Gala Hollywood Farewell Salute to President Clinton

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The Hollywood Gala Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton took place on August 12, 2000 at the private Brentwood, California estate of businessman Ken Roberts. It was produced and hosted by Peter F. Paul and Aaron Tonken, and was the largest Hollywood tribute ever produced for a sitting President of the United States.[citation needed] Besides honoring President Bill Clinton, it also served as a fund raising event for the 2000 U.S. Senate election campaign of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and was the largest such event of her campaign.[citation needed] The event also included the largest invitation-only private concert, featuring eight international headlining artists.[citation needed]

The event included both a dinner and a concert, and about 350 people accepted invitations to both. [1] The singers during the concert included Michael Bolton, Cher, Toni Braxton, Patti Labelle, Sugar Ray, and Diana Ross. Celebrities in attendance included John Travolta, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Alexander, and Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie Ali. White House daughter Chelsea Clinton was also present for the event.

Hillary Clinton's campaign failed to file proper documentation for the event with the Federal Election Commission, and later paid $35,000 in fines.

Shortly after the party, it was revealed that organizer Peter Paul had a criminal conviction for drug dealing, leading Clinton to distance herself from him. Three other men involved with the gala have also since been convicted of federal felonies. Co-organizer Aaron Tonken was sentenced to 63 months in jail for committing fraud connected with charity fund raising. Sponsor Raymond Reggie was convicted of bank fraud and served time in jail. Finally, a man named James Levin, who claimed to have been paid to "monitor" the party for Clinton pleaded guilty to a minority contracting fraud scheme involving the Chicago Public Schools.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "N.Y. Senator Wins in Court Against Campaign Donor," Josh Gerstein, The New York Sun, October 17, 2007

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