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Obama in Chicago to raise money for Durbin, other Democrats

President Barack Obamtalks with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he walks off Air Force One after arriving O'Hare International Airport

President Barack Obama talks with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he walks off Air Force One after arriving at O'Hare International Airport on May 22, 2014. | AP Photo/Paul Beaty

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Updated: May 23, 2014 12:22AM



President Barack Obama wined and dined in Chicago on Thursday at major-money fundraisers for Sen. Dick Durbin and Senate Democrats.

Obama attended a reception at the Gold Coast home of Invenergy LLC CEO Michael Polsky and his wife, Tanya, then attended a dinner at the Lincoln Park residence of Fred Eychaner, the chairman of Newsweb Corp. and one of the biggest Democratic donors in the nation.

The Thursday proceeds will be split between Durbin’s campaign and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which would spend it on Durbin if he needs the help.

The Chicago price points, according to the invite:

* The ask is $35,000 per couple for the Eychaner dinner and a photo with Obama, or $17,500 per person. About 50 people are expected for the dinner.

* $15,000 to be listed as a Polsky reception co-chair, with a photo.

* $10,000 to be a reception sponsor, with a photo.

* $1,000 reception guest, no photo.

Ahead of the events, the Republican National Committee issued a statement that said, “Instead of raising money for Dick Durbin and Harry Reid, President Obama should be explaining to Chicago veterans why the Hines VA denied them the care they deserved while collecting over $16 million in bonuses.”

The Veterans Administration is at the center of a scandal after allegations of delays and book cooking at the Hines VA hospital near Maywood.

On Thursday, Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill. was to meet with embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in his Capitol Office.

Also on Thursday, Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill pressed the VA open an investigation into all Illinois veterans’ hospitals.

Obama is expected to spend the night in Chicago after the events. He was in Chicago last for an April 2 major-money fundraiser to benefit the Democratic National Committee.

Contributing: Lynn Sweet

Email: bschlikerman@suntimes.com

Twitter: @schlikerman



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