If George Clooney's dad going to take heat for his Hollywood son, he may as well take cold hard cash from the kid's friends.

And he is.

Nick Clooney, the onetime American Movie Classics host and longtime local TV news anchor in Cincinnati, raked in nearly $500,000 from January-March for his Kentucky Congressional race, per reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

A not-insubstantial portion of the elder Clooney's $478,281.61 war chest in that period came from the younger Clooney's famous friends (including, literally, Friends Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc) and, in Renée Zellweger's case, a reputed onetime squeeze.

In all, more than 40 L.A. and Manhattan power players--from Miramax's Bob and Harvey Weinstein to Steven Spielberg--each kicked in at least $500, and as much as $4,000, to help fund Nick Clooney's bid for Kentucky's 4th Congressional District.

Other big-name contributors included George Clooney's former ER costars Noah Wyle and Julianna Margulies, A-listers Paul Newman, Meg Ryan and Kevin Spacey, and mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Nick Clooney, brother of the late crooner Rosemary Clooney, is the only Democrat running to succeed incumbent Rep. Ken Lucas, also a Democrat. His Republican challenger will be picked in a May 18 primary.

In addition to being the father of movie-star George, the 70-year-old Nick Clooney, once a fixture on the Cincinnati TV anchor desk, is the uncle of Crossing Jordan star Miguel Ferrer, who wrote his own $2,000 check to Clooney for Congress.

About the only Hollywood player not listed on the latest disclosure forms as a Clooney contributor is George Clooney. Not that he's sitting out his father's political run.

Last month, the Sexiest Clooney Alive helped Dad raise more than $200,000 at events in Kentucky. Also in March, he hosted a private shindig at his California home, offering to wash cars in return for campaign donations. Last year, he kicked in $2,000 to his dad's coffers.

George Clooney's involvement has played to mixed results back on Nick Clooney's turf--"mixed" meaning the Democrats say it's an example of a son helping out a father, and the Republicans say it's an example of, well, a spokesman for chief GOP rival Geoff Davis put it best in the Cincinatti Enquirer.

Nick Clooney's son, flack Justin Brasell told the paper in February, is raising money from "liberal celebrities plotting ways to pass more gun-control laws and raise our taxes."

The Nick Clooney campaign maintains that 57 percent of its contributors from January to March were Kentucky residents, Friday's Enquirer reported. No word on how many of the locals were in on the liberal celebrity plot.

Per the FEC filings, here's a look at some of the elder Clooney's famed contributors, no doubt courtesy of the younger Clooney:

George coworkers:
Hank Azaria (Fail Safe), $500
Chuck Barris (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), $2,000
Drew Barrymore (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), $1,000
Adrien Brody (The Thin Red Line), $2,000
Scott Frank (screenwriter, Out of Sight), $1,000
Andy Garcia (Ocean's Eleven), $500
Akiva Goldsman (screenwriter, Batman & Robin), $1,000
Elliott Gould (Ocean's Eleven), $500
Salma Hayek (From Dusk till Dawn), $1,000
Julianna Marguilies (ER), $500
Danny DeVito (producer, Out of Sight), $2,000
Joel Schumacher (director, Batman & Robin), $1,000
Steven Soderbergh (director/producer/writer, frequent Clooney collaborator), $4,000
John Wells (executive producer, ER), $4,000
Bob Weinstein (executive producer, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, $4,000
Harvey Weinstein (executive producer, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, $4,000
Noah Wyle (ER), $4,000

Presumed George compadres:
Kevin Costner, $2,000
Courteney Cox, $500
Michael Douglas, $2,000
Stephen Gaghan (screenwriter), $2,000
Melissa Gilbert, $2,000
Alan Horn (studio exec), $2,000
Bonnie Hunt, $4,000 (cumulative)
Jeffrey Katzenberg (studio exec), $1,000
Norman Lear (All in the Family creator), $1,000
Matt LeBlanc, $2,000
Lucy Liu, $500
William H. Macy, $500
Paul Newman, $2,000
Rhea Pearlman, $2,000
Meg Ryan, $1,000
Laura San Giacamo, $1,000
Kevin Spacey, $2,000
Steven Spielberg, $1,000
Renée Zellweger $4,000

Maybe they know Nick:
Red Buttons (comic), $500
Walter Cronkite (retired news anchor), $1,000
Veronica Hamel (former Hill Street Blues star), $1,000
Nancy Sinatra (1960s pop star), $1,000
Gail Zappa (widow of Frank), $2,000

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