Obama Fundraiser to Attend Ahmadinejad Reception?

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Sep 19, 2008 2:30 PM
As Rush discussed today, Hyatt Hotel heiress, and major Obama fundraiser Penny Pritzker, is rumored to be attending a dinner along with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, which will take place at the Grand Hyatt in New York.

Of course, this shouldn't be too scandalous, considering Obama, himself, has said:  "I Would Still Meet With Ahmadinejad" ...

Still, there is no doubt that the Hyatt Hotel heiress is a major player in the Obama campaign.  Obama's relationship with Pitzker began in the mid-90s, where Obama's brother-in-law coached one of her children (interestingly, her brother was a Hillary supporter).  In 2002, during a visit to the Pitzker home, Obama mentioned to her that he was planning on running for senate.  He has also vacationed at her home on Lake Michigan.  The Pritzker family donated $40,000 to Obama's senate campaign.

In February of 2007, he asked her to be his Finance Chairman.  That same year, her estimated wealth was 2.8 billion, and she was considered the 135th richest American.

The Pitzker family holdings include ...

Global Hyatt: Chain Consists Of More Than 200 Hotels And Resorts Worldwide, Including A Handful Of Casinos. Park Hyatt Is Its Most Upscale Brand. 

Recently Acquired AmeriSuites, A Midpriced Chain With More Than 140 Hotels. Estimated Annual Revenue Of Close To $ 5 Billion.

Marmon Group: Chicago Manufacturing Conglomerate Of More Than 100 Companies, With Interests In Industrial Products, Transportation Services And Water Treatment. Revenue Exceeded $6 Billion In 2004.

Royal Caribbean: One Of The World's Largest Cruise Ship Companies. Along With Another Family, Pritzkers Own 16.5 Percent.

TransUnion: One Of The Nation's Three Largest Credit Bureaus, Which Reports Payment Histories For Millions Of Consumers.

Conwood Co.: Chewing Tobacco-Maker Whose Snuff Brands Include Kodiak And Union Workman. Won $1 Billion Antitrust Ruling In 2002.

Triton Holdings: Operates One Of The World's Largest Fleets Of Marine Cargo Containers. Also Leases Passenger And Freight Aircraft.”
Apparently, she is also into subprime lending ...  As USA Today reported:

Obama's national finance chairwoman, Penny Pritzker, was chairwoman of the board of a Chicago-area bank in 1993 when it adopted a subprime business strategy that regulators say ultimately led it to collapse in 2001.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Assuming the rumor is true, will Pitzker suddenly change her mind -- or will she still attend the event? 

Both campaigns have, at times, had their campaign momentum derailed by the actions of supporters and surrogates.  Might this be the latest example?