LOS ANGELES — Supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders threw dollar bills at Hillary Clinton’s motorcade April 16 as it approached the Studio City home of actor George Clooney, the site of a $33,400 per person fundraiser for her presidential campaign.
The first three lines from the 1933 song commonly known as “We’re in the Money” could be heard on speakers at a nearby house where a pro-Sanders counter-fundraiser was being held as the motorcade drove by.
The vehicle that was showered with the most bills was filled with Secret Service agents, CNN reported.
While the maximum individual contribution under federal law to a candidate seeking a party’s presidential nomination is $2,700, the higher amount was permissible because it benefited a joint fundraising committee, benefiting Clinton’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and 33 state Democratic parties.
The price was based on the $33,400 maximum amount an individual can contribute to a national party committee in a year.
Individuals contributing and raising a total of $353,400 got two seats at the head table with Clinton and Clooney, the Oscar-winning actor and producer, and his wife Amal, an attorney.
Howard Gold, a neighbor of Clooney, hosted a $27 per person fundraiser in support of Sanders, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, according to The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based newspaper that covers Congress, the White House and federal campaigns.
Gold, whose family founded the 99 Cents Only store chain, dubbed his event the “99 Percent Party,” The Hill reported.
The email invitation to the party read, “Swimming pools, Movie Stars and merriment for all! This is happening right next door to Clooney’s party for Hillary!” according to The Hill.
Sanders has repeatedly said the average contribution to his campaign is $27.
In an interviewed taped April 16 for the April 17 broadcast of the NBC public affairs program “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd asked Clooney if he agreed with the claim by the Sanders campaign that the $353,400 cost for two tickets to the head table was “an obscene amount of money,” Clooney said he agreed.
“The Sanders campaign when they talk about it is absolutely right. It’s ridiculous we should have this amount of money in politics,” Clooney said.
Clooney said the money is necessary to get Democrats elected.
The dinner at Clooney’s house was Clinton’s second fundraiser of the day. Her first was an afternoon reception in Koreatown.
Tickets were $2,700, according to Political Party Time, a website that tracks political fundraisers.
Couples that have made $5,400 in contribution to Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination were able to have their pictures taken with Clinton. Those raising $30,000 received an invitation to a host reception with Clinton.
The former secretary of state also spoke to supporters at Los Angeles Southwest College, where she criticized Sanders.
“We’ve had a very spirited primary campaign, which I think is great, but just remember, it’s not enough to say what’s wrong. You’ve got to tell people what you’re going to do to make it right,” Clinton said. “We don’t need another diagnosis of the problem, we need solutions.”
Clinton’s speech was briefly interrupted by a few protesters who were escorted out.
Clinton has proposed tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses; a profit sharing tax credit, creating a 15 percent tax credit for companies that share profits with workers on top of wages and pay increases; and raising the federal minimum wage to $12.
Clinton’s plan also calls for a cap on itemized deductions; a 4 percent surtax on taxpayers with incomes over $5 million; establishes a 30 percent minimum tax on taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of over $1 million; raising taxes on medium-term capital gains to between 27.8 percent and 47.4 percent; and restoring the estate tax to 2009 levels.
While Clinton was in Southern California, Sanders was at the Vatican, where he met briefly with Pope Francis. His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The trip was the 68-year-old Clinton’s 10th to the Los Angeles area since declaring her candidacy on April 12, 2015. Her visits have included 24 fundraisers.