Donald Trump’s campaign plans to launch a new fundraising push later this month with a Los Angeles event hosted by Thomas Barrack, the founder and executive chairman of Colony Capital, which sold its stake in Miramax in March.
The Washington Post reported that the event would be held on May 25 and would be followed by dozens of other fundraisers, as Trump shifts to a new campaign finance strategy that will draw on big dollar donors.
Trump’s campaign has said that he will still spend his own money on the campaign. But in an indication that Trump also will tap a network of donors and bundlers, his campaign last week named Steven Mnuchin, chairman and CEO of Dune Capital Management and a major co-financier of Warner Bros. movies, as his national finance chairman.
Barrack’s Colony Capital is a global real estate firm that purchased Miramax from Disney in 2010. But Colony and another shareholder, Qatar Investment Authority, sold their stakes to beIN Media Group in March. Up to that point, Barrack had served as Miramax’s chairman since 2013.
Barrack endorsed Trump in February, calling him “the only candidate in America who comes to the campaign trail already possessing power, wealth and celebrityship.”
“His mastery of financial, political and economic intellectual complexity combined with his charm and emotional intelligence when partnering with New York labor unions, governmental regulatory bodies, Wall Street lenders, sophisticated institutional global investors, demanding developers, global media and entertainment companies and hard-working employees, is a dynastic art form,” Barrack said at the time.
A challenge for Trump’s fundraising will be in raising the hundreds of millions needed to wage a general election campaign in a relatively short period of time.
There is also the question of just how much of the showbiz community will support Trump, as Hollywood’s fundraising traditionally leans heavily to the Democrats. The split so far this cycle is 73% to 27%, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. On May 23, Hillary Clinton is scheduled to make her 12th visit to Los Angeles since announcing her candidacy, with a fundraiser at the home of CAA’s Bryan Lourd and restaurateur Bruce Bozzi, co-hosted by Anna Wintour.
Even so, past GOP nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain have found enough support to make showbiz-focused fundraisers worthwhile as they headed into the general election.
Longtime GOP donors like broadcasting mogul Stanley Hubbard have said that they would back Trump, but others who bundled in the past, like former MGM chief Harry Sloan, have been wary of Trump’s candidacy. Mitt Romney himself continued his criticism of Trump on Wednesday, with a Facebook post that questioned why Trump was not releasing his tax returns.
A spokeswoman for Barrack declined comment. A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.
It’s expected that the Trump campaign will join with the Republican National Committee for a joint fundraising operation that will allow donors to contribute more than the $2,700 limit to the candidate. Clinton has already formed a joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee called the Hillary Victory Fund. Proceeds from a recent fundraiser at the home of George Clooney went to that fund, in which money is split between the campaign and national and state parties.