Profile: Stephen L. Bing

Producer, Shangri-La Entertainment <br>Los Angeles, California

Photo: Getty Images

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest