Oceans '16: Sanders Campaign Blasts $350K Dinner with Clooneys as 'Obscene'
'Now, most of us can agree that is an obscene amount of money,' Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said Friday
The $353,400 price tag attached to a Hollywood-Hillary Clinton fundraiser is raising eyebrows.
"It's a sum that would require an employee making the federal minimum wage to work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for more than 5 years."
—Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders campaign manager
The event, at which George Clooney and his wife, human rights attorney Amal Clooney, will sit at the head table, is raising money for the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee involving Hillary for America, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic committees of 32 states and Puerto Rico.
According to SFist on Thursday:
The dinner is set to take place at the San Francisco home of venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, and offers several tiered pricing options. For $353,400, you and your dining partner can be an honorary "event chair," a designation which comes with the exciting opportunity to lobby (likely future president) Clinton during a "roundtable" in addition to "premium dinner seating." A bit out of your range? For the $100,000, you and a guest can hang at the "host reception." Still too expensive? For $33,400 you can get a photo with candidate.
The Bernie Sanders campaign was among those raising concerns.
"Now, most of us can agree that is an obscene amount of money," Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver wrote in an email to supporters on Friday afternoon. "It's a sum that would require an employee making the federal minimum wage to work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for more than 5 years."
The Bay Area fundraiser, hosted at the home of venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, is one of two events starring the Clooneys. On April 16, Clinton and the Clooneys will reunite at the Clooney Los Angeles mansion, where tickets cost $33,400 per person to dine at the table with one of Hollywood’s most glamorous couples.
Both events raise money for the Hillary Victory Fund. While the maximum donation to a presidential campaign is $2,700 for the primary elections (plus another $2,700 for the general), the Hillary Victory Fund can accept much larger contributions because it is a so-called joint fundraising committee that is comprised of multiple committees.
"Here is the truth: while tens of millions of Americans are struggling to put dinner on the table, the wealthiest people in this country have never had it so good," read the email from Weaver. "And the great question of this campaign is will we restore a vibrant democracy in this country, or will we slide into an oligarchy in which the economic and political life is controlled by a handful of billionaires?"
In an interview with the Guardian earlier this month, Clooney said: "I really love Bernie Sanders, and am really glad he is in the debate. He is forcing the conversation to things that never get talked about in U.S. politics: disparity between the rich and the poor, which is getting worse and worse every day."