EXCLUSIVE: Joe Biden is not the Democrats’ official 2020 rival to Donald Trump, but the former Vice President and the former Celebrity Apprentice host are squaring off like contenders when it comes to Los Angeles fundraisers this month.
Just under two weeks after the upcoming 10-candidate debate, hosted by ABC News and Univision, nomination front-runner Biden will be making another Hollywood ATM swing through town on September 25 and 26. As the race narrows heading into the final months before the first primaries, the ex-veep again will be courting deep-pocketed West Coast donors who are sizing up how he’ll fare in a real race with the current POTUS.
According to an invite that went out on Tuesday, Biden will be attending an event at the home of Sean Burton, CEO of investment management firm Cityview, and his wife Teresa. Co-hosts of the event include Joe Waz, senior strategic adviser to Comcast Corporation, and his wife, Cynthia Telles, founding director of the UCLA Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence.
Tickets to the event start at $1,000 per person, with those who write a $2,800 check getting a photo with Barack Obama’s VP, and those who raise $10,000 listed as co-hosts.
Other co-hosts include Joshua Perttula, founding partner of Abington Emerson Investments, and his wife Kimberly, a management consultant.
Not planning to waste time in the Dem stronghold, and with some of the cash base of the party, the Biden campaign will be unveiling more events for the candidate’s visit in the coming days.
Biden’s latest L.A. fundraising efforts will take place a week after Trump treks to town for a splashy Beverly Hills fundraiser on September 17, just after the Dems debate of September 12 in Houston. Also coming five days before the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, tickets range from $1,000-$100,000 per person for the former Emmy nominee Trump’s fairly secretive shindig.
Unlike the almost official pool that the relatively transparent Biden allows into most of his events in his latest White House bid, the huge-buck-raising Trump keeps the official White House press out of his fundraisers and treats the donors’ names as more of a state secret than Iranian launch sites.
To that end, the news late last week of Trump’s latest hit-and-run foray into Tinseltown inspired a Twitter tiff between POTUS and Debra Messing over the long weekend.
After the Will & Grace star and longtime supporter of the Democrats called on the media to “print a list of all attendees please,” and her co-star Eric McCormack echoed her request “so the rest of us can be clear who we don’t wanna work with,” a defensive Trump struck back.
“I have not forgotten that when it was announced that I was going to do The Apprentice, and when it became a big hit, helping NBC’s failed lineup greatly, @DebraMessing came up to me at an Upfront & profusely thanked me, even calling me ‘Sir.’ How times have changed,” the 45th POTUS tweeted
Trump supporters in the industry — and conservatives in general — have long complained of the blowback when they go public. Moreover, the guest list for past Trump fundraisers in L.A. has included very few famous Hollywood names beyond the likes of Jon Voight. Still, having raised a staggering $105 million in the second quarter of 2019 alone, the trump reelection effort is flush with cash and general election muscle – a prospect daunting to Biden and all Democrats.
With that in mind, Biden and Trump won’t be the only candidates in town in the next few weeks looking for cash — Hollywood and otherwise.
California’s own Sen. Kamala Harris has a series of events lined up on September 23.
Those gatherings include a fundraiser at the Santa Monica home of Black Monday star Don Cheadle and his wife, actress and interior designer Bridgid Coulter. Earlier in the evening, the currently fourth-place-polling Democrat has another event co-hosted by writer Mara Cohen and attorney Allan Marks, with co-hosts including producer Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jon Vein, attorney Carol Hamilton and music executives Candace and Steve McKeever.
New Jersey’s own Cory Booker also will make another L.A. landing on September 16 and 17, right after what could be a do-or-die debate for the senator.
The series of receptions includes one at the home of Michael Kives and his wife Lydia. Co-hosts include former Ambassador Noah Mamet, David and Sabina Nathanson, Jamie Patricof and Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Darnell and Emily Strom. Tickets start at $250 per person, with those writing a check for $2,800 per person getting access to a photo and host reception.
Let the hat passing begin anew!