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Retired airline pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who became a hero when he successfully landed in New York's Hudson River, gave Obama $5,000. The Danville resident is a registered Republican.

While donors who contribute directly to presidential campaigns are limited to $5,000 $2,500 for the primary campaign and $2,500 for the general election the average California donation to a presidential super PAC was over $27,000.

The reports do not disclose the identity of all PAC contributors. Nonprofit organizations such as Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS are not required to reveal the identity of their donors. Nevertheless, the contribution report Nike Tech Fleece Crew Neck

Romney's PAC received $2.3 million from California's private equity sector, including $200,000 from Richard Boyce, a former Bain Capital partner, and $100,000 from Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Carl's Jr. and Hardee's.

Katzenberg, Spielberg, Thiel and Newsom are among thousands of Californians whose donations were revealed this month by the Federal Election Commission in its financial disclosure report for 2011.

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Nike Sportswear Tech Fleece Varsity

Affluent Californians send huge donations to Obama

Hollywood's fondness for Obama is evident in the listings from several exclusive Los Angeles area ZIP codes. Donors include record producer Quincy Jones and director Quentin Tarantino, as well as actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell.

Romney's contributors, though less Nike Long Sleeve Running Top Womens

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"I'm proud to support Colbert's message with a donation,'' Lt. Gov. Newsom quipped in a statement. "And I like his haircut."

WASHINGTON DreamWorks co founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg are among the affluent Californians taking advantage of new campaign rules that allow Nike Sportswear Tech Fleece Varsity them to donate unlimited amounts to help President Barack Obama get re elected.

As the result of several recent Supreme Court decisions, donors can give unlimited sums to such committees, known as super PACs, so long as they remain independent from and do not coordinate with the candidate.

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Obama will visit California to raise more money this week. The president has two fundraisers scheduled for Thursday night in San Francisco. About 60 people will pay $35,800 each to attend a dinner at the home of novelist Robert Mailer Anderson and his wife, Nicola Miner. Afterward, there will be a much larger event at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, for which tickets cost from $100 to $7,500.

Katzenberg donated $2 million to Obama's political action committee in 2011, the single largest donation to the president. Spielberg contributed $100,000. In all, 14 Californians accounted for half of the PAC's nationwide total.

Presidential candidates typically rely on California donations, even if the bulk of the money is spent elsewhere in competitive swing states.

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Nike Sportswear Tech Fleece Varsity

Romney's financial backers include Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape; Carol Bartz, former CEO of Yahoo; and Ann Livermore, a former Hewlett Packard executive vice president Nike Red Long Sleeve Shirt

Nike Sportswear Tech Fleece Varsity

Colbert's PAC Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow is really more of a punch line than a PAC. Colbert set it up to show how easy it is to get around the strict limits of direct campaign contributions.

The same area provided Gingrich with his largest totals. But his contributions only $128,000 are substantially less than Romney's.

Colbert's PAC raised $825,475 nationwide from its inception in the middle of 2011 through Dec. 31.

Colbert's PAC raised $20,000 in California, 10 times more than Gingrich's PAC.

Obama's donors also included Hollywood stars Will Smith and George Clooney and Silicon Valley moguls Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, and Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.

Obama raised $13.7 million in California last year, more than all of his Republican challengers combined, the figures show.

widely known, include powerful executives of large banks and real estate companies, including strong support from the company Romney co founded, Bain Capital. Top Bain executives have donated at least $50,000.

Los Angeles philanthropist David Segel donated $15,000 to Santorum's PAC, and Segel's company Arrabon Management Services donated another $15,000.

PayPal co founder Thiel donated $900,000 of the $1 million raised nationally by Paul's PAC, Endorse Liberty.

On the GOP side, former Univision CEO Jerry Perenchio donated $2 million to elect Republicans, and PayPal co founder Peter Thiel has donated $900,000 to presidential candidate Ron Paul, a fellow libertarian. And, poking fun at what he feels is the absurdity of campaign financing laws, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom donated $500 to a super PAC supporting late night comedian Stephen Colbert.

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"California is home to one of the strongest progressive networks in the country," said Bill Burton, a former White House staffer who co founded Obama's PAC, Priorities USA Action. "We have spent a lot of time there, and we will be spending a lot of time there."

"Having a lot of money has been electorally important forever," said Gary Jacobson, political science professor at UC San Diego. "The same kinds of interests that were investing in the past are investing now. They are just investing more."

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Romney raised large sums in Orange and northern San Diego counties, receiving more than $1 million from donors in Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Jolla and Mission Viejo.

The $26 million in direct contributions to the candidates' campaigns was supplemented by an additional $12 million in contributions to the PACs supporting the candidates.

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So far, the overwhelming majority of Obama's money has come from the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Romney and Gingrich have also drawn financial support from conservative areas closer to San Diego.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the closest competitor, having raised $6.6 million. The rest of the Republican field raised considerably less in the state. Paul raised just under $1.5 million, Newt Gingrich raised $661,000, and Rick Santorum raised $62,000.

who now sits on the company's board.


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