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Presumed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited the Beverly Crest neighborhood Thursday, May 31, for a fundraiser costing $50,000 per couple. Kim Baldonado reports from Beverly Crest for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 31, 2012.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was scheduled to speak Thursday night at a $50,000-per-couple campaign fundraiser at the Beverly Crest mansion of billionaire Anthony Pritzker.
The Romney campaign declined to discuss the event, but details were revealed by The Hollywood Reporter.
Pritzker is ranked 155th on Forbes' list of the richest Americans, with a net worth of $2.6 billion. He is managing partner of the private equity firm The Pritzker Group. His family founded the Hyatt hotel chain.
Pritzker's sister, Penny, is the national finance chair for President Barack Obama, while his brother J.B. was a national co-chair of Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
On Friday, Romney is scheduled to speak at a cocktail reception at The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach, with tickets priced at $1,000 and $2,500.
Romney began his day by speaking outside the closed offices of the bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra in Fremont, saying the $527 million loan it received from the Federal Financing Bank represented "a serious conflict of interest" by the Obama administration.
"Two years ago President Obama was here to tout this building and this business as a symbol of the success of his stimulus," Romney said. "Well, you can see that it's a symbol of something very different today. It's a symbol not of success, but of failure.
"It's also a symbol of a serious conflict of interest. An independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded that the administration had steered money to friends and family, to campaign contributors. This building, this half-a-billion-dollar taxpayer investment, represents a serious a conflict of interest by the president and his team."
In response, the Obama campaign criticized Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts.
"Mitt Romney's hypocrisy knows no bounds," campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said. "While he stood at Solyndra today, he refused to explain why he gave millions of dollars in government loans to campaign donors while picking winners and losers of his own as governor of Massachusetts.
"He also refused to answer why he broke promise after promise to the people of his state, while driving Massachusetts to 47th out of 50 in job creation and the highest per capita debt in the nation. While Romney would like to ignore that both Republican and Democratic administrations advanced Solyndra's application, he can't hide his dismal record on job creation, outsourcing, spending and debt."