The Wesport News reports that "Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein will open his Westport waterfront estate for a $35,800 per head fundraiser for President Obama's re-election next month, reciprocation for the coveted State Dinner invite he received earlier this year from the White House." (Emphasis added.)
This is not the first time President Obama and his staff have been accussed of engaging in quid pro quo.
In April, former Democratic congressman Patrick Kennedy said donations to President Obama helped him, in return, gain access to the White House. As he told the New York Times:
Patrick J. Kennedy, the former representative from Rhode Island, who donated $35,800 to an Obama re-election fund last fall while seeking administration support for a nonprofit venture, said contributions were simply a part of “how this business works.”
“If you want to call it ‘quid pro quo,’ fine,” he said. “At the end of the day, I want to make sure I do my part.”
Mr. Kennedy visited the White House several times to win support for One Mind for Research, his initiative to help develop new treatments for brain disorders. While his family name and connections are clearly influential, he said, he knows White House officials are busy. And as a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he said he was keenly aware of the political realities they face.
Harvey Weinstein, who is believed to have a networth of $150 million, is a top tier Obama bundler, having brought in at least $500,000 for the reelection campaign.
In March, Weinstein received a coveted invitation to the state dinner with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain. While there, he had only praise for Obama.
"I'm so thrilled he's running for reelection, he's done a fantastic job, and he's the most underestimated president I've seen," Weinstein told a pool reporter. "He's too humble, and his accomplishments far outweigh his esteem, but people will learn that in time."
As the Wesport News notes, "In Aug. 2011, Weinstein passed the hat for the president during a fundraising dinner at his row house in New York City's West Village attended by the trend-setting Vogue editor Anna Wintour."