Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is scheduled to meet with labor leaders and representatives of local unions and conduct a fundraiser Wednesday in his second trip to the Los Angeles area as a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Tickets are $500 for the general reception and $2,800 for the host reception at the Hollywood Hills home of attorneys Lindsay Berger Sacks and her husband Brian Sacks, according to an invitation obtained by City News Service.
The higher figure corresponds with the maximum individual contribution to a presidential primary campaign.
The event’s host committee includes film mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez and dramatist and television producer Winnie Holzman and her actor husband Paul Dooley.
Katzenberg was a co-host of a May fundraiser for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Rodriguez introduced O’Rourke at an April 27 speech at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and campaigned for him in Texas last year in his recent unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate.
O’Rourke sent a fundraising email Wednesday in response to a tweet by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel that President Donald Trump had raised $24.8 million following his announcement Tuesday that he would seek a second term, a figure O’Rourke called “a frightening amount of money.”
O’Rourke’s Southland visit comes one day after the “NBC Nightly News” aired an interview with him as part of its “My Big Idea” series. O’Rourke described his “big idea” as “fix our democracy and return power to the people.”
“My idea is to ensure we have a new Voting Rights Act, same day and automatic voter registration,” O’Rourke told Harry Smith. “We end the process of gerrymandering, whereby members of Congress choose their voters instead of the other way around.”
The 46-year-old O’Rourke campaigned in the early primary state of South Carolina Friday though Sunday, including unveiling a plan to spur small business growth.
O’Rourke pledged to appoint a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director who will prioritize implementing regulations that will make it easier to fight discrimination against small business owners who are women and people of color; establish a public credit reporting agency to make access to credit fairer and more equitable; triple funding for the Minority Business Development Agency to $102 million to supply diverse entrepreneurs with expanded access to mentorship; simplify tax rules and requirements for small businesses; and preventing online platform owners from squeezing out competition.
“From his pie-in-the-sky climate initiative that will cost trillions, to embracing government-run health care and third trimester abortions, Beto O’Rourke will say and do anything to keep pace with the Democrats’ race to the left,” said Mandi Merritt, a Republican National Committee regional communications director.
O’Rourke was a three-term congressman from the El Paso area who gained nationwide prominence for his unsuccessful challenge of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, receiving more votes than any Democrat in Texas.
Born Robert Francis O’Rourke on Sept. 26, 1972, in El Paso, O’Rourke’s Irish American family gave him the nickname “Beto” while he was an infant, initially to distinguish him from his grandfather, Robert V. Williams. Beto is a common Spanish nickname for first names ending in “berto.”
O’Rourke received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 1995, majoring in English literature.
O’Rourke began his political career in 2005, when he defeated a two-term incumbent to win a seat on the El Paso City Council. He served on the council through 2011.
O’Rourke defeated eight-term incumbent Rep. Silvestre Reyes in a primary in 2012 and won the general election race in the predominantly Democratic district by more than 30 percentage points.
If elected, O’Rourke would be the first president born in the 1970s.
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