President Barack Obama is set to conclude a planned 24-hour visit to the Los Angeles area today by participating in another Democratic National Committee fundraiser and speaking at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College about the economy.
The fundraiser will take the form of a roundtable discussion with about 30 people at the Brentwood home of Michael Rapino, CEO of the concert promotion firm Live Nation, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Tickets cost $32,400 each, the maximum allowable contribution to a national party committee in a calendar year.
Various groups describing themselves as pro-immigration and pro-Palestinian plan to protest outside Trade-Technical College, calling for ending deportations of immigrants in the country without legal permission, for the U.S. to demand Israel end attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and for the creation of a Palestinian state.
After his Trade-Technical College appearance, Obama will leave for Washington, D.C., aboard Air Force One from Los Angeles International Airport.
On Wednesday, Obama used a DNC fundraiser at the Hancock Park home of television producer Shonda Rhimes to again seek to motivate his fellow Democrats for the midterm elections.
“One of the problems with Democrats is we’re real good on presidential elections,” Obama told a crowd of approximately 450. “We get real excited. But during midterm elections, people don’t even know there’s an election.
“We don’t vote at the same rates. And so the midterms come around and lo and behold, we’re surprised when John Boehner is the speaker of the House. How did that happen? What happened was you all didn’t work.”
Obama made similar comments at a May fundraiser at the Bel Air mansion of Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and his wife, Cindy.
The president used his 30-minute speech Wednesday to recount what he described as his accomplishments in office — including lower unemployment and budget deficits, increasing rates of high school and college graduation, and gays and lesbians openly serving in the armed forces — and to criticize congressional Republicans, who he said “obstruct … obfuscate and … bamboozle.”
The actions by Republicans make “people grow cynical and people grow discouraged,” Obama said. “We can’t afford to be cynical. We’ve got so much to do.”
Obama then listed goals for the remainder of his presidency, including raising the minimum wage, increasing funding for early childhood education, strengthening laws requiring equal pay for equal work, making college more affordable and improving the nation’s infrastructure.
Tickets for the fundraiser began at $1,000, according to an invitation posted on the website, PoliticalPartyTime.org, which tracks political fundraisers.
The price was $10,000 to attend the reception and for the opportunity to have a photo taken with Obama, and $32,400 — the maximum allowable contribution to a national party committee in a calendar year — to be a co-host of the event, which also allows the donor to attend a dinner with Obama in addition to the reception and the photo opportunity.
A specific breakdown of the ticket sales was not provided.
Rhimes said before the event that “the overwhelming majority” of tickets sold were priced at $1,000 “because most of the people I know cannot afford” a $32,400 ticket.
The event’s co-chairs included Kerry Washington, the star of the Rhimes-created ABC drama Scandal, who attended the fundraiser, as did singer Janelle Monae and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chair of the DNC.
Obama started the day Wednesday in San Francisco, where he attended a morning fundraiser benefiting the House Majority Political Action Committee. He also spoke and answered questions at an early afternoon Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in Los Altos Hills.
The trip is Obama’s 19th to Los Angeles or Orange counties since taking office in 2009 and the third in three months. All but three of his trips have included political fundraisers.