Earth to Democrats: Political Fund-Raising Is Costly

What a bargain! Democrats often like to characterize themselves as the political party representing middle class voters, but some elected officials have a markedly different idea than the average working stiff about what is considered affordable.

After some local Democratic voters complained about the steep $2,300 per seat cost to hear former President Bill Clinton speak at an area fundraiser for his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune burst into action. In a mass e-mail sent March 20 to some of the party’s loyal followers in an effort to boost attendance, Portune wrote that he got organizers to reduce the cost to $1,000 per person and that should allow more people to attend.

Portune wrote, “The event, to be held at the Indian Hill home of attorney Stan Chesley, at the urging of many, is going to be a much more public event. We have lowered the admission price to between $1,000 to $2,300 per individual so that many more area residents who have supported the President and have considered the President and Senator Clinton to be friends can visit with President Clinton again.”

The e-mail continued, “Please reply to this address by 5 p.m. today to let me know whether you can. I hope you will. It would mean a great deal to me for you to be able to be present as my guest.”

Portune and his fellow Democrat, Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper, were among the people on the host committee for the event. Others included Pepper’s mother, Francie, and Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.

Ironically, Chesley — who is a friend of Bill Clinton’s — gave money during last fall’s campaign to Pepper’s opponent, Republican Phil Heimlich.

About 100 people attended the fundraiser, which raised roughly $400,000 for Sen. Clinton, who is seeking the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

— Kevin Osborne

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One Comment on “Earth to Democrats: Political Fund-Raising Is Costly”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks, Todd, for making this a “much more public event” at the bargain rate of $1000 per head! Power to the People (that is–those who can afford $1000)!

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