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President Obama Makes Fundraising Stop In San Diego

President Barack Obama will bring his re-election effort to San Diego today, hoping to tap into some deep pockets to pad his campaign war chest.

Watch tonight for a discussion about campaign contributions with KPBS Associate Producer Marissa Cabrera.

Evening Edition airs weekdays at 5 PM and 6:30 PM on KPBS TV.

The president, who was in Seattle Sunday, is scheduled to arrive at MCAS Miramar at 1:40 p.m. and head to a private fundraising event at the La Jolla home of Mason and Elizabeth Phelps. The event is expected to draw 160 people who will pay $5,000 per person to attend. VIP seating runs $35,000.

"It's a quick stop by pick your cash up and move on," said olitical consultant Tom Shepard. He said California may vote blue in the general election, but candidates from both parties make frequent stops in San Diego to pad up their campaign coffers.

"Our tech industries, have produced a slew of wealthy politically engaged donors who have a major impact on fundraising on both parties," he said.

Republican candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney have already visited this year.

In many ways, San Diego is like big ATM for candidates, that doesn't discriminate against any single political party.

Jess Durfee with the San Diego County Democratic Party said San Diego is just as important to candidates as any other city in swing states.

"San Diego will not be written off by candidates from either party because of the sheer population and size of voting pool," said Durfee.

The majority of registered voters in the county is usually a toss-up between Republican and Democrat.

San Diego is the second most populous county in the state. It has the potential of raising millions of dollars for the President's re-election bid.

After his stop in San Diego, the president will then return to the Marine air base and fly to Los Angeles. Supporters who will have paid $250 tickets -- or much more for a photo opportunity with the president -- will hear Obama at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. His fundraising swing will then move to the Fig & Olive restaurant on trendy Melrose Place. Tickets for the dinner cost $17,900 per person, or $35,800 per couple, with proceeds going to the Obama Victory Fund.

Obama is scheduled to spend Monday night in Los Angeles and leave LAX for Denver at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Obama was last in the Southern California in April, when he took part in three fundraisers during a roughly 18 1/2-hour visit benefiting his re- election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

In his previous campaign, he came to San Diego for a fundraiser at the Birch Aquarium in February 2007, spoke at the California Democratic Convention in April 2007 and to the National Council of La Raza annual conference in July 2008.

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