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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blank, Reed, Barnes to host Obama at Buckhead fundraiser

Can y'all spare at least several hundred dollars
On May 19, be sure to avoid the majestic Buckhead compound where Arthur Blank plots world domination operates his philanthropic organization.

The Home Depot co-founder and Atlanta Falcons owner will host President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., at a "special brunch reception" for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at the Arthur M. Blank Family Office on Howell Mill Road. The president will be in town to give the commencement speech at Morehouse College.

Mayor Kasim Reed, one of the president's most ardent supporters, and former Gov. Roy Barnes will also serve as the event's main hosts. Other hosts whose names you might recognize: airport concessionaires Dan Halpern and Mack Wilbourn, both of whom emerged victorious from a recent dispute with the Federal Aviation Administration over their firms' "disadvantaged" status; attorney and former Democratic Congressman Buddy Darden of Marietta; prominent Democratic fundraiser and consulant Kristin Oblander; Justin Tanner, a member of Reed's governmental affairs team; and local defense attorney Ken Canfield.

No word yet on how much a ticket to the fete will cost. Or the exact time it starts. (It's "TBA," the announcement says.) But the good news? It's on a Sunday, which means the traffic nightmare that's unleashed upon metro Atlanta every time the president visits might not be as bad this time.

UPDATE, 1:12 p.m. The mayor on Twitter says our post was a "cheapshot" because the main purpose of Obama's visit to Atlanta next month is to speak at Morehouse College. I had forgotten about that event and based my reporting on the fundraiser invitation, which makes no mention of the speech. Reed adds that "it is not a bad thing to raise money to help retain and elect more Democrats to the United States Senate."

UPDATE, 3:13 p.m.Penny McPhee, president of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, tells CL that the event will be held in the Arthur M. Blank Family Office, not the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, which is listed on the invitation we saw. That version was a draft, she says, which they've asked to be corrected. "While the Foundation resides in the building, we do not own it and are not the host of the luncheon," she says.

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