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Warren Buffett Becoming Fundraising Surrogate for Barack Obama

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Warre Buffett Becoming Fundraising Surrogate for Obama
Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., left, is introduced before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama at the White House. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett will be the featured speaker at a Chicago-area fundraiser on Oct. 27 to benefit President Barack Obama’s re-election bid, marking the second time this year the billionaire investor has agreed to help the man who has named a tax-increase proposal after him.

The fundraiser in Obama’s political base will follow a Sept. 30 event in New York City that Buffett is also attending.

The Chicago event, with a ticket price of $35,800 per person, will be at the home of Byron Trott, the managing partner and chief investment officer at Chicago-based BDT Capital Partners, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by Bloomberg News. Obama isn’t scheduled to be present.

“I trust him completely,” Buffett once wrote of Trott, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. managing director. Trott confirmed this week that his firm is part of a group that has bought the landmark Wrigley Building along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

Buffett, 81, the chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has been a longtime supporter of the president. He hosted an August 2007 fundraiser in Omaha, Nebraska, for Obama and has served as an informal economic adviser.

The president has cited Buffett to counter critics of his policies, particularly on raising taxes for the nation’s wealthiest individuals and families. Buffett has called for higher taxes for wealthy Americans, including himself.

Earlier this week, as part of his recommendations to trim the nation’s long-term deficit by $3 trillion, Obama proposed the “Buffett rule,” which would require taxpayers earning more than $1 million a year to pay at least the same percentage of their income in taxes as middle-class households.

Hosts of the Chicago event, which was reported earlier by Crain’s Chicago Business, include Chicago billionaire businesswoman Penny Pritzker, who was Obama’s national finance committee chairman for the 2008 campaign, and John Rogers Jr., chairman of Chicago-based Ariel Investments LLC.

-- Editors: Leslie Hoffecker, Bob Drummond

To contact the reporter on this story: John McCormick in Chicago at jmccormick16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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