Elizabeth Warren has sworn off attending big-money private fundraisers. But a small group of Hollywood writers and producers recently gathered over drinks to talk about how to raise money for Warren’s presidential campaign without her.
Warren’s personal ban on behind-closed-doors fundraising — a practice she now criticizes for giving the wealthy undue access to politicians — presents “a bit of a challenge” for the group, said writer and producer Franklin Hardy, who supports Warren’s stance. “Do we have a stand-up comedy night at somebody’s house? Can we get her to Skype in? Or do we just have big get-togethers?” While accepting that money won’t violate Warren’s anti-access pledge, it does highlight a shift in the 2020 presidential race. After spending the first months of 2019 fixated on small-dollar online support and adopting rhetoric shunning bigger donors, campaigns are now taking stronger steps to bring wealthy and well-connected supporters into the fold. Jolted by Joe Biden’s splashy $6.3 million first day in the Democratic primary, many of Biden’s rivals are increasingly hungry for bigger donors’ support.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who raises most of his funds online from small donors, is set to hold his first high-dollar event of the campaign in New York City this week, where attendees have to pledge to raise $25,000 for some tickets. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is holding high-dollar events in cities across the country as he tries to collect on his newfound fame with donors.
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