A New York-based Davis Wright Tremaine partner hosted a fundraiser for President Barack Obama at his Upper West Side residence Thursday night that netted the president more than $600,000.
Victor Kovner, who focuses his practice on communications law, intellectual property and commercial litigation, said that there were more than 105 paying guests in attendance. He said it was a bit of squeeze fitting all those people in his apartment, but it was worth it, because the meeting yielded a substantive discussion on current issues.
Obama addressed the crowd for about 12 minutes before taking questions from the audience. Kovner said there was talk of the economic challenges facing the United States, as well discussion of Iran, Syria and the prospect of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
Kovner said the idea for the fundraiser came from many of his friends who were interested in having a serious discussion on important issues with the president. Kovner said that he and his wife Sarah, who is a member of the Democratic National Committee and Obama’s finance committee, floated the idea of a fundraiser with campaign staff.
“It was a very successful event,” Kovner said in a telephone interview. He said other lawyers were in attendance, though he did not name them.
During the event, one of Kovner’s friends presented Obama with a Jeremy Lin basketball jersey. And while the president has shown support for his fellow Harvard alum, he said he couldn’t wear it because of his allegiance to the Chicago Bulls. Kovner, a devout New York Giants fan and season ticket holder, displays a child-sized helmet signed by the 1991 Super Bowl Champion team in his home.