Obama raises funds among the stars

President Obama will attend a pair of star-studded Hollywood fundraisers on Monday night, according to details of the events provided by an aide to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The gatherings — one at the home of NBA superstar Magic Johnson, and the other at home of Hollywood producer Haim Saban — will benefit a joint fundraising committee aiding Democratic House and Senate candidates.

ADVERTISEMENT
The cocktail reception at Johnson’s home is expected to draw 160 attendees, including actors Samuel L. Jackson and Diane Keaton. The Hall of Fame Lakers star also recruited current NBA players — including Los Angeles Clippers forward Antawn Jamison and guard J.J. Reddick — to attend the event, where tickets ranked between $2,500 and $15,000 per person.

A subsequent dinner at the home of Saban is expected to draw 120 attendees forking over $16,200 per person or $32,400 for a couple. Attendees include actors Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Paul Reiser, Warner Brothers Chairman Barry Meyer, and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. Sussex Records head Clarence Avant and “Oprah” and “Dr. Phil” executive Michael King will also be in attendance, as will Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

A slew of top lawmakers will appear at the events, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

On Tuesday, the president will mingle more with Hollywood celebrities at a pair of events before he returns to Washington.

In the morning, the president will hold a roundtable discussion with donors at the home of “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman. 

He’ll then travel to Glendale for an economic event at the DreamWorks studio. According to The Hollywood Reporter, DeamWorks head Jeffrey Katzenberg has invited all the other major studio heads — along with many of their top deputies — for an hourlong summit with the president.

Earlier Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest defended hosting the event at the studio, despite Katzenberg’s role as one of the president’s top campaign donors.

“Contributing to the president's campaign or being a political supporter of the president doesn't guarantee a presidential visit, but it shouldn't exclude you from one either,” Earnest said.

"The fact of the matter is when the president goes to New York to talk about the economy, it's not unusual for the president to speak on Wall Street. When the president goes to Detroit to talk about the economy, it's not unusual for the president to appear at an auto manufacturing facility. …  And in this case, it shouldn't be particularly surprising that the president is going to talk about the economy and the important drivers of the economy in Southern California by appearing at an entertainment facility."