- During the Democratic Presidential Debate on Thursday night, Elizabeth Warren slammed Pete Buttigieg for attending a fundraiser dinner with billionaires in a Napa Valley wine cave.
- Photos of the Napa fundraising event, which took place on Sunday, showed Buttigieg speaking with guests under a chandelier containing 1,500 Swarovski crystals.
- Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and family members of his fellow Silicon Valley billionaires Sergey Brin, Sheryl Sandberg, and Eric Schmidt hosted a separate glitzy fundraiser for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign in Palo Alto, California, Recode’s Teddy Schleifer reported on December 13.
- Buttigieg received donations from 39 billionaires in the first 11 months of 2019.
- Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have sought to make taking campaign donations from the ultra-wealthy into a taboo in the Democratic presidential primary.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Pete Buttigieg schmoozed with billionaires at a winery in Napa Valley, California last weekend – and Elizabeth Warren slammed him for it at the Democratic Presidential Debate on Thursday night.
A group of 150 to 200 Buttigieg supporters gathered at Hall Rutherford winery for the fundraiser, according to a Pete for America pool report provided to Business Insider. Guests dined at a table made of onyx and under a chandelier containing 1,500 Swarovski crystals, as previously reported by Brian Slodysko of the Associated Press and seen in photos of the event shared by Schleifer. Guests had to make a donation of up to $2,800 to Buttigieg’s campaign to attend, according to Recode.
For $1,000, guests got to take a photo with Buttigieg. For $2,800, they could be listed as cohosts, according to the pool report. Hall Rutherford’s owner, Kathryn Hall, who previously served as the US ambassador to Austria, was the event’s host.
Buttigieg told attendees that the event - along with meeting Lizzo earlier in the week - was a highlight of his trip to San Francisco, according to the pool report.
Schleifer shared photos of the Napa Valley event on Twitter. The photos were originally shared on Instagram but appear to have since been removed.
Here are some photos of the Buttigieg fundraiser in Napa -- with the famous wine cave and the chandelier with 1,500 Swarovski crystals -- that @BrianSlodysko wrote about.https://t.co/0sprQ3aDsy pic.twitter.com/3waO6jO93L
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) December 16, 2019
This is not the only time Buttigieg has crossed paths with California's wealthy. On Monday, he attended a fundraiser in Palo Alto cohosted by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings; the Google cofounder Sergey Brin's wife, Nicole Shanahan; the former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's wife, Wendy Schmidt; and Michelle Sandberg, the sister of Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, a campaign document obtained by Recode's Teddy Schleifer indicates. These hosts' families combined have an estimated net worth of $80 billion, according to Recode.
Buttigieg isn't the only Democratic contender courting billionaires
Sen. Kamala Harris of California - who dropped out of the race on December 3 - received donations from 46 billionaires this year. Among her donors were oil heirs Gordon and Ann Getty, the filmmaker George Lucas, the investor Dean Metropoulos, and the philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey had donations from 45 billionaires as of November, according to Forbes. Booker's ultra-wealthy donors include the hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, the producer Andres Santo Domingo, the Google chairman (and Booker's former business partner) Eric Schmidt, and the filmmaker Steven Spielberg, Forbes reported.
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have sought to make taking campaign donations from the ultra-wealthy into a taboo in the Democratic presidential primary. Sanders vowed not to accept funds from any billionaires, and he even returned a $470 donation from a billionaire's wife in November, Forbes reported.