After conducting a midday public forum on the economy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Barack Obama will head later today to Houston, whose metropolitan area has more registered voters than all of the Hawkeye State.
But Obama has no scheduled public events in Houston. Instead, he will collect donations for his Democratic presidential campaign and the Democratic Party at two private gatherings.
Of the $287 million raised across the nation by the Obama campaign, only a quarter has come from contributors of at least $2,300, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Federal law puts a $2,300 cap on the amount an individual can give for a primary or general election, for a maximum total of $4,600.
The Houston events fall into the big-money category. They start at $2,300 per person, with amounts above $4,600 going to the party. The receptions take place at the River Oaks home of trial lawyer Richard Mithoff and his philanthropist wife, Ginni, and the Memorial area home of energy company chief John Thrash and his philanthropist wife, Becca Cason Thrash. Top donors at each event will get a chance to have their photographs taken with the Illinois senator.
Whether you have $23 or $2.300 to give a political candidate, we're all much better off if you give it to Rick Noriega or David Mincberg or C. O. Bradford or Diane Trautman, or Sherrie Matula or Kevin Murphy or Joe Montemayor or Larry Hunter, or Chris Bell or Joe Jaworski, or Mike Engelhart or Jim Sharp or Linda Yanez.
Obama is going to have all the money he needs to get elected, believe me.
Barack Obama collected more than $1.5 million in campaign funding Thursday night in two Houston neighborhoods built by oil and natural gas profits while telling his audiences that America needs to liberate itself from those fuels.
... Standing on a platform just above the water level of a lighted indoor pool at a Memorial home, Obama said the nation needs to develop wind and solar energy and other alternative sources. He spoke to about 55 paying guests at candlelit, round dinner tables under skylights in the 18,000-square-foot home of John Thrash, chief of a natural gas infrastructure company, and wife Becca Cason Thrash.
On Thursday morning in Iowa, Obama told a public audience that amid record-high oil profits, Republican opponent John McCain's proposal to lower corporate taxes is wrong and that the Republican Party is bereft of ideas that would help steer the nation to long-term energy independence.
At his other closed-door stop in Houston, the River Oaks home of trial lawyer Richard Mithoff and wife Ginni, Obama vaguely outlined a desire to work with both major parties to fashion short-term oil and gas usage policies. ...
Mithoff ... said the event had raised $1.5 million for Obama's campaign and the Democratic Party. Donations started at $2,300 per person and the total raised at the Thrash home was unknown.
The River Oaks audience was a multiethnic blend of lawyers, politicians, business people and others.
I removed some of Alan Bernstein's more egregious sneering. Click over for the full Republican effect.