(Reuters) - December 8, 2016 - A top campaign source claims that President Joe Biden's three-day star-studded fundraising tour in California began on Friday and will raise a record amount of money for the Democratic nominee for U.S. president in 2024. This trip occurs just one day after the Department of Justice filed new criminal charges against Biden's son, Hunter.
The accusations are based on Hunter's purported inability to pay $1.4 million in taxes, even though he allegedly spent millions on an extravagant lifestyle. Historically, Democrats have leaned significantly on support from California and the affluent entertainment industry, but prolonged strikes by screenwriters and actors have damaged their ability to raise money.
The end of the labor dispute has freed up money, according to Jeffrey Katzenberg, a film mogul and campaign co-chair who has grown to be a key player in Biden's effort to seek reelection in November 2024.
"It will be the most successful day and a half for the campaign to date and likely one of the most successful day and a half's prior to a general election, where things sort of kick into a whole 'nother gear, that we've ever had out here for any candidate ever," Katzenberg told Reuters in an interview.
Along with actors Lenny Kravitz and Barbra Streisand, filmmakers Rob Reiner and Steven Spielberg, and other celebrities, Biden will participate in two fundraiser events in Los Angeles. Before the end of the month, Biden will throw a flurry of at least nine fundraisers, which will include the California tour.
A person with knowledge of the events who spoke on the record said that the fundraisers in California and an earlier one in Boston are expected to raise at least $15 million. According to the source, total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2023 is expected to be close to $67 million, which is equivalent to the amount raised at the same time in 2011 by former President Barack Obama.
Katzenberg, who is helping with one of the fundraisers, stated that the final amount was still up in the air. "That sum is substantial. "I am aware of that," said DreamWorks Animation co-founder Katzenberg. Biden will make a brief visit in Las Vegas on Friday to announce $8.2 billion in funding for ten new passenger rail projects, according to a senior administration source.
According to a senior administration official, the $1 trillion infrastructure program's approved projects include the construction of the nation's first high-speed rail route across California, which will cost $3 billion. The official states that Biden would also announce $3 billion to support the building of a second high-speed rail link between South Carolina and Las Vegas, in addition to funding for projects in Virginia, Washington, and North Carolina.
In the last twelve months, Biden has traveled the country announcing additional funding for his three most well-known bills: the Infrastructure Law, the Chips and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. All of this is an attempt to boost his popularity and convince voters that he is the most qualified candidate to lead the US economy, but recent polls suggest that the strategy hasn't exactly clicked.