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Wondering what to wear to Kamala Harris’ upcoming L.A. fundraisers? How about one of those “That little girl was me” T-shirts that went up for sale ($29.99) on her website within 24 hours of delivering the snappy dig at the June 27 Democratic debate?
Harris, who raised $2 million in that same post-debate 24-hour period, will be collecting more cash in Hollywood with a July 20 luncheon at the Brentwood home of real estate developer Tom Safran of Thomas Safran & Associates. Other names that appear on the official invite include onetime LAUSD board president Marlene Canter, real estate developer Michael Dieden, James Frost, West L.A. Democratic Club president Cara Robin, and William Yi. Tickets range from $2,800 for sponsor level to $25,000 raised for co-chair status.
That event will be followed by the one Harris announced midway through the June 27 debate, a July 21 reception at the home of former U.S. ambassador to Germany John B. Emerson and Kimberly Marteau Emerson. Also on the invite are Hollywood heavyweights including producers Ron Silverman and Debra Martin Chase, Playboy scion Cooper Hefner, and manager-producer Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, who tells The Hollywood Reporter that there’s been a lot of interest in Harris post-debate.
“She’s wildly impressive, intelligent and no doubt she totally stuck the landing at the debates. She really commanded the stage and used her personal story to do that,” says Goldsmith-Vein, a longtime Democratic supporter with husband Jon Vein. “She came out strong and has continued to maintain support and interest, and the debates further solidified that. People are really ready for a change and she provides that. Most importantly, she has said she is campaigning on truth and she indeed maintains that position with elegance both on and off the debate stage.”
As for why they’re opening their home, Kimberly Marteau Emerson tells THR that she’s known Harris for nearly a decade. “I committed to her campaign on the day she announced in January. I knew then, and her debate performance only reinforced what we all know now: Kamala Harris is the best candidate to take on Donald Trump and his coterie of bromantic relationships with the world’s autocrats. She relates to Americans of every background and orientation, and will take us into a post-Trump era of strong yet warm and inclusive leadership. She’s keenly smart, passionate, charismatic, authentic, personal and above all, fierce.” She added that since the debate, the guest list “has exploded.”
She won’t be the only candidate making the rounds in Los Angeles as Mayor Pete Buttigieg is expected back in the area later this month. He cancelled a series of high-profile engagements in the city following the officer-involved shooting death of a black man in South Bend, Indiana, where he serves as mayor.
Buttigieg and Harris are the two candidates Hefner says he’s got his eyes on. “I’ve been impressed by the quality of character and policy initiatives outlined by a few of the individuals seeking the Democratic Party nomination. Following the first debate it was clear to me, as I’m sure it was to many other Americans, that Senator Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg most effectively communicated how they would move the country forward,” he explains.
A versions of this story first appeared in the July 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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