President Obama will arrive this evening at the stately $11 million Los Angeles mansion of John Wells, the executive producer of "E.R." and "The West Wing," for a star-studded fundraising reception and dinner aimed at bolstering the hopes and campaign accounts of Democrats in Congress.
Hosts for the event include movie moguls Jeffrey Katzenberg and Stephen Spielberg, along with Barbra Streisand, though sources tell ABC News that those three hosts will not actually make it to the event. That's not to say there won't be plenty of Hollywood power present, however. Jeffrey Jacob "J. J." Abrams, co-creator of "Lost" is expected, as is producer/screenwriter Judd Apatow and director James L. Brooks.
The guests will roam the grounds of the Wells' Hancock Park estate and enjoy a performance from Tony Award winner Idina Menzel. The two-tiered event will start with a 90-minute, $2,500-a-person reception, after which about 100 major donors who agreed to fork over $30,400 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will gain entry to the more-exclusive dinner inside the television producer's 10,000-square-foot brick mansion, which was once part of the Charlie Chaplin estate. The big spenders will also line up for photos with President Obama.
The DCCC would not say how much it expects the president to raise, though one source told ABC News the number would likely top $1 million – a sizeable yield, the source said, given that many Hollywood luminaries are away on vacation in August. The money that is being collected by the DCCC will help finance the party's efforts to maintain control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections.
The trip to L.A. is part of Obama's most-extensive fundraising trip since he took office. He will raise money in five states over the next three days. The L.A. event is his third major fundraiser for House candidates. He raised money for the DCCC in New York, Miami, and Washington, D.C. earlier this year.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi helped organize Monday's event and will be the other featured speaker.
Wells and his wife Marilyn have been extremely active Democratic donors in recent years, giving more than $250,000 to the party and its candidates during the past three years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics