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Kamala Harris attends virtual fundraiser hosted by execs at real estate giant Related Companies

Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee and Senator Kamala Harris speaks at a drive-in campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2020.

David Becker | Reuters

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris took part in a big-money fundraiser Friday that was hosted by real estate investment giant Related Companies and the executive chairman of fitness company Equinox.

The event featuring Harris, a California senator, comes on the heels of the Joe Biden campaign’s massive third-quarter fundraising haul.

The hosts included Harvey Spevak, the executive chairman of Equinox, and Related Companies CEO Jeff Blau and his wife, Lisa, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Some executives at Related Companies are investors in Equinox.

The Blaus hosted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at their home in the Hamptons in 2016. It was part of a three-day fundraising blitz in the wealthy region of New York, which ended up raising an estimated $20 million.

The other hosts at Friday’s event were Ken Wong, the Related Companies’ chief operating officer and the firm’s director of international development, and Bruce Beal Sr., the chairman of Related Beal, the real estate business’ Boston-based office, this person said. Bruce Beal Jr., Related Companies’ president, had also planned to attend the virtual event, this person noted.

The event required a minimum $50,000 donation, and all funds will be going to the Biden Action Fund, a joint fundraising committee between the Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties. The Harris event was expected to raise over $750,000.

In 2018, The Real Deal listed the Related Companies as one of the largest property owners in New York City.

Biden announced his campaign raised $383 million in September, and his campaign went into October with over $400 million on hand. The Biden Action Fund saw a wave of support last quarter from Wall Street executives.

Notably absent from the list of hosts was Stephen Ross, a billionaire and founder of Related Companies. He hosted an event for President Donald Trump last year at his home in the Hamptons, sparking boycotts from Equinox and SoulCycle customers. SoulCycle is owned by Equinox. Spevak later wrote a letter to his customers after the event.

“The last week has been difficult for all. I am sorry for the impact it has had on our community — and I’m sorry we haven’t said more,” Spevak said at the time.


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