Kicking off his Hollywood fundraising effort for the 2012 election, President Obama could attend as many as three moneymaking events in a 24-hour period this month, the most elite of which probably would be co-hosted by Jeffrey Katzenberg.
The DreamWorks Animation CEO, insiders say, has taken the lead in organizing events for Obama to attend when he visits Tinseltown on April 21. Also spearheading the effort is Andy Spahn, a political consultant for Katzenberg and his fellow DreamWorks founders, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.
Helping the powerful denizens of Hollywood’s creative community to organize their events are John Emerson and Ken Solomon, co-chairs of Southern California’s Democratic National Committee.
Invitations have already gone out for a 4:30 p.m. event that day at Sony Pictures Studios, though Sony is only the venue, not the host. VIP seating is $2,500, and general admission is $250. Event chairs, hosts and other details haven’t been worked out.
But Katzenberg also is arranging a “high-dollar dinner” that night that he would co-host with Spahn and others. Insiders say Spielberg and Geffen would likely attend.
Depending on how the fundraising dinner is classified under campaign finance laws, it could cost each Hollywood A-lister as much as $30,400 apiece to dine with the president.
“Everybody is eager to help, there’s just not very many details yet,” one person familiar with the effort said.
Insiders say there could be a third event, perhaps a luncheon, depending on the president’s schedule. Obama could also send a proxy to a Hollywood event if he’s unable to attend.
“Early response is so encouraging that they’re trying to throw together a third event,” an insider said.