I am heading out to Netroots Nation so I will not be covering President Obama's LGBT fundraiser at the Beverly Wilshire. However, my friend Ted Johnson of Variety is covering it and I recommend that you pop over to his blog to see what happened. (Feel free to use the photo of new HRC President Chad Griffin and HRC board member and LGBT bundler Dana Perlman - after the jump - who are on the host committee for tonight's event).
Here's an excerpt from a preview Ted posted yesterday:
President Obama will be in Los Angeles later this afternoon for two fundraisers drawing on support from gays and lesbians: He'll start at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for a $1,250-per-person event featuring Ellen DeGeneres and Darren Criss of Glee, with about 600 people expected. Then he will attend a dinner at the home of Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy, with tickets starting at $25,000 a piece, for about 70 people.
Just adding it up and the total take exceeds $3.2 million, underscoring the emphasis that the campaign has placed on reaching LGBT donors this year. The President's announcement last month that he supports same-sex marriage certainly gave a boost, but even before that there was a drive to tap the LGBT community with high-profile fundraisers in major metropolitan areas. Last year, Obama held a fundraiser in New York City that was emceed by Neil Patrick Harris. A CNN analysis concluded that gay and lesbian bundlers had raised at least $8 million between January and the end of March.
David Mixner, a legendary figure in the gay rights movement who marshaled LGBT donors as far back as the 1970s, told CNN, "We had some candidates who wouldn't take our money back then because they didn't want to be associated with anyone who was gay. Now the community knows how to raise money and contribute on their own and we are more than welcome at the table."
That contrast is apparent in Linda Hirshman's new book Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution, where she devotes a chapter to a turning point in the power of LGBT presidential fundraising. It was in 1992, when Bill and Hillary Clinton wooed supporters at Access Now for Gay and Lesbian Equality, a Los Angeles-based group that by that time had become a way stop for any Democratic candidate seeking LGBT support . . . .
Chad Griffin, the political consultant who helped spearhead the federal lawsuit against Proposition 8, was feted on Monday at the Brentwood home of longtime clients Rob Reiner and his wife Michele. Griffin is on his way to Washington as the new president of the Human Rights Campaign. Among those present were a mix of Hollywood and Los Angeles politicos, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a smattering of candidates seeking statewide office. Also present were plaintiffs from the case, Sandy Stier and Kris Perry, as well as Jeff Zarrillo.