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President Obama's $2m South Florida fundraising tour begins today

Lunch: $10,000 a plate. Good seats to hear John Legend sing: $5,000. Dinner: $30,000 per couple.

The public-relations value of President Obama’s $2 million South Florida fundraising binge Tuesday: Priceless —for the GOP.

While raising all this money from the wealthy, Obama will be advocating for higher taxes on the wealthy. And, by and large, the taxpayer will foot the bill.

Though the fundraisers have been known for weeks, the White House decided recently to add a public stop — a speech at Florida Atlantic University. As a result, a good portion of the president’s political fundraising tour will be charged to the public.

Republicans have criticized the FAU speech as simply a way to campaign on the public dime. Sharon Day, a Broward County Republican who’s co-chair of the Republican National Committee, said Obama needs to spend more time fixing the nation’s problems — not fundraising in South Florida.

Day said Obama needs to focus on cutting government, not calling for “the Buffet Rule,” nicknamed for financier Warren Buffet, who pays lower tax rates than his secretary.

“South Florida isn’t interested in more taxes to pay for wasteful government programs and we’re not interested in the President’s empty rhetoric on the economy,” Day said in a written statement. “The Buffet Tax would only fund more of the same big government programs we’ve seen from President Obama.”

Still, polls show that Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy enjoys broad support. Obama’s defenders also note that his predecessor, President George W. Bush, aggressively flew throughout the country on the taxpayer dime while raising money for his 2004 re-election campaign.

It costs about $180,000 per hour just to fly Air Force One. The round trip between Washington, D.C., and South Florida takes more than four hours. Obama will begin his day at the Palm Beach Gardens home of Hansel Emory Tookes II for a $10,000-a-plate luncheon about 1:15 p.m. At 2:55 p.m., he is scheduled to give his Buffet Rule remarks at the Boca Raton campus of FAU.

About three hours later, he is scheduled to attend a Westin Diplomat Hotel fundraiser featuring Grammy-winning artist John Legend, and he could stop by a gay-rights group fundraiser as well in the hotel.

At 8 p.m. Obama is scheduled to have a $15,000-per-plate fundraiser at the Golden Beach home of super-lawyer Jeremy Alters.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/09/2739882/obama-to-fundraise-in-south-florida.html#storylink=cpy

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