Only in L.A., only in the party town of Studio City, could there be such a unique and funny way to diss, and welcome, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
It was her second time in a few months that Clinton came to this small posh suburb of Los Angeles, just up the hill from the historic CBS Studios which gave the area its name when it was formed early last century.
The dozens of people on both sides of the street in the hills of Studio City threw 1,000 $1 bills into the air when her motorcade came up the street to go into Clooney’s gated estate where the cheapest ticket cost $34,000. Right next door, the founder of the local 99-cents store chain was holding a fundraiser for Clinton’s rival Bernie Sanders for only $27 a person.
This is the second time the former Secretary of State came to Studio City for a big fundraiser. The former one in the Colfax Meadows area got you a photo with the candidate and your family for $2,700. That party was held at the home of Jon Vein, the chief strategy officer and a co-founder of Market Share, which is the world’s leading analytics technology provider for major brand marketers. His wife, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein is a movie producer known for The Maze Runner movies.
The last time Clooney had a big party like this it was for Obama’s second term and it was the largest fundraiser in political history. The streets were closed and helicopters few Obama in overhead.
The celebrity neighbors to this house abutting the Fryman Canyon hiking trails include Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, Julie Bowen the mom in “Modern Family” and many others. The 7,300-square-foot house on 3 1/2-acres has multiple bars in the house and was built by Stevie Nicks during her Fleetwood Mac days. Clooney bought the house for
$2,827,500 in 1995.
Clooney pointed out the irony of high-priced fundraisers and said he looks forward to the days he doesn’t have to host them anymore. He told “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning that he supported Bernie Sanders’s stance (and Clinton’s too) against the Citizens United decision which he said, “Is on of the worst things to happen since I’ve been around.”
Clooney said the money he is raising is not just going to the Clinton campaign but to all the Democratic candidates who are down-ballot from the president. The Academy-Award-winning actor said he is trying to fight off right-wing billionaires who have an interest in electing Republicans.
The last time he had a big fundraiser at his house in Studio City, Clooney wasn’t married. His wife Amal is now co-hosting the party, and the one the held the day before in San Francisco. Clooney tried to talk to the protestors in San Francisco who shouted that he was a “corporate shill.” Clooney said, “Anyone who knows me would find that very funny.” Then, then heckler said, “And your Batman sucked.”
“Well, he got me there,” Clooney quipped.
Tickets at $33,400 per person for the Hillary Victory Fund, was a joint fundraising committee of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Big producers and industry moguls such as Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, and Haim and Cheryl Saban are also hosting the parties.
Clooney talked about meeting Republican frontrunner Donal Trump a few times, “He said I was very short, I’m not, I was sitting down.” He added, “The point of the other side is making a campaign of fear… we are going to be scared off the very things that make this country. We are not afraid… We are not descendants of fearful people. We are not going to ban Muslims from the country, that is never going to happen. We are not going to kill the families of terrorists or suspects. Our grandparents would be ashamed of us.”
Clooney said the Clinton campaign was not good at explaining that the overwhelming amount of money was going to help others in their campaigns. “I’m a Democrat and we need to take the Senate back.” He said he now spends a quarter of his time fundraising for various causes.
Michael Jee, who was at the site where the Clooney party took place, Tweeted out that he couldn’t afford $335,000 “so I joined the $27.” Neighbor Lauren Joffe wrote “WTIF, … Sanders supporters were throwing $ at her car.”
Clooney’s neighbor throwing the Sanders party was the founder of the 99-Cents Only stores, Howard Gold, and called his event “The 99 Percent Party.” His invite reads: “Swimming pools, Movie Stars, and merriment for all! This is happening right next door to Clooney’s party for Hillary!” They’re the ones who gathered more than 100 people on both sides of the street and paved Clinton’s car with dollar bills and showered her car as she drove by. Then, they began dancing in the tree-lined street to “Dancing in the Streets.” “Titanic” actress Frances Fisher was among the Bernie supporters along the street.
This fundraiser will easily beat the $8 million previous one where Sting performed and could even set records. The special guests included Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Fonda, Anna Wintour, Jim Parsons, Jim Gianopulos, Tom Rothman, Bryan Lourd, James Cameron and George Lucas.
In the Sunday morning news talk shows, Clooney was quite frank, saying, “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.”