Here are President Obama’s biggest Latino donors
Eva Longoria, of Desperate Housewives fame, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Obama campaign.
President Obama traveled to Texas Tuesday for a day-long fundraising jaunt that could fill his campaign coffers with millions of dollars.
Obama has been outraised by GOP rival Mitt Romney for two straight months, but the president’s campaign is hoping that his tour through the Lone Star State, which includes four fundraisers spread across San Antonio and Austin, could provide him with a much-needed infusion of cash. Campaign officials told the Texas Tribune that the day could net the president $3.5 million.
Though Texas is known as a solid red state, its political donors have been friendly to the pockets of Republican and Democratic candidates alike. A two-day swing through Texas last month saw Romney take in $3 million on his way to raising a record $106.1 million in June.
Obama raised around $2 million during a stop there in May 2011, along with an extra $800,000 this May. The president raised $71 million last month total.
The state is also home to a rapidly-growing number of Latinos, who could help change the political landscape of the state over the next decade. Though Obama has no shot of winning Texas in this election, he’s spent time courting the state’s Latino population.
“You’re not considered one of the battleground states, although that’s going to be changing soon,” Obama told the crowd in San Antonio.
Obama’s fundraising event this afternoon at San Antonio’s Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center is hosted by some big Latino names, such as actress Eva Longoria, Mayor Julián Castro (D), and Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas). Tickets start at $250 and the campaign expects 1,200 to be in attendance.
“It’s clear that President Obama has strong support in the San Antonio area,” Castro told the San Antonio Express-News. “There’s been a tremendous amount of enthusiasm since he visited in 2007.”
The president will also host one high-dollar fundraiser each in San Antonio and Austin (tickets cost $35,800 per person and $25,000 per couple, respectively) and another $250-per-ticket fundraiser in the state capital sponsored by an LGBT rights group. All of Tuesday’s money will go toward the Obama Victory Fund, a joint committee that splits funds between Obama’s campaign, the DNC and several state Democratic parties.
The money race in this year’s election has been highly competitive, with new super PACs that can raise unlimited sums for candidates changing the fundraising landscape. In addition, Romney has displayed a fundraising prowess unusual for a challenger running against an incumbent president, who historically outraises and outspends his opponent.
Along the way, Latinos have played a significant role in filling Obama’s coffers. Latino celebrities led by actor Antonio Banderas hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for the president in Los Angeles last October and singer Ricky Martin co-hosted a fundraiser with the LGBT Leadership Council for the president in New York this May.
The campaign suffered an embarrassing episode in February, when it had to return $200,000 to two Chicago-area men, Alberto and Carlos Rojas Cardona, whose brother is a fugitive casino owner from Mexico.
A number of prominent Latinos also serve as “bundlers” for Obama, or financiers who contribute the maximum amount to the campaign and the Democratic National Committee (a total of $35,800) and then collect donations from wealthy friends and acquaintances. Bundlers must pledge to raise at least $50,000 for Obama’s campaign and through the end of March 2012, they had contributed a total of $106 million to the campaign, according to ABC News.
Obama publicly discloses the identity of his campaign’s bundlers (Romney does not), which allowed us to take a look at Latinos who have helped raise large sums of money for his campaign.
The list of 15 is small compared to the 532 total bundlers disclosed in April. The includes well-known television fixtures like Longoria and Giselle Fernández and lesser-known professionals in the fields of law, public relations and even catering. In total, Latino bundlers have brought in at least $2.9 million for the Obama campaign so far.
Here is the list:
- Alfredo “Freddy” Balsera, Democratic public relations consultant, Coral Gables, Fla. Amount raised: $50,000-$100,000.
- Roberto Prats, former Puerto Rican senator, San Juan, P.R. Amount raised: $50,000-$100,000
- Jesse Ruiz, attorney, Chicago, Ill. Amount raised: $50,000-$100,000.
- Manuel “Manny” Sanchez, attorney, Chicago, Ill, $50,000-$100,000.
- Giselle Fernández, television news anchor & producer, Los Angeles, Calif. Amount raised: $100,000-$200,000.
- Rafael Ortiz, investor, San Francisco, Calif. Amount raised: $100,000-$200,000.
- Cecilia Soto-Loftus, catering business owner, Malibu, Calif. Amount raised: $100,000-$200,000.
- Phil Suarez, restaurant owner, New York, N.Y. Amount raised: $100,000-$200,000.
- Roel Campos, former Securities and Exchange Commissioner, attorney, Washington, D.C. Amount raised: $200,000-$500,000.
- Roland Garcia, attorney, Houston, Texas. Amount raised: $200,000-$500,000.
- Andrés Guillemard, attorney, owner of Puerto Rico Islanders soccer franchise, San Juan, P.R. Amount raised: $200,000-$500,000.
- Eva Longoria, actress, Los Angeles, Calif. Amount raised: $200,000-$500,000.
- Andrés López, attorney, Democratic National Committeeman, San Juan, P.R. Amount raised: $500,000+.
- Henry Muñoz III, CEO of architecture firm, San Antonio, Texas. Amount raised: $500,000+.
- Eugene Sepulveda, philanthropist & entrepreneur, Austin, TX, $500,000+.
(Photo: Flickr, Philip Nelson)