Big donors open their pockets for Obama - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Big donors open their pockets for Obama

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Before President Obama took the stage at the University of Vermont Friday, some of his biggest supporters opened up their checkbooks to have lunch with the Commander-in-Chief at the Sheraton Hotel.

"When this opportunity came along we looked at each other and said we have got to stretch--this is an opportunity of a lifetime," said John Hennessey.

Hennessey, one-time dean of  Dartmouth's business school and his wife, former Governor Madeleine Kunin, were two of the roughly 90 donors to attend the campaign fundraiser.  Couples paid 10-thousand dollars to join the President for the roughly one hour event.

Reporter Keith McGilvery: Folks at home are going to say 10-thousand is a wild amount of money.

Governor Madeleine Kunin: Well it is, I wouldn't dispute that. In fact frankly, in my wildest dreams, I never thought that we as a couple would share in that kind of contribution. I mean my last check, which I thought was healthy for a campaign, was 100 dollars, so this is a whole new ballgame.

A ballgame where only the wealthiest Vermonters could play and our cameras were not allowed to cover the action. Hennessey and Kunin are both involved in national efforts to promote campaign finance reform but admit that until things change in Washington their candidates could lose without big money.

"The game is still being played by the old rules and neither of us are happy about that, but we can't just say we're going to call an armistice and let the other side just keep on piling up the money," Governor Kunin said.

While Channel 3 missed the activity in the dining room, it was clear that adding to the President's own pile of donations was key to the agenda.

"We decided this and that this is an investment we want to make. This is not an expense, it's an investment in the future of the country," Hennessey said.

At 10-thousand dollars per couple and 75-hundred for guests dining with the President, the final tally easily added hundreds of thousands of dollars to the President's 2012 war chest.

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