News

Obama lunch offers inside look at campaign finance

Lunch with president costs $5,000, add $12,900 for 'pre-lunch VIP clutch' and photo

Spots were still available late Sunday for a Tuesday lunch with President Obama in exchange for a $5,000 donation to the Obama for America campaign.

The "small lunch" was scheduled for Tuesday (Oct. 25) at noon at the W Hotel in San Francisco.

A widely circulated email seeking donors for the lunch -- including a price list -- offered a frank view of the price tag and hierarchy of access, which is typical at the upper levels of costly national and state campaigns in both political parties.

For $7,500, donors could get a "photo with the president and lunch" Tuesday if they submitted security information, including their Social Security numbers, by Oct. 21.

For $35,000 per couple ($17,900 per individual), donors could attend a "pre-lunch VIP clutch with the President." For that price, "You can (a) attend the President's pre-lunch gathering with your spouse, which includes candid photos with the President and lunch or (b) receive four preferred seats at the lunch and two 'clicks' at the photo line," the email said.

Obama's Bay Area fundraising events Tuesday were part of a three-day swing through Nevada, California and Colorado, in which the president will promote his housing and education initiatives and hold multiple campaign finance events.

"Please note this will be the final event with the President in the Bay Area this year," the email said.

"For those who care about environmental and cleantech policy, you'll be glad to learn EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is also coming soon."

The Obama for America campaign is promoting a $5,000 "Season Pass," providing access to "VIP events" and a "Northern California Speaker Series" from September 2011 through February 2012.

Next up for Season Pass-holders is the event with Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson, scheduled for Nov. 3 at a Bay Area location yet to be determined. Pass-holders get access to a "small private reception and discussion" with Jackson. Asking price for the dinner that evening is another $5,000.

"The Season Pass is a monthly speaker series of top level people from the administration and campaign who will come to the Bay Area, at least once a month, to have more intimate, in-depth gatherings with Pass holders," the email said.

"...The idea is to give a smaller group of people personal introduction to a lot of amazing people as well as VIP status at the big events (i.e. smaller receptions, preferred seating) and have the chance for more substantive discussions and interaction."

The Season Pass series kicked off Sept. 15 with a lunch with senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Other possible speakers in the Season Pass series, though not guaranteed, include former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Warren Buffett, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, now Mayor of Chicago.

The Obama campaign raised $42 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30 and had $61.4 million cash on hand as of that date, according to the campaign's report filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

Republican Rick Perry raised $17.2 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30 and reported $15 million cash on hand.

Republican Mitt Romney raised $14.2 million from July through September, and had $14.6 million on hand as of Sept. 30, the campaign filing said.

Republican Ron Paul raised $8.2 million during the period and had $3.67 million cash on hand by Sept. 30.

Republican Jon Huntsman raised $4.5 million in the quarter, and reported $327,615 cash on hand.

Republican Michele Bachmann raised $3.9 million, and reported $1.3 million by quarter's end.

— Palo Alto Online staff

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nick
a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Sad to say, but Obama is a one term president.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Port
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 24, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Nick - who's your choice to beat him - the flipflopper or Herman Cain?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

So when the GOP finally settles on a candidate for 2012 against the President, will their collective dollars accumulate to exceed that which Obama raises?

There also is the US Supreme Court ruling around "Citizens United" that obscures a great deal of money donated and spent by both parties under a guise I still do not entirely understand.

The news is that Obama is back in town. W "never" came here while he was in office. Most Presidents in recent history have seen and appreciated what an important role this part of the country and world plays in important affairs, and made a point of visitng from time to time. Even for such mercenary reasons as raising money to get re-elected, he will hear some things that he would not hear without showing up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Obama came here to meet Steve Jobs, and Jobs told him was a one-timer, unless he stopped demonizing business, and trying to regulate them out of business.

Why would Silicon Vally execs give any money to Obama (unless they happen to run a bogus solar panel company)?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by samuel
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm

"Obama came here to meet Steve Jobs, and Jobs told him was a one-timer, unless he stopped demonizing business, and trying to regulate them out of business."
That is a myth perpetuated by Al Qeida supporting republicans.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Paul: I don't have links, but I'm pretty sure Bush came to the peninsula multiple times for cash.

Ken: care to publish a list of regulations passed by Obama and their costs to businesses?

Are they worse for businesses than the job losses under Bush - I speculate the lower demand from an economy shedding half a million jobs under Bush put a far larger strain on businesses that supply or sell to domestic consumers.

Sharon: if samuel's allegation is correct - you better hide better.... Obama's been getting all the top AQ types!

;-)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm

meant

the lower demand from an economy shedding half a million jobs PER MONTH under Bush


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

@ samuel:

That wasn't "Al Qaeda," it was in Steve Jobs' official biography.

Web Link

To quote Polito:

"You're headed for a one-term presidency," Jobs told Obama in a meeting last year where he asserted that the White House needed to be more friendly toward business, according to the Huffington Post, which obtained a copy of Walter Isaacson's forthcoming book, "Steve Jobs."

Jobs also told Obama that "regulations and unnecessary costs" put the United States at a competitive disadvantage with China, where companies can build factories more cheaply.

The recently deceased Jobs also told Obama that the education system was "crippled by union work rules," according to Isaacson. Jobs proposed principals be able to hire and fire teachers based on merit, and to extend the length of both the school day and academic year."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Samuel
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm

"Jobs also told Obama that 'regulations and unnecessary costs' put the United States at a competitive disadvantage with China, where companies can build factories more cheaply."

Do we really want our factories to resemble those in China????

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm

As someone suggested in another post:

"Jobs also told Obama that "regulations and unnecessary costs""

Wonder if he preferred China's lack of regulations, like less IP protection?

He clearly liked China's standards on child labor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm

@ Samuel:

Job's recorded the audio book edition for the book. So, you will have it in his own words.

I do agree with his point about jobs shifting to China. There is a reason that Apple and other companies have done this, and it isn't about "corporate greed." Supposedly, Jobs' also states in the book that it is because it would cost THREE TIMES the amount to build an iPhone or iPad in the United States and he attributes much of this to regulation, corporate taxation, trade policies and union demands.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm

"Ken: care to publish a list of regulations passed by Obama and their costs to businesses?"

Obamacare and Cap-and-Trade.

Add in various environmental regs that scare off potential investors in new businesses. For example, H-P has been under an extremist attack [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] over an underground 'toxic' plume (TCE), even though there is NO evidence that it is dangerous to human beings at the levels detected, and it bio-remidiates on it own, if left alone. The Obama EPA finally went with the enviro-terroists, and got TCE, at very low levels declared a 'toxin' to human beings. This is politics, Obama style, not science.

Bottom line: Why would ANY production facility want to open up in Silicon Valley?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Samuel
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm

"Jobs' also states in the book that it is because it would cost THREE TIMES the amount to build an iPhone or iPad in the United States and he attributes much of this to regulation, corporate taxation, trade policies and union demands."

As i just stated, do we want our factories to resemble those in China?
Was Steve Jobs's god? Should we be hanging on every word of his?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm

"...and it isn't about "corporate greed." Supposedly, Jobs' also states in the book that it is because it would cost THREE TIMES the amount..."

You just made a quite astonishing statement.

3 times the amount? Then yes, it is about profit.

Or as some call obscene profits: greed.

Making money, or maximizing profit in a corporation is greed. Not "greed" in a necessarily bad way, but you can't say they aren't related.

Isn't the main reason one takes a higher paying job actually "greed"?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Ken: I asked the costs to businesses, you've given none.

Cap and trade? A republican idea. What costs have businesses borne with Obama's "cap and trade" ? Any evidence at all?

Again, I speculate businesses are far more concerned about demand lowered by Bush and his job losses than any regulations from the last 3 years.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Nayali: "...and it isn't about "corporate greed." Supposedly, Jobs' also states in the book that it is because it would cost THREE TIMES the amount..."

You just made a quite astonishing statement.

Within a couple words of saying it wasn't about greed, you said it was about MONEY.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Samuel
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Zelda
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Planning to collect for another Solendra and Sun Power. Wall Street has blown him off thank God. One termer for sure. Maybe he can be impeached. Would be nice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

@ St Francis:

There is a vast difference between "corporate greed" and "production and operating expenditures."

It would be asinine to accuse a company of "corporate greed" for simply trying to produce a good or service at a cost that is relative to consumer demand. Would you buy an iPhone or iPad if it cost you between $1500-2000?

The cost is kept low because China doesn't burden companies with excessive regulation, taxation and trade policies. Companies aren't further burdened by union leaders who constantly demand MORE from companies.

You can say that it is "slicing it thin," but you are simply trying to connect dots between truth and your incessant suspicions.

Why do you think that Apple builds their products in China? Do you really believe, as you said earlier, that Steve Jobs liked China's standards on "child labor?" OR were you simply attempting to be witty in regard to the fact that government policies are making it difficult for industry to succeed in this country?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm

@ Samuel:

You wrote: "Once again, I will ask--do you want our factories to resemble those in China."

NO ONE -- including Steve Jobs (R.I.P.) implied that they want our U.S. factories to resemble those in China.

However, in the quote from Steve Jobs (that you stated was a "myth perpetrated by Al Qeida supporting republicans"), Jobs was pointing out that certain U.S. policies are making difficult to build factories or keep production for U.S. products IN this country.

In other words, industry and production can't remain in this country if the cost of doing so means enormous added cost to consumers. Apple produces their products in China because it is COST EFFECTIVE and NOT because of some silly accusation of "corporate greed" by someone who has an unbelievably poor grasp of Macroeconomics.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

"It would be asinine to accuse a company of "corporate greed" for simply trying to produce a good or service at a cost that is relative to consumer demand."

I didn't accuse a company of corporate greed. You shift the discussion away from what others say once they call you on an "asinine" statement (your description.)

Again - Nayali: "...and it isn't about "corporate greed." Supposedly, Jobs' also states in the book that it is because it would cost THREE TIMES the amount..."

You just made a quite astonishing statement. Within a couple words of saying it wasn't about greed, you said it was about MONEY.

Also: you imply it's all about regulations. Again I defer to your descriptive term "asinine." You are WRONG with your statement: "The cost is kept low because China doesn't burden companies with excessive regulation, taxation and trade policies."

That may be a small part of the cost difference; if you have evidence please present it. We all know the MAJOR part of the cost difference isn't regulation on factories that produce an ipad - it's the cost of LABOR inside those factories. Average wage of Chinese manufacturing employee vs US?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Business IS succeeding quite well in this country. Steve Jobs was worth $7 billion. The Koch Brothers are worth $25 billion. The Walton family is what, maybe $25 billion together? Gates? Buffet? Ellison?

Difficult to succeed?!? Are they running non-profits? (actually, they are, because they are so successful at for-profit!)

Where are the stock markets under Obama? Doing quite well, thank you.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm


Obama is a good public speaker but as POTUS he is in way over his head and never had proper diligent vetting.

His tin cup visit is to SF--and he still has support in SF.

Steve Jobs reflects the voice of Silicon Valley when he said --

Obama is a one term president.

He will face a challenger from within his own party--maybe even Clinton--

Romney will be the Republican challenger

The election will be about the economy--whoever has the best plan will win.

The lessons learned

We need to vet presidential candidates and not be swayed by pageant and pretty speeches

The Nobel Committee was fooled by the same PR--giving Obama the award before he achieved anything.

Obama learned faster-- on foreign policy and he is wisely getting out of MENA and AfPak --ASAP

The election, however, will be about the economy

--and Steve Jobs prediction is prescient

--a one term presidency


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Romney can't beat Obama. The longer the GOP primary goes on without a clear winner (Cain, anyone?) the better it is for the president. The longer it goes, the more evidence of Romney speaking out of both sides of his mouth "corporations are people too!"

Plus the far right fringe, the tea party and the religious right will never accept Romney.

"but as POTUS he is in way over his head"

Yes, not nearly good enough, such as the last president who promised to get Bin Ladin dead or alive, then 6 months later said he didn't care about Bin Ladin.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm



"corporations are people too!"

In law corporations are, in fact, " people "
As they can be prosecuted, held accountable for crimes, tried and punished.

Cains function is to energize the base and get out the vote.

AQ is now a very weak criminal gang--they never took off

--Bush was correct about OBL-he was irrelevant by 2008.

Steve Jobs was correct in his prediction about Obamas one term presidency

--and now that prediction is in the best selling book of 2011/20012.

It is what it is

Again -- the election will be about the economy


 +   Like this comment
Posted by St Francis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Bush said it in 2002 not 2008, nice try Sharon. Web Link Your credibility on MENA affairs suffers if you think he said it in 2008.

"I don't know where he is. I really just don't spend that much time on him, to be honest with you."

Also: you must not be aware of Romney's statement if you are comparing it to corporate personhood.

I also note you didn't offer any debate to the notion that Romney won't win.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

YSK is a registered user.

Imagine what $12,999 wasted on an ego picture would do for so many indigent people. Imagine what $12,999 would do for after school programs. Imagine what $12,999 would do for health clinics. Imagine what $12,999 would do for so many in these bleak economic times.

I gotta hint for you people, you aren't going to live forever and when your time comes, I doubt you will be lying in bed gazing at a picture of yourself with the President, ANY President. I think I'd rather reflect back on the people I helped.

There really outta be spending caps for all political players in all parties.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2011 at 11:31 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

Good point, YSK.


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