Obama Heads to California to Raise Cash from LGBT Donors

The DNC LGBT Leadership Council gala and a dinner at the home of Glee creator Ryan Murphy are among five events expected to generate around $5.4 million.

BY Julie Bolcer

June 06 2012 11:32 AM ET

President Barack Obama is headed to California today for fund-raisers including the DNC LGBT Leadership gala and a dinner at the home of Glee creator Ryan Murphy.

According to the White House pool report, after two events in San Francisco that cost $35,800 and $5,000 per person, the President will travel to Los Angeles for two evening events focused on LGBT donors. The DNC LGBT Leadership Council gala at the Regent Beverly Wilshire will draw about 600 people, and mark the largest LGBT constituency event the president has addressed since announcing his personal support for marriage equality last month. The event was held in New York City last June, and the president was heckled during his speech for his “evolving” position the night before the bill passed hte state senate

Ellen DeGeneres will deliver remarks in Beverly Hills and Glee star Darren Criss will perform, making a last-minute substitution for Pink, who canceled due to illness. Tickets for the event start at $1,250.

Later, Obama will attend a fundraising dinner hosted Glee creator Ryan Murphy and his fiancé David Miller. Approximately 70 people will attend with tickets costing $25,000.

ABC News reports that the four events Wednesday, plus a breakfast fundraiser Thursday morning in View Park for about 500 people at $2,500 per person, will raise around $5.4 million. The campaign said that proceeds from the events will go to the Obama Victory Fund, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.

The 24-hour trip will mark Obama’s fourth visit this year to California, the state that has contributed the most to his re-election campaign. Last month, the president raised a record-breaking $15 million from a dinner hosted by actor George Clooney, who has also helped raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the organization pressing the federal case against Proposition 8 that could reach the Supreme Court next year.

Earlier this week, Obama held three fund-raising events in New York City with President Bill Clinton. During an event on Broadway, the Obama criticized the “$500 million in super PAC negative ads that are going to be run over the course of the next five months.” Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney enjoys a significant advantage with the new fund-raising vehicles.

Next week, the president will return to New York City with First Lady Michelle Obama for a fund-raiser co-hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Parker released a 30-second ad in support of the president on Sunday that praised him as “the guy who says you should be able to marry anyone you want.”

An analysis last fall by The Advocate found that one in five of President Obama’s top fund-raisers, known as “bundlers,” were gay. The major role played by gay donors has drawn increasing attention since the president’s marriage equality announcement. 

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