Obama mines riches of Aspen in re-election bid

Barack Obama’s reelection campaign is off to a strong start, thanks in no small part to Aspen Skiing Company managing partner Jim Crown, who raised tens of thousands of dollars for the president.

Crown raised between $50,000 and $100,000 in May and June for Obama and he is among a list of more than 270 key fundraisers that the president’s campaign named on Friday afternoon. Crown was the co-chair of Obama’s Illinois fundraising effort in 2008. Another Chicago business executive with strong Aspen ties to make the list is Penny Pritzker, who served as finance chair for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s 2008 bid. She has already helped bring in between $100,000-$200,000 for the 2012 campaign.

Everyone on the list brought in at least $50,000 for Obama’s reelection bid and joint Obama for America-Democratic National Committee victory fund with 31 people raising more than $500,000 including Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff and famed Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel. Colorado contributors include David Friedman of Longmont who raised between $100,000 and $200,000, and Tina Walls of Denver and David Kenney of Denver who, like Crown, made the $50,0000-$100,000 club.

But those with Aspen ties aren’t done giving. First Lady Michelle Obama will arrive in our fair city a week from today, on Tuesday, July 26, for a luncheon to benefit her husband’s bid for a second term, according to the Chicago Sun Times. The first lady will be hitting up two ski resorts in one day, first stopping in Park City, Utah, for a breakfast before hopping a flight to Aspen. It will be a quick fundraising trip. She will promptly return to Washington, D.C.

Aspen voters adore Obama. In 2008, he won more than 70 percent of the electorate in Pitkin County.

On the other side of the political aisle, the Republican Governors Association is scheduled to hold its annual executive roundtable in Aspen this Thursday and Friday in what is a growing trend of the Grand Old Party sipping tea behind enemy lines. The headliners for the executive roundtable include Texas Gov. Rick Perry who many are speculating may run against Obama. Perry, who succeeded Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will meet with about 200 donors along with Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, according to the Washington Post.

This story first appeared on Real Aspen. To read the rest of it, click here.

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