Kevin James' Super PAC Not As "Bipartisan" As Advertised: Second Donor Is Conservative Too

Comments (0)


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 2:31 PM
click to enlarge Kevin James
  • Kevin James

Mayoral candidate Kevin James has taken some heat over the financial support he's received from Harold Simmons, the right-wing Texas billionaire who has spent $600,000 backing his campaign, and who thinks President Obama is "the most dangerous American alive."

In response, James has argued that the media has unfairly focused on Simmons while ignoring the other, Democratic contributor to the Better Way L.A. committee -- Henry Crown & Co. -- which has spent a lot of money backing Obama.

"It's truly a bipartisan PAC," James said at a debate on Feb. 4.

Turns out: no.

The Crown family is worth several billion dollars, according to published reports, and they are active in political giving. James Crown, the president of Henry Crown & Co., lives in Chicago and is indeed a major Democratic contributor. He was a "bundler" for Obama.

However, the connection to Kevin James is through his sister, Janet Crown. 

She lives in Los Angeles and is also a major Obama supporter. But her husband, Steve Robinson, is more conservative. Robinson became a fan of Kevin James by listening to his radio show -- and he's the one who arranged for the $100,000 contribution in the name of Henry Crown & Co.

"It's all from Steve Robinson," said Fred Davis, the Republican consultant who set up the Better Way L.A. committee. "He's a big Kevin James fan... I think he's a Republican. He's certainly fiscally conservative."

Robinson is listed as the treasurer of the Better Way L.A. committee. Contribution records indicate that he gave $1,700 to John McCain's campaign in 2008.

At the Feb. 4 debate, moderator Dave Bryan challenged James over Simmons' remarks about Obama. James stressed that he is a non-partisan candidate, before turning to the PAC's fundraising.

"You referenced the conservative side, Harold Simmons," James said. "There's also a side that for some reason, you folks in the media don't want to talk about... I would encourage those of you in the media and those of you at home to look up Henry Crown & Co. They're the fourth largest donor in America to President Obama, in 2008 and 2012. It is truly a bipartisan PAC that is supporting a non-partisan candidate."

On Tuesday, James said he was not aware that Steve Robinson was the contact for the Henry Crown contribution. He said he relied on the L.A. Times to obtain information about the contributors to the independent committee. He did acknowledge that he knows Robinson, and knows he is married to Janet Crown.

"(Robinson) is familiar with me because of my radio show," James said. "I don't know his party registration... I would venture to say he's a fiscally conservative guy."

Robinson did not return a call or an e-mail seeking comment.

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.