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Sneed: Illinois fundraiser Gidwitz has sitdown with Trump

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump met with an Illinois GOP fundraiser in California. | Sun-Times file photo

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The Power of Donald?

Sneed hears Ron Gidwitz, the Chicago host of the GOP luncheon next Tuesday for Donald Trump, made one request before agreeing to raise big bucks for the Donald.

A sitdown with Trump.

“We had never met,” said Gidwitz, a powerhouse Illinois Republican fundraiser and a huge backer of Jeb Bush.

“And I was not going to do it until we talked,” he told Sneed.

So Gidwitz boarded a private jet dispatched by RNC chief Reince Priebus, who had been exhorting him to be finance chairman of Trump Victory Illinois.

Sneed is told Gidwitz was flown to the West Coast and escorted by limo for a personal meet-and-greet with the Trumpster at his luxurious home in Beverly Hills, where lots of Secret Service agents were scurrying around.

“They spent an hour chatting, and there were blessings all around,” said several Sneed sources familiar with the tete-a-tete.

(Psssst! Ever the deal maker, Trump’s Beverly Hills home is across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel — and there apparently was joking going on about Trump building a new golf course on his property.)

Oh, that Donald. Isn’t he a rascal.


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“Look, all I’ll say is we have a binary choice: Hillary [Clinton], I do not like — and Donald who might be good,” Gidwitz told Sneed.

“I basically talked to him how he thought he could win the campaign, and secondly, how he is going to govern. I found him reasonable. Very reasonable.

“I am going to work for the guy I have the most confidence in, and I have no confidence in Hillary,” said Gidwitz, who also tells Sneed he has no plans to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this month.


“I’ll be in Europe,” said Gidwitz.

Isn’t politics fun?

Hold that placard!

It’s a secret?

Sneed has learned there is one big reason the invite to the Trump Victory Illinois fundraiser in Chicago next Tuesday is minus the address for the big-bucks event.


“I’m told the party planners don’t want the melee and the mess that erupted the last time Trump was in town,” said a top Republican source who was invited to the shindig.

The invite includes the dictum: “Address will be provided upon RSVP.”

Sneed hears the preferred “site” is the Trump hotel.


• Backshot: Trump, who owns and stays at the Trump Tower when he visits town — which is practically never since he hit the campaign trail — abruptly canceled a Friday night rally last March 11 at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion, citing security concerns.

• Buckshot: That’s when thousands of protesters gathered outside the pavilion and hundreds more demonstrated inside the complex, causing a major police presence.

Here we go again?

Drew stew . . .

Ka-ching! Convicted murderer Drew Peterson just drew his last pension check Thursday. The Bolingbrook Pension Board just cashed him out.

The Swift account . . .

Yes, gentle readers. Brit actor Tom “The Night Manager” Hiddleston spent the Fourth of July with singer Taylor Swift at her holiday party.

Is it a romance or a very controlled photo op?

Giving back . . .

The Pfleger File: Sneed is told 800 parishioners, children as well as adults, will fan out to 44 locations throughout the city Saturday on special service projects to celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. Sabina’s Catholic Church, the South Side’s largest African-American congregation.

“All day long, all over the city, “said Father Michael Pfleger, the church’s pastor.

“It will include everything from feeding people at shelters, to passing out water at street corners, to visiting senior centers,” said Pfleger, the church’s pastor. “Our children’s choir is also going to visit the Juvenile Detention Center. “We believe serving others is a way of celebrating our church’s legacy.”

I spy . . .

Actor Jeff “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Garlin was full of enthusiasm at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in River North on Wednesday night . . . as the Chicago native wandered from table to table telling jokes after dinner. . . . Former Grateful Dead touring member of the Jefferson Starship Tom Constanten also spotted at Harry Carry’s on Wednesday night.

Sneedlings . . .

Watch for entertainer Nick Cannon and the Seattle Seahawks’ J’Marcus Webb to join members of St. Sabina’s church in the weekly Peace Walk on Friday night. . . . Condolences to the family of Michael Romano, the former executive director of food and beverage at the East Bank Club. A wonderful guy. . . . Today’s birthdays: Jaden Smith, 18; Sophia Bush, 34, and Wolfgang Puck, 67.

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