Florida Obama donor shares in inauguration festivities


The Miami Herald

To the list of celebrities like Jamie Foxx and big-name donors such as George Soros giving the maximum to help pay for Barack Obama's inauguration, add one more name: Raul Pedraza, a Miami business owner who until this year hadn't given a cent to a politician.

After contributing what he says was "lots" to Obama's presidential campaign, Pedraza has pledged $50,000 to defray the costs of producing an inauguration expected to draw two million people to the Capitol.

For his hefty contribution, Pedraza, the president of Magno International, a Doral-based international transportation company, will gain coveted access to all official inaugural events, including the swearing-in, seating at the parade and tickets to the inaugural balls.

The access isn't as important as seeing that Obama's presidency is celebrated, "first class," Pedraza said.

"It's one of those things for the country, it's prime time and it needs to be done right," Pedraza said.

Unlike past inaugural committees, Obama's committee is not accepting contributions from corporations, political action committees, labor unions, current federal lobbyists, non-U.S. citizens or registered foreign agents. It has also capped individual contributions at $50,000, although some donors are bundling up to $300,000. (In contrast, fundraisers for President George W. Bush put a $250,000 cap on individual contributions to his inaugural committees.)

Among Obama's Florida bundlers: Democratic fundraisers Chris Korge of Miami and Mitchell Berger of Fort Lauderdale and Kirk Wagar, who served as Obama's Florida finance chairman.

It will be Korge's third inauguration. He said he's contributing to help ensure a successful event – the inaugural committee has opened the entire National Mall to the expected flood of observers.

To read the complete article, visit The Miami Herald.

Read more Political Currents Newsletter (stories) stories from the Miami Herald

  • Palin received $1.5 million retainer for book

    Sarah Palin reported in financial disclosures out this morning that she received $1.25 million from publisher HarperCollins as "retainer for book." The report doesn't give a date for when Palin received the money. But the disclosures cover money that Palin received during her final seven months as governor, from Jan. 1 to July 26.

  • Democrats brace for end of Virginia winning streak

    The Democrats' decade-long push into Virginia — a national bragging point that they were moving into the once-solid Republican South — may be coming to an end. Polls suggest that the GOP could win the Virginia governor's office on Nov. 3, a year after Barack Obama carried the state.

  • California's GOP governor candidates have contributed to Democratic campaigns

    Meg Whitman, Steve Poizner and Tom Campbell constitute the entire GOP gubernatorial field to become California's next governor. In the past, all three have made contributions to Democratic candidates, a fact that has some Republicans wondering where their candidates' loyalties really lie.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category