DONOR DATA — While many voters remain undecided on who to support in the crowded 2020 presidential field, Democratic donors are already reaching into their pockets to support their favorite candidates. In a review of the most recent quarterly filing with the Federal Election Commission, along with the help of GovPredict, Jewish Insider found several donors who have maxed out their contributions to candidates they are backing, donating the maximum amount of $2,800.
Other notable contributions revealed in the FEC filings include former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s $2,800 to the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s gift of $2,800 to Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Chuck Schumer’s brother, Robert, maxing out to Biden’s campaign.
Below is a rundown of donors who have donated to multiple 2020 campaigns:
Jeffrey Katzenberg, film producer and founder of WndrCo, and his wife Marilyn eachdonated the maximum amount to 13 Democratic candidates — Biden, Bennet, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
Blair Effron, co-founder of Centerview Partners, maxed out to the campaigns of Biden, O’Rourke, Harris, Booker, Gillibrand, Bennet and Klobuchar, while Hickenlooper recieved $5,400.
Jonathan Gray, COO and president of Blackstone Group, gave the maximum amount of $2,800 to seven campaigns: Booker, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, Bennet, Hickenlooper, Moulton and Buttigieg. His wife Mindy, co-founder of the Gray Foundation, maxed out to Bennet.
Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine, co-managing partner of Bain Capital and a director of the Boston Celtics, eachmaxed out to Booker, Biden, O’Rourke, Gillibrand and Bennet.
Lynda Resnick, vice chair and co-owner of The Wonderful Company,maxed out to Harris, Klobuchar, Biden, Hickenlooper and Booker. Her husband, Stewart, maxed out to Harris, Biden and Hickenlooper, and wrote a $100 check to Booker.
Hedge fund manager Seth Klarman, a former Republican donor who gave $20 million to the Democrats in 2018, contributed $5,600 to the primary and general election campaigns of Buttigieg, Bennet, Klobuchar, Booker and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld (who is running as a Republican). His wife, Beth, maxed out to Booker and Klobuchar.
Laura Lauder, a venture philanthropist in Silicon Valley and general partner at Lauder Partners, maxed out to Bennet, Hickenlooper and Booker. She also donated $2,000 to Harris and $1,000 to Gillibrand. Her husband, Gary, gave the maximum to Booker, Bennet and Hickenlooper and donated $1,000 to the Gillibrand campaign.
Clifford Mumm, who ran Bechtel’s operations in Iraq, maxed out to O’Rourke, Buttigieg and Marianne Williamson and gave $2,700 each to Biden and Klobuchar.
Marc Lasry, CEO of Avenue Capital Group, maxed out to Harris, Buttigieg, Booker and Gillibrand.
Marc Benioff, founder and chairman of Salesforce, gave $2,700 each to Harris, Inslee and Booker.
Real estate developer Aby Rosen maxed out to the campaigns of Booker, Buttigieg and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Rosen’s wife, Samantha Boardman, and his business partner Michael Fuchs each also gave $2,800 to de Blasio.See the full list of FEC findings here [JewishInsider]
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), chairman of the presidential campaign of his twin brother, Julián, tweeted on Tuesday the names and occupations of his constituents who have maxed out to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
In an attached document — titled “Who’s funding Trump?” — Castro shared a list of 44 donors from San Antonio. “Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,” he wrote. “Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) blasted Castro, calling it a “dangerous” game.
ON THE HILL — Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) and Veronica Escobar (D-TX) are circulating a letter calling for both the Senate and the House to return from recess to legislate new measures on domestic terrorism and gun control. “We should not wait until the district work period ends on Sept. 9 to take action that will protect the American people,” reads the letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
House members who have added their signatures to the letter include Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), according to Vice News.
Malinowski, who is in Israel with a House delegation, told Vice, “I just walked out of Yad Vashem, and I did not walk out of it with the feeling that we should wait for others to act to deal with a threat that in some ways reminds me of some of the things that museum made me think about… And I think it falls to Democrats in the House to lead that effort.”
Ayanna Pressley is the Squad’s free agent — by Joanna Weiss: “It was only a week after the presidential tweet that made The Squad famous — telling the four freshman representatives, all women of color, to ‘go back’ to the places ‘from which they came’ — and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley had broken from the group in an actual vote. The matter in question was a resolution opposing a Palestinian-led movement to boycott Israel. The measure passed the House overwhelmingly on July 23. Among the 17 ‘no’ votes were three members of The Squad: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Pressley, the fourth, voted ‘yes.’” [Politico]
TOP-OP — Former Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro writes… “The House gets it right on BDS: Faced with pressure and criticism either way, fear of critics is not an argument to do what they say. It is an argument to do what you think is right. And that’s what 398 House members did. They stated their clear objection to BDS. They did so in a way that compromises no rights and won’t get tied up in the courts. They made this issue bipartisan, not a wedge issue… Having passed this bill, the congressional leadership can put the issue of BDS to the side for the remainder of this Congress. There is no pressing need to push on for further legislation, regardless of calls from the Senate or House Republicans.” [JPost]
REMEMBERING — Adelaide Friedman, the mother of U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, passed away on Monday at age 91. Mrs. Friedman was the wife of the late Rabbi Morris Friedman, a congregational leader at Temple Hillel in North Woodmere, N.Y. The funeral took place yesterday in the Five Towns. Amb. Friedman is expected to return to Israel on Thursday for the remainder of the shiva.
TALK OF THE REGION — Israel is reportedly joining the U.S. and U.K. in its mission to escort international vessels through the Strait of Hormuz amid threats from Iran and several ship seizures. Foreign Minister Israel Katz is said to have directed his ministry to assist in the effort, likely through intelligence measures as opposed to physical participation. The U.S. has struggled to enlist other nations to take part.
ARGUMENT — Jamie Levin and Mieczyslaw Boduszynski write… “Will an Israeli energy boom make the EU pro-Israel? As Leviathan makes Israel less dependent on foreign powers for its energy needs, Europe is likely to become more dependent on Israel and other energy exporters… Imports of Israeli gas could also help accelerate intra-EU trends toward a more pro-Israel orientation among European states… There is no guarantee that this would happen, and other LNG suppliers such as Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan may ultimately supersede Leviathan. But even a partial replacement of Russian with Israeli supplies could have the effect of dampening EU pressure on Israel over human rights issues.” [ForeignPolicy]
The U.N. agency for Palestinians is even worse than you imagine — by Alex Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky: “A corruption scandal involving sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation against whistleblowers and lots of business-class travel has gripped the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. It represents a new low for UNWRA and an indictment of the idea of an international agency dedicated to a single interest. But it’s also a unique opportunity to see behind the curtain of a billion-dollar U.N. bureaucracy and phase it out.” [WSJ]
2020 BRIEFS — DNC rules could expand, not shrink, future debate stage… How Bill de Blasio went from progressive hope to punching bag… Booker campaign staffers unionize… O’Rourke ‘open’ to mandatory gun buyback program
Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen is now promoting a new limited ice cream flavor, called “Bernie’s Back,” dedicated in support of Bernie Sanders’s second run for president. The flavor is described as a “hot cinnamon ice cream with one very large chocolate disc on top and a (very stiff) butter toffee backbone going down the middle.” In 2016, the company gave Sanders his own special ice cream pint called “Bernie’s Yearning.” [Video]
QUEENS DA RACE — After a lengthy battle, Tiffany Caban on Tuesday conceded the Democratic primary race for Queens district attorney to Melinda Katz. The Board of Elections ruled in favor of Katz’s 60-seat lead and dismissed Cabán’s claim that ballots were improperly disqualified.
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Is Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc — and big investor TPG —hoping for an exit strategy with Shari Redstone’s CBS-Viacom? [VanityFair] • SpaceX successfully launches Spacecom’s Amos 17 satellite [Globes] • Sam Zell’s baby boomer stock is a growth and dividend play for turbulent times[Forbes] • Tom Barrack’s Middle Eastern connections run deep. Here’s how they’ve boosted his real-estate business [RealDeal] • Vonage acquires Israeli conversational AI startup Over.ai’s team and intellectual property[VentureBeat]
SPOTLIGHT — JPMorgan’s WeWork IPO pursuit was many years and loans in the making — by Sonali Basak: “When WeWork Cos.’ Adam Neumann sits down with investment bankers, he’s known to casually mention one of his longtime financial advisors: JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon. Neumann and Dimon chat from time to time. A JPMorgan fund bought a stake in WeWork five years ago and the bank has since propelled the startup’s growth, providing more financing than any other lender… Now all of that attention is poised to pay off.” [Bloomberg]
SUMMER FUN — Blankfein and Bezos party with Geffen on a yacht in the Balearics — by Jasmine Teng and Katya Kazakina: “Ex-Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein is taking time off from feuding with Bernie Sanders on Twitter to hang with billionaires and celebrities — including Jeff Bezos and his new girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez — on David Geffen’s mega-yacht off the coast of Spain. Geffen on Tuesday posted an Instagram of guests on the 453-foot Rising Sun, with the caption: ‘Having a great time in the Balearics.’ Also on board were Thrive Capital founder Joshua Kushner and supermodel wife Karlie Kloss, K5 Global founder Michael Kives and his lawyer wife Lydia, and oil heir Mikey Hess.” [Bloomberg; T&C]
SCENE LAST NIGHT IN ASPEN — More than 150 guests travelled to Aspen, Colorado to celebrate the 90th birthday of philanthropist Harold Grinspoon. Guests were treated to a toast from Harold’s business partner, Jeremy Pava, along with a video celebrating Harold’s many accomplishments, including the founding of PJ Library, which distributes children’s books to more than 600,000 Jewish kids around the world. [Pic]
SPOTTED: Julie Platt, Karen Davidson, Richard and Ellen Sandler, Ambassador Dennis Ross, Bari Weiss, Leon and Toby Cooperman, Kathy Manning and Randall Kaplan, Barry and Gaye Curtis Lusher, Diane Troderman, Steven and Winnie Grinspoon, Jeff Grinspoon and Jon Foley, Steve and Alissa Korn, Josh Troderman.
HOLLYWOOD — Monica Lewinsky is executive producing a new season of “American Crime Story” on FX, which will focus on the impeachment scandal of President Bill Clinton. Lewinsky will be played by Beanie Feldstein, the “Lady Bird” actress and sister of Jonah Hill.
EPSTEIN SAGA — The governor of Florida has ordered a new investigation into how Jeffrey Epstein’s case was handled in the state in 2008. Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a news release that “Floridians expect and deserve a full and fair investigation” into how Epstein’s plea deal and sentencing was handled, and the plush treatment he received while imprisoned. Separately, more than 100 Victoria’s Secret models signed a letter Tuesday demanding that the company, owned by longtime Epstein associate Les Wexner, do more to combat sexual abuse and harassment in the industry.
PROFILE — This retired doctor spends her time performing abortions and circumcisions. She says her Jewish faith leads her to do both — by Hannah Natanson: “Since retiring from her D.C.-based obstetrics-gynecology practice in 2015, Sara Imershein has spent her time this way: performing first-trimester abortions and ritual circumcisions, known in Hebrew as brit milahs. She believes both practices achieve the same goal: allowing women to create the families they want.” [WashPost]
CAMPUS BEAT — Court orders Fordham U. to recognize Students For Justice In Palestine Club — by Aiden Pink: “A New York state court has ordered Fordham University to recognize a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, ending a two-year legal saga. The dean’s office at Fordham, a Jesuit Catholic school with campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester County, had banned SJP in 2017 after the student government voted to approve it… But Judge Nancy Bannon found that Fordham had infringed on SJP members’ rights by following its own regulations for recognizing student clubs.” [Forward]
TALK OF THE TOWN — FBI and ADL offer $35,000 reward for information on arsons at Boston area Jewish community centers — by Rick Sobey: “The FBI and Anti-Defamation League are offering a combined $35,000 award for information leading to the arrest of a suspected arsonist police say started fires at area Jewish community centers in May, the bureau announced Tuesday. The FBI also released new videos of the suspect walking to and from the Chabad Centers in Arlington and Needham — where the three fires were set.” [BostonHerald]
Effort to provide parking spots for the homeless at Jewish synagogues gets $300,000 boost — by Elizabeth Chou: “A group that promotes the creation of parking lots for homeless people to use at night was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Jewish Community Foundation… The founder and executive director of Safe Parking LA, Scott Sale, said the effort to create ‘safe parking’ sites grew out of work by members of IKAR, which describes itself as a Jewish-focused ‘spiritual community.’” [LADailyNews]
ACROSS THE SEA — The watchers trying to protect Europe’s Jews — by Peter Foster: “In a faraway corner of Europe a Jewish man in a kippah is walking down the street when he is accosted by a group of aggressive young men who start to jeer and mock him… fearing things might take a more serious and violent turn, he slides his finger across his smartphone and operates a virtual panic-button. The phone app is called ‘Octopus’ and it can instantly send an alert to a control in both his home country and a European network headquarters in Brussels, where an alarm sounds… Thankfully this is only a drill, but as we watch the live demonstration in the Brussels control centre at the Security and Crisis Centre of the European Jewish Congress, the question is why all this technological hardware should be necessary at all?” [Telegraph]
‘Dirty Jews’: Man shoves Jewish family’s pram before hurling antisemitic abuse in St Albans street — by Tim Wyatt: “Police are investigating after a Jewish family was subjected to an antisemitic attack while on a day out in St Albans (a city in Hertfordshire, England). A video taken by one of the victims shows a stranger launch the unprovoked attack, calling the family ‘dirty Jews’ and kicking an advertising board towards them… The Londoner said he was worried during the brief altercation the man might be carrying a weapon or try to attack one of the children.” [TheIndependent]
Feds ‘carefully reviewing’ Canadian court decision to order removal of ‘product of Israel’ labels on West Bank wines — by Nina Russell: “The court decision, which described labelling of wines made in the West Bank as made in Israel ‘false, misleading, and deceptive,’ has led to outcry from a number of Canadian Jewish organizations, including B’nai Brith and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). The two groups were granted intervenor status in the case… Aidan Fishman, a spokesperson for B’nai Brith… said that the current ‘product of Israel’ label is the most appropriate out of all other possibilities.” [HillTimes]
DESSERT — How does an Israeli bakery succeed in New York? A healthy dose of chutzpah — by Danielle Ziri: “Michaeli Bakery, which opened last month, is undeniably Israeli. If the Hebrew-language hits blasting on the stereo don’t give it away, the comforting smell of freshly baked challah and warm burekas will: This could be any Tel Aviv bakery on a Friday morning… After running the pastry operations at the famous Lehamim bakery in Tel Aviv, [Adi Michaeli] moved to New York in 2013 to oversee the opening of its first branch abroad, known here as Breads Bakery.” [Haaretz]
The Lehigh Valley’s first kosher food truck — by Jennifer Sheehan: “For Sharone Vaknin, it’s a taste of home. ‘I feel like I’m having the best falafel from Israel, and it’s right here,’ says Vaknin, a native of Israel who lives in Allentown. He’s one of the many hungry diners who line up regularly to enjoy freshly prepared, authentic food from Around the Table Catering — a new mobile food business anchored at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley.” [MorningCall]
BIRTHDAYS: Former U.S. intelligence analyst, he pled guilty to espionage in 1987 and was released from prison in 2015, Jonathan Pollard turns 65… Senior Rosh Yeshiva and professor of biology at Yeshiva University, expert in medical ethics, Rabbi Moshe David Tendler turns 93… Brooklyn resident, Esther Holler turns 82… Partner in the Los Angeles office of Mayer Brown, he was previously the U.S. Trade Representative (1993-1996) and then U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997), Michael (“Mickey”) Kantor turns 80… Co-founder of the world-wide chain of Hard Rock Café, board member of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, his father founded the Morton’s Steakhouse chain, Peter Morton turns 72…
Retired Lieutenant General in the Israeli Air Force, he also served as Chief of Staff of the IDF, Dan Halutz turns 71… Former PR Director for the New York Yankees, sports management executive, and author of more than 20 books, Marty Appel turns 71… President of private equity firm Palisades Associates, former chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council (2014-2016) and CEO of Empire Kosher Poultry (2006-2012), Greg Rosenbaum turns 67… Spiritual leader of Agudas Israel of St. Louis since 1986, he established the St. Louis Kollel in 1991, Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt turns 64… Founder and CEO of the Cayton Children’s Museum in Santa Monica which opened six weeks ago, for 30 years prior to that it was located in the offices of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation, Esther Netter turns 61…
Chief development officer at Capital Camps & Retreat Center, she was previously Deputy Director of AIPAC’s Leadership Institute, Havi Arbeter Goldscher turns 40… Axios National Political Reporter, Jonathan Swanturns 34… MLB catcher since 2011, most recently for the Cincinnati Reds, he played for Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic and was named Pool A MVP, Ryan Lavarnway turns 32… Goalkeeper for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Major League Soccer, he played for the U.S. in the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel, Zac MacMath turns 28… Social activist and founder of a global nonprofit organization (Love for the Elderly), he is now a student at Yale University, Jacob Cramer turns 19… Scott Harrison…