McCain Biltmore Bash– $$$ & GOP Unity

John McCain’s in town, raising some mega-money at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.  It’s his first South Florida campaign foray since January 29th, FL Primary Night, which was really the beginning of the end for his competitors.  Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney dropped out shortly after McCain’s big Florida win, and though Mike Huckabee hung in for several more weeks, he was never a serious threat to be nominated after Florida voted.

The Biltmore event aims to pull together big FL names from those rival campaigns, and raise A LOT of money.  Event co-chairs include Al Cardenas (former state party chair who was Romney’s main man in FL), St. Reps. Marco Rubio and David Rivera (the best-known Florida backers of Huckabee), and Giuliani’s biggest-name booster, Attorney General Bill McCollum, is an “Honorary Reception Chairman”.  Governor Charlie Crist and Sen. Mel Martinez, who both weighed in with big pre-primary McCain endorsements, will also be on hand.  So will ex-Gov. Jeb Bush, who waited until the week after theb FL Primary to donate a thousand bucks to McCain.

A grand won’t even get you in the door at the Biltmore Sunday night. Organizer Ana Navarro says three fund-raisers are planned.  A VIP Reception- get your photo taken with the candidate.  Then a General Reception, with remarks by McCain and entertainment by singer Willy Chirino.  And finally– and most expensively– a Pig-Roast Dinner.

At a minimum, you have to pony up $2300 to the campaign to make it to the Biltmore for the General Recep.  If you want to eat lechon, it’ll cost you $28,500 to the “McCain/Victory 2008” fund, a joint account set up by the GOP and the McCain campaign. 






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