Obama returning to Silicon Valley in two weeks

President Barack Obama will return to the Bay Area on Thursday, June 6 for a pair of pricey fundraisers to help U.S. Senate Democrats keep their majority in next year’s midterm elections.

Tickets for a 5 p.m. reception at the Palo Alto home of Mike McCue – who helped found tech companies including Paper Software, Tellme Networks and Flipboard – and his wife, Marci, start at $2,500 and range up to $12,000 per person or $15,000 per couple. But it’ll cost a cool $32,400 per person to get into a 6:30 p.m. dinner and discussion at the Portola Valley home of Sun Microsystems founding CEO and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and his wife, Neeru.

“With key second-term issues ranging from immigration reform to climate change to trying again on gun violence prevention, the stakes for holding the Senate couldn’t be higher,” said Wade Randlett, one of the president’s pre-eminent fundraising bundlers in the Bay Area.

U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., are expected to attend both events. Bennett now chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which these fundraisers will benefit; Schumer chaired the DSCC from 2005 to 2009, during which Democrats made significant gains in the Senate, and he’s currently the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate’s leadership.

A contribution of $32,400 enrolls one as a DSCC “Majority Trust” member and, along with other benefits, allows for attendance at the DSCC’s signature retreats.

These fundraisers will be held just two months after President Obama’s last Bay Area visit, during which he raised money in San Francisco and Atherton for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR senile columnist

    Two quick questions: which groups plan to protest the visit and will RoKh be invited?

  • JohnW

    I think the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press may picket.

  • g3

    To continue raising money for these clowns can only mean that these people are every bit as corrupt as this administration. We expect the welfare society to believe any excuse given for the total failure of the administration but at $32,500.00 a couple the attendee’s understand that Policy starts at the very Top. Bureaucrats do Not make decisions. These same people continue to put their personal interests above the Countries.
    Example: Nancy “bribe me please” Pelosi continues to have huge support from these people after she Betrayed all Americans by Accepting VISA’s bribe vs what was better for the American people. Mr Transparent (prez) had both houses and could easily have stopped Congress kickbacks, Bribes, payoff’s, ect but chose not to.
    Did it change NO! Do these people ALL benefit? of coarse!! A donation to the DNC is not for Hope its a show of support for those who put personal interests above our country.

  • RR senile columnist

    I ain’t givin money to nobody no how. Ya hear that, grand kids? It’ll only corrupt ya.

  • Elwood

    Here is the first question asked at Jay “Baghdad Bob” Carney’s presser this AM:

    “Jay, what did the President not know and when did he not know it?”

  • Elwood

    What did the President not know and when did he not know it?

  • Elwood

    It’s looking more and more like the Obama administration may be the most corrupt and morally bankrupt in history.


  • JohnW


    Jon Stewart’s show today started off with Peggy Noonan’s blistering comments on the subject and then flashed back to her spirited defense of RR on Iran Contra. Available online. The basics: on Iran-Contra, Reagan’s people let him down. on IRS, the buck stops in the White House.

    The IRS has been breaking the law since 1959. The statute on 501c4’s requires organizations to be exclusively “social welfare.” But, without any change in the statute, the IRS unilaterally changed it to “primarily social welfare.” Also, any claim that Tea Party groups were delayed by the process and unable to impact 2012 (which per statute, they shouldn’t be able to do anyway) is undermined by the fact that you can claim 501c4 status and operate accordingly without even applying beforehand. You just say 501c4 status “pending.”

    I think the Grant, Harding and Nixon administrations would resent any claim that they had lost their Corruption and Moral Bankruptcy Hall of Fame status.

    But everybody’s entitled to an opinion.

  • Elwood

    Can’t say that I know much about the Grant and Harding administrations, and don’t care enough to research it.

    Nixon’s Hall of Infamy claim relies mainly on Watergate, a third-rate burglary and a clownish coverup.

    I don’t think it compares to Benghazi, IRS, AP, harassment of reporters and probably things we don’t know about yet.

  • Elwood

    What is it you would say you do here?


  • JohnW


    Way way more to Watergate than you say. But I won’t bother.

    Harding was Teapot Dome. Current IRS flap is Tea Party. Happened on watch of Bush appointee.

    If the ambassador had not been one of the four killed in Benghazi, nobody would give a crap. Sounds bad, but it’s the truth.

    Right or wrong, AP & Fox stuff appears all legal. My guess is the administration just decided that the only thing that matters is shutting down what were extremely serious national security leaks. Even Mitch McConnell refused to criticize Obama on the AP thing. Now that Fox is involved, he may have changed his tune. We need a national shield law, with national security exemptions.

  • Elwood

    Obama is now running all over the country shooting his mouth off about drones, Gitmo and anything else he can think of in order to distract from all the scandals he’s up to his ass in.

  • JohnW


    Indeed! He should probably cancel his commencement address at the Naval Academy and not travel anywhere or say anything about any subject not directly related to Fast & Furious, Benghazi, IRS and Reporter Phone Record-gate. That would be truly bipartisan, since those are the only things Republicans ever talk about.

  • Elwood

    Circle the wagons, John, circle the wagons!

    Place the chosen one in the center.

    Make more KoolAid.

  • JohnW

    No circling the wagons needed Elwood. When the air clears, only the people who are already part of the GOP base will care.

    Benghazi fading fast, perhaps to be revived if and when Hillary runs.

    On IRS, see article in weekend Wall Street Journal. Pure Cincinnati cluster-duck. Been going on for years, not just with political groups. Not an “enemies list” thing. Woman taking Fifth is unsettling, but everything administration higher ups knew was known even earlier by D. Issa.

    Holder is “leaning in” on the Fox reporter thing, not avoiding the issue. He vetted it before decision was made to go for e-mail records. A federal magistrate judge approved it. All legal. Republicans and Dems on Senate and House Intelligence committees were pushing DOJ to go after the leaks. Issue will fade.

  • Elwood

    Standard Obama administration response to all scandals, current and future:

    “We didn’t do it, we didn’t do it, we didn’t do it and besides it was a long time ago. Did you hear that Obama is going to solve all the world’s problems with diplomacy and foreign aid?”

    Hold on to your wallet.

    The sons of bitches will take our money and blow us up just the same.

  • JohnW

    All the “scandals” of Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama combined don’t hold a candle to Watergate. The latter involved willful law breaking on a massive scale. Not just the break-in and cover up, but hush money, enemies lists, Nixon personally ordering aides to get the IRS to dig up dirt on enemies, illegal wiretapping of aides and reporters for political purposes, campaign dirty tricks and break-in of a psychiatrist’s office. 43 people were indicted, 38 were convicted or plead guilty, many went to prison — including Nixon’s first Attorney General, his chief of staff, his top domestic advisor, two of his White House counsels, and numerous people like E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy, Charles Colson etc.

    Iran Contra was a major scandal, but one could at least argue that it was a case of going too far to protect what the people involved thought was in the national interest — not for political purposes as in Watergate.

  • Elwood

    Using the Obama criterion, as preached by Jay “Baghdad Bob” Carney, Watergate doesn’t matter because “it was a long time ago”.

  • JohnW

    That’s quite a stretch to compare anybody to “Baghdad Bob” That dude was pretty entertaining.

    What distinguishes Watergate from all the other stuff is (a) the breadth and depth of it; (b) the straight from the Oval criminality involved; and (c) the blatant political and constitutional corruption for political ends — not even a pretense of doing it for public good.

    By those measures, compare “scandals of recent history”

    Iran Contra — very poor judgement but well-intentioned if misguided and illegal effort to release hostages and advance their idea of U.S. interests in Latin America.

    Blue Dress-gate: lied about sex to avoid embarrassment and domestic fury — a story involving an out-of-control special prosecutor whose assignment was to investigate a failed real estate deal in Arkansas years before Clinton was elected. Found nothing but kept digging until he found something and then caught Clinton telling a lie on an unrelated and hardly a “high crimes” matter.

    Valerie Plame — very bad by office of VEEP but turned out somebody else outed her first.

    Bush’s AG firing of U.S. Attorneys at behest of Bush’s top political operative (“Bush’s brain) for not focusing on politically advantageous investigations — bad but arguably U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of POTUS and the U.S. AG.

    Fast and Furious: bad judgement but a well-intentioned effort to get bad guys and not from the Oval.

    Benghazi: dropping the ball on intelligence and security but no corruption involved. All the other stuff about talking points etc. is politics.

    IRS: no evidence of political motive or being done at behest of the Oval. Incompetent group in a no-win situation due to a bad law.

    Reporter phone and e-mail records in leak investigations: what would you do if trying to investigate serious national security leaks potentially endangering lives and reporters might lead you to the leakers? Overdone but perfectly legal.

  • Elwood

    @ 19

    Gee, it’s nice to know that Obama and his administration are without sin, at least according to you, John.

    It was Jay “Baghdad Bob” Carney who said Benghazi doesn’t matter because “it was a long time ago”.

    You could look it up. And maybe get a few pointers.

  • RR senile columnist

    Elwood is right. Libs call BHO’s regime The Immaculate Administration, devoid of sin.

  • JohnW

    Elwood, Not sure I’d use the term “sin” for any of this stuff. So, in that sense, I guess I would say “without sin.” But I acknowledge everybody’s “sins,” and, yes, rationalize them to some extent. Guilty as charged. But I do that for the Bush and Reagan “sins” too. Not for the Nixon sins. All you’re ever interested is history since Jan 20, 2009 and, typical of Obama bashers, you go from zero to 60 on everything, with no nuance or context. Everything is a high crime scandal of the century. When Republicans play that card over and over, people eventually just tune it out and dismiss it as political masturbation. That sounds pretty sinful if you happen to be Catholic.

  • Alcoahead

    Don’t know ’bout anyone else bloviating on this here thread, but I got an invite to this shindig from Wade Randlett — just sayin’.

  • RR senile columnist

    #23: Cool, I’ll be working the crowd selling ‘quake insurance. Let me know if you’re in the market. Thx

  • Elwood

    @ 23

    Are we supposed to be impressed?

  • Elwood

    @ 22

    ” no nuance or context”

    You provide enough nuance and context for everyone, John.

    ” political masturbation”

    Obama and his minions provide so much inspiration for masturbation, John!

  • JohnW

    You’re so clever, Elwood. A man of intellectual substance, I’m sure. But a man who so modestly chooses to conceal it by dealing only in punchlines.

  • RR senile columnist

    #27 Elwood is never boring. This is a blog, not the annals of the Pew center

  • Alcoahead

    @25 —

    Here’s his (Wade Randlett’s) e-mail address (wade@bayareadems.org) — so you can feel free to tell him how unimpressed you are at his inviting the (low) likes of moi to a shindig like this…

    Of course, both your and my nom-de-plumes used here are NOT real, so he can’t be expected to really tell you who “Alcoahead” really is, can he, “Elwood”?

  • Elwood

    @ 29

    When “Wade”, whoever the hell he is, doesn’t get my email he’ll know how unimpressed I am.

    Do you know any very important people named “Swim” or “Row”?

  • JohnW


    “Boring” is in the eye of the beholder and not a term I’ve ever used to describe Elwood. I argue and debate based on my opinions and facts as I understand them. Seems to me that’s in the spirit of a blog. If somebody prefers to just bat zingers back and forth, that’s their prerogative.