David Gruber one of 30 to attend exclusive, $16,000 per plate fundraiser with President Obama

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- President Barack Obama was in Milwaukee on Tuesday, October 28th to campaign with Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke. Before that though, the President attended an exclusive fundraiser at Umami Moto -- a sushi restaurant in downtown Milwaukee.

Thirty people were expected to attend the fundraiser -- at $16,000 a plate.

A section of Milwaukee Street was blocked off for the private event with President Obama, and police officers were stationed in the area.

All of the money raised during the event will benefit the Democratic National Committee.

Guests began arriving around 3:30 p.m., and of course, each had to go through security screenings before being allowed past the barricades.

One of the guests was well-known Milwaukee attorney David Gruber.

"We`re very, very, very strong supporters and we believe very strongly in what he believes in and what he`s doing," Gruber said.

"There were about 30 people here so it was more of just a round-table question and answer," Omar Shaikh, co-owner and president of the SURG Restaurant Group said.

Shaikh says President Obama talked about issues from domestic policy to the Chicago Bears.

"Whether you`re Republican or Democrat, we work with both sides of the political aisle. It`s always an honor to have the President of the United States in one of our restaurants," Shaikh said.

President Obama landed in Milwaukee via Air Force One just after 4:00 p.m. Tuesday. The event at Umami Moto was scheduled to begin around 4:30 p.m.

People gathered on Wisconsin Avenue and Milwaukee Street to see the President's motorcade pass en route to the restaurant. Others watched from their high-rise offices.

Then, President Obama joined Mary Burke at North Division High School in Milwaukee, where he delivered remarks at a campaign rally.

President Obama left Milwaukee aboard Air Force One before 8:00 p.m.


As President Obama hosted his fundraiser at Umami Moto, a group of college Republicans hosted a fundraiser at the Republican Party of Wisconsin's Glendale field office. It was a fundraiser they say was meant to "highlight the contrast between the failed Obama-Burke agenda with the positive agenda of Scott Walker that has benefited every Wisconsinite."

The fundraiser hosted by the college Republicans involved brats served for $16 a plate.

In a statement, the group of college Republicans says:

"The day after Mary Burke reported throwing in over $5 million of her own money into her campaign, she’s stepping onstage with Barack Obama in a desperate attempt to energize the same base that she has failed to do herself. Yet Obama is more unpopular than ever, and while in Wisconsin he’ll be hosting a ritzy fundraiser for Democrats in Milwaukee where they’ll eat sushi for $16,000 a plate. That’s right - $16,000 a plate! To highlight the difference, College Republicans are hosting an event for only $16 a plate."


Governor Scott Walker spent part of his day Tuesday campaigning in the Fox Valley -- appearing at a jobs announcement event in Hortonville.

On Tuesday evening, first lady Tonette Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch were in Germantown as part of Governor Walker's campaign bus tour.

Walker has said with the exception of a visit from Chris Christie, he'll only campaign with people from Wisconsin -- saying he doesn't need help from outside the state.

The latest polls in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race show Walker and Burke in a dead heat.

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