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Donor says Hillary ‘very accessible’ at Hamptons event

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Bill Clinton served as a welcome “side dish” at an East Hampton fundraiser for Hillary Clinton on Sunday, said one donor who was thrilled with how much access she got to the Democratic presidential front-runner.

The former President Clinton did not give a speech and stayed largely in the background at the breakfast event, hosted by New York venture capitalist Alan Patricof and his wife, Susan, both longtime Clinton friends. But Samantha Ettus, a Los Angeles-based author and radio host who attended the fundraiser with her husband and children, said donors and their kids had remarkable access to the Clintons, unlike at other events “where you spot a celebrity or politician” but never get to talk to them.

“If Hillary was the main dish, [Bill] was the side dish. … Obviously you can’t help but feel this incredible fortune that if Hillary is in the White House, we have these two incredibly experienced people,” Ettus said.

The fundraiser — held amid a weekend of Clinton fundraising in the Hamptons — included more than 100 donors eating chocolate chip pancakes while their children played at a petting zoo that had been set up on the grounds of the Patricof estate.

“[Hillary] was very accessible,” said Ettus, who paid $1,000 for her family’s ticket. “It was remarkably casual. She was incredibly upbeat and energetic and really extraordinary in person.”

Chelsea Clinton was also there with her daughter, Charlotte.

Ettus said she did not spot any celebrities there, but The Daily Mail, which photographed guests arriving and leaving, published pictures of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and said that a lunch fundraiser was held the same day at fashion designer Tory Burch’s Southampton home.

Patricof said his event was a huge success, particularly as there were three Clinton fundraisers running on the same day in the Hamptons.

More than 600 guests showed up, he said, with the entry cost being $500 for individuals and $1000 for families. Patricof said Bill Clinton stayed off to the side, but lingered with the guests after Hillary left.

“It was very kid-friendly. There was face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides,” Patricof said.

“What was amazing to me was that [Hillary] stayed around long enough to shake every person’s hand.”

Patricof said he would continue raising donations for Clinton’s campaign — and would give tens of thousands more to the Democratic National Committee in the general election — but he had no intention at this stage of writing multimillion-dollar checks for the pro-Clinton super-PAC, Priorities USA.

“I’m very much against the whole Citizens United and the implications of that,” said Patricof, referring to the 2010 Supreme Court decision that paved the path for unlimited corporate and billionaire spending on political campaigns.

“I think it’s a necessary evil but for now I’m concentrating my effort on the traditional fundraising allowances under the election laws.”

— Updated at 4:40 p.m.

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