POLITICS
11/14/2013 10:34 am ET

Obama Fundraiser In Philadelphia Sets Million-Dollar Goal

Pool via Getty Images

President Obama's fundraiser in Philadelphia Thursday night, hosted by a pair of business executives, is aiming to raise a million dollars for the the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to an email provided to The Huffington Post.

The event, which will take place at the home of Comcast executive vice president and major Democratic fundraiser David L. Cohen, is co-hosted by credit card and energy mogul Richard Vague. The fundraiser will feature Obama and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). Bennet is head of the DSCC; Pennsylvania does not have a Senate contest in 2014, but does have many wealthy donors.

Cohen served as chief of staff to former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) when he was mayor of Philadelphia. Cohen and his wife were cited as having raised more than $500,000 for Obama's reelection campaign in 2012.

But Cohen is no straight-ticket voter. In February, he announced his support for tea party Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's 2014 reelection campaign, and he has made contributions to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Cohen is a controversial figure in the battle over Internet access, and Comcast has come under criticism for tilting the political scales to allow the company to provide slow Internet at a high price. The Financial Times has called Cohen Comcast's "most influential employee."

"If Dwight Eisenhower had General Motors and George W. Bush had Halliburton, Barack Obama arguably has Comcast," wrote Edward Luce, blaming the company's dominance and political connections for the slow Internet and poor access U.S. consumers live with, relative to other advanced nations.

Vague, meanwhile, is known as a friend of Vice President Joe Biden. He made his fortune in fossil fuels and then credit cards, a major business in Delaware, the state Biden served as a longtime U.S. senator.

Attendees of Thursday's event who contribute $32,400 -- the maximum amount an individual may contribute to the DSCC -- are entitled to a VIP Chair's reception, photo opportunity, dinner Q&A session with the president, and guest. Those that contribute $10,000 are entitled to the photo-op and dinner event, but must come stag. "If everyone on this email would either write or raise $10,000, we would easily be able to meet our goal of $1M and have a true impact on the programs that the DSCC works every day to implement in each of the targeted Senate races which obviously proved to be a winning strategy in the 2012 cycle (and in previous cycles)," the email from Cohen to guests reads. It was obtained by Philadelphia reporter and occasional HuffPost blogger Laura Goldman, who provided it to HuffPost.

Cohen told attendees of a DSCC finance committee meeting on Tuesday that the committee had already received $600,000 in pledges and money at the door, according to the note. The original goal for the event was $750,000, but Cohen said he was sure the finance committee can bring in seven figures.

The event is just another stop on Obama's nationwide fundraising spree for the DSCC. Last week, the president made appearances at events in Dallas and Miami.

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