Additional Information on Barbra Sreisand

* Over the years, Streisand has given money to the campaigns of numerous political candidates, all Democrats. The donees include such notables as Tammy BaldwinBarbara BoxerSherrod BrownJimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Howard DeanRichard Durbin, John Edwards, Sam Farr, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Patrick LeahyJohn LewisJim McGovernCynthia McKinney, Barack Obama, Bernie SandersAl SharptonHilda Solis, and Tom Udall. She also has made contributions to EMILY’S List, the Moveon.org Voter Fund, Progressive Democrats of America, and Progressive Majority.

* An ardent environmentalist, Streisand in 2002 claimed that Republicans were to blame for “poison in the water, salmonella in the food, carbon dioxide in the air, and toxic waste in the ground.”

* In his 2006 book Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy, author Peter Schweizer documents how difficult, greedy, and miserly Streisand frequently is. Below are some excerpts from Schweizer’s book:

  • “The California Coastal Records Project is the brainchild of dot-com millionaires Ken and Gabrielle Adelman.… Their goal in establishing the Records Project in 2002 was simple: to take photos of the entire California coastline and post the pictures online. Already environmentalists have used the photos to stop the construction of illegal seawalls. The only part of the 1,150-mile coastline they decided not to shoot was near Vandenberg Air Force Base, due to fears that the photos might be used by terrorists. Otherwise they had never encountered any problems—until they ran into Barbra Streisand. As with every one of the other twelve thousand photos they had taken, the Adelmans flew over water and snapped photos of Streisand’s enormous Point Dume estate, with its half dozen homes and six chimneys, then posted them on the Internet. Streisand demanded that the photos be taken down, claiming that they violated her privacy and property rights. The Adelmans refused, saying that they were simply trying to document coastal erosion in the area. Streisand promptly sued them for $50 million, but the Adelmans refused to back down. To the contrary, they claimed that Streisand was then ‘in the process of doing extensive development on her blufftop estate’ and was less concerned with her privacy rights than with preventing documentation of ‘numerous violations’ of development regulations.… The case went to trial, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan Goodman dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that Streisand was violating the Adelmans’ ‘free speech rights on a matter of public concern.’ … For good measure, the judge ordered Streisand to pay the Adelmans’ legal bills.”
  • “Brad Meltzer worked for Streisand for a year and a half and left on good terms. ‘She was generous in terms of large amounts—big charities, things like that,’ he said, ‘but absolutely mean and niggardly about the salaries of the working people she hired. I recall once that Jon [Peters] had hired some young Mexican workers who had no green cards and paid them three-fifty an hour, but the work wasn’t getting done fast enough. Barbra wanted them to work overtime. They asked for an additional twenty-five cents an hour overtime. She told me to fire them and have them replaced. It killed me, but I did it.’”
  • “Over the years, pool contractors, a masonry supply company, and a general contractor, all hired to do work at her Malibu ranch, had to place liens on the property in order to get paid. Unpaid bills ranged from $4,500 to $50,000. She was also sued by (and settled with) a screenwriter she had commissioned to write a script who claimed she would not pay him.”
  • “On the movie set or on tour, she could be mean and abusive to the help. On the set of Funny Girl, she had veteran makeup lady Gertrude Wheeler literally in tears. ‘She doesn’t go out of her way [for people],’ said friend and producer William Wyler. ‘It’s not her manner to be especially gracious. It’s just not in her makeup; that’s not the girl.’”
  • “Many of those who worked with her—Walter Matthau, Peter Bogdanovich, Kris Kristofferson—found her impossible. (‘Filming with Streisand is an experience which may have cured me of the movies,’ Kristofferson said.) Crew members are told to ‘look away’ when she passes them lest they lose their job. They are forbidden to watch rehearsals. When she sang at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for $10 million a performance, hotel employees who might encounter her in the hallway were under strict instructions to turn their backs to avoid eye contact.”
  • “She may talk about the necessity of labor unions to protect a ‘living wage.’ But Streisand herself has always been the consummate capitalist. She has been making her own films for twenty years and owns several production companies, the most successful of which is called Barwood Films…. [S]he prefers to do her filming and postproduction work in Canada, where she can pay less than American union wages and get healthy tax breaks from the Canadian government.”
  • “In 1993, after years of lavish spending and little work, she discovered she was almost broke…. The best way to bring in money quickly was to organize a concert tour. It had been twenty-seven years since she last appeared onstage, and interest was expected to be high. So promotion began for an international tour, and sticker shock emerged when the ticket prices were posted. Front row seats could set you back $1,000 apiece, far higher than anything anyone had ever been asked to pay.… The outrageous prices were justified on the grounds that this was absolutely the last time Barbra Streisand would ever sing in public. But she pulled the same stunt seven years later, when she staged a series of high-priced ‘millennium’ concerts.”
  • “Streisand has said that, unlike Republicans, she doesn’t want to ‘cater to the rich. I’d rather pay more taxes.’ Such talk comes easily to wealthy liberals like Streisand. But when it comes to her own money, she is shrewd—sometimes too shrewd. When she tried to sell her Malibu property in the early 1990s, she put it on the market for $16 million. When she couldn’t find a buyer, she hiked the price to $19 million. Then she dropped the price to $11.9 million. Finally she donated the property to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and took a $15 million write-off. How could she claim a $15 million deduction for a house that wouldn’t sell for $11.9 million? That’s what the IRS wanted to know. Streisand entered into private negotiations with the IRS and resolved the matter quietly.”
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