President Barack Obama begins a two-day visit to the Los Angeles area Wednesday to conduct three fundraisers on behalf of his re-election campaign, capitalizing in part on his recent decision to support same- sex marriage.
As a result, Wilshire Boulevard near downtown will be closed Wednesday sometime between 6 and 6:15 p.m. Later, Sunset Boulevard will be closed around 8 p.m. near Sunset and Roxbury. The Secret Service won't provide exact times or locations, but the agency tells KPCC that no closure should last "more than 15 minutes."
The 405 Freeway will also be closed tomorrow morning around 11 a.m.
Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport this afternoon from San Francisco. He's scheduled to conduct two fundraisers in the area.
Obama was scheduled to address the LGBT Leadership Council Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Performers at the event include talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and Darren Criss, who plays Blaine Anderson on the Fox musical comedy-drama "Glee."
Tickets begin at $1,250 per person, and approximately 600 people were expected, according to a campaign official speaking on background.
Obama will then head to the nearby home of "Glee" co-creator Ryan Murphy, who is gay, for a $25,000 per person dinner with 70 people, the official said.
The dinner at Murphy's home will be Obama's 152nd fundraiser since announcing his bid for re-election on April 4, 2011, according to the Republican National Committee.
"Instead of taking action to create jobs, the president has decided to focus on holding a record 150 fundraisers to save his own," Matt Connelly, a regional press secretary for the Republican National Committee, told a local wire service.
George W. Bush had attended 79 fundraisers for his re-election campaign by this time in 2004, according to CBS.
Obama will conclude the trip Thursday with a fundraising breakfast at the home of developer Charles Quarles and his wife JoAnn in View Park, one of the wealthiest predominately black areas in the nation, which has been nicknamed the black Beverly Hills. Tickets start at $2,500 and 300 people are expected.
Proceeds from the events will go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the formal name of his re-election campaign, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
The trip will be Obama's 11th to the Los Angeles area since taking office, the eighth solely for political fundraising. He has spoken at political fundraisers during all but his first visit to Southern California as president.
The trip comes five days after the release of Labor Department unemployment data showing the nation's employers added the fewest jobs in May in a year — 82,000 — and the unemployment rate rose from 8.1 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May, mainly because more people were seeking work.
"There is much more work that remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and deep recession that began at the end of 2007," said Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
"Just like last year at this time, our economy is facing serious headwinds, including the crisis in Europe and a spike in gas prices that hit American families' finances over the past few months," said Krueger. "It is critical that we continue the president's economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession."
But Allie Brandenburger, a regional press secretary for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said that "the most recent unemployment report was another reminder that Obama's presidency hasn't lived up to the promises of his 2008 campaign."
"California families are being hurt by Obama's economic policies, which have proven to be hostile to job creators and have made it harder to grow a business," she said.