courts, as you know. Coleman won the initial voting, but the recount put Franken ahead by 225 votes.

What you may not know is that some very big Hollywood money allowed Franken to pay a lot of bills. Actors Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, George Clooney, Steve Martin, Michael J. Fox all gave Franken the $4,600 maximum donations, as did David Letterman, Mike Myers, Ted Danson, Dan Aykroyd and Phil Donahue. Also many others. Also, far-left finance guy George Soros held a recount fund-raiser for Franken with special guest star Al Gore.

Joining us now from Los Angeles, Andrew Breitbart, founder of, a new Web site for conservatives in the entertainment industry. From Minneapolis, Michael Brodkorb, founder of the conservative blog Minnesota Democrats Exposed.

We'll start with you, Michael. The money that flowed in from Hollywood, from Soros, other left-wing places, did that make a difference in the election?

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MICHAEL BRODKORB, MINNESOTA DEMOCRATS EXPOSED: Well, there's no question that it did. I mean, Al Franken raised the majority of his money out of the state of Minnesota, and California played an active role in that.

The question is if Al Franken is seated in the United States Senate as to whether California will be gaining a third U.S. Senate seat and Minnesota will still be underserved. I mean, the liberal lead from Hollywood played an active role during his campaign in fund-raising. California played an active role in providing Franken resources and the Hollywood elite. Franken traveled out there to do fund-raising. He didn't pay his taxes out there, but he certainly raised a lot of money there. And George Soros was very helpful after the recount providing Franken with money, so he played a very tremendous role.

O'REILLY: Here's what I don't understand, Michael. Maybe you can explain this to me. Survey USA took a poll, scientific poll in Minnesota. 34 percent of the people like Al Franken. 34 percent. How can this guy be the senator with that kind of an approval rating, that kind of a performance in the poll?

BRODKORB: You're exactly right. I mean, I start from the premise as a lot of people do is that Norm Coleman was elected, re-elected on Election Day, and that this recount process has been a sham. It has been flawed. And the Hollywood elite's money played an active role in making sure that Norm Coleman is behind in this recount process right now.

O'REILLY: Yes, because the Hollywood money…

BRODKORB: So they are very happy.

O'REILLY: Andrew, as you know, the Hollywood money hires PR people, attorneys, advertising, can blitz. The same Survey USA poll says if the election were held today, Coleman would win.


O'REILLY: Now in Hollywood, does this — are they celebrating Al Franken's victory in Hollywood?

BREITBART: I think they're going to be quiet about the Al Franken victory because they know he's a contentious soul. And I don't think they advertise their support of him the way they supported their support of Barack Obama. But the real tragedy here is, as you see, this phonebook of Hollywood names giving the maximum amount of money, $4,600, $2,300 is that the conservatives out here can't play it, the same game and the same playground because the FEC database search is open to the press. And a conservative that would give money to Norm Coleman would be outed in the press. It would be outed in Variety. It would be outed in Politico. And that would hurt their careers. So it's a complete unfair money advantage for the Democrats.

O'REILLY: All right. Now let me ask about Variety. That's the independent — not independent but that's the entertainment industry newspaper. We understand there's going to be a hatchet job on me next week in that newspaper, as there have been 100 times in the past, 100 times by the same guy. So what you're saying is that this newspaper, Variety, is a conduit that basically exposes any entertainment person who may donate money to a conservative cause or support a Republican candidate? And those people then could lose work.

BREITBART: They do it under the guise that it's innocuous. They love doing stories where they search the database, and then start feeling around is that person really a conservative. The second that gets into the water stream of Hollywood, producers start whispering and saying I didn't know that that person was a conservative. Time and time and again, that's how a person's career is damaged by being exposed.

O'REILLY: Especially when they're not established, when they're upcoming. Now what do you think's going to happen, Michael? You know, Coleman takes this in. Prevailing wisdom even in conservative circles is that Franken's going to win the thing in the end. What do you think?

BRODKORB: I have the utmost faith that when a true recount process occurs and justices look at this, that Senator Coleman will prevail. But it's a very uphill battle. I think that due to missing ballots in key Franken areas, the double counting of ballots in key Franken areas, the discovery of ballots in key Franken areas, and the inclusion of supposedly rejected absentee ballots in key Franken areas, he has an artificial lead. And hopefully, justice will prevail and a true accounting of the balloting will show that Senator Coleman was elected.

O'REILLY: All right.

BRODKORB: But as we've been talking about tonight, the Hollywood elite played a very active role.

O'REILLY: Sure. And Soros is still raising money for him and keep the legal thing, you know, the bills paid. All right, guys. Keep us posted. We appreciate it.

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