When Michael Lynton, chairman and chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment, sat down for lunch last July with L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, each wanted something.
Lynton is a trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which needed Ridley-Thomas' support to secure $125 million in county funding for a major expansion.
Ridley-Thomas wanted Sony to donate to a "super PAC" he had founded, which was supporting an aide's campaign for a seat on the Los Angeles school board.
In September, Sony wrote a check to the PAC for $25,000. Two months later, Ridley-Thomas joined in a unanimous vote by the county supervisors to fund the LACMA...