Hillary Clinton’s campaign trail for the Democratic presidential nomination leads to Napa Valley on Nov. 5 for a private fundraising event.
The “Evening with Hillary Clinton” event is to be at Hall Wines near St. Helena. Hall Wines gave no information beyond confirming the event is to take place, referring questions to Clinton’s campaign.
When emailed a list of questions, Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin responded only that the event is closed to the media, and no further details will be released.
Politico reports that Clinton is coming to California for two days and three fundraising events in Sacramento, Silicon Valley and Napa Valley. Tickets for the Hall Wines event range from $250 to $50,000, with the $1,000 ticket including a VIP wine reception, the $2,700 ticket including a photo and the $50,000 ticket conferring the title of host.
Hall Wines is owned by Craig and Kathryn Hall. Then-President Bill Clinton in 1997 appointed Kathryn Hall as ambassador to Austria.
The California trip allows the Clinton campaign to hit the “wine ATM” and the “Silicon Valley ATM,” said David McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State University.
“Wine money has a certain cachet and prestige, where you can mingle with elites and raise lots of cash very quickly,” McCuan said.
This type of event generally last a couple of hours, McCuan said. There is typically an introduction, meet-and-greet time, a stump speech from the candidate and time for networking. Donors get to send strategic signals to the candidate, he said.
“It’s like a high-stakes communication game that goes on,” he said.
The Halls have donated in the low six figures to the Clinton Foundation, McCuan said. The Clinton Foundation does charitable work worldwide and addresses such issues as climate change, health and economic development.
Among prominent local Democrats, Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, plans to be at the event. Thompson spokesman Austin Vevurka said Thompson has votes in Washington, D.C. in the morning, then will fly to California and try to get to the event as soon as he can.
Assemblyman Bill Dodd is planning to attend, according to his campaign. Dodd, D-Napa, is running for state Senate.
The event invitation says the host committee is Thompson and his wife Janet, Dodd, Shari and Garen Staglin and the Halls.
Napa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Doug Pike said the agency as of Monday had not been notified of Clinton’s planned visit.
“There are dignitaries who come through the valley,” he said. “They are typically taken care of by their own security team with no more than a security notice when they get here.”
Napans going about their daily travels may not even notice these dignitaries are here, Pike said.
“That’s by design,” he said. “I don’t think they are here to draw big crowds.”
As a former first lady, Hillary Clinton receives Secret Service protection.
The Clintons have been to Napa Valley on other occasions. In 2007, Hillary Clinton attended an event at the Hall’s Rutherford estate. Bill Clinton appeared at a free Opera House event in downtown Napa in January 2008 in support of his wife’s presidential bid that year, as well as at the Uptown Theatre in 2010 in support of Thompson.