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Biden, Yang on Money Trail

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 14:49

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads a large group of hopefuls for the Democratic Party’s nomination to challenge President Trump next year, and Andrew Yang, who also seeks the party’s nomination, will benefit from fund-raisers scheduled for Saturday on the South Fork.

Bonnie Lautenberg, the widow of Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, will host a fund-raiser for Mr. Biden at 4 p.m. at her Water Mill residence. Contributions, according to an emailed invitation, are $1,000 and $2,800, the latter including a photo with Mr. Biden.

Along with Ms. Lautenberg, the host committee includes Karen Adler, Mark Angelson, Donald and Vera Blinken (Mr. Blinken is a former ambassador to Hungary), Sandy and Stephen Greenberg, Lisa and Seth Greenberg, Iris and Bruce Klatsky, Eric Mindich, Mimi and Lorin Reisner, Jay Snyder, and Susie and Jeffrey Stern.

David S. Rose and Brian Cohen will host a fund-raiser for Mr. Yang at their East Hampton residence at 6:30 p.m. An invitation lists “early adopter” tickets at $500, a “champion” level of $1,000, and “co-host” status for $2,800.

“Although the 2020 election is well over a year away, it is likely to be the most significant one of our lifetime,” Mr. Rose, a former special assistant to the late Senator Daniel P. Moynihan of New York, wrote in an emailed invitation. “While the current field of 25 Democratic aspirants have a wide range of opinions and policies, as a group they are all so completely different from the current occupant of the Oval Office that each of them in a heartbeat would unhesitatingly support any of the others against a second term of President Trump. As such, that makes choosing a candidate to support at this stage of the process both (a) important and (b) a question of ‘the best of the good’ rather than the lesser of multiple evils.”

Mr. Rose wrote that he is now a venture capitalist and entrepreneur founding and funding high-tech startups. In campaigning for the Democrats’ nomination, Mr. Yang, who is also an entrepreneur, has made automation and its impact on job displacement a central theme. He endorses a “freedom dividend,” a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for every American adult, as a necessary response to automation.

In the emailed invitation, Mr. Rose called Mr. Yang “a good friend of mine with whom I have worked personally and closely for over a decade” and notes that Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has endorsed his candidacy. “I promise you that you will find in Andrew a remarkably intelligent, effective, and authentic person with whom you will be impressed . . . even if you don’t happen to agree with every one of his positions,” he wrote.

Mr. Biden has consistently led a crowded field of Democratic hopefuls since he joined the race. The website’s average of six polls this month has the former vice president at 30.5 percent, 13.2 percentage points ahead of his closest competitor, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Mr. Yang was in eighth place, at 1.5 percent, in the average, but, as Mr. Rose noted in his invitation, the candidate’s long-shot bid was bolstered by his performance in the first Democratic candidates’ debates, the campaign raising more than $2 million, mostly in small, first-time donations.

The Federal Election Commission set a maximum contribution of $2,800 per election for the 2019-20 election cycle. The primary and general elections are counted as separate elections, though, allowing individuals to contribute up to $5,600 per cycle.

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