Hillary Clinton Raises Huge Sums at Homes of George Clooney, Jeffrey Katzenberg

Hillary Clinton George Clooney Fundraiser Controversy
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Updated

Hillary Clinton raised money for her campaign and Democratic party committees from an array of Hollywood figures at the homes of George Clooney and Jeffrey Katzenberg on Saturday, in what was expected to be her most successful evening of showbiz fundraising so far in the 2016 presidential race.

Clinton attended a fundraising dinner on Saturday evening at the Studio City home of Clooney and his wife Amal, with Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Fonda, Anna Wintour and Jim Parsons among the attendees. The event was widely publicized, as the campaign held a contest to win tickets to the fete.

At the event, Clinton floated between two head tables, one hosted by the Clooneys and another hosted by Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn. Others at the event included Jim Gianopulos, Tom Rothman and Bryan Lourd.

In the afternoon, Clinton attended a smaller gathering at the Katzenbergs’ Beverly Hills home, where she was joined by Casey Wasserman, Haim Saban, the Clooneys, and Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw. All were cohosts. Also present: James Cameron, and George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson, according to source briefed on the event. It was largely kept under wraps until late Saturday afternoon.

As supporters of Bernie Sanders staged a protest down the street, backers of Clinton emphasized that the bulk of the money raised would be going to the national and state Democratic party and benefit candidates across the country.

About 150 people attended the events, with tickets priced at $33,400 per person. Co-hosts contributed $50,000, and event co-chairs contributed $353,000. Money went to the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint committee for the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state party committees. The money is split between the entities — donors are limited to a maximum of $2,700 per person to the Clinton campaign and $33,400 per person to the DNC. Other funds went to state parties.

According to a Clinton aide, she talked about “building on the progress we made under President Obama. She does not believe that we live in a single issue country and she is not a single issue candidate.”

An attendee at the Clooney event described Clinton as “completely enthusiastic,” as she talked about the Supreme Court, marriage equality, income inequality and mass incarceration. The Clooneys and Katzenberg each gave remarks before she spoke. “She spent more time talking about the dangers of Trump than beating up on Bernie,” an attendee said.

Clinton also attended a $2,700-per-person event earlier in the day at the LINE Hotel in Koreatown, and a free campaign rally in the morning at Los Angeles Southwest College.

This weekend, campaign of her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, bought time to run an ad spot, called “$27,” on Los Angeles stations to contrast the average contribution to Sanders’ campaign to that of some of the high-dollar events that Clinton has held.

Clooney himself agreed with Sanders’ criticism of the high dollar amounts being raised. In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that will air on Sunday, he noted that when he pulled up to a fundraising event he also was co-hosting on Friday night in San Francisco, there were Sanders protesters present and “they’re right to protest.”

“They’re absolutely right,” he told Chuck Todd. “It is an obscene amount of money. The Sanders campaign when they talk about it is absolutely right. It’s ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics. I agree completely.”

A group of Sanders supporters held their own fundraising event at a home just down the street from the Clooneys. Dubbed the “99% Party,” it was being held at the residence of Howard Gold — of the family that founded the 99 Cents store chain. Radio host Cary Harrison, actor Andrew Keegan and director Matthew Cooke were among the co-hosts, and contributions were $27 per person.

About 110 Sanders supporters gathered in front of Gold’s home and lined both sides of huge street. As Clinton’s motorcade went by, they threw $1,000 in real dollar bills at the vehicles. After it passed, they danced in the street to “Dancing in the Streets” as Secret Service agents and LAPD officers looked on.

Among those present was actress Frances Fisher, a longtime Sanders supporter who held a “Feel the Bern” sign.

She told The Hill that the ticket price for the Clooney event “is more than minimum wage [annual salary] would be if we went up to $15 nationwide.” Other demonstrators held signs that read, Goldman Sach’s Loves Hillary.”

The view of many other Hollywood Democrats, however, is that as much as they decry money in politics, they are also pragmatic, and do not want to cede the money race to Republicans. Clinton has called for overturning Citizens United, the landmark 2010 Supreme Court decision that removed restrictions on unlimited outside spending in presidential contests.

“The best way to get money out of politics is to elect Hillary Clinton,” said Andy Spahn, an organizer of the event whose consultancy firm represents some of the evening’s co-hosts, including Katzenberg and Spielberg.

Jon Vein, the CEO of Marketshare who hosted Clinton at his home in February, noted that she was spending time raising for national and state parties, which will benefit candidates down ballot in November. That would benefit Sanders, too, if he were to be the nominee, he said.

“Everybody there — if they could get money out of politics, they would,” he said. Given that Republicans will continue to pour huge sums into campaigns, “until we get rid of Citizens United, it is foolish not to raise as much as possible.”

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  1. anonymous says:

    Let’s just be honest here. Anyone supporting Bernie Sanders is a sexist, period. They are only supporting him because he’s “not her.” To put down another democrat the way he has, and the way his supporters have, is beyond disgusting and he does it constantly. He is desperate and out of control, as are his Bernie Bro supporters. He called Hillary Clinton “unqualified!” Ha ha. What a joke. He’s the one who hasn’t accomplished anything! If he wins the nomination, I’m not voting. I’m not voting for another do-noting Senator an unqualified man against a more qualified woman (especially after a 200 year lock of balding old men holding that office).

  2. Hannibal Jones says:

    Being a life long working stiff I Could Never get involved in such things like The Sudan , or Congo crisis’s , Red China going into the U.N. , or raising money in Sunny Beverly Hills with Babs , Geogey Boy , or any other important things to those who live the charmed lifestyles .

    Attending Bathroom Boycotts on behalf of LGBTQ , and whatever Other Minority Whacko group is probably the Latest Bandwagon , but I Think I’ll pass on that too n Go Fishing with some Cold Beer , and Maybe Shoot a Moose like a closet Real He Dude Man I Am .

    Look out Bullwinkle ……..I’m a Gay Black Hockey Playing Reagan Republican Man in a Moose suit !

  3. A.L. collins says:

    George needs to just stick to being an actor and a bad one at that.

  4. GKN says:

    Let’s be real. They are not supporting Hillary for fear of ceding anything to the Republicans – whether the White House or the money race. For one, Sanders has out-raised her. For another, all the polls have long showed he would beat Trump by a far larger margin than Hillary could.

    Let’s be honest and look elsewhere for their motivations. Off -shore tax havens and tax evasion, I imagine, for starts.

  5. Guest says:

    I know to never watch the shows, films and movies of the attendees such as George Crony, Ellen, Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron, Parsons, etc. for supporting an unethical candidate. VOMIT.

  6. pickles says:

    She did not talk about jobs ,taxes, national debt, education ,healthcare or terror. Really important issues were over looked. You have income equality because poor people make people rich that’s never going to change .People will continue to struggle to pay their bills and also pay for the internet so they can use facebook and twitter and check on the Kardashians and celebrity gossip.

  7. To vomit or not to vomit that is the question…….VOMIT

  8. Alex says:

    Notice you never see the words “Corporate greed” and “Entertainment Industry” used in the same sentence. The same evil suits and actors that have laid off thousands have more then enough cash to throw at Hillary When one of Trumps people grabs a blogger it’s major news, but little is written about the corruption at SAG. The entertainment industry is more evil then Wall Street and Big Oil, they buy and sell human beings, EXXON sells gas and oil.

  9. segodsoe says:

    Hillary is ahead in endorsements from past and present Governors, House and Senate members 363 to 15. They have all seen Bernie’s schtick for twenty-five years, and they are not buying it. All the kids who are passionate, first-time voters don’t understand that nothing gets done and Citizen United remains if just the candidate is elected.

  10. segodsoe says:

    Typical of what the SFTH Bernie young supporters don’t know. Hillary can get at most $5400 from this: An individual can give $2,700 for a candidate’s primary campaign, another $2,700 for the general election, $33,400 every year to the party and $10,000 per year to each state party. She is raising money for the Democratic candidates and Democratic party so the “Revolution” can happen. Bernie is so proud of all his small donors, but very, very little is going to help other Dem candidates. Bernie is not a Democrat, does not care about the Democrats, only himself. There ain’t going to be any “Revolution’ unless the House and Senate go Blue. Wake up while there is still time!!!

    • GKN says:

      Really now? You mean she accumulated her $32 million net worth (per Breitbart. Forbes put it at $45 million) just from saving up her little salary and these modest contributions in her piggy bank? Bravo.

  11. “Jon Vein, the CEO of Marketshare who hosted Clinton at his home in February, noted that Clinton was not just raising money for her campaign but the national and state parties, which will benefit candidates down ballot in November.”

    Amount of money raised by Bernie Sanders for down ticket Dems he would need to pass his agenda: 0. But he will buy an endorsement from you and disguise it as a campaign contribution. Such as the one he gave LaDawn Jones of George of about 6000 for hers.

  12. Michael Levine says:

    This puts a new spin on Jeffrey Katzenberg’s pet saying: If you can’t bother coming on Saturday, don’t bother coming on Sunday…

  13. In case you didn’t noti$$ce, you hoi polloi didn’t get invitation$.

  14. Hobart says:

    “The best way to get money out of politics is to elect Hillary Clinton,” said Andy Spahn. Andy, you are either being paid a lot of money to tell this lie, or you are an idiot to believe it will fly.

    • J. Schmoe says:

      I agree with his statement. Clinton has made it a big priority to get the Citizens United ruling either changed or reversed by law. She’s got the best shot at doing that. (Good old Bernie doesn’t have any sort of working rapport with his fellow Senators to accomplish much at all.) And it amazes me, no it stuns me that the Bernie’s fans like Ms. Fisher would want these well-paid Hollywood moguls to pay their fair share of taxes, way in excess of yours or mine. But when they contribute amounts that for them are easy money, it’s shameful. Hypocrisy in the Bernie fold knows no limits. By the way, we all actually underspend on our political system. All the candidates for President this year will spend a total of 5 billion dollars to win the White House. But Americans will spend more than that on lipstick. Ten times more for dog food and care. Surely the Presidential race is equally important.

  15. jen says:

    Yeah, let’s elect another Clinton into office so she can kill more Navy SEALS and American ambassadors while Bill violates more skanks in the oral orrifice. We’ll keep it all on a private server in Clooneys closet. Democrat is a disease.

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