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The Silicon Valley Fundraising Stampede

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images
Theodore Schleifer
September 13, 2023

The end-of-quarter stampede of presidential fundraising is now upon us, at least based on the number of invitations being passed my way. On the Democratic side, I can reveal that Joe Biden is returning to the Bay Area for a pair of fundraising events: On the 26th, he’ll appear at an event hosted by billionaire couple Liz Simons and Mark Heising in Atherton (tickets range from $5,000 to attend to $100,000 to join the clutch), followed by an event in San Francisco the next day, hosted by top Democratic fundraiser Gretchen Sisson and her husband, tech executive (and Facebook co-founder) Andrew McCollum.

On the Republican side, both Ron DeSantis and Tim Scott will return to the Bay Area to pass the hat among tech execs at the same time later this month. In addition to fundraising events in Salinas and Fresno, DeSantis will be fêted in the East Bay’s tony Piedmont enclave for a reception and dinner on September 28, hosted by David Sacks and his wife Jacqueline; Joe Lonsdale; and Katie Biber, according to an invitation I’ve seen. Sacks, of course, is the PayPal Mafia member who has become a political power player with his All-In podcast and super PAC; Lonsdale, a few years younger but with the same Stanford Review pedigree, and has been raising for DeSantis since the outset of the campaign. Biber, the general counsel for Mitt Romney’s 2012 race, is now the head of legal at the crypto investment shop Paradigm, but she’s come into the DeSantis fold because they’re personal friends from their years at Harvard Law School.