Time with Obama: $38,500 in Westport, $500 in Stamford
Political sources say President Barack Obama is coming to Connecticut on Aug. 6 for two fundraisers in the political cash machine known as Fairfield County, whose residents already have written checks for more than $5 million to presidential candidates in 2012.
Movie producer Harvey Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, will host the president at their waterfront home in Westport for the more expensive of the two events. Tickets are $35,800 each or $71,600 per couple.
Then it will be off to the Stamford Marriott, where $500 will gain admission to the ballroom and $10,000 will buy a handshake and a photo with Obama.
Jonathan Harris, the executive director of the Connecticut Democratic Party, confirmed details of the trip.
Connecticut donors have given $8.6 million to presidential campaigns this cycle, with $2.9 million going to Obama. Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, received $4.8 million of the $5.7 million collected by Republican presidential candidates.
Ron Paul was a distant second in the once-considerable GOP pack, with $275,861.
More than $5 million of the presidential cash raised in Connecticut came from donors with Fairfield County ZIP codes, such the one that covers Weinstein’s home on Long Island Sound. He and Chapman were married there in 2007.
According to the New York Observer, their guest list was politically diverse, including both Rupert Murdoch and Andrew Cuomo. President Clinton sent his regrets.
Weinstein has long been a major Democratic fundraiser. In January, the Center for Responsive Politics identified him as one of 61 fundraisers who raised at least $500,000 for Obama or the Democratic National Committee in the previous year.
As a sitting president, Obama headlined an event for the U.S. Senate race of Richard Blumenthal in Stamford two years ago. As a candidate in 2008, Obama held a memorable rally in Hartford before the primary that drew a standing-room crowd of 17,000 to the XL Center.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is described in an email to members of the Democratic State Central Committee as “actively supporting” both fundraisers.
Obama easily carried Connecticut in 2008 with 61 percent of the vote, generating a turnout that helped Democrat Jim Himes of Greenwich unseat U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, R-4th District, who was then the only GOP congressman in New England.
As president, Obama headlined a pre-election rally in Bridgeport in 2010, when Himes was re-elected and Malloy won Connecticut’s closest gubernatorial election in more than a half-century.
Connecticut has gone Democratic in every presidential year since 1992, when Bill Clinton started the long winning streak.