If you are in New York City tonight and want to drop by and have dinner with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at Henry Kravis, Park Avenue residence it will cost you $100,000 a plate. The money will be going to the Right to Rise, super PAC that Bush is using to fund his likely run for the White House.
If you think that $100,000 for dinner with Bush might seem just a little expensive well you would not be alone. Even as Wall Street fundraisers go the former governor is pushing the envelope but he is expected to pull in at least an estimated $10 to $15 million tonight.
The host Henry Kravis and his wife are known to be a backers of gay marriage, he is now emptying his pockets for Bush, who ruffled conservatives’ feathers last month when he released a statement saying Americans must ‘show respect’ for same-sex couples ‘making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections.’
According to POLITICO Bush is a master at raising cash and he fully expects to have any where from $50 million to as much $100 million, divided between the super PAC, a traditional political action committee and an eventual presidential campaign warchest.
Also according to POLITICO Bush is going after big time cash in areas where you might not expect to see the former Florida governor.
Bush is moving quickly to consolidate financial support in the wealthy enclaves of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, in many cases squeezing out New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. People familiar with the matter said the KKR event is likely to feature Kravis and other senior executives at the firm, including Ken Mehlman, who managed George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign, and Alexander Navab. Mehlman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bush has made direct personal appeals to former Wall Street supporters of 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, who recently said he would not seek the nomination again in 2016. People close to both Romney and Bush say the KKR event and several to follow closely after it will demonstrate that the vast bulk of Romney’s extensive financial network will move directly to Bush. One big remaining question is whether Bush will lock down the fundraising services of Romney confidant and investing partner Spencer Zwick.
Kravis is among the richest 100 Americans, and, along with George Roberts, a fellow founding partner of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, he is one of the GOP’s top financiers.