Stephen Bing may be best known for his Hollywood lifestyle. The screenwriter and producer has been linked romantically to Uma Thurman, Sharon Stone, and — most memorably — Elizabeth Hurley. But Bing is no simple film industry gadfly. He is the grandson of New York real estate mogul Leo Bing, with a personal worth of more than $500 million. And he is one of the Democratic Party’s most consistently generous donors.
That combination of playboy reputation and liberal politics has earned Bing a special place in the hearts of conservative pundits. Still, Bing’s liberal leanings are no passing fancy. His father worked for both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations as a public health doctor. But it is as a campaign contributor that Bing the younger has made the greatest impact.
Since 1999, Bing has contributed more than $9.5 million to federal candidates and parties, including more than $8 million in soft money given to the Democratic National Committee. Last year, he gave $100,000 to embattled California governor Gray Davis. This year, with the soft money pipeline into the parties shut down, Bing has followed the same path as other generous Democratic donors, contributing heavily to liberal soft money issue groups. He has contributed nearly $2 million to the Media Fund and just less than $1 million to MoveOn.org.