Republican fundraiser at Canyons priced at $15,000 per couple |

Republican fundraiser at Canyons priced at $15,000 per couple

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

People attending a Republican fundraiser at Canyons later this month will donate $15,000 per couple to mingle with the chairman of the Republican National Committee, a high-dollar event to stock the GOP coffers as the party tries to unseat President Obama in November.

The fundraiser is scheduled on Feb. 26 at the Grand Summit Hotel at Canyons. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and a dinner follows an hour later, according to a schedule published by the Republican National Committee.

Reince Priebus, who is the chairman of the Republican National Committee, is scheduled to attend. State-level Republicans had earlier indicated Priebus planned to visit Utah toward the end of February. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican congressman who represents Utah’s 3rd District, will also be in attendance. The schedule indicates Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas congressman, will travel to Park City as well.

It was not clear at the end of the week how many couples had submitted an RSVP to the Republican National Committee for the event at the Grand Summit Hotel. The Republican National Committee by the end of the week had not made public a dollar figure that it anticipates raising in Park City.

The Feb. 26 event will be followed by two fundraisers the next day, one in Park City and one in Salt Lake City. The Feb. 27 event in Park City is scheduled in the evening at a private residence in the Aerie. Attendance requires a donation of $1,000 per couple. The lieutenant governor of Utah, Greg Bell, is expected to address the event alongside Rick Wiley, who is the political director of the Republican National Committee.

The Salt Lake City event, requiring a $5,000 donation per couple and scheduled at the Alta Club in downtown, will feature Priebus and others. Bruce Hough, a Republican National Committeeman who lives in Park City, is among the people receiving top billing at the Salt Lake City event.

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Hough said he will probably attend the Feb. 26 event at the Grand Summit Hotel through his position as a Republican National Committeeman. Hough said the money brought in at the fundraiser at Canyons will be put toward the White House campaign.

"The national party has a significant role in supporting its nominee," Hough said, adding, "It’s important for the RNC to be competitive in the presidential race."

Hough said President Obama’s re-election campaign intends to raise upward of $1 billion. The Republicans need to keep pace as best they can to "be able to tell our story as well," Hough said.

"It’s the cost of the airtime, the cost of the get-out-the-vote campaigns," he said.

The events on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 will follow a little more than a week after Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is scheduled to visit Utah to participate in a celebration marking the 10-year anniversary of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Romney, who helmed the Olympic organizing committee and once was a Park City homeowner, is expected in Utah on Feb. 18. The leader of the local Republicans has said he anticipates Romney stopping in Park City while he is in the state.

There has been a series of big-name fundraising stops in the Park City area since the start of the 2008 campaign cycle. They have included Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, President Bush, Rudy Giuliani and Jon Huntsman.