Lindsey Graham and Thom Tillis Get Boost From Entertainment Companies
Thom Tillis received more than $ 30,000 from entertainment companies and their trade associations last quarter while attempting to hold off a challenger in one of the key races that will determine control of the Senate.
Lindsey Graham, also in a tough race, has received contributions from the Motion Picture Association, Comcast, AT&T, and the Internet and Television Association, which represents the cable television industry.
While much of Hollywood tries to turn the Senate over to Democrats, the political action committees that represent industry interests in Washington are putting their money on the two at risk Republicans.
Both senators have an influence on the future of copyright law. Graham chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee working to update the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the 1998 law that governs online piracy. Tillis chairs the judiciary's intellectual property subcommittee, which has held hearings on the matter throughout the year.
Tillis from North Carolina is in a particularly tough race. Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham has a narrow lead in recent polls despite a sexting scandal that has dominated local coverage in recent weeks. Democrats must have at least three seats to take over a majority.
CreativeFuture, a coalition of content companies campaigning for stricter copyright protection, published an interview with Tillis in May, calling him “our hero on the hill”.
"Copyright drives creativity," said Tillis in an interview. "It gives creators an economic incentive to put their lives into something of cultural value."
The MPA gave Tillis $ 5,000 last quarter and increased its total for the cycle to $ 10,000. Tillis has also received contributions from the Internet and Television Association and from PACs affiliated with Fox Corp., Sony Pictures, Amazon, Facebook, Universal Music Group, Warner Music, and Nexstar Broadcasting. Early in his campaign, he received input from PACs affiliated with Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, and AT&T, which owns WarnerMedia, as well as ViacomCBS, Cox Enterprises, Charter Communications, and the National Association of Broadcasters.
In the past few months, Tillis has been soliciting industry input on DMCA reforms. Entertainment companies argue that the DMCA notification and deactivation process is too cumbersome and time consuming and has not stopped the flow of pirated content.
Tillis has stated that he agrees that the shutdown system is not working and needs to be reformed. He has also promised to increase criminal penalties for streaming stolen content. He assumes that a bill will be ready in December.
Many of the PACs in the same entertainment industry have also given Chris Coons, the senior Democrat on the IP subcommittee. Coons has a big head start in his re-election campaign.
Entertainment companies have also given big bucks to Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee who has also held hearings on DMCA reform. They also gave Doug Collins, who was the senior Republican on the committee, until he resigned earlier this year to run for the Georgia Senate.
Collins, who claims to be "Top Trump Defender" in advertisements, attacked Amazon Prime last month for promoting a "croaky documentary" about Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat who narrowly lost the run to governor.
"Hollywood is a moral impasse that celebrates murder, violence, pedophilia and anti-American views while denigrating life, family and patriotism," Collins said in a Facebook ad. "Make no mistake ... these companies are trying to fulfill President Obama's desire to radically transform America by brainwashing our children to worship AOC and Stacey Abrams."
Collins received contributions during this cycle from PACs working with Amazon, Disney, Comcast, AT&T, ViacomCBS, Sony Pictures, Sony Music, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Internet and Television Association, the National Music Publishers Association, and the Recording Industry Association of America. IATSE and the Directors Guild of America.
Graham's contributors include PACs working with Disney, Sony Pictures, the National Association of Theater Owners, the National Association of Broadcasters, ViacomCBS, the DGA, Fox Corp. and Amazon are connected. He's been running Facebook ads all year round attacking his Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison for raising money from Hollywood.
"Hollywood continues to fund my opponent and raise tens of thousands of campaign funds to attack me," Graham said in an ad. "But they don't understand this simple fact: South Carolinians don't stand for radical leftists telling them how to think and how to vote."
In another he asks, "Are you going to raise $ 20.20 to defend yourself against Hollywood and the liberal elite?"
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