(Updated 09/10: Tip o’ the hat to the partier who sent us the Christie-in-Texas invites. See them here.)
Sometimes even the biggest party animals need to have a little pause in the action.
With mounting tension over a proposed U.S. strike on Syria, Southern California Public Radio reports that our nation’s Partier-in-Chief has cancelled a fundraising reception for the DNC in Los Angeles.
While this may be something of a downer for those Democratic boosters who shelled out $32,400 for the chance to participate in an hour long discussion with the ‘leader of the free world,’ our representatives in Congress have been more than willing to pick up the partyin’ slack.
As members settle back into their Washington routines after the long summer recess, the fundraising scene is already beginning to ramp up to its accustomed breakneck pace. This week’s docket features fundraisers from a Democratic whip, possible 2016 contenders for the White House and weekend getaways for those donors wanting to squeeze every last bit of congressional face time out of their generous contributions.
As always, if you catch wind of any other fascinating funding fiestas, send ‘em this way.
Everything’s bigger in Texas
A Cowboys fan from Jersey?
At least that’s what New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Party Time veteran would have us believe. The ‘Boss’ claims his longtime loyalty to “America’s Team,” began in his boyhood during a disappointing stretch for the New York Giants. He plans to cheer on Texas’ boys in blue during their Sept. 8 home opener against the Giants — a team which has its home field in Christie’s state.
Though Christie’s affection for the Cowboys is not new, he may have an ulterior motive for reminding folks of it this weekend: The Giants-Cowboys game will be in Texas, where Christie will be on a fundraising trifecta on behalf of the GOP. Maybe wearing a little silver and blue will produce more green? According to the Associated Press, the governor will be attending three separate fundraisers in one day for the Republican National Committee: A breakfast in Dallas, luncheon in Houston and a reception in San Antonio. (It would be just lovely if a fellow partier would share some invites.)
The Jersey Gopper is no stranger to raising big bucks. Thanks to his aggressive fundraising, the incumbent governor, one of only two in the country who will be facing voters this year, is already finished raising money for his reelection effort. As reported by NorthJersey.com, Christie has already ‘maxed out’ the amount of private contributions he can raise to obtain state matching funds: He’s got more than $4 million in his war chest. According to Bill Palatucci, the chairman of Christie’s reelection campaign, “[t]hat gives the Governor the luxury in September and October of focusing on his day job.” And, it seems, fundraising.
While Christie may be able to spend the months of September and October basking in his fundraising success, other pols have no such luxury.
The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation PAC will host a trio of Democratic reps at a Sept. 10 breakfast at Bobby Van’s Grill in Washington. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. and Jim Hines, D-Conn. will be in attendance and contributions will benefit Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill.
Party Time records show the DTCC supports an array of Democratic members, though the more likely reason for the financial group’s hospitality has little to do with whether a member has a “D” or “R” following their name — all three representatives attending Tuesday’s fundraiser serve on the House Financial Services Committee.
A savvy politician knows what excites her base. Sometimes that’s a picture of a finger-pointing confrontation with the president on an airport tarmac. Like the memorable one cameras captured of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, and President Obama.
The finger-wagging standoff gained media notoriety when it occurred in Tucson last year, giving viewers visual confirmation of the the governor’s disappointment in the president’s immigration policies. And now she’s using it to broaden her constituency — at least her cash constituency.
The invitation for a Sept. 14 fundraiser in Raleigh, N. C. prominently features the photo, as the Grand Canyon State governor attempts to drum up Tar Heel cash at an event hosted by the Wake County Republicans.
This is not the first time in PT’s records that a Republican lawmaker has raised dough off controversy. Recently Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. used photos of environmental protesters — angered by the senator’s climate change denial – at his Google-sponsored funder to highlight his commitment to bringing jobs to Oklahoma.
Suggested contributions for the Brewer fundraiser range from $75 to $5,000.
Soaking up summer
While vacation is over for most of us, two Republican senators are grasping at the last straws of summer this weekend with retreats in Nashville and New Hampshire.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will be taking some generous friends on a weekend excursion to “Music City,” while fans of Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., can shell out $1,500 or more to spend a weekend with the Senator in Mount Washington, N.H.
The weekend R&R should give the two Republicans plenty of time to consider the president’s plan of action in Syria — both members have cited a need for more information in advance of the proposed strikes.
Until next time partiers. But it doesn’t have to be long! For those of you in need of a mid-week Party Time fix, stay tuned for the launch of our new PT Tumblr this week. It’ll be a great way to feature those invites. So keep ‘em coming, and keep on rockin’ in the free world.Tweet
While Congress’ upper chamber teeters on the edge of “nuclear” combat, the news that prominent climate change denier and senior Republican senator from Oklahoma, James Inhofe was holding a lunch funder at Google’s Washington headquarters was met with shock, indignation and petitions by various liberal leaners in the green movement.
Elsewhere on the fundraising scene, former DNC Chairman and current Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is showing off some serious star power as he makes his rounds of the party circuit. A review of McAuliffe fundraisers reads like a who’s who of Democratic politics. Notable attendees include: the first lady, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and Bill Clinton, who, as of July 11, has already appeared at three such events for the would-be governor.
McAuliffe has longstanding ties to the Clinton clan, and in his past life as a Democratic booster he raised around $275 million for the former president. His steadfast allegiance appears to be paying dividends. In addition to lending his name to McAuliffe’s events, Bill contributed $100,000 to McAuliffe’s bid in the perennially purple state.
While the fundraising season has yet to reach its peak, rest assured that this week brings us a plethora of fun new activities to enjoy with our elected officials. Here’s what’s happening:
Start your week off with some time on the links with Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc. The Tuesday golf outing and reception will take place at the scenic Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport, Calif. and will benefit the Republican Governors’ Association. Suggested contributions for entry to the all-day affair range from $2,500 to $25,000. While that may strike some partiers as a tad on the pricey side for a golf outing, I must remind you that the contribution includes breakfast, a “shotgun tournament” AND a post-golf reception.
If gettin’ your schmooze on with a cheesehead governor in Southern California while supporting the RGA sounds like your bag, then this event could be perfect for you. Just remember not to mention anything about unions.
Bam! It’s a PAC!
If partying with the Democrats is more to your liking, be sure to stop by Bistro Bis on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The ever-popular Capitol Hill eatery will serve as the backdrop of a reception and dinner benefiting BAMPAC, the leadership committee of Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
Apparently when she’s not presiding over committee hearings, fielding Twitter criticism, or doing both simultaneously, the senior senator from the Old Line State delights in la gastronomie française. The July 16 fundraiser will be Mikulski’s 11th Bistro Bis fundraiser in Party Time’s records.
If you’re not enticed by the invitation’s totally rad clip art, perhaps you will be drawn to the restaurant’s delectable beef bourguignon or sweetbreads (calf and/or sheep innards) served in the bretonne tradition. Suggested contributions for the event range from $1,000-$2,500 to attend just dinner, while a dinner and reception combo will set you back $5,000.
We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll
Corker may be of particular interest to the RIAA thanks to his past role as original co-sponsor of the Performance Rights Act, which would have mandated radio stations pay artists a royalty for playing their tunes on their station — a policy effort close to the hearts of thousands in the Nashville music community. The senator was even honored by the Grammy Association for his work on the matter.
More recently the senator fought against the Pandora-backed Internet Radio Fairness Act, a measure which would slash royalties to musicians from internet radio stations that stream their music.
Suggested contributions to the event range from $1,000-$2,500 for PAC attendees, and $500-$1,000 for individuals.
DeMaio gets big ticket backing
The Georgetown grad made a splash by becoming the first openly gay man elected to the city’s council. Undeterred by his unsuccessful follow-up campaign for the mayor’s office, DeMaio has already held at least three major fundraisers for his effort to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to PT records.
The Log Cabin Republicans endorsed DeMaio, who calls himself a “new generation Republican,” and his invitation emphasizes DeMaio’s crossover appeal to women, independents, youth, and Latinos — all demographics that Republicans are desperate to make inroads on. The seat DeMaio wants is currently held by Scott Peters, a a freshman Democrat. As of March 31, Peters had raised more than $250,000 for his re-election campaign, Federal Election Commission records show.
The going rate for DeMaio’s luncheon with House leadership ranges from $250 for individuals to $5,000 for PACs.
Stormin’ the Book of Mormon
As reported by Politico Influence, Congressman John Shimkus, R-Ill., will bring the party to the Kennedy Center this Thursday, treating his guests to a performance of the Broadway hit, the Book of Mormon.
The play, written in part by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, takes a satirical look at the Church of Latter Day Saints. Such lighthearted fun could be just what the congressman needs to take his mind off his recent health setback.
PT has yet to obtain an invitation to this event (insert sad-face emoticon here). As always, if you come across an invite please remember that sharing is caring.
That’s all we have for this week, keep those invitations coming. Until next time folks!Tweet
While the immigration bill sailed through the Senate with strong bipartisan support (albeit two votes short of the Gang of Eight’s 70 vote goal), the upcoming recess means that the American public will have to wait until at least July 8 before any of the anticipated fireworks over the bill in the House. So let’s get down to the real deal:
For most Americans, Independence Day weekend conjures up images of burgers, brats, and blowing stuff up, but for members of Congress, this week is known as a “constituent work period.” As Bradford Fitch of the Congressional Management Foundation points out, “recess” does not mean vacation for members of Congress, but rather working the district instead of Capitol Hill, focusing on constituent services such as town hall meetings, voter outreach, and . . . parties!
OK. Fitch didn’t say that last part. Party Time did.
But we know whereof we speak. Even during the nation’s 237th birthday, there are some party animals who simply can’t tear themselves away from the rubber chicken circuit. Here’s the rundown:
Tour de Roberts
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, enjoys the finer things in life.
This weekend, the Kansas conservative continued the annual tradition of treating donors to a trip through Napa Valley wine country. The event was scheduled to run June 29-July 1, and suggested donations are $3,000 to $5,000 for PAC attendees and $2,000 for individuals. Seems a bargain considering contributions in the $2,000-$5,000 range are standard fare at receptions that may last little more than an hour.
The extended getaway offers donors a chance to get in plenty of face time with the senator. Annual getaways like Roberts’ wine tour have gained popularity with other members, such as Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Mary Landrieu, D-La.
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., is another brave member who did not let the recess stand in the way of his fundraising efforts. The congressman is capitalizing on the return to his home district with a Sunday brunch at the Beverly Hills home of longtime supporter Sam Delug. The event offers a wide array of contribution options — from $500 to $5,000 — and takes place just two blocks away from the glitz and glamour of Sunset Boulevard.
Delug, a telecom executive and member of the board of directors for the Jewish National Fund, has contributed money to Sherman’s campaigns since 2008, maxing out at $5,000 in the 2012 cycle, Sunlight records show.
I’ve been everywhere, man
Pardon the Johnny Cash reference partiers, but I’m sure Speaker Boehner would echo the sentiment, as another week means another cross-country fundraising trip for the top House Republican. As reported by Politico, his quest for hard money contributions takes him to Anchorage, Alaska this Tuesday, where he will be joined by prominent local Republicans at an event in his honor.
Among the host committee members is Alaska’s sole member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Don Young, of “bridge to nowhere” fame. The veteran Republican, who has the distinction of being on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s “most corrupt” list, has created headaches for his leader in the past. In 2008, Young was forced to resign from his position as the ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee over ethics investigations.
More recently, the Alaska firebrand earlier this year drew a swift public rebuke from Boehner for using a racial slur in reference to Latino agricultural workers during a radio interview that took place earlier this year. There were also numerous calls for Young’s resignation.
All is fair in love and politics however, and it appears that the two have been able to put the past behind them and join forces to rake in cash for Boehner’s joint fundraising committee. The host committee is asking for contributions of $500-$2,500 if you’re in the neighborhood.
Christie pads the war chest
As reported by the Ridgewood-GlenRock Patch, the governor will be holding a high-priced cocktail reception at the Bank of America building Wednesday in Ridgewood, NJ. “Event hosts” must raise a whopping $25,000 for the distinction, while “host committee members” must bring in $15,800 for Christie’s reelection efforts. If you can’t swing either of those, the “Team 100″ option comes with a donation of $1,000. The fundraiser comes at a time when the governor has already raised $4 million more than his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono.
Giffords’ PAC gears up
To round out your week, you have the chance to enjoy some authentic New England lobstah’ with former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., and husband Mark Kelly.
For a contribution of $10-$250 to the couple’s Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC you will automatically be entered for a chance to dine with the couple in Portland, Maine. Formed in January, the PAC aims to support stricter gun control laws. and as such there is no data available on its spending, but the PAC’s primary purpose is supporting stricter gun laws.
That’s all for this week. Have an excellent Fourth and remember, if you have any fundraising invitations please share them here.
(Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol via Flickr)Tweet
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
The life of a lawmaker is TOUGH. Take it from Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who recently lamented the “soul-crushing” fundraising every congressmember has to do to survive! Murphy spoke of the dreaded call time, where he sat in a room for four to five hours a day dialing up constituents and begging for money. But Chris, what about the parties!? Tell me you haven’t had fun at the 20+ fundraisers over the past couple years — remember MURPHYPALOOZA back in 2010? Of course you don’t, because that party was awesome! So lighten up, and party on — all your friends are doing it!
We’ve got a full slate of parties this week, as politicians continue that wonderful tradition of fundraising. Check out the highlights below:
Gun Raffles — A Good Idea to Some People
Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer, R-Anne Arundel County, has had some bad ideas in the past, but PT thinks he’s on to something here with Saturday’s Gun Rights and Liberty BBQ and Gun Raffle. While you’re off celebrating liberty, you can enter in the raffle to win either an AR-15 or an AK-47! The best part: tickets only cost $5! And you can buy up to 10 of them! I like those odds, partiers. And don’t worry — PT checked this out before and it’s all legal. The festivities take place tomorrow at Kurtz Beach in Pasadena, Md., but the guns won’t be handed out until July 6. Just one problem with that: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley ’s gun control bill outlawing certain high-powered rifles, including AR-15s and AK-47s, is scheduled to be signed on May 16. Hmm, looks like Dwyer’s gonna need a really good idea to get around this one.
Guess Who’s Fundraising at a Taylor Swift Concert?
People one would expect to see at the upcoming Taylor Swift concert: a billion teenage girls, many of Swift’s ex-boyfriends who are inevitably trying to win her back, depressed dads of tweens not old enough to go alone — and wait, who’s that? It’s Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky. of course! The Bluegrass State lawmaker will be inviting PACs to attend the show at D.C.’s Verizon Center for the low, low price of $1,000. Guthrie doesn’t care if it doesn’t look manly — he’s fearless.
Hello Again, Cory Booker
Newark Mayor Cory Booker seems to be a well-liked guy — he saves people from burning buildings, shovels others’ driveways, and rescues their dogs. So it’s no surprise that some old Yale Law School pals will be hosting a reception and dinner for Booker on Monday night. The fete will take place at the NYC home of (surprise) lawyer Jacob Buchdahl, costing guests either $5,200 or $2,600 depending on how good of a friend you want to be to Booker. You might want to consider the higher price point — it might be you he rescues next!
Lamar Alexander’s Second and Third Winds
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has been fundraising up a storm recently, and the funder forecast predicts his torrential downpour of parties continuing to rain down through next week. Extended metaphors aside, Alexander starts his week on Tuesday with a double-header: first he’ll grab lunch at Charlie Palmer’s, then five hours later he’ll rush to the Monocle for a dinner hosted by Honeywell’s PAC, among others. Both events have tabs of up to $2,500/PAC and $1,000/person. But he’s not done yet — on Thursday he’ll go back to Charlie Palmer’s for another lunch, again costing $2,500/PAC and $1,000/person. Alexander is pushing the party meter through the roof, but he’s gotta mix it up — though PT admits it’s hard to follow up a gun raffle and Taylor Swift concert…
Heller Is Still Looking Back on 2012
While most politicians are fundraising for future campaigns — some as far off as 2016 — at least one senator is looking back on 2012, and not in a good way. Dean Heller, R-Nev., still has some debt leftover from his hard-fought campaign — ”some” meaning over $575,000. So it’s a smart move on his part to host a debt retirement luncheon on Thursday at Capitol Hill spot Bistro Bis. To grab a shovel and dig Heller out of this hole, guests can contribute up to $2,500/PAC or $1,000/person.
Summer weather finally looks like it’s here to stay, so lawmakers are pouncing on the opportunity to rake in some cash next weekend. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is rolling his supporters away to Virginia for a Weekend at the Tides Inn. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay, the Tides Inn can provide guests with golf, spa treatments, boating and more. But guests will have to pony up at least $5,000 to go on this vacation.
Next up is Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who is hosting a Phillies Keystone Weekend for his supporters. The highlight of the weekend will be Casey’s hometown Phillies taking on the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon, but other events could be on the itinerary as no schedule was released. No price points were released either, so if you’ve got the info send it along this-a-way.
Finally, Rep. GK Butterfield, D-N.C., will trounce these other two by whisking his guests off to tour the island of Bermuda. The trip costs guests a mere $2,500 — half of what you’d pay to accompany Sen. Shelby to Virginia! Talk about a good deal, Partiers.
Unlike the Washington party circuit, some things must come to an end. After many months of writing up Party Time posts, my time has run its course in this space. But fear not! I have a suspicion that the next Party Animal here will bring to this blog a great sense of humor, politics — and, most importantly, snark. Until next time, Partiers!Tweet
Have you ever worked a full month without any scheduled days off? If so, congratulations — you’re not a member of Congress! America’s favorite lawmaking body is going on Spring Break Part 2 — because the first one seemed pretty fun – taking the next week off to rest from all their exhausting labors — not passing any sort of gun legislation, letting the sequester wreak havoc on the economy and continually ignoring budget negotiations have really taken its toll on our lawmakers. But if there’s one thing we can count on Congress to do well, it’s fundraising of course! The Democratic money machines both set all-time records for first quarter earnings, with the House arm raking in $22.6 million and the Senate arm $13.7 million. The GOP committees didn’t do so badly either, collecting $17.5 million in the first quarter for the House and $5.3 million for the Senate. If only Congress was as good at lawmaking as its members are at cash collecting…
Unfortunately for Party Time, the break means our database looks something like this for next week. We’re thinking there’s some partying going on outside the Beltway and someone (maybe Y-O-U?) forgot to send us the invites. It’s never too late! Put ‘em here.
But we still have several parties of note coming up, featuring recurring favorite Cory Booker, the resilient Sen. Roger Wicker and the S.C. GOP’s annual dinner. Look below for the details.
Surprise, It’s Cory Booker… Again
Newark Mayor Cory Booker has become one of PT’s most frequent partiers, scheduling 13 funders from March through May — it’s almost become a weekly segment here! The flush but not-yet official candidate for the Garden State’s soon-to-be vacated U.S. Senate seat is not showing any signs of slowing down, as he’ll be the beneficiary of two events in the Windy City on the same night at the same time! Starting at 5:00 p.m. and lasting until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday is a VIP Reception at the chic eatery Untitled, which you know is hip because they serve things like “whipped trout” in Mason jars. Guests will pony up $2,000-$750 for the VIP portion, or as little as $75 for the general festivities.
But if that isn’t your scene, perhaps you’ll see Booker (or more likely his clone) at an Evening Cocktail Reception that same day from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. — a half-hour before the previous event is supposed to end! It’s happening at the home of Barbara Goodman Manilow, a tried and true blue donor who has hosted high-dollar parties for Obama before. This event is on the more expensive side, costing guests anywhere from $5,000 to $1,000 for entrance. But if Booker can save people from burning buildings, he can probably get to both events.
The Silver Elephant Dinner with a Side of Drama
Every year the South Carolina GOP hosts a famous fundraising banquet called the Silver Elephant Celebration — but this year’s joyous evening hit a snag before it even started. It appears that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., wanted to keynote the event, a chance to win friends and influence people in a state that is always crucial in the presidential nominating process, but the state party invited freshman craze Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, instead. Paul’s chief of staff even called the Palmetto State’s Republican chairman to “express his disappointment.” Ouch.
The show will still go on, and Friday’s 46th Annual Silver Elephant Celebration will honor former Sen. Jim DeMint, the Tea Party darling currently heading the conservative Heritage Foundation. Various price points come with perks: the maximum $8,000 gift reserves a table for 10, with tickets to a pre-reception and photo-op with Cruz and — if you can believe it — your name in the commemorative program! Shocking, we know. But if you can somehow possibly resist that, general admission is only $75. No word on whether former Rep. and Gov.-turned-congressional candidate Mark Sanford will be attending — either quietly at a table by himself, or with new friend Cardboard Pelosi.
Vitter’s Off to the Races
Break out the floppy hats and fix up some mint juleps because the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place next weekend! As he has done in the past, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., will be using that time for a multi-day fundraising field trip to Churchill Downs. Event specifics are fuzzy, but the most important info — the cost — is right on the invite; guests will have to (bad pun alert!) pony up $5,000 per couple for this ride.
Wicker Bravely Parties On
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., had quite a scare last week, as a letter intended for him tested positive for the poison ricin. Luckily that plot was foiled, and the incident isn’t holding Wicker back from his busy fundraising schedule. He’s hosting a Weekend at the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood, Miss., where guests will take part in activities such as golf, blues trails, museums, spas and even cooking classes. Sounds like attendees will be getting their money’s worth at least! Prices for the weekend are $2,500 PAC, $1,500 personal.
Check in next week when Congress gets back to partyi — er, we mean work — for more fundraising news.
(Photo credit: KeepingAmericaGreat.com)Tweet
After this past week, America really needs a party to cheer up. Answering the call, several members of Congress are planning fundraising events as the 2014 races heat up — and maybe some early rumblings of 2016. In fact, the PT calendar shows almost 30 parties happening next week! From Republicans to Democrats, incumbents to candidates, everyone is looking to stuff their coffers for the upcoming elections. Boy, the cycle seems to start earlier and earlier…
Without further ado, next week’s funders coming up!
Obama Partying in Dallas for the DNC
President Obama will be in Texas next week for the opening of George W. Bush’s library grand opening, but that might not be the highlight of his trip. On Wednesday, the day before Bush’s ceremony, the president and first lady will head to the Dallas home of Naomi Aberly for a $10,000 dinner benefiting the Democratic National Committee. Aberly is an Obama bundler and huge democratic donor, contributing over $600,000 to various blue causes, including $138,000 to the DNC, and is one of the early funders of Organizing for Action, the new nonprofit group supporting Obama’s second term agenda. The invite is MIA – so send it in to PT if you’ve got it!
Things ain’t looking good for Mark “Mr. Appalachian” Sanford. The NRCC has now distanced itself from the race, depriving Sanford of its dollars, after he allegedly trespassed at his ex-wife’s home, where he watched the Super Bowl with his son; fellow GOPers refuse to talk about him; and the Colbert Busch fundraising machine churns onward. Big brother funny man Stephen Colbert returns for a Tuesday morning breakfast at the NYC home of Sallie Krawcheck, a former prominent Wall Street executive who boasts a Twitter feed with over 14,000 followers. Also in attendance will be Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as well as DCCC chair Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. Tickets cost up to $10,000, but guests can catch a sneak peek of Stephen out of character for as little as $500!
Booker’s “Special Evenings” for Senate
Newark Mayor Cory Booker will make a couple of withdrawals in the ATM state of California with two events this week. On Thursday, he’ll benefit from a LA Special Evening at the home of movie producer Jerry Weintraub, who already contributed $5,000 to Booker’s own CoryPAC in 2011. But he’s not the only Hollywood megastar/megadonor to be listed on the invite. many of whom helped kickstart President Obama’s historically well-stocked campaign. The host committee boasts director Steven Spielberg, actor Bruce Willis, producer JJ Abrams, director Rob Reiner and more. Tickets are a mere $5,000 to be in the presence of cinema greatness! The next night, Booker will head up to NorCal for a San Francisco Special Evening at the Law Offices of Keker and Van Nest; both namesake partners, John Keker and Robert Van Nest, have given tens of thousands to Democratic causes. This evening is not as special, as prices to get in range from $5,000 to a relatively cheap $250.
Funders for swing-vote senators
After Manchin-Toomey deal to expand background checks fell apart on Wednesday, it left many questioning what will happen to the future of gun control legislation in the U.S. Several key senators will be hosting parties next week where they may have to deal with these questions and more:
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.: One of the namesake sponsors of the amendment, Toomey may be feeling especially down, but cheer up — money’s on the way! The former head of the Club for Growth is holding a Wednesday dinner at Capitol Hill hotspot Acqua al 2. You can comfort Toomey with as much as $2,000 in campaign cash.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.: Landrieu is a vulnerable Democrat up for re-election in a red-state, which is why her “yes” vote (even when the amendment looked doomed) surprised many. She may faces questions about her vote during the Annual Big Easy Weekend in New Orleans, which might not be so easy after all. For $5,000, guests can enjoy some slick jazz, dinner on Bourbon Street and more.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine: Collins was one of only four Republicans who voted in favor of the Machin-Toomey deal and she too will be mingling with donors at a Wednesday luncheon. It’s located at the American Trucking Association, and is sponsored by several construction groups — not so coincidentally, Collins sits on a subcommittee for military construction. PACs can pay up to $2,500 to get in, and individuals up to $1,000.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.: Democrats hoped Ayotte would be a crucial swing vote on Manchin-Toomey; however, she ended up going against the measure. She’s headed to D.C. fundraising paradise Johnny’s Half Shell for a breakfast on Wednesday, where prices for PACs escalate to $2,000 and individuals $1,000.
Rubio for 2016?
Senator and GOP Golden Boy Marco Rubio of Florida has been mentioned as a potential presidential contender about a billion times now. Whether or not those rumors hold any truth, he has certainly been fundraising like he’s running for president — bringing in $2.3 million in the first quarter — and his pace continues this week with a Young Professionals Reception at the Oracle Townhouse in DC. PT isn’t sure what kind of “young professionals” can pony up the maximum asking price of $2,500, but guests can also get in for a more reasonable $250.
Until next week, Partiers.Tweet
Famed Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert died yesterday, taking with him the vast majority of mankind’s opinion on film. Whether he was critiquing bombs like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (“Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.”), or praising an all-time great like Citizen Kane (“It is one of the miracles of cinema that in 1941 a first-time director; a cynical, hard-drinking writer; an innovative cinematographer, and a group of New York stage and radio actors were given the keys to a studio and total control, and made a masterpiece.”), Ebert will always be remembered for telling it like it is.
Party Time honors him today with a special edition round up: “I’ll See You At the Parties.”
In Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s latest fundraiser, the viewer sees the continuation of a months-long identity crisis — a man struggling to transition from the small-screen to the big-screen. Now Booker stars in a new production titled “NYC Cocktail Reception,” which will be released on Tuesday. With a $1,000 price tag, it’s hosted and directed by Barry Coller, whom you may know in his current recurring role as Physician-in-Chief at Rockefeller University Hospital. This fundraiser is part of a larger story about expectations, and one man’s journey to achieve them — or boldly renounce them. Much like Ben Braddock choosing between “plastics” and Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, Booker faces his own dilemma: will he continue on his path to the Senate as everyone believes, or will he reject this and spend his days in Newark? This exclusive funder film may help viewers find out.
Republican Double Features Are Must-See Entertainment
Three GOP senators will be starring in double fundraising features this week, so save up some money, viewers. One doubleheader comes to us from Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. His first feature, “Transportation Lunch,” premiers at the American Trucking Association townhouse on Thursday and is hosted by the PACs of the American Trucking Association and the Road & Transport Builders Association — both of which donated to Inhofe in the last election. It’s an outright masterpiece; a complicated love story full of entangled, embattled characters competing over the Oklahoman’s affection — and his lawmaking power. A touching study of the dynamic human-PAC relationship, this funder comes with an entry price of up to $2,500 for committees, $1,000 for individuals. Inhofe displays his acting chops by switching to a campy project called “The 2nd Annual Striper Fishing Tournament” that starts on Friday and ends the next day. Full of action, excitement, laughs and (literally) boatloads of money, it’s a G-rated event that’s fun for the whole family. If you can afford to bring your whole family to something that costs $1,500 per person and $3,000 per PAC.
A veteran of the party circuit, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will also be unveiling two funders this week. The first is his highly-anticipated “Breakfast with Special Guest Sen. Ron Johnson,” out on Tuesday, where two mega-stars team up to generate some serious moolah for Hatch’s leadership PAC. Expect a strong acting performance from Hatch, who has a multitude of experience in fundraising performances over the years. This funder exposes Hatch as a character not without his flaws, one that has a profound void that exists within — one that can only be filled with cash. To help him achieve self-actualization, guests may pay a maximum of $5,000. And PT could not forget the spellbinding epic “Breakfast,” a magnum opus that allows viewers to feel the invigorating touch of life itself. Directed and hosted by major drug distributor AmeriSourceBergen, this Thursday funder promises to be one of the major events of the year. For a maximum contribution of $5,000, viewers can bask in the glory that is “Breakfast.”
Continuing the funder film festival is a Tuesday “Reception” starring Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., with an ensemble cast of famous lobbyists: John Milne, Roy Coffee, Allen Shofe and more. The sequel arrives the very next day, as Alexander will reprise his role as “Senator from Tennessee” with “Breakfast“ at Mastercard worldwide. Mastercard also picks up a director credit, as they are hosting the event. Both of these flicks are on the expensive side, costing up to $2,500 per PAC and $1,000 per person. Alexander is quickly becoming an A-lister by starring in no fewer than 10 funders this year alone.
Fleetwood Mac Concert a Triumph for Guthrie, Shimkus
Legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac rolls into D.C. on Tuesday for a thought-provoking Verizon Center concert that a couple lawmakers are using to raise some cash. The first event stars Rep. Brett Guthrie as a rigid Republican from Kentucky, who nevertheless reveals himself to be unequivocally, undeniably human throughout the evening. This event forces the viewer to realize that no one can escape the power of music, not even uptight Washington suits — and it makes for a great party. PACs can get a ticket to this special evening for just $1,000.
Guthrie’s co-star is Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., his own party a tour-de-force that is not to be missed. The deep, symbiotic relationship between Shimkus and Fleetwood Mac fills the viewer with audacious hope: Hope for boatloads of cash, hope for re-election in 2014. Shimkus has added an element of neo-noir mystery to the fundraiser, as PT has no idea how much it costs. If anyone can snag a pair of tickets to this concert funder, share with us here!
All these fundraisers scored a rock-solid two thumbs up. Remember, folks: There’s no good party too long, and no bad party short enough. See you at the parties!
Photo courtesy of Rebert via Wikimedia CommonsTweet
Next week Congress continues its extended Easter break, because, you know, members almost had to work a whole month straight! Luckily for you Party Time never takes a week off, but that does mean the calendar is still looking slimmer than usual. However, the parties that are scheduled for next week have some serious heavy hitters involved — Barack “Partier-In-Chief” Obama, Marco “I lost the presidency because I forgot how to drink” Rubio and Cory “What’s Newark?” Booker. Check out the highlights below.
Obama Cashes In While Out West
Last month the President announced he would be back on the fundraising trail, trying to help the Democrats take back a majority in the House in 2014 — now those high-profile funders have arrived. Next week the PIC has got four events crammed into Wednesday and Thursday, all occurring in the political gold mine of San Francisco. Obama will start things off with a $5,000 cocktail reception at the home of environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer — sounds normal so far, right? Well it turns out this party might get a little awkward due to Steyer’s firm opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, a project Obama may allow to go forward. To make matters worse, Obama’s environmental woes will follow him to his next event, and by woes we mean a crowd of about 2,000 climate activists in protest of the pipeline. They’ll be harassing the president at a $32,400 per plate dinner at the home of billionaire Gordon Getty, whose house hopefully has enough land around it to keep the protesters at bay. Both of these parties will benefit the DCCC, and it comes at a critical time — the group is currently listing more than $10 million in debt. PT hasn’t got its hands on these invites, so if you’ve managed to snag them upload them to us here!
The next day, Mr. PIC will be doing double sessions again, starting out at 9:30 with a $32,400 brunch somewhere in San Fran. The intimate affair is limited to only 30 seats, so it promises some serious quality time with the prez. Just an hour and a half later, Obama will hightail it over to an early lunch at the home of philanthropists John and Marcia Goldman. Prices are $1,000 to get in, at least $5,000 for a photo opp, and $20,000 to co-chair the event. Both of these parties will directly benefit the Democratic National Committee.
No Rest for Rubio
While many of his fellow lawmakers are relaxing from the hectic party schedule, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., actually decided to ramp it up by holding two funders next week. On Monday he’ll be in Chicago for a reception and private dinner at the home of business executive Judson Green. It’s $1,000 for a couple to attend the reception, but the private dinner afterwards will max out at $10,400. If you’ve got your hands on the invite you know what to do! On Friday, Rubio will head home to the Sunshine State for a Weekend at the Biltmore Hotel, a resort destination outside of Miami. For party-poopers only wanting to stay Friday (dubbed the “Havana Nights” package, even though it is only one night), it’s $2,500. But for party animals staying the whole crazy weekend, it’ll run you anywhere from $10,000 to $5,000.
Booker Still Won’t Admit It
Although the world’s worst-kept secret is still technically unconfirmed, the Cory Booker for Senate committee continues to travel the country raising copious amounts of cash. Booker is heading back inside the beltway on Monday for a Young Professionals Reception at the hip Adams Morgan bar Jack Rose. There’s sure to be fixed gear bicycles, cuffed jeans and lots of PBR to go around. And if that doesn’t get you, then maybe the prices will — the event is appropriately cheaper than most funders, with $40 tickets available. Don’t miss this chance to be hip with the hippest mayor (for now) around!
That’s all for now. Make sure to check back next week when the lawmakers — and the parties — return in full force!
Photo courtesy of Chuck Kennedy via Wikimedia Commons.Tweet
As February turns to March, isn’t spring supposed to melt away the snow and warm the air? Not exactly, it seems. (Oh, and thanks for nothing you stupid groundhog.) We may not be able to count on Mother Nature anymore, but another, more predictable season is in full-swing — fundraising time! PT’s calendar is once again stuffed with parties as politicians awake from their winter slumbers, primed to rake in the big bucks like a newly-awakened bear foraging for honey. It’s a busy week ahead, so without further ado, check the highlights for next week.
The Colbert Bump: Part 2
Just one day after stumping for big sis Lulu in the Big Apple, Stephen Colbert will be at it again on Saturday — this time in their home state of South Carolina. The first part of the night includes a private reception and bowling at The Alley in downtown Charleston, with prices up to $2,600 to get in. If you’d like a more intimate experience with the Rev. Dr. Colbert, follow the pack to a private dinner at a restaurant-to-be-named-later — you could even get your copy of America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t personally signed! Expect to shell out $5,200 to attend this event — and watch out for those just out of hibernation, newly-awakened bears!
Welcome to the Club, Tim
“Hey there, freshly-appointed Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and welcome to the upper chamber! It’s so nice to have you. Now get fundraising.” This is the message Scott received, and he heard it loud and clear — he’s got five fundraisers coming up in the next few weeks already. His first forays come at a luncheon on Feb. 26 at the townhouse of Fluor Corp., a global engineering and construction firm. Looks like Scott has picked up on the senatorial partying habits just fine! Price for admission is up to $2,000 PAC and $1,000 personal.
Go West, Emanuel!
Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has recently seen his approval ratings suffer — only 2% of Chicagoans surveyed said they strongly approve of his performance. Although the invite merely says it’s “honoring” Emanuel, maybe the mayor should whisk himself away to the Bay Area for a dinner reception at the home of Doug and Lisa Goldman, the uber-rich founders of the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund. Attendance is $500 across the board. Perhaps the brief respite would heal his aching feelings — or maybe he just doesn’t care at all.
Fitzpatrick Tries Again — This Time With Boehner
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., hasn’t had the best of luck with partying. During the 2011 inauguration of Congress, he missed the official swearing-in ceremony to attend a reception that was possibly for fundraising. This ran afoul of certain rules in the Constitution, one of them requiring that the oath be taken within proximity of the Speaker. Well, Fitzpatrick isn’t going to let the speaker out of his sight because Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is going to be at his Feb. 27 reception at the Capitol Hill Club. Prices for admission run from $5,000 to $500.
Rubio Takes a Swig
You may have seen Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., giving the rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union — one part in particular, at least. The infamous “water bottle” incident, where Rubio awkwardly paused to quench his thirst, looked bad at first, but he’s turned this one around by selling over $100,000 in “Rubio” branded water bottles. And he’s adding to that by hosting a Feb. 27 dinner benefitting his Reclaim America PAC at Wolfgang Puck’s The Source. Attendees will have to pony up $5,000 to get in — and please, don’t slurp your water.
…And Markey’s Off!
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., the frontrunner to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by John Kerry, is officially starting the race by hosting a Kick-Off Reception on the last day of February. He’s been campaigning for several weeks, but everyone knows it’s not a race until the partying begins. Look for many more Markey fundraisers to pour in the next several weeks as this heats up. In fact, the PT database already has several lined up. The Boston-based party includes a luxurious 30-minute pre-reception, where prices rise as much as $10,000, but sticking to the normal deal only goes for $500-$100.
Christie Keeps Up the Pace
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie has been keeping a relatively active fundraising schedule, including a stint out west that included a high-profile party with Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg. And all this money-grubbing comes despite his overwhelming odds to win re-election and his already healthy pile of change. Even so, he’s showing little sign of slowing up — on Feb. 28, Christie is enlisting the help of fellow Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia for a dinner reception. The McLean, Va. event has an asking price of $3,800.
Only the intrepid will venture out to Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s latest fundraiser — three days traveling through the Alaskan tundra following the 41st Iditarod dog-sled race. Called the “Last Great Race on Earth,” the course travels over 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome, and competitors face wind chills as low as -100 degrees. And the record time to complete this event is about 8 1/2 days. Is it worth the $3,000 PAC/$1,000 personal to attend? Count us out.
Wasserman Schultz Takes You Out to the Ballgame
If you’d rather enjoy the sunny weather of Florida instead of freezing cold of Alaska, then Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz may have the fundraiser for you! She’s hosting a Spring Training Weekend to celebrate the start of America’s pastime. Unfortunately, the two teams playing are the Phillies and the Yankees, so most every baseball fan will probably be booing both teams. Either way, this weekend trip also includes a welcome reception and spa events that will be more enjoyable than seeing the Yankees play. Prices for this event run up to $5,000 for PACs and $2,500 for individuals and will benefit Wasserman Schultz’s leadership PAC, Democrats Win Seats. Is there a way for both teams to lose?
Until next time, Partiers!
(Photo credit: iStockphoto.com)Tweet
The terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad sequester is back again to wreak financial havoc on the American people. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said it would cripple our borders; Secretary of State John Kerry warned it would impair vital foreign missions; NASA officials cautioned that it would further slash their budget to about $13; and the White House itself claimed the reductions would essentially decimate the middle class. This paralyzing firestorm of automatic spending cuts — upwards of $1 trillion over the next 10 years — is set to ignite on March 1, so what Congress is doing to prevent this potential economic catastrophe?
They’re taking the week off: A quick look at the House and Senate calendars shows that both chambers have hung “Gone Fishin’“ signs on their office doors. There are plans to avert the sequester, but with only 10 days until the clock expires it may be too late. But maybe America doesn’t have to worry; Congress may just delay the self-imposed cuts, as they have done over and over (and over) again.
Unfortunately for Party Time, the Congressional break also means a break from our favorite activity. There is a lengthy valley amongst the grey peaks of the PT calendar, but some persistent lawmakers will be forging onward to generate some green. Check out the highlights below, Partiers.
Dukakis lends a hand to Brad Sherman — again
Former Massachusetts governor and 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis will be a featured guest at a Feb. 21 dinner reception for Brad Sherman, D-Calif. The pair seem to be old friends, as Dukakis has made several appearances for Sherman in the past, such as this 2008 reception and this 2011 dinner.This event is to help Sherman retire some serious debt after defeating fellow Democrat Howard Berman twice; once in the primary and again in the general election due to California’s new rule where the top two vote-getters compete — regardless of party. And Sherman sure has a hole to dig himself out of — he accrued over $800,000 worth of debt in the last cycle, and has less than $50,000 cash on hand. If you’d like to help Sherman out, contributions range from $5,000 to $500.
NRSC takes a holiday
The chills of winter seem to be getting to the NRSC, so they’re leaving the cold behind, traveling to sunny Palm Beach for their annual NRSC Winter Retreat. The destination for this weekend trip is the luxurious Breakers resort, where featured activities include deep sea fishing, golf at the Ocean Course, spa trips and more. The retreat is for PACs only, and is priced at $15,000/$5,000. However, the event has filled up completely and all rooms are sold out — maybe next year, slow pokes.
The Colbert Bump
The Rev. Sir Doctor Sen. Stephen T. Mos Def Colbert, D.F.A., Heavyweight Champion of the World, Ph.D will be stumping for his own sister in a two-part fundraising event on Feb. 22. Elizabeth Colbert Busch, or Lulu as she’s known in the Colbert household, has her eyes set on the South Carolina congressional seat vacated by Tim Scott, and her TV personality brother is hyping her on the Colbert Report and on the road. Part one involves a reception with Stephen at a private residence in New York City’s Upper West Side and is priced up to $2,600; Part two whisks you to the swanky Boulud Sud restaurant where guests will be treated to a chef’s dinner and personalized book signing, costing $5,200. No word on which Stephen Colbert will show — the Democrat, or the Republican… (Sis, BTW, is running as a Democrat.)
Weekends in winter out west in Wyoming
Wyoming is one of the most beautiful states in America, and the Tetons make a great backdrop to any fundraiser. So it’s no surprise that Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both Republicans from the Equality State, are taking advantage of their time away from Washington to throw funders out in the mountains. Enzi’s hosting a Dinner in the Tetons on Feb. 22 that features fellow Wyomingite Barrasso. It takes place at the Snake River Lodge and Spa, named after an actual river that actually looks like a snake. Tickets to the dinner cost $2,500 for PACs and $1,000 for individuals.
But something fishy is up: Sen. Barrasso is hosting his own Sixth Annual Winter Snow Fling from Feb. 22-23, the same time as Sen. Enzi’s party. Wait a minute, how could Barrasso be at both places at once? Easy — they’re both at the Snake River Lodge! It appears Barrasso will be taking a moment to help out his fellow Wyomingite, then continue on with his own weekend funder — what a party animal.
Until next time, Partiers!Tweet
Beneficiary: congressional candidate, lawmaker, or entity which collects funds raised at party
Host: person who is hosting party-often, but not always, a registered federal lobbyist
Venue Name: where the party is
Entertainment Type: type of gathering, such as "breakfast," "ski trip," "bowling"
Other Lawmakers Mentioned: lawmakers mentioned on invitation who are used as a draw for the event
Sunlight's Party Time is a project to track parties for members of Congress or congressional candidates that happen all year round in Washington, D.C. and beyond. (read more)
We also post information we receive about parties where members of Congress are expected to participate—such as convention or inaugural parties.
Since we don't hear about all the parties, you can also tell us if you know where the party is and we don't.