July 20, 2012 in City

President to attend Seattle fundraisers

Campaign stop is part of four-state swing through West for Obama
By The Spokesman-Review
Associated Press photo

President Barack Obama greets supporters after arriving in Seattle on May 10.
(Full-size photo)

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President Barack Obama is scheduled to stop in Seattle next week, the third time in seven months he will visit the state’s largest city to raise money.

His re-election campaign hasn’t released many details of the trip yet. It’s a stop with two campaign fundraisers at the end of a Western swing that includes Nevada, California and Portland. He then heads for New Orleans.

If the pattern of previous trips holds, he can expect to rake in more than $1 million from one campaign event, with tickets going for just less than $18,000, and hundreds of thousands more at a more modestly priced event.

Washington is the seventh-best state for Obama when it comes to raising money. For the 2012 presidential election cycle, reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show he’s raised slightly less than $5 million from donors reporting Washington state ZIP codes.

Donations from Seattle-area ZIP codes have provided three-fourths of the money Obama has raised in the state for his re-election, or about $3.8 million since early 2011, according to FEC records.

By comparison, donations reported from Spokane-area ZIP codes during the same period total just under $93,000. Obama has never visited the Lilac City as a candidate or as president, although his wife, Michelle, made a stop at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox before the 2008 precinct caucuses.

Obama’s Washington fundraising total doesn’t include all of the money he raises in his Seattle-area stops.

On May 10 and Feb. 15 of this year, and Sept. 25 last year, Obama held high-priced events in suburban Seattle for fewer than 100 people, with tickets that cost $17,900 each. That’s more than the campaign can keep from a single donor, so the proceeds are split with another political entity, such as the national Democratic Party.

Those three events collected more than $3.5 million, according to figures released by the campaign at the time. Obama also visited Seattle in Aug. 18, 2010, to campaign for the re-election of Sen. Patty Murray at a similarly priced event; it raised $1.3 million that was split between Murray and the state Democratic Party.

Along with the high-priced fundraisers, Obama usually also holds an event with a larger crowd and a lower ticket price. At a concert and speech at Seattle’s Paramount Theater in May, tickets went for $1,000.

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