EXCLUSIVE: HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo has long been a Hollywood fundraising friend to the Democrats and President Barack Obama, and he again is extending a welcoming hand. Lombardo and partner Sonny Ward have joined one of the February 11 fundraisers Obama is having in Hancock Park as co-hosts, I’ve learned.
In what is his 21st Hollywood ATM visit since taking office in 2009, Obama will attend the dinner and discussion after the first of two L.A. fundraisers next month led by Scorpion EP Danny Rose and husband/entertainment lawyer Aaron Rosenberg at their Hancock Park home. Coming just two days after the New Hampshire primary, that first event will also feature a performance by John Legend. With tickets going for $1,000 to $2,500 for preferred seating all the way up to $33,400, additional co-hosts Mark Ronson, music manager Brandon Creed and Empire actress and ex-Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowlands and her husband/manager Tim Weatherspoon. While his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been out to SoCal several times in recent months, this will be Obama’s first cash-seeking visit to the Southland since October. The President will also be taping an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime talker while in L.A.
Tickets to the second Lombardo co-host fundraiser at another Hancock Park home range from $10,000-$33,400 per guest for the VIP treatment, which includes not just a warm meal but face time and a photo with the president. The money for both events is intended to go toward to debt left over from Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign as well as to the Democratic National Committee.
A frequent donor to that 2012 campaign and host of a fundraiser for the President at his home during that election, Lombardo has been active in the 2016 race too. Last June, the HBO exec and Ward hosted a fundraiser for Clinton at their pad. In early 2014, Obama appointed Lombardo as a General Trustee to the Board of Trustees at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – a position he still holds.
Currently, CAA’s Byron Lourd and mega-producer Shonda Rhimes are also among those on the prestigious board thanks to appointments by Obama.