Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is planning what Crain’s Chicago Business said might be “the biggest political fundraiser of the year” at The Chicago Club on March 23. The event is expected to raise more than $2 million and will benefit Ryan, Ryan’s Prosperity Action PAC and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Chicago has been a hotspot for political fundraisers in the past, especially during last year’s election season. Both President Donald Trump and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hosted fundraisers in the city last July, shortly after Trump accepted the Republican nomination. Former President Barack Obama also held several fundraisers with former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to benefit Clinton, House Democrats and current U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth.
RISE — an organization committed to “empowering Americans to monitor and take action in response to the Trump Administration” — is planning to protest the event. Ryan has received criticism from Trump’s opponents after he endorsed the president despite Ryan’s condemnation of some of Trump’s policies. Ryan’s pro-gun and anti-abortion stances, among others, have also made him unpopular with progressive groups. RISE’s website said that they planned to protest Ryan and “Washington’s agenda of racism, sexism, bigotry and war.”
Tickets to enter the event cost a minimum of $1,000. A donation of $50,000 will buy a private dinner and photo opportunity with Ryan, as well as an invitation to at least three House GOP retreats. Attendees of the event include Kenneth Griffin, founder and CEO of global investment firm Citadel, Crain Duchossois, CEO of the Duchossois Group, and the seven Republican representatives from Illinois.