Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, declaring Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “is just too risky,” is holding a fundraising dinner for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton next week at the Claure home in Miami Beach.
Claure sent invitation letters that offer access to a “very small roundtable discussion” with Clinton and a seat at the head table at dinner for a campaign contribution of $50,000 per person. A $33,400 contribution would include a “small, private reception” and “VIP” dinner seating. A $10,000 contribution means taking part in “our intimate dinner gathering in our backyard,” Claure’s letter said.
The letter notes that the invitation is personal and that the Sept. 30 dinner is not a corporate event. Claure, however, signed the letter as president and CEO of Sprint Corp., according to a copy made available by the Overland Park-based wireless company.
A company spokesman said Claure sent invitations to business and community leaders that Claure has relationships with in Kansas City, Miami and other areas.
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“As the campaign has progressed it has become abundantly clear that we need Hillary to win in November,” Claure’s letter said. “No matter the issue, from immigration reform to national security, Hillary has the steadiness, experience and temperament to lead our country. Donald Trump is just too risky.”
Claure, a U.S. citizen, has spoken publicly about the importance of open immigration, including at the National Council of La Raza convention in Kansas City. He came to the United States from Bolivia, where he also remains a citizen, to attend college in the Boston area. He later started a Miami-based business that made him a billionaire.
Telecommunications analysts generally have considered a Republican administration as potentially more favorable to Sprint’s business interests. Sprint was purchased by Tokyo-based SoftBank Group Corp. in 2013 and its founder, Masayoshi Son, has said he wanted also to buy T-Mobile US. Those plans unraveled in the face of regulatory opposition from the Federal Communications Commission under President Barack Obama.
Claure’s letter did not mention T-Mobile or Sprint’s interests.
Claure has described his fundraising efforts as limited but aggressive. For example, he and then-Kansas City area banker Peter deSilva headed an annual fundraising dinner for the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault and shattered the organization’s fundraising goal.
Claure moved his family to the Kansas City area to take the top job at Sprint, but he and his wife, Jordan, have kept their Miami Beach home.