Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. Check back daily for more info on the most powerful people in your city. Today, real estate heir and media mogul Steve Bing proves that, unlike Heidi Montag’s plastic surgeries, Hollywood money can actually be put to good use.
Company: Shangri-La Entertainment
What Made Him Haute: He’s a successful writer, director, producer and financier. But where the real estate development heir really makes his mark is as one of the nation’s top donors to Democratic and progressive causes. His reported $49.5 million (at least) donation on behalf of Prop 87, the oil tax initiative, is believed to be a national record for individual spending on a ballot measure.
What Makes Him Haute Now: Earlier this year, Bing reportedly invested a donation of $25,000 toward building a Fresh Start committee, which is geared to help change (or so he hopes) the state of California’s term-limits law. Also, in 2009, Bing was a financial backer in former President Bill Clinton’s trip to North Korea, providing him with a private Boeing 737. This was a vital trip for Clinton, as he was the only hope in helping to release American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee from the North Korean government after they were held captive for 140 days and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for crossing into North Korea.