Local News Noise & Notes Politics

First Lady to Host Obama Fundraiser in Louisville

First Lady Michelle Obama will be in Louisville next month to support her husband’s re-election campaign.

The Obama campaign has scheduled a fundraiser for February 23 at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in west Louisville. It is expected to draw hundreds of President Obama’s supporters, who won Jefferson County in 2008 despite his overall unpopularity in the state.

The campaign is asking that supporters of the president buy either $100 tickets for general admission or $2,500 VIP tickets.

Last year, Mr. Obama tapped Louisville’s Matthew Barzun to oversee re-election fundraising. Barzun left his position as ambassador to Sweden to take the post.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Barzun Leaving Diplomatic Post to Oversee Obama Fundraising

Stepping down as the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, Louisville technology entrepreneur Matthew Barzun will be President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign finance chair.

Political observers have estimated Mr. Obama’s bid in 2012 could be the first to raise $1 billion, and plucking a finance guru like Barzun is a sign that’s a serious goal.

From the Boston Globe:

Barzun, a 40-year-old Harvard College graduate, will serve as national finance chairman for Obama for America, the president’s Chicago-based campaign committee. He is replacing Penny Pritzker, the Chicago billionaire who helped raise nearly $750 million for Obama’s 2008 campaign.


“Not only was Matthew Barzun one of the Obama campaign’s top fundraisers in 2008, but he also brings strong working relationships with President Obama’s supporters from across the country to this race,” said a national Democrat who confirmed the appointment today.

During the 2008 campaign, Barzun was praised as the one who came up with the idea to use the Internet to organize small-dollar contributors.

Local News

Barzun, Northup Win Full Senate Approval

The United States Senate has voted unanimously to confirm the appointment of Louisville businessman Matthew Barzun to be ambassador to Sweden.

Barzun, an internet entrepreneur, was nominated for the post in June by President Obama, for whom Barzun was a key fundraiser during the presidential campaign.

The Senate also Friday unanimously confirmed the nomination of former Congresswoman Anne Northup of Louisville to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

She’ll be one of two Republicans on the bi-partisan panel.

The Courier-Journal reports that both nominations were in the Senate’s Executive Calendar, which includes non-controversial nominations.    No opposition was raised to either nomination during confirmation hearings.



Local News

Vote Expected Soon On Barzun Nomination

A U.S. Senate committee could vote this week on the confirmation of a Louisville man to be the next ambassador to Sweden.

President Obama nominated Matthew Barzun for the post in June.

Barzun is an internet entrepreneur and played a key fundraising role in Obama’s 2008 campaign (he’s also a current member of the Louisville Public Media Board of Directors. LPM includes WFPL).

He testifed last week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The challenges we face in the world today cannot be solved by any one nation, and the United States could not ask for a better partner than Sweden in addressing these challenges,” Barzun told the panel.

Barzun said if confirmed, he’ll take an active role in U.S. partnerships with the Swedes on energy technology and climate change initiatives.