Obama to visit Westport and Stamford for August Fundraisers


UPDATE President Obama will visit southwest Connecticut for fundraisers on Monday, Aug. 6 and make a stop in Westport before going to Stamford, Connecticut Democrats said today.

President Obama was last in southwest Connecticut in October 2010 when he appeared at a rally at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport.  Obama will be a guest at the Greens Farms Beachside Avenue home of movie producer Harvey Weinstein, according to state party chair Nancy DiNardo. It would be his fourth visit to the area as sitting president and first to Westport. “We’re delighted to welcome the president to Westport, even briefly,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. He said he was informed several days ago by the Obama campaign of the Westport visit. Weinstein, a prolific fundraiser for the president, hosted Obama at a $35,800 per guest dinner at his New York West Village townhouse in August 2011, and the Westport event is expected to have the same price tag.

The Stamford fundraiser, likely at the Stamford Marriott Hotel, has a $500 per head entry. Last month, Obama was hosted at the Upper East Side Manhattan home of hedge fund titan Marc Lasry, who also owns a home on Beachside Avenue, not far from Weinstein. The $40,000 a head reception attracted 50 guests, according to news reports, helping Obama raise about $2 million –- more than half of Obama’s total haul during his visit to New York that night. Obama was last in the area in the fall of 2010. He headlined a $1,000-per-ticket fundraiser for Richard Blumenthal’s U.S. Senate campaign on Sept. 10 at the Stamford Marriott. After that event, he made a stop at a private home fundraiser in Greenwich. On Oct. 30, he visited the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport. In October 2009, he visited Stamford for a fundraiser for Sen. Christopher Dodd. Weinstein’s Beachside Avenue home, adjacent to Burying Hill Beach, has been the site of numerous gatherings of politicians and celebrities. In December 2007, Weinstein hosted about 300 guests for his wedding to British fashion designer Georgiana Chapman. It attracted politicians, movie stars, moguls, filmmakers and supermodels and included fireworks launched from a barge in Long Island Sound in 28-degree weather.  On Sept. 22,1999, while First Lady Hillary Clinton explored running for the U.S. Senate from New York, Weinstein’s Beachside Avenue home was the scene of a getting-to-know-you $1,000-a-head event. The guest list included Westporters Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, and Martha Stewart. The last sitting president to visit Westport was President Bill Clinton who made three visits here while in the White House. Clinton was here on March 10, 1998, at an event at the Inn at National Hall hosted by Yvette and Bob Rose; again on June 8, 1998 at a Rose-hosted event at Martha Stewart’s television studio on Newtown Turnpike, and on June 28, 1999 at an event at the Judy Point Lane home of Fran Goldstein and Sandra Wagenfeld. Jim Ezzes, Westport Democratic Town Committee chairman, said anyone interested in attending either the Westport or Stamford events should contact him at jezzes@westportdemocrats.org .