Biden to attend star-studded fundraiser in downtown LA

. June 15, 2024

Biden to attend star-studded fundraiser in downtown LA

Source: NBC Los Angeles

Among the organizers of the event is entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, a co-chair of the Biden 2024 campaign.

President Joe Biden returned to the Southland Saturday for a star-studded campaign fundraising event in downtown Los Angeles that will also feature former President Barack Obama and celebrity supporters George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

Air Force One touched down at LAX at 5:04 a.m. Saturday, according to a White House pool report. Biden exited the plane at 5:32 a.m. with his daughter Ashley Biden.

Late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel will also take part in the gathering at the Peacock Theater, moderating a discussion between Biden and Obama. The event is expected to be similar to a fundraiser the Biden campaign held in March in New York City that featured talk-show host Stephen Colbert moderating a talk between Biden, Obama and former President Bill Clinton.    

According to various reports, tickets for the exclusive gathering began at $250, ranging as high as $500,000 for front-of-house seating, photo opps and an after-party.

“The event has already raised over $28 million and counting — making it the biggest fundraiser in Democratic Party history,” a Biden campaign statement said Saturday morning. The New York event in March raised $26 million, according to the New York Times.

Among the organizers of the event is entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, a co-chair of the Biden 2024 campaign.

“This Saturday, we are going to see an unprecedented and record-setting turnout from the media and entertainment world,” Katzenberg said in remarks reported by the Los Angeles Times. “The enthusiasm and commitment for Biden-Harris couldn’t be stronger. We all understand this is the most important election of our lifetime.”

Actors Jason Bateman, Jack Black, Kathryn Hahn and Sheryl Lee Ralph are also expected to attend Saturday’s gathering.

The fundraiser could be the last major appearance for Biden in the Southland ahead of the November election, making it a critical event for an incumbent dogged by continuing consumer complaints about the cost of groceries and gas, and rising division over the U.S. stance in the Israel-Hamas war.    

At least one protest was known to be in the works for the president’s visit. A group of “Jews, Palestinians and allies with Jewish Voice for Peace-Los Angeles” was planning a demonstration outside the Peacock Theater to call on the United States to “impose an arms embargo on U.S. weapons sales to Israel immediately and end the ongoing genocide against Palestinians.”

The California Republican Party, meanwhile, blasted the high-dollar fundraising event.

“Nothing says to struggling Americans, ‘I understand what you’re going through and am ready to help,’ like spending a night schmoozing with the ultra-relatable George Clooney, Julia Roberts and other Hollywood celebrities,” Jessica Millan Patterson, the California Republican Party chairwoman, said in a statement.

“What you likely will see at President Biden’s glitzy L.A. bash: anti-Israel protests dividing their party, excuses for why issues like inflation and illegal immigration aren’t as bad as Californians know they are, and a bevy of out-of-touch Hollywood elites who are fearful that their standard bearer isn’t up to the job.

“What you likely won’t see: targeted Democrat House members and candidates who don’t want to be caught anywhere near an incredibly unpopular Biden,” she said. “The typical Democrat Hollywood cash grab won’t be enough to save Biden from voters retiring him in November.”

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was in the Southland for a fundraising swing of his own last week. He spoke at a Newport Beach fundraiser, with tickets ranging from $3,300 for a lunch reception to $100,000 to be designated as a member of the host committee. The cost for a photo opp with Trump started at $35,000.

Trump also attended a fundraiser in Beverly Hills, with tickets ranging from $5,000 to $250,000.

Biden was last in the Los Angeles area in late February, when he attended a fundraiser at the home of Israeli American media mogul Haim Saban in the gated Beverly Park community, near Mulholland Drive.

Tickets for that event ranged from $3,300 to $250,000, with those donating at least $25,000 getting to take a picture with Biden, according to the entertainment news website Deadline.

Biden also made a brief stop in Los Angeles on Feb. 3-4, meeting with entertainment industry leaders to lobby for support for his campaign. The Times reported the meeting was held at a home owned by George Lucas.    

In December, Biden was in the area for two days of fundraising events and campaign meetings, including a fundraiser at the home of investors Jose Feliciano and Kwanza Jones. He also attended a star-studded affair in Holmby Hills that included Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner, Shonda Rhimes, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor Karen Bass and her former opponent, developer Rick Caruso, and a performance by Lenny Kravitz.