Updated 3:35 p.m.
Former President Barack Obama is in Philadelphia on Friday to stump for U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Pa. Governor Tom Wolf and a number of down-ballot Democrats facing contested midterm elections in November.
The blue campaign rally this afternoon at Dell Music Center is free for those who snagged tickets from select Dem offices in the region.
The afterparty is a bit more exclusive.
Admission to the Pennsylvania Senate Victory 2018 Reception With President Obama starts at a neat $1,000 for “general” admission, according to invitations sent out to local Democratic donors.
But like most political fundraisers, there are tiered price points — and how much you pay directly influences how much you actually get to be enjoy that “with Obama” part of the senatorial soirée.
$2,700 gets you “supporter” status, which is apparently access to the same general reception. That’s also the maximum donation an individual can give to a political candidate per election cycle. But national political committees can accept much larger amounts.
At $5,000, you become a co-host and get “priority ropeline.” (Is that like priority boarding?)
Doubling up to $10,000 makes you a host, and includes a VIP photo opp with the president.
And at the top of the pyramid is the fundraiser “chairs” who cough up $33,900 — the annual limit for an individual to donate to a national party committee like the DNCC. This huge ticket price comes with the VIP photo as well as a smaller, exclusive reception with the guest of honor.
“This is typical for a presidential level host,” said Max Steele, Casey’s campaign spokesman, of the admission costs.
According to fundraiser invite, the donation amounts are “write or raise,” meaning you can cut the check or guarantee addition commitments for the same amount. Of course, these price tags are geared toward wealthy political donors and their well-heeled networks.
Indeed, the numbers aren’t exorbitant in the scheme of political fundraising.
On the 2016 presidential campaign trail, Hillary Clinton’s typical fundraiser required its hosts to raise between $10,000 to $50,000. For A-List celebrity appearances, access came with an exorbitant price tag. One of her fundraisers famously charged $345,000 for two seats at a table with actor George Clooney and his wife, attorney Amal Clooney — or roughly the cost of a newly built town home in certain Philly neighborhoods.
High-dollar fundraisers are no different for Republicans. During the 2016 election, President Donald Trump’s joint fundraising committee reportedly hosted campaign events at a nearly half-a-million dollar contribution level. And just this week, he hosted another six-figure campaign fundraiser for his 2020 reelection bid. The price tag for a roundtable dinner with Trump at his namesake hotel in Washington? $100,000 per person.