Friday night, actor George Clooney hosted a fundraising dinner for Hillary Clinton that cost anywhere from $33,400 to $353,400 to attend. Bernie Sanders has called it “obscene that Secretary Clinton keeps going to big money people to fund her campaign.” Big moneyed dinners like this are the antithesis of the Sanders Campaign.
“I have a lot of respect for George Clooney,” Sanders said on CNN’s State of the Union. “He’s a great actor. I like him. But this is the point. This is the problem with American politics, is that big money is dominating our political system, and we are trying to move as far away from that as we can.”
Many of Sanders’ supporters are inclined to agree. There was a massive protest planned on Facebook with an estimated one-hundred people showing up. George Clooney may have been the A-list celebrity to give a brand-name to the evening, but the owner of the San Francisco house was Shervin Pishevar, a major investor in Uber. And he welcomed the protests.
“Only in America would an Iranian-born immigrant son of a taxi driver and maid trying to help elect our first woman president be protested at his home,” Pishevar told the Guardian. “I welcome nonviolent protests as an exercise of our great democracy.”
The protest was loud, but peaceful, with another Clooney hosted dinner joined by another protest on Saturday night, this time in Los Angeles. Upon making her entrance, Clinton’s motorcade was showered with a thousand One Dollar Bills, to protest the absurdity of the amount of money involved in campaigning.
Clooney’s neighbor, Howard Gold, hosted a more open fundraiser in response. Gold’s family founded the 99 Cents Only store chain so he saw it fitting to host the 99% Party with tickets selling for $27 per person. An email inviting Sanders supporters promoted “Swimming pools, Movie Stars, and merriment for all! This is happening right next door to Clooney’s party for Hillary!”
Of course, in the true nature of Bernie’s movement, nobody would be turned away for lack of funds. Howard Gold was even the one supplying all of the dollar bills that showered the street. Hopefully, some of LA’s homeless were nearby to pick up all of that cash.
To Clooney’s credit, he did denounce the money he is helping to raise. Sunday morning, after all of that “obscene” fundraising was over, Clooney agreed with Sanders on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“They’re right to protest, it is an obscene amount of money. The Sanders campaign, when they talk about it, is absolutely right. It’s ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics. I agree completely.”