Time to call in the closer.

With eight weeks to go before the Democratic National Convention and convention organizers still millions of dollars short, President Clinton, the ultimate fund-raiser, is coming to L.A. this weekend to close the gap.

Clinton will be attending a fund-raising breakfast at the Brentwood home of Mayor Richard Riordan and wife Nancy Daly Riordan on June 24. Convention organizers hope to raise at least $1 million from the 200 invited guests at that exclusive bash.

"The president is coming out both to thank those who have worked so hard to get us this far and to do some fund-raising to get us over the goal line," said SunAmerica Inc. chairman and civic leader Eli Broad, who is co-chair of the private-sector L.A. Convention 2000 Host Committee.

Broad said the Clinton fund-raiser will target prominent Angelenos who either have not yet made contributions to the convention effort or who have "given modest amounts." Among the confirmed attendees: Liam McGee, president of Bank of America's Southern California division; David and Marianna Fisher of Capital Guardian Trust; and Motown mogul Barry Gordy.

A cross section of L.A.'s business and civic elite is expected to turn out; host committee organizers say the guests will include a fair number of people from the entertainment industry.

Clinton will also be attending a luncheon fund-raiser the same day for the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. That luncheon will be held at the home of billionaire supermarket mogul Ronald Burkle. The previous evening, he will be at receptions for the California Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee.

"This could be Clinton's last hurrah here in L.A. before the convention," said Hal Dash, president of Cerrell Associates, a local public relations firm with long ties to the Democratic Party establishment. "This is going to be a chance to maximize the president's popular appeal for raising money."

The Clinton visit follows the recent appointment of master Democratic Party fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe, who succeeds former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer as head of the Democratic National Convention Committee. It's all part of an intensified fund-raising focus as the clock winds down on the convention planning effort.

McAuliffe just last month wrapped up a Democratic Party barbecue featuring President Clinton that raised a record $26 million; he says he has raised more than $275 million on behalf of his longtime friend Clinton over the last several years.


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