Damon, DiCaprio and De Niro support Kerry, while Kelsey, Reba and Don King back Bush

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 11, 2004 08:00 AM

The hotly contested presidential race has Hollywood seeing green – as celebrities on both coasts are reaching into their bank accounts to back their candidates of choice.

In terms of star power, the Kerry campaign has bigger marquee names on its bandwagon, including Matt Damon ($25,000 donation), Leonardo DiCaprio ($2,000) and this year’s Oscar winner Charlize Theron ($1,000), reports New York’s Daily News, citing Web sites that disclose political gifts.

Bush backers include Frasier star Kelsey Grammer ($4,000), Reba McEntire ($4,000) and Wayne Newton ($2,000), says the paper.

Chevy Chase ponied up $32,000 for the John Kerry-John Edwards ticket, telling the News: “There’s something venal and arrogant about Bush, and it drives me up a wall.”

At the other end of the political spectrum, country star Larry Gatlin gave $7,000 to keep George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in office, saying: “Rock on, Mr. President. I am praying for you every day.”

Also putting their money where their mouths are as far as the incumbent Republican team is concerned, as tallied from various sources: Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon ($2,000), Chuck Norris ($2,000), Don King ($44,500), Ernest Borgnine ($2,000) and Pat Boone ($1,430).

Among those kicking in for Kerry: Uma Thurman ($4,000), Robert De Niro ($27,000 to various Democratic groups), Stephen King ($25,000 to the DNC), Michael Douglas, ($15,000), Ron Howard ($2,000), Goldie Hawn ($1,000) and Kevin Bacon ($17,000). Rosie O’Donnell has contributed $2,000 to Kerry, $10,000 to the Democratic National Committee and $100,000 to America Coming Together, a Democratic get-out-the-vote program.

But the most generous politically minded check writer appears to be Stephen Bing, the producer possibly best remembered for a nasty paternity suit he once lost to Elizabeth Hurley. The News reports that he has contributed $8.2 million to a wide array of organizations supporting John Kerry.