Politics

DNC to host first in-person fundraiser of the Covid era

A separate fundraiser, scheduled for the same day, will serve as a launch event for the committee’s PAC, with tickets again starting at $1,000 to get in the door. For $5,000, an attendee can be deemed a supporter or contribute $15,000 to be named a friend. Donors can pay $45,000 to be named a leader of the event.

Both invites take care to stress that the fundraisers “will be following the most up-to-date CDC guidelines.” For the reception honoring Harrison, which is aimed at bringing friends of the new chair into the fold and will be indoors, attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test from within the previous 24 hours. There will also be a nurse on site administering rapid tests, according to a DNC official.

The second fundraiser, which is geared more toward long-standing donors, will be outdoors, and still require proof of vaccination and masks if attendees venture into indoor settings.

The hosting of an in-person event marks a return for Democrats to the usual method of raising cash more than a year and a half after hobnobbing with donors became confined to Zoom calls. President Joe Biden’s fundraisers for the committee, for example, have all been virtual, as was Vice President Kamala Harris’ Pride celebration fundraiser.

Democratic officials remained hesitant about mingling with donors in person even as vaccines became widely available and as their Republican counterparts gradually reverted back to the pre-pandemic, in-person norm.

The upcoming fundraisers come at a major flash point for Democrats’ domestic policy agenda. Next week, congressional Democrats will try to stave off a government shutdown as well as avert an impending fiscal cliff that could come as soon as mid-October. The party is also scrambling to craft a massive social spending and climate bill that can win 218 votes in the House and 50 votes in the Senate despite warring factions within the caucus over the legislation’s price tag and lobbyists swarming to chip away at the bill. All this comes while the party is trying to ensure a bipartisan infrastructure bill has the votes it needs to pass in the House — no small feat, with progressives threatening to walk.

But is the midterm elections that will likely loom over the coming fundraisers.

The GOP looks well-positioned to win back control of both chambers of Congress in 2022, given historical precedent and Biden’s sinking approval rating.

Though both the DNC and the Republican National Committee brought in massive amounts of cash last month, according to both committees, the GOP outraised Democrats by more than $2 million in August. The RNC also reported having more cash on hand than the DNC — $74.6 million to $67.8 million — forcing Democrats into a game of catch-up as the party heads into the fall.


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