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President Obama is expected at the Beverly Hilton Hotel late this afternoon for his first visit to Hollywood fund-raising circles since taking office.

The Democratic National Committee fund-raiser, which is sold out, is expected to raise more than $3 million. Some 250 people are expected at the $30,400-per-couple dinner, includingco-chairs/co-hosts like Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen, Casey Wasserman, John Emerson, Nicole Avant and Charles Rivkin, and other names like Denzel Washington and Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind and Fire will entertain at a lower-cost reception ($2,500 VIP seating, $1,000 individual) expected to draw about 500 people.

The event is no aimed at Hollywood per se, but it’s hard to avoid the entertainment-centric nature given the local and list of cohosts.

According to Hotline On Call, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), raising money in Los Angeles Thursday at a separate event hosted by Janet and Jerry Zucker and Ron and Michele Reiner, is expected to make an appearance with Obama tonight, marking his first Democratic fundraiser since switching parties.

Protests are planned in the vicinity of the Beverly Hilton from anti-war groups, and a number of gay and progressive organizations are planning a rally at 7 p.m. to call attention to Prop 8 and the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Lt. Dan Choi, the military interpreter facing dismissal after coming out, will be present on behalf of the Courage Campaign.

More on what to expect from the protests from Pat McDonald of LA Weekly here.