Change of date for Joe Biden’s SF fundraiser

Vice President Joe Biden is still coming to San Francisco this month to raise money for the Democratic National Committee, but not on the date that was originally announced.

Biden is now scheduled to appear at a fundraising breakfast next Friday, June 14, at the home of Doug Hickey, 58, – CEO of BinWise, former managing director at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and former CEO of Critical Path – and his wife, attorney Dawn Ross, in San Francisco’s pricey Sea Cliff area. The breakfast initially had been scheduled for Monday, June 17.

Tickets start at $500 per person; $2,500 also buys a photo with Biden, with another $2,500 for each additional person in the photo. Tickets to a private “clutch reception” with Biden cost $10,000 per person. The event is capped at 125 people and 50 photos.


Joe Biden in SF June 17 to raise money for Dems

Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Bay Area later this month to raise money for the Democratic National Committee.

Joe BidenBiden is set to headline a breakfast on Monday, June 17, at the home of Doug Hickey, 58, – CEO of BinWise, former managing director at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and former CEO of Critical Path – and his wife, attorney Dawn Ross, in San Francisco’s pricey Sea Cliff area.

Tickets start at $500 per person; $2,500 also buys a photo with Biden, with another $2,500 for each additional person in the photo. Tickets to a private “clutch reception” with Biden cost $10,000 per person. The event is capped at 125 people and 50 photos.

Shefali Razdan Duggal of San Francisco, a member of the DNC national finance committee member and the White House Council on Women and Girls, sent out the invite with “a very personal perspective which I identify with Vice President Joe Biden.”

“Our current Vice President is one of the most remarkably kind and authentic electeds whom I have had the privilege to encounter,” Duggal wrote. “The Vice President has met my very introverted and reserved mother, and the manner in which he treated her, with tremendous dignity and respect, has and will remain within her heart for many years to follow. I would genuinely encourage anyone who has the desire and/or ability to attend this breakfast event with Vice President Joe Biden to do so, for the reason to meet and speak with such a sincere and radiant spirit.”

Biden’s visit will come less than two weeks after President Barack Obama is scheduled to raise money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this coming Thursday, June 6, at a reception in Palo Alto and a dinner in Portola Valley. Obama was last here in early April raising money for the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Democrats need every penny they can raise: Most experts say their chances of taking back a House majority in 2014 are slim to none, and next year’s U.S. Senate playing field looks to be weighted in Republicans’ favor.

UPDATE @ 8:35 A.M. FRIDAY 6/7: The date of this event has changed.


Mitt Romney to visit Bay Area in late March

His mind may be completely on tomorrow’s 11 “Super Tuesday” states, but Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be California dreamin’ before long.

Mitt RomneyThe former Massachusetts governor will be making a Northern California fundraising swing at the end of this month. A reception is scheduled for the evening of Monday, March 26 at Redwood City’s Hotel Sofitel San Francisco Bay, with tickets starting at $1,000; the legal maximum of $5,000 per couple buys a photo with the candidate. Sponsors are being asked to raise $10,000, and co-chairs $25,000.

He’s also scheduled to do a fundraising breakfast the next morning, Tuesday, March 27, at the Stockton home of real estate billionaire, San Diego Chargers owner and major Republican benefactor Alex Spanos. Organizer Bret de St. Jeor, a Modesto businessman and former state Senate candidate, said it’s $1,000 per person with room for about 500 guests, but tickets have been going fast.

“I know Mitt personally, I’ve known his family for quite a long time, and I was at an event a few weeks ago and he asked me if I would get involved for him in the Central Valley,” de St. Jeor said. “I really do believe in his ability, I do believe America needs someone like him.”


Pool report from the First Lady’s Berkeley event

Here’s the raw feed I just sent to the White House; I’ll file a more polished story later.

About 250 attended the event at the Claremont Hotel, having paid anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000 to get in. The menu, prepared by the staff of famed chef Alice Waters, included blood orange and tangerine juice, organic coffees and black tea; cherries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with yogurt and honey; baked farm eggs with fresh morels, asparagus vinaigrette and grilled whole wheat toast; and wild fennel biscotti, jam thumbprints and lemon verbena tisane.

The First Lady was introduced by Rep. Bar bara Lee, D-Calif., in whose district the event was held. Lee noted her 9th Congressional District gave President Obama his best returns of any California district in the 2008 primary and general, and is “fired up to lead the way again in 2012.”

The First Lady entered to a standing ovation at 10:21 a.m., wearing a short, cream-colored sweater over a white dress and pearls.

“It is a pleasure, it is a thrill to be with all of you this morning,” she said, thanking Lee not only for the introduction but for being “a real friend to me in Washington … Barbara is always focused on her base, she is always fighting tooth and nail to do the right thing.”

She also thanked Waters for the breakfast, although “they don’t let me eat at these things,” and local officials, national campaign finance committee members and the whole audience.

“I’m thrilled to see so many new faces, and that’s always a good thing in round two,” she said.

“As we look ahead to the next part of this journey, I can’t help but thing back to how it all began,” she said, noting that at first she wasn’t thrilled with her husband’s presidential aspirations because of her own cynicism about politics and the disruption a campaign could cause her daughters’ lives. “It took some convincing on Barack’s part, and by some, I mean a lot.”

But in their first few months on the campaign trail, she said, she started to realize “it wasn’t just about handshakes and stump speeches” but rather about meeting and hearing from people in their own homes and communities. At one early event in Iowa, “I was so comfortable that I kicked off my shoes – I was wearing high heels – and I stood barefoot in the grass and felt as comfortable as in my own backyard.”

Everywhere they heard stories about struggles to meet mortgage payments, veterans returning from war, youths with good grades but not enough money for college. “These stories moved me, and even more than that, these stories were familiar to me,” she said, leading her to think about how her and her husband’s parents and grandparents struggled to provide better lives for them.

She said these people on the campaign trail weren’t asking for much, she said, just access to a doctor when sick, a good public education and access to college, decent wages, and a secure retirement that might include being able to leave a better life for their kids. Suddenly everything her husband had been saying about interconnection, about there not being any “red” or “blue” states, was no longer just lines in a speech.

The campaign’s supporters’ energized her, especially those who rallied around this historic first African-American nominee. “They took that chance to put their emotions on the line again.”

The First Lady then launched into a review of what the president “has been doing to help all of us win the future” during his first term. She said he moved the nation from an economy on the brink of collapse to one that’s starting to grow again, cutting taxes for the middle class and protecting consumers from predatory creditors. Healthcare reform, she said, means “millions of folks will finally be able to afford a doctor,” not worry about preexisting conditions, and be covered for preventative and prenatal care. And the President has set about reducing the deficit “by cutting back so we can start living within our means, and then starting to invest in the things that really matter” such as clean energy, scientific research including stem cells, community colleges, Pell Grants and the Race to the Top public education improvement initiative.

He also ended the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy so “our troops will never again have to lie about who they are,” she said, and appointed “two brilliant Supreme Court justices.” He has worked to “keep our country safe and restore our standing in the world,” responsibly ending the Iraq war – from which 100,000 troops already have been brought home – and ensuring that Obama bin Laden “has finally been brought to justice. That’s what this President did.”

She also talked about her own emphasis issues: curbing childhood obesity through proper nutrition, and publicizing the “courage and strength and pride” of military families… to make sure we serve them as well as they serve us.”

“We have made some significant changes these last couple of years and we should be proud of what we’ve accomplished, but we should never be satisfied,” she said.

She said she watches her husband reading people’s letters late at night after their daughters have gone to sleep. “I see the sadness and the worry creasing his face, I hear the passion and determination in his voice” as he says things still aren’t right and more must be done, she said. He remembers all these stories, she said, “this collection of hopes and dreams and struggles – this is where Barack gets his passion.”

That’s what politics should be about, she said – not about one person or one president, but about making positive changes in people’s lives.

“We need all of you to be with us for the next phase of this journey, and I’m not going to kid you – it’s going to be long, it’s going to be hard, and it’s supposed to be,” she said. But even when people (including herself) almost wish the President would lose his cool and fire back at his critics, she said, “Barack Obama never loses sight of the end goal, he never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise, he just keeps moving forward… He needs you to be with him in this for the long haul, he needs you to work like you’ve never worked before.”

“I do this because I’m a mother who wants my kids to have a legacy they can be proud of,” she said. “More importantly, I do it as a citizen who knows we can do amazing things together for this country.”

“If any child in this country is left behind, it matters to all of us, even if it’s not our son or daughter,” she continued. “In the end, we cannot separate our own story form the broader American story. Like it or not, we are all in this together and that’s a good thing, as it should be.”

“So I have one last question: Are you all in? Are you ready for this? Because I am,” she finished, bringing the crowd to its feet.

She finished speaking at 10:48 a.m. and worked the rope line for a few minutes before leaving the room. Guests as they exited were presented with chunks of a special bread that Waters worked out with ACME Bread owner Steven Sullivan: 100 percent organic California whole wheat grown near Kettleman City and stone-milled in Petaluma.


First Lady to speak in Oakland June 14

The White House, which had announced last week that First Lady Michelle Obama would visit the Bay Area on Tuesday, June 14, today specified that she’ll speak at a Democratic National Committee fundraising breakfast in Oakland and then a DNC fundraising luncheon in San Francisco.

The previous morning, she’ll be at the Writers Guild Theater in Los Angeles for an event with a task force consisting of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America West, focused on portraying the experiences of today’s military families in film, television and digital media. Later Monday, she’ll speak at a DNC luncheon in Pasadena and a DNC dinner in Los Angeles.


Obama fundraising breakfast disrupted by protest

Here’s the pool report filed this morning by the Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci from President Obama’s fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco:

A crowd of half a dozen protesters concerned with the Wikileaks story disrupted the Obama event at the St. Regis Hotel, with Oakland activist Naomi Pitcairn organizing the event for the group which calls itself freshjuiceparty.com; she personally paid $76,000 total for tickets for the group to gain entry to the high priced fundraiser, she told us.

The progressive group protested what they called the inhumane treatment of Pvt. Bradley Manning in the Wikileaks case. Their protest song — which included lyrics: “We paid our dues..where’s our change?” — was sung in its entirety for Obama, who thanked them at the end of the a capella performance.

Outside, the group said that they were progressives who had worked for Obama and voted for him in 2008, but who were disappointed not only with Manning’s treatment, but with Obama’s policies on war as well.

The protest began when Pitcairn stood up about 5 minutes into the president’s speech as said, “We wrote a song for you, Mr. President.” When he tried to suggest she wait, the group launched into the ditty, and kept singing for several minutes.

Pitcairn took off her outer shirt to reveal a tee shirt in support of Manning.

The president appeared a little set back by the lengthy song, but he thanked the group — and complimented their voices — at the close. “Where was I?” he said, launching back into his stump speech.

Pitcairn was escorted out, but was not arrested or cited by San Francisco police.

Protesters including UC Santa Cruz art professor Elizabeth Stephens, songwriter Craig Casey, activist Jane Sullivan of Santa Cruz, writer Greg Archer, and David Schiller of Berkeley, as well as organizers from Tony’s Circus, all Bay Area locals. Pitcairn said she was happy to pay the tickets for all of them to enter so they could personally address with president with their concerns.

Diners at the breakfast were assembled around tables of 10 in and upstairs dining room, with stage flanked by a backdrop of California and American flags.

Among the 200 guests at the sold out event: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelsoi, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former San Francsico Mayor Willie Brown, and Governor Jerry Brown.

High end tickets to the Obama Victory Fund breakfast event started at $5,000 and go up to $35,800.

That higher price ticket involves a split between the Organizing for America and the Democratic National Committee. Breakdown of tickets: $5,000 of the cost goes to Organizing for America and represents the maximum legal donation to primary and general election presidential campaign; $30,800 goes to DNC.

DNC would not estimate total raised in the event.