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Hugh Hefner gives $2,300 to Clinton’s ’08 campaign

WWW- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is seeking to become the first woman president, and a man who has published countless pictures of naked women is pitching in for her White House bid.

Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy Enterprises empire, is among the many celebrities who have picked their favorite candidate to succeed President Bush in 2009.

Hefner contributed $2,300 (the maximum allowed in the primary) to Clinton’s campaign on March 28, identifying his occupation on the fundraiser form as “editor-in-chief” of Playboy magazine.

Hefner has given thousands to Democrats over the years, including $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 and $1,000 each to Al Gore and then-President Clinton in the 1990’s. Hefner’s favorite on Capitol Hill is Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.); he has given her $13,200 since 1996, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Sanchez attracted controversy by planning to hold a fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion during the 2000 Democratic National Convention in California.

Other Clinton backers include Chevy Chase, TV personality Jerry Springer, and Barbra Streisand.

Clinton’s campaign did not return a phone call seeking comment.

An early review of celebrity donations shows that Sen. Barack Obama (D) is grabbing most of the big names in Hollywood. Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Tobey Maguire, Edward Norton and Ben Stiller have opened their wallet for the junior senator from Illinois.

Dennis Haysbert, the black actor who portrayed the president in the Fox show “24” before his character was assassinated last year, also gave to Obama.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) attracted the financial backing of Rob Reiner, while Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) got Steve Martin, Paul Newman and “Saturday Night Live” honcho Lorne Michaels. Singer Don Henley and actor/writer Larry David contributed to former Sen. John Edwards’s (D-N.C.) war chest.

Some celebs have several horses in the field. Rosie O’Donnell gave to both Clinton and Richardson. Michael Douglas is a fan of Dodd and Richardson, based on fundraising information culled from PoliticalMoneyLine.

Most of Hollywood gave to Democratic candidates (shocking), but there were a few exceptions.

Actors Kelsey Grammer, Adam Sandler and John O’Hurley (J. Peterman on “Seinfeld”) cut checks for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R).

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