If you followed Party Time on Twitter (and you should!), you would have known about the fundraising monstrosity that is the Annual NRCC March Summit and Dinner. With asking prices stretching up to $100,000, it’s no surprise that the event picked up a staggering $12 million last year, but this year the NRCC surpassed that by raking in an astronomical $14.4 millions dollars! To put it in perspective, that’s more than the NRCC raised in the past three months, and almost seven times more than what the NRSC raised for the entire month of February! What could you do with all that money? If you were living in 1803, you could more or less snatch up the Louisiana Purchase. What a steal!
According to the invite obtained by PT, the 2013 installment of this esteemed financial tradition featured all the big guns, such as House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker headlined the festivities as keynote speaker. It was an all-day event, including a luncheon and political panels at Hotel Monaco, photo ops with several high-profile House GOP members, a dinner at the National Building Museum and even an after-party.
The House GOP dinner acted as one last hurrah before the two-week long congressional spring break, which starts today. The PT calendar reflects the vacation with a noticeable drop-off in events over that time, but some Congress members remain steadfast in their party-hard ways. Check out the highlights below.
Markey Leaving His Mark
Even though almost every liberal group in the world is endorsing Mass. Rep. Ed Markey for the Democratic Senate seat vacated by John Kerry, he’s not letting up on his torrid fundraising pace. He’s continuing the campaign in the ATM state of California, where he’ll be the beneficiary of a Sunday Evening Reception featuring singer-songwriter Carole King. You might know King from her 1971 Grammy-winning album Tapestry, or when she absolutely killed it in the seminal 1979 film “Dynamite Johnson.” Either way, guests are in for a treat. The private event takes place at the Bel Air home of Cindy and Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios. Prices to co-host are $5,200, to attend $2,600. No word on whether King will perform songs like “It’s Too Late,” which older people have assured PT was indeed a hit in the 1970s.
Patrick Murphy Really, Really Enjoys Birthdays… Really
Freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., is turning 30 next week, and he wants literally everyone to know about it. He’s having at least three separate parties over the course of four days next week, all of which are billed as his “30th Birthday Party.” The natal anniversary celebration starts with a Wednesday night Miami Beach party, with prices climbing to $5,200. The very next day guests will once again sing “Happy Birthday” for Murphy in Fort Lauderdale at another $5,200 bash. And on Saturday, March 30 (Murphy’s actual birthday), he’ll have annoyed supporters buy yet another cake for a Miami party hosted by Universal American Mortgage Company head Jimmy Timmons. Again, donation levels reach $5,200.
So why is Murphy turning his birthday into a weird 30-year-old version of a “Sweet 16″ and acting like an overprivileged teenage girl? It turns out that he’s one of the most vulnerable House Democrats in 2014, and needs all the monetary help he can get. Murphy barely won in 2012, narrowly defeating Republican Allen West in what has been called the “Dirtiest Race in America” — for proof of that, just Google “Patrick Murphy” and see what picture shows up on the side (for those who can’t see, it’s not exactly a Congressional portrait). That mug shot’s from a West attack ad last year, and Murphy will need money to compete with whatever the GOP throws at him in the next election. Just try not to let them catch you wearing this, Patrick — you might not be able to recover.
ICYMI – March Madne$$ funders
There are several other funders happening this week in PT, all of them related to the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Lawmakers including Reps. Ducth Ruppersberger, D-Md., James Moran, D-Va., Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., are all throwing parties at Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games, some costing up to $5,000. If you want more info on these March Madness parties and more, check out the post PT wrote up earlier this week. Or listen to the dulcet tones of Sunlight’s own Kathy Kiely talk about these events on NPR’s Marketplace.
Until next time, Partiers.Tweet
“Daddy, Mommy — where were you when the legendary snowquester hit?”
This is a question literally no one will ever be asked. Left with a grand total of zero inches of snow, Washington crumbled in the cruel wake of what could only be described as a pounding hard drizzle with an absolute torrent of breezy snow flurries. As always, D.C. proved its renowned wimpiness by shutting down everything, including the federal government, the second those fear mongers at the Capital Weather Gang mentioned the word “snow.” It even prompted several lawmakers to postpone their most sacred duty — fundraising, of course. At least three Washington area parties were rescheduled, including those of Reps. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Jim Himes, D-Conn. (note the time change at the top of each invite). One thing the snowquester (ugh) didn’t stop was Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., filibustering — excuse me, filiblizzarding (double ugh) – Obama’s nominee for CIA Director, John Brennan. Paul put on an inspiring display of inefficiency, holding the Senate floor for over 12 hours to question the legitimacy of America’s drone program. But that’s not all — the National Republican Senatorial Committee even took advantage of this display of moral principle to collect some cash on the side. We here at Party Time say “bravo” to that.
Spitzer Stumps for Markey
Senate hopeful Ed Markey, D-Mass., has become a staple in the PT database as the race to fill John Kerry’s seat heats up. Now he’s enlisting the help of Eliot Spitzer to raise some necessary cash for his campaign. Spitzer and his long-suffering (to put it mildly) wife, Silda, are listed as hosts for a March 13 reception at his sister Emily’s house. This association has come under fire from the GOP, which suggests that Markey shouldn’t pair up with the disgraced Spitzer, who lost his job as New York governor after an earlier visit to Washington that didn’t work out quite so well. Markey’s campaign has held firm about the event, however, retorting: “If the Massachusetts GOP really cared about campaign finance issues they would take its potential nominees to task for refusing to sign the people’s pledge.” The reference is to a proposed deal to bar the use of funds from outside groups like super PACs. Tickets to the event run from $5,000 to $500.
Markey will also be the beneficiary of a March 11 reception at Regis College. He’ll be seeking votes in the wealthy town of Weston, Mass. — among the 100 most affluent towns (with at least 1,000 households) in the entire nation, in fact. Sounds like a great place to party! Tickets to this event run from $5,200 to just $100.
The Billionaire and the Bubba
Terry McAuliffe, who’s running as a Democrat for Virginia governor, partnered with Bill Clinton just last week to fundraise, and now they’re already back at it. The home of hedge fund billionaire Marc Lasry in New York City is the spot for this March 13 reception, where Clinton’s former Chief Advisor Doug Band will also be hosting. Turns out that all these guys are longtime friends: Band, Clinton and McAuliffe have all worked together for the Dems, while Lasry has opened his home for multiple blue funders that Clinton and others have attended. It’s been effective in the past, so it’s no surprise they’re performing an encore. Prices are TBD for this one, so if you’ve got the details let us know by uploading it here!
Campaign Kick-Off Craze
Springtime is often seen as a time of rebirth or new beginnings, and since it’s right around the corner, what better symbolic time to hold a campaign’s first funder! PT’s got a grand total of five parties next week with the word “kick-off” in the title. Without further ado, let’s kick off this list of kick-offs:
After all those kick-offs, it seems lawmakers need a new way to say that. At least Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., used the word “debut” for a March 14 luncheon benefitting his brand new “Healthcare Freedom Fund.” Located at Republican hotspot the Capitol Hill Club, this meal runs anywhere from $5,000 to $500.
Legislative Ladies Do Lunch
It’s appropriate that today, International Women’s Day, PT covers Rep. Terri Sewell’s 2nd Annual Ultimate Ladies’ Power Lunch on March 14. She’s teaming up with special guest Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to celebrate the women in Congress and around the country. It’s taking place at the Credit Union House, owned by every statewide credit union trade association. Tickets for lunch cost up to $5,000/PAC and $2,500/personal. But wait — is Sewell skirting the laws of “annual?” She’s also hosting an event billed as a “2nd Annual Ultimate Ladies’ Power Lunch” today! This one is in her home state Alabama and features Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., costing only $1,000 to $100 for entry. Two “annual” lunches in one week? What gives, Terri?
Catsimatidis Crowds the Theaters
In this week’s unusual department, NYC Republican mayoral candidate, and supermarket/oil billionaire, John Catsimatidis has brought some innovation to the partying game. He spent upwards of $60,000 buying up all the tickets to 10 performances of “The Little Flower,” a one-man show by Tony Lo Bianco about former New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Catsimatidis is giving away all the tickets to schools, senior centers and GOP groups — but is turning one of them into a fundraiser (which show is still unknown). The reason for this play: “About six, seven years ago, [the] first time I saw the play, it inspired me and I said, ‘I want to become mayor and make the difference in this city the way Fiorello LaGuardia made,’” said Catsimatidis. PT has certainly never seen anything like this.
Until next time, Partiers!
Photo credit: Rehman Abubakr/Wikimedia CommonsTweet
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
Unless you live under a rock and/or are dead, you know the 47th Super Bowl takes place this weekend! Whether you’re “Kaepernicking” in support of the 49ers (hint: You’re not) or swear by the Ravens’ so-intense-he-can’t-even-keep-the-drool-in-his-mouth Ray Lewis, the “Harbowl” is shaping up to be a classic. Party Time is usually pumped up for the big game because it can be a hotbed for political fundraisers, yet this year we’ve had no such luck — not a single Super Bowl event! If you’ve got the scoop on one please let us know by uploading it here!
So, what’s the PT pick for the next NFL champion? We’re going with the 49ers, because QB Colin Kaepernick isn’t just playing for NFL prestige, the Vince Lombardi trophy or even a trip to Disney World — he’ll get free Red Robin FOR LIFE if he wins. With all the gourmet burgers and bottomless steak fries he can eat as motivation, Joe Flacco and the birds have got no chance.*
Stockman Shakes Things Up
Boy, Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, sure is shaking things up in his return to Congress. The ultra-conservative first voted against John Boehnor, R-Ohio, for House Speaker, then threatened to impeach President Obama over potential gun regulations, comparing him to Saddam Hussein. After making enemies on both sides of the aisle, he thinks now is a good time to start fundraising. Stockman’s holding a reception on Feb. 4 at The Monocle near Capitol Hill that will run PACs $2,000/$1,000 and guests $1,000/$500.
Cornyn’s Birthday BBQ
The new senior Senator of Texas, Republican John Cornyn, has also been making waves in Washington recently. He’s holding firm against immigration reform, was one of only three to vote against new secretary of state John Kerry, and is leading the charge against former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary. Democrats claim Cornyn is on “Cruz-control,” being heavily influenced by freshman Tea Party sweetheart Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the hopes of avoiding a primary challenge in 2014. Will supporters buy into this new even more conservative version of Cornyn? Will inside-the-beltway donors care either way? We’ll see at his Birthday BBQ Kick-Off Reception, where PACs are expected to shell out as much as $5,000 and individuals as much as $2,500.
Cornyn will be busy the next day fundraising, but not for himself. Along with fellow Republican Sens. John Barrasso, Wyo., John Thune, S.D., Roy Blunt, Mo., and Jerry Moran, Kan., Cornyn will be out in support of their boss, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The so-called “Bluegrass Committee” is holding a $1,000 reception benefitting McConnell’s leadership PAC on friendly grounds, the offices of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Mitch must be awfully worried about 2014 — this is his seventh fundraiser since the election just a couple months ago.
1st High-Dollar Event of 2013 Is Here
While the NRSC rents out its building to McConnell, it will be generating some green of its own with a dinner at the Caucus Room. Newly-minted NRSC Chairman Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., will be attending, as will finance chair Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and up-and-comer Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. The event is hosted by lobbying powerhouse Akin Gump, which contributed almost $900,000 to political candidates this past election, and they’re expecting big bucks in return: A suggested maximum of $15,000 per PAC, and a minimum of $2,500 for individuals.
Dems Get 2014 Campaigns Underway
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., could face a tough battle for re-election in 2014 as a blue politician in an increasingly red state. But she isn’t going into the fight unprepared, as recent financial filings indicate that Landrieu has over $2.5 million in her coffers. Yet she isn’t content with that, throwing a fundraising luncheon on Feb. 6 at the offices of law/lobbying firm Baker Donelson in D.C. The food better be delicious, as the event is $2,500 to host, $1,000 to attend.
Another Democrat running in 2014 is Colorado Sen. Mark Udall. But his event isn’t exactly your typical political fundraiser (e.g. reception at a restaurant on Capitol Hill) — it’s an annual weekend skiing retreat at Vail, one of the nation’s premier (and most extreme) mountain resorts. It’s a nice trip away from the city, you could say. But it’s not so uncommon for Udall, who has climbed all 54 mountains in Colorado with peaks above 14,000 feet. Yikes. If you want to take on those double blacks (or stick to the bunny hills…) it’ll cost $5,000/PAC and $2,500/individual.
Kirk’s Triumphant Return
It was a little over one year ago that Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., suffered a stroke that put not only his job but his life in jeopardy. But last month, Kirk valiantly climbed the steps of the Capitol, signifying his return to Washington. Now PT has obtained an invite to a reception that signifies his swift return to fundraising as well. The event will cost $2,500/$1,000 for PACs and $1,000/$500 for individuals. Welcome back, Senator.
So there it is, your weekly fundraising roundup. Enjoy the big game on Sunday – but don’t get too invested in the festivities, because this one might already be decided by — if opinion polls reflect reality – God. Maybe he could spend a little less time on sports, and a little more time in Washington.
Until next time, Partiers!
*UPDATE: We were wrong.Tweet
When the going gets tough, the politicians get going. From both sides of the aisle, legislators are taking advantage of the summer recess to fundraise in more exotic locations than their usual haunts around the Beltway. While a completely comprehensive list is not available, more than two dozen events in the Party Time database are scheduled over the next few weeks. It’s no secret that most legislators are using the opportunity to show off the best of their home states–at upscale resorts, sporting events and cocktail parties– at least to donors willing to pay top dollars.
Many Republicans will be heading out to the Wild West as they gear up for weekends of fishing and golf in the great outdoors. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, will be hosting his annual “Hook ‘N Bullet” fundraiser for his Freedom Fund PAC at Silver Springs Angus Ranch in Idaho. Invitees are encouraged to “enjoy horseback riding, fly fishing, trap shooting…and the best BBQ in the west” for a price tag of $2,500 per person.
Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., will also be fundraising in his home state for his Making Business Excel PAC. A “Day in the Tetons”, including fly-fishing and dinner, will set invitees back $2,500 per person, or $1,000 for dinner only.
In contrast, most Democrats will be heading to the cooler climates of the Northeast. Rep. Bill Keating, D-Mass., is hosting a weekend trip to Nantucket. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., is planning a “Newport Summer Weekend”, including a private dinner at a “historic Newport Mansion” and a boat cruise. A pair of tickets will cost $2,500.
However, Republicans haven’t claimed all of the fundraising West of the Mississippi. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will be heading back to Nevada for a “Lake Tahoe Retreat”. For a $10,000 contribution, you can help Reid with the effort to reelect Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., as they battle for their seats in 2012. Donations will go to the Searchlight Tahoe Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee benefitting Nelson and Whitehouse.Tweet
T. Boone Pickens, billionaire industrialist and big Republican donor, is hosting a fundraiser tomorrow evening in Rancho Santa Fe, California, in honor of Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif. Pickens does not have top billing however. That honor goes to Speaker of the House, John Boehner, R-Ohio.
The fact that the Speaker is featured as an invitee to the Pickens-hosted fundraiser is what is particularly interesting about this invitation. As Politico reported today, Pickens has recently been involved in a public feud with the Koch brothers over the passage of H.R. 1380, a bill that would give tax breaks to the natural gas industry.
Pickens, who has been touting his “Pickens Plan” for American energy independence since 2008, owns a leading natural gas company and would stand to benefit significantly from the bill. For its part, Koch Industries claims to be against government subsidies that undermine the principles of free-market capitalism. Since the feud began, Republican members of congress have found themselves having to choose between two very influential Republican donors.
Rep. Bilbray is one of the co-sponsors of H.R. 1380. He is no stranger to the natural gas industry having received over $42,000 from Sempra Energy, a natural gas company headquartered just outside of Bilbray’s congressional district.
UPDATE: Party Time found that Boehner did not attend the scheduled fundraiser over the weekend and changed the headline to reflect this.Tweet
With the end of the second quarter on the horizon, lawmakers are scheduling more than the usual number of fundraisers to get in as much campaign cash as they can before June 30. Party Time has received 162 invitations to congressional fundraisers scheduled for the last ten days of June.
These events run the gamut from the usual dinners and receptions to Rep. Rush Holt’s, D-N.J., 7th Annual Jeopardy Event. Attendees of the event will have to pay at least $250 for the honor of being bested by 5-time Jeopardy Champion Holt, a man who has even beaten IBM supercomputer Watson.
For those more interested in outdoor competition, two senators and their leadership PACs will be hosting golf events. On June 20, Sen. Richard Bur, R-N.C., and his Next Century PAC will be hitting the links at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainsville VA. The price to tee off will range from $1,000 to $2,5000. From June 24 to June 26, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., will be on the greens at the Harbourtown Golf Course in St. Michaels, Maryland. Contributions will run $5,000 and be made to Cardin’s leadership PAC, LEGPAC.
Less than a month after her victory in the special election for New York’s 26th district, Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., will be the beneficiary of a fundraiser for her 2012 re-election campaign. The fundraiser will be held on June 21 at the home of fellow New York Democratic representative Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. Also present at the event to welcome Hochul into the fold will be freshmen Democratic representatives Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Terri Sewell, D-Ala. Listed contributions start at $250 and top out at $5,000.
Democrats will also be fundraising for another candidate in a special congressional election. A reception benefitting Janice Hahn, the Democrat in the special election to replace Jane Harman of California, is scheduled at the Democratic National Headquarters on June 22. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is headlining the event along with the Democratic house leadership including Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. The invitation lists nineteen Democratic members of the California congressional delegation who will be there in support of the candidate as well.Tweet
[This post has been corrected; see note below] Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the nephew of California real estate magnate Angelo K. Tsakopoulos, will be fundraising for Sacramento area congressman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., tomorrow night, according to an invitation received by Party Time.
Angelo K. Tsakopoulos and his wife Sofia, together the fourth biggest contributors to federal candidates in 2008, gave over 95 percent of this bounty to Democrats. His nephew Angelo G., also a real estate developer, is a GOP donor — albeit on a much lower plane that his father. He and his wife Katerina appear to be letting Lungren, a conservative who challenged Boehner for Minority Leader in 2008, use their Carmichael, Calif. home to fundraise for his re-election bid.
Angelo G. has given about $7,500 to Lungren since 2003. His uncle has given the conservative lawmaker $3,200, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Members of the Tsakopoulos family, including Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis — appointed by President Obama to be ambassador to Hungary – have given $58,000 to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., from 1990 to 2004, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics (Angelo G. has not been among them). Boehner would replace Pelosi if the Republicans take the House in November.
According to news reports, Pelosi calls herself a friend of the Tsakopoulos family and her husband has benefited from real estate ventures with ATK Development, the company founded by Angelo Tsakopoulos. Eleni was ATK’s president before becoming an ambassador. Paul Pelosi Jr. has raked in between $1.4 million and $9 million from his real estate partnership with ATK Development, financial disclosure forms show.
The Speaker even attended Eleni’s Senate confirmation hearing last year, saying, “My husband and I are here as friends and admirers of the Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis family,” the Washington Times reported, referring to Markos Konalakis, the former publisher of the Washington Monthly, who is Eleni’s husband.
There is yet another well-heeled member of the Tsakopoulos clan: Eleni’s brother Kyriakos, who was on Obama’s national fundraising team and bundled between $50,000 and $100,000 for the presidential race, according to CRP.
Since 1989, Angelo has given over $12 million to federal and state candidates’ campaigns and members of the family have given over $600,000 to the Democratic Congressional Committee. (To search for campaign contributions, go to TransparencyData.com.)
As for Lungren, who gets more contributions from the real estate sector than any other, the Tsakopoulos family has contributed over $21,000 to the congressman since 2003. Lungren’s race leans in his favor, according to the Cook Political Report. However, his Democratic opponent Ami Bera has out-raised the veteran lawmaker, according to CRP.
Boehner is listed as a “special guest” on the invitation to the reception, taking place at the Tsakopoulos’s home. The “minimum contribution” to attend the reception is $250 while donors can snap a photo with the minority leader for $1,000.
To view upcoming fundraisers for members of the Congressional leadership, click here. You can also sign up to receive email alerts when we receive invitations for Congressional leadership by providing us your email address here.
Correction: The original post incorrectly stated that the Dan Lungren fundraiser was being held at the home of top Democratic donors Angelo and Sofia Tsakopoulos. In fact, the event is being held at Angelo’s nephew’s home, named Angelo G. Tsakopoulos, who is not a Democatic donor. Angelo G. has given more campaign contributions to Republicans than Democrats. A call made to the elder Tsakoupoulos for confirmation was not returned.
The initital post had said that Angelo Tsakopoulos had contributed $4,400 to Dan Lungen in the 2010 cycle. In fact, Angelo K. has given $1,000 and Angelo G. has given $3,400.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.