×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg Hold Contrasting Hollywood Fundraisers

Bernie Sanders held a “grassroots fundraiser” in Hollywood on Thursday night, delivering his message of political transformation to an adoring crowd at the Montalban Theatre.

At the same time, Pete Buttigieg was holding a sold-out fundraiser at the home of NBCUniversal international chairman Kevin MacLellan and Brian Curran, featuring co-hosts Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Chelsea Handler and Sean Hayes.

The events, just a few miles away from each other, offered a contrast between two of the top fundraisers in the Democratic field. Sanders has received 2 million donations — often in increments of $2.70 or less — and has raised more than any other Democrat in total.

Buttigieg, meanwhile, has mixed grassroots fundraising events with more traditional high-dollar events, where many attendees give the maximum $2,800. His strategy helped him outpace every other Democrat, including Sanders, in the second quarter, bringing in $24.9 million.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris have also made recent visits to L.A., with Biden stopping last week at the Bel Air home of Sony Pictures’ Tom Rothman.

Popular on Variety

It was a contrast that Sanders was happy to draw, as attendees at his fundraiser were treated to music acts and asked to make a text donation of $27 to the campaign.

“Some politicians go to wealthy people’s homes and they sit around in a fancy living room, and people contribute thousands and thousands of dollars and they walk out with a few hundred thousand bucks or whatever,” Sanders said. “We don’t do that. … To me, an $18 check or a $27 check from a working person is worth more than all the money in the world from millionaires.”

Buttigieg’s fundraiser was one of four in a whirlwind Thursday in Los Angeles, none of which were open to the press. He did allow the media to come along when he visited Vector90, a tech incubator in South L.A. co-founded by the late rapper Nipsey Hussle.

Buttigieg took questions from African-American and Latino students who were visiting the incubator, including questions about how to deal with racism and stereotyping in school.

“Frankly a lot of white liberals who are maybe a little too comfortable about how far we’ve come as a society need to know that people are being called racial slurs to their faces in high schools in America in 2019,” Buttigieg said. “Obviously we’ve got a president who’s making it worse.”

Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., has become a star in Hollywood, raising money from actors and studio executives at a startling clip for someone new to the national scene.

Sanders, meanwhile, has ripped Disney CEO Bob Iger for drawing a $66 million salary, and highlighted the low wages of Disneyland workers. He has attracted scant support — if not outright loathing — from Hollywood’s elite, which he and his supporters wear as a badge of honor.

“Who has an anti-endorsement list?” asked Nina Turner, the former Ohio state senator who opened for Sanders on Thursday night. “There is no other candidate that has a list of folks who don’t want to see him become president of the United States.”

Sanders did not hold back in his remarks, going after the “incredibly greedy” people who donate to campaigns and seek to slash the social safety net.

“These people have incredible power and they have unlimited sums of money to buy elections, to buy politicians, to buy the media — they own the media,” he said. “We are gonna tell the ruling class of this country that they cannot and will not have it all.”

Sanders is holding a rally at Santa Monica High School on Friday evening.

More Politics

  • From left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,

    House Leadership Unveils Impeachment Articles Against President Trump

    House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning, accusing him of abusing his power and obstructing Congress in its impeachment inquiry. Two committee chairmen — Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff — laid out a case that Trump interfered in the 2020 election by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation [...]

  • Pete Buttigieg

    Pete Buttigieg to Open Fundraisers to the Press

    Pete Buttigieg will open his fundraisers to the press and will release names of his bundlers within a week, the campaign announced on Monday. Buttigieg made the commitments three after Sen. Elizabeth Warren challenged him to be more transparent about his fundraising. “From the start, Pete has said it is important for every candidate to [...]

  • 2019 Kennedy Center Honoree singer Linda

    Linda Ronstadt to Mike Pompeo: Stop 'Enabling' Donald Trump

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Linda Ronstadt, one of this year’s Kennedy Center Honorees, had sharp words for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday night during a State Department reception for the Kennedy Center kudos. Ronstadt and Pompeo faced off in the U.S. State Department’s ornate diplomatic greeting rooms at the traditional event that precedes Sunday’s [...]

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,

    Nancy Pelosi Announces House Will Proceed With Impeachment

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday morning that the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Pelosi said the impeachment inquiry has shown that Trump abused his power by withholding military aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine in an attempt to pressure the country’s president to announce an investigation into [...]

  • Kamala Harris

    Kamala Harris Drops Out of Presidential Race

    Kamala Harris announced on Tuesday that she is dropping out of the presidential race, citing her campaign’s struggles to raise money in the closing months before the Iowa caucus. Harris informed her staff on a conference call that she was suspending her campaign. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need [...]

  • Prince Andrew161st Great Yorkshire Show, Great

    Woman Trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein Accuses Britain's Prince Andrew of Lying

    The woman who alleges that she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew said she had three encounters with the British royal at the late financier’s instigation and accused the prince of lying about it. Virginia Giuffre told the BBC that Epstein brought her to London in March 2001 when she [...]

  • Armed police at incident at London

    Two Dead in Terrorist Attack on London Bridge

    UPDATED: Several people were injured, some seriously, in a knife attack in London and their suspected assailant was killed by police in an incident Friday that Scotland Yard said was a terrorist assault. London police later said that two people were killed, according to the Associated Press. London Bridge was cordoned off and the area [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content