Joe Biden’s Los Angeles Fundraising Swing Brings In More Than $15 Million, Jeffrey Katzenberg Says
Source: Yahoo! Finance
Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden wrapped up a weekend of fundraising in Los Angeles on Sunday, with a record amount raised.
More than $15 million was raised through the weekend, including for the Biden Victory Fund, said campaign co-chair Jeffrey Katzenberg, founding partner of WndrCo. That is the most raised for a single visit to Los Angeles of any president or presidential candidate, he said.
It also surpassed the amount raised by Barack Obama in May, 2012, when Obama headlined a fundraiser at the home of George Clooney and co-hosted by Katzenberg. That fundraising trip brought in almost $15 million.
Through the weekend, Biden and the first lady headlined seven events, including private gatherings with high-dollar donors and a Hollywood-centric fundraiser on Friday evening at the Holmby Hills home of James Costos, the former U.S. ambassador to Spain, and designer Michael Smith. That event included co-chairs such as Steven Spielberg, Shonda Rhimes, Rob Reiner, Peter Chernin and Jim Gianopulos, as well as developer Rick Caruso and the Human Rights Campaign PAC.
“To do this a year before an election is really just exceptional and it demonstrates the tremendous amount of support and enthusiasm for the president’s re-election,” Katzenberg said.
In between the fundraisers and private events, Biden also made a surprise visit to Norman Lear’s home, where his widow, Lyn, was having a sitting shiva for her late husband, who died last week at age 101.
Katzenberg said that on Saturday, after the president had attended a private event at his home, Biden said that he had heard there would be a shiva for Lear and asked if it would be OK to go. Biden said that he would really like to go pay his respects.
“I said, ‘I am sure they would be thrilled to have you drop by,’” Katzenberg said. “He really admired Norman so much.”
The president visited at the home for about 20 minutes. The Lears had previously hosted fundraisers for Biden, and at Friday evening’s event, the president said of Lear, “His cast of characters painted a — a fuller picture of America, of our hopes and our hardships, our fears, our resilience, and changed the way we look at ourselves.”
The Friday evening event also saw a large group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, blowing whistles and chanting “ceasefire now,” as they were kept behind a security fence at a Holmby Hills park. Police officers had to escort some attendees into the event, and some were unable to get through as the protesters attempted to block vehicles.
The Los Angeles Police Department said that “at one point an unlawful assembly and dispersal order was issued due to the protestors actions including throwing objects at officers and passing vehicles. The crowd slowly dispersed and no arrests were made, no use of force, and no officers were injured.”
But the department also said that there were later acts of vandalism in the Westwood area by protesters who marched from the demonstration. “The graffiti is being removed today and crime reports have been taken,” the department said. The LAPD is investigating.
The White House pool correspondents reported relatively little protest activity on Saturday. In the evening, the Bidens headlined a fundraiser at the Pacific Palisades home of investors José Feliciano and Kwanza Jones that evening.
At that event, the president warned that Donald Trump, the front runner for the Republican nomination, would pose a threat to democracy, an indication of a focus that Biden will take in 2024.
“This guy means what he’s saying,” Biden said of Trump. “Listen to his words today. He says he’s running not to serve the American people but, quote, to get ‘revenge’ and ‘retribution.’ That’s not me; these are his words. That’s what he’s saying repeatedly.”