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Documenting the Political Partying Circuit
From the early hours of the morning until late in the evening, politicians are partying. Sunlight's PARTY TIME can help you find out who is partying, where and when.


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Government teeters on the verge of shutdown, but the fundraising must go on

Updated 10/1 at 2:43 PM

A government shutdown would sabotage the country’s economic growth, put 800,000 federal workers on furlough and further damage Congress’ standing in the eyes of their electorate at a time when approval of the legislative branch is already at an all time low. However, PT records prove that there’s one thing a shutdown would not stop:

Congressional fundraising.

‘The show must go on’ appears to be the motto for members of Congress in the days following post-midnight, when government services will start to wind down should Congress be unable to reach a budget deal. Party Time data reveals that at least seven different members have planned fundraising bashes that will occur on, or directly after, the potential shutdown.

And something tells us there’s more. Let us know (anonymously) here.

Reps. Gene Green, D-Texas, along with Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, and Lois Capps, D-Calif. all have funders scheduled for Tuesday, the very day the shutdown would go into effect.

**Update: Chabot’s fundraiser has been canceled according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Chabot’s offers PACs and other individuals a chance to enjoy a “taste of Cincinnati” with the entire Ohio Republican delegation. Truth in advertising compels us to caution that contributors may be robbed of the presence of the delegation’s top dog: Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. The Republican leader already had a fundraising retreat fall victim to budget negotiations (see below for more details), and will likely still have his hands full parlaying with Dems — not to mention his own caucus members — come Tuesday.

***Update: Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., has postponed her “Autumn Reception” scheduled to take place at the Erickson & Co. Townhouse.

Other fetes on the social docket include a $500 and up reception for longtime Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. — which will feature a bevy of the New Yorker’s congressional allies — as the 83-year-old New Yorker raises money for a race in which he does not yet have a challenger.

For those seeking a nice capstone for your weekly social calendar, Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark. has his Second Annual Trout Fishing retreat scheduled for this weekend. For $2,500 you too can join the senator at Gaston’s White River Resort in Lakeview, Ark., for a weekend of fishing tackle and trout filets — what better way to unwind from a hectic week of closing up Uncle Sam’s shop?

And then there’s what you might call the shutdown profiteers:

Healthcare ire means big bucks for pols’ campaign coffers

**Update: Roe’s fundraiser has been canceled according to a source at the Huffington Post. The never-ending debate over health care that’s causing the potential shutdown may be threatening the paydays of government workers, but, hey it’s turning out to be a money-making opportunity for some of our enterprising pols. For instance, Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., is hoping to capitalize on the furor over “Obamacare” with a Thursday fundraising breakfast.

Party Time has obtained an invitation for the bash, which will benefit the Healthcare Freedom Fund –Roe’s “new” leadership PAC, established “to help elect federal candidates seeking office to add to the debate here in Congress to establish healthcare freedom and reform,” according to the invite. The term “new” may be a stretch, as FEC filings show that HFF first registered in Sept. 2012.

The veteran and former doctor is asking for contributions from $250 to $1,000 for attendees of the party, which also features Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.

Not to be left out of the Obamacare bashing, the Koch brothers-led Americans for Prosperity — a conservative dark money group — is using the bill to stir up support for a three-pronged canvassing session just outside of the beltway in Northern Virginia. A recent e-mail from the group urges supporters to join a door-to-door canvassing effort aimed at upending healthcare overhaul, Medicaid expansion and, not so coincidentally, Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee in next month’s Virginia governor’s election.

In a fundraising countermove, Organizing for America — President Obama’s own dark money operation — sent out a similar e-mail asking for funds and urging supporters to “[pick] up a phone, [get] the facts out to friends on social media, or [show] up at your local congressional office.” Of course, clicking the helpful the link to “Add your voice” directs you to a web page asking for contributions from $15 to $1,000.

To check out the e-mails for yourself, head on over to PT’s own Tumblr. Of course, if any of our friends in the party-sphere catch wind of other Obamacare-themed fundraising efforts, do us a solid and send ‘em this way.

All work and no play

Obviously, not everyone is able to raise dough off Congress’ healthcare shenanigans.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio – the man of a thousand fundraisers — had to postpone a high-dollar retreat scheduled to take place last weekend at a posh resort in northern Virginia.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, the House Republican leader will reschedule the kickoff event for his “Capitol Program” — a fundraising campaign aimed at pulling contributions of $10,000 or more from major DC donors.

Bringing donors on a retreat is a common tactic of politicians seeking to squeeze a little more scratch out of supporters than they could at a regular, humdrum breakfast reception near Capitol Hill. The increased access that comes from spending multiple days with a member can be appealing to lobbyists and other deep-pocketed donors hoping to make their issues heard with the relevant party.

Peter, Paul and Martha

Beyonce, The Eagles and Justin Bieber are just some of the pop music superstars that have been graced by the presence of congressional funders in the past.

It appears that Democratic congressional hopeful Martha Robertson is aiming for an older, more nostalgic cadre of contributors. On Monday, the New York Dem will raise money with an exclusive performance from folk music legend Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. Yarrow is perhaps best-known for penning the whimsical 60’s hit: “Puff, the Magic Dragon.” The Robertson campaign is charging $250 to $1,000 for the event.

Unfortunately for Robertson, media interest in the event has not centered on the musical stylings of Yarrow, but rather his past conviction as a sex offender — Yarrow pleaded guilty to “taking indecent liberties with a child” in 1970. State and national GOP reps have harped on the Yarrow appearance, pressuring Robertson to disinvite the singer from the event.

The event was still on as of press time.

A giant in Hoboken

With the NFL season in full swing, the New York Giants are still in search of their elusive first win, and the offense in particular has come under fire for its poor performance in the first three games of the season.

Maybe that’s why the quarterback, Eli Manning, is testing out the political fundraising game.

The younger Manning brother will appear Monday at a benefit for Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer, where the entertainment will be — what else? — watching a football game: the 8:40 p.m. tilt between the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints.

Suggested contributions range from $500 to $1,500. While that might sound like a bit of a hefty price tag for a trip to the local sports bar, how often do you get to show off your football IQ with a real-life professional player?

An NC Insurance Commissioner in NYC?

A midtown New York City fundraiser charging contributors donors thousands for a little more than an hour of face time with a pol? It sounds like a classic Big Apple funder for a Senate or House bigwig. Not in this instance.

On Wednesday, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin will join insurance executives at a reception at Tavern 29.  For $4,000, you have the chance to join the exclusive ranks of Goodwin’s Platinum Sponsors, though it’s anyone’s best guess what that distinction will earn you.

Insurance commissioners may be an increasingly hot commodity as insurance corporations explore ways to profit from the federally-mandated state exchanges that come with the Affordable Care Act. If it ever gets funded, that is.

Till next week, partiers! Remember: government or no government, the fundraisers must go on!!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


Cigars, sushi and shooting: raising money the Washington way

Too many evening fundraisers filled with hors d’oeuvres and quiet conversation can get a little tiresome for a young, hip political donor. Thankfully, members are always coming up with innovative new events to help rake in the cash for their campaign war chests.

With the launch of Party Time’s excellent new Tumblr, we have been vigorously searching for zany new fundraising events — and our party-hearty politicians have happily obliged.

While this week’s social calendar features a plethora of picturesque funding fiestas — from a cigars and spirits reception, to an evening with pop star or a funder on the shooting range — one unhappy Florida lawmaker has provided us with a crash course in how not to party.

Scott sings the blues

Gov. Rick Scott’s fundraising woes began with news that the Florida governor had postponed the execution of an inmate on the Sunshine State’s death row. The reason? The timing conflicted with a fundraiser in honor of Attorney General Pam Bondi.  Remember folks, sometimes even the biggest party animals need to take some off.

On top of Scott’s sticky death row situation, the governor recently found himself the center of another fundraising controversy over the procurement of hunting licenses for potential donors.

Perhaps copying a page out of the playbook of Sen. David Vitter,R-La., Scott’s reelection campaign had planned a $25, 000-a-head ‘gator hunt.’ Unfortunately, alligator hunting permits are a hot commodity for hunters in the Florida swamps. The state awards its scarce number of licenses each year through a lottery system — prompting questions of how the adequate number of gator licenses were acquired for the funder.

Though Scott has since cancelled the hunt, if Sen. Vitter’s facebook is any indication, there’s nothing like a good day in the swamps for scaring up some campaign cash.

Rubio back on the hunt

The end of summer means the reappearance of familiar faces on the Washington money trail, and few are more aggressive in stocking the ole war chest than prospective 2016-ers.

As reported by Politico, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. expects to raise hundreds of thousands at his Wednesday shindig in downtown Washington. The reception will take place at Hill Country BBQ and features a bevy of high profile Republican lobbyists on its host committee.

Suggested contributions range from $1,000 to $10,000 and will benefit Rubio’s Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee benefiting both the Marco Rubio for Senate committee and Reclaim America PAC — Rubio’s leadership committee.

Strong fundraising numbers can serve a number of purposes for savvy politicians: If Rubio should pass on a 2016 White House bid, an overflowing campaign war chest could discourage presumptive challengers from entering a battle over his Senate seat. Additionally, as House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has shown, aiding other party members with a little cash can go a long way towards preserving one’s good standing among caucus compatriots.

Stogies and Spirits

If throwing down a few thousand for a barbecue sandwich doesn’t tickle your fancy, consider stopping by a high-class Cigar and Spirits reception honoring Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla.

While everyone knows that nothing kills the mood of a good par-tay like running out of booze, rest assured that Garcia’s reception will be well-stocked, as it is hosted by none other than the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers’ Association and the Distilled Spirits Council. While this is the Cigar & Pipe retailers’ first appearance in PT’s archives, the Distilled Spirits Council clearly prefers to share a cold one with Dems.

If you can’t make it, or just can’t get enough of the Florida congressman, fear not: Garcia will be holding another bash this Friday at the Erickson & Co. Townhouse.

Lundergan Grimes, ready for prime time?

While the next election for Kentucky’s Senate seat is not until November of next year, the three way race to fill the seat of Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is already in high gear with astronomical spending and bizarre attack ads.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recently gained two new feathers in her campaign cap with the news of two upcoming fundraisers featuring A-list invitees.

This Friday the Bluegrass state will receive a visit from pop star of the Black Eyed Peas, appearing on Lundergan Grimes’ behalf at a private residence. Contributions run the gamut from $100 to $2,600.

In mid October, Lundergan Grimes will make the journey to Las Vegas to party with a political star — none other than Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.


Apparently undeterred by his weak showing in polls for the New Jersey Senate race, Steve Lonegan aims to fire up his base this weekend with a little trip to the shooting range.

That’s right, a political fundraiser where you get to blast away with a variety of different firearms — all while supporting New Jersey’s Republican candidate for Senate.

Sponsored by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, the event offers different firing experiences for different levels of support. $40 will buy a contributor the chance to shoot 20 rounds from a “Savage 10.P 308,” while a $125 contribution will give you the chance to fire five rounds from the Barret M107 .50BMG.

Of course, no firearms fundraiser would be complete without a chance to try one of the event’s two “mystery rifles.”

As always, if you catch wind of other fundraisers, share them here. Party Time out.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


Congressional recess means home-state fundraisers

Now that members of Congress are on recess through Labor Day, they finally have a chance to party — and fundraise — with people in their own districts rather than the usual carousel of lobbyists and insiders that frequent Washington fundraisers.

Take Chicago Democrat Mike Quigley, who unwittingly acknowleges this irony in an invitation for an upcoming fundraiser that he calls “His First Ever Trip to Sweet Home Chicago.” Here’s what he writes:

“While I love bringing a taste of Chicago to my DC events with receptions featuring Chicago’s renowned dogs and Italian beef, the time has come for us to enjoy all that my district has to offer in ‘sweet home Chicago.’”

The Aug. 19 weekend events include a Cubs game and costs individual donors $1,500 and PAC attendees $2,500.

The summer recess also allows lawmakers a chance to headline charity fundraisers and go on resort getaways with big donors. Party leaders like House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will be taking advantage of the legislative lull by helping their congressional colleagues to rake in cash.

Other big-ticket names like Eric Cantor, R-Va., the House majority leader,  and (gasp!) Mitt Romney (Remember? He ran for president last year) also make appearances on PT’s calendar over the next two weeks, lending their names — and time — to fundraising events from Washington State to New Hampshire.

NH GOP brings in the big guns

The New Hampshire State Republican Commitee is holding two big ticket soirées inthe next two weeks. The first features none other than the former “next president of the United States.”

The Aug. 6 reception will be Romney’s first fundraising appearance since his failed presidential bid, though he did attend attend a June retreat in Utah with three GOP presidential hopefuls.

The event, which has long since sold out, will be held at a private residence in New Hampshire’s scenic Lakes Region — close to the Romney clan’s summer home in Wolfeboro. Contributions range from $250 to $1,500, with a special VIP reception with Romney available to those contributing $1,000 or more.

The following week the Granite State GOP will celebrate the Nashua, N.H. Republican Committee’s annual “Steakout” with Tea Party darling and former congressman Allen West, R-Fla. The two-part affair features a steak dinner, which will cost attendees between $60 and $150, followed by a more intimate reception with West for those willing pony up between $250 and $750.

As an addendum, PT would be remiss not to send a digital tip o’ the hat to the New Hampshire Republicans for their excellent use of puns.

Pet charities

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., are headlining fundraisers for their pet charities this month. This past weekend, Clyburn hosted his annual golf tournament that raises money for needy students; dozens of lobbyists have hit the links with Clyburn in the past. This year’s $15,000 or $20,000 sponsors include tobacco giant Altria (at $20,000), AT&T (at $15,000), Time Warner ($10,000) and FedEx and the National Association of Broadcasters, which paid $5,000 each. (Worth mentioning: Clyburn’s daughter, Mignon Clyburn, is a member (and acting chair) of the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the NAB.)

Hatch, meanwhile, headlines the annual Utah Families Foundation golf fundraiser at the Canyons Grant Summit Resort in Park City, Utah, where $20,000 sponsors have the privilege to attend a private reception with the senator. It has been historically sponsored by the pharmaceutical lobby, and this year is no exception. One sponsor is Myriad Genetics Laboratories, a major player in the biotech industry.

However, the Utah Republican will not be completely selfless this summer. Even though Hatch has claimed that this will be his final term in the ‘world’s greatest deliberative body,’ he continues to chase campaign dough with events like his first annual Sportsmen’s Retreat. The Aug. 9 getaway will benefit his leadership PAC and could be a hint that the senator still has his eyes on a Finance Committee chairmanship should the GOP take over the chamber in 2014.

Congressional heavy hitters

An appearance by a majority leader or a senior senator from California at a funding fiesta can help a lesser-known politician rake in bushels of hard cash that might have been otherwise unattainable.

Boehner has been a prolific fundraiser for his fellow Republicans in spite of discontent among conservative members of his caucus. This Tuesday, the speaker makes the journey to the stomping grounds of Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y. to appear at a reception in the New York Republican’s honor.

This is not Boehner’s first cross-country fundraising trek during a congressional recess. As noted in PT’s last recess post, the Ohioan went all the way to Anchorage, Alaska last month to appear on behalf of Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska.

Cantor and Feinstein are two other prominent members spreading their influence in their time off. Cantor will journey to Washington State Thursday for the annual Pink Flamingo Barbecue benefiting Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. The Washington conservative revealed July 12 that she is pregnant with her third child.

Feinstein, for her part, is holding a $1,000-and-up reception at her Aspen home for Sen. Tom Udall, D-Colo., something she has often done for political allies at her San Francisco abode. How convenient to have party pads in multiple states! Though, perhaps this should be expected of a senator worth at least $42 million

Celebs show up for Big Apple candidates

If hobnobbing with a room full of high-profile politicians sounds too stuffy for your liking, perhaps a celebrity appearance would persuade you to fork over some campaign dough. Two candidates for New York City office this week are holding events featuring some bold faced names.

Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, of Beastie Boys fame, will appear at a ‘drinks and music’ shindig for Daniel Squadron, a candidate for public advocate. Meanwhile Scarlett Johansson and Lena Dunham will attend a funder for city comptroller candidate Scott Stringer. The race has drawn unusually high public scrutiny this year, as disgraced former governor Eliot Spitzer has thrown his hat into the race. Apparently Dunham and Johansson do not support “client number nine.”

Klobuchar wings it in Iowa

Finally, if your ramblings take you to Clear Lake, Iowa next week, be sure to stop by the North Iowa Democrats’ 10th Annual Wing Ding for wings and remarks by Rep. Bruce Braley, D-IowaSen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, and other area pols.

Klobuchar has the distinction of being named to the The Washington Post’s short list of 2016 presidential contenders should Hillary Clinton pass. While the event is not a fundraiser, the speaking engagement allows Klobuchar to gauge support in the state that can launch — or ruin — a presidential run.

Send us those invites

Despite all of of the magnificent events listed above, Party Time’s August calendar is still relatively sparse because of the recess. So, in light of the downtick in party invitations (sad face), PT will be shifting to a biweekly schedule for our August roundups.

Unless of course you fearless lobbyists, donors and supporters flood us with events to write about! Until next time, Partiers!

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)


PT Round-up: checks, shrugs, and rock ‘n’ roll

It was a contentious week both on and off the Hill, my party compatriots. Are we in for another?

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

This year’s PT award for excellence in PAC naming goes to Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn, for his Rock City leadership PAC. Well… it would go to Corker if such an award existed.

You can personally congratulate the Tennessee senator this Wednesday evening, as you enjoy some time with Nashville songwriters at the Recording Industry Association of America’s downtown office.

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

Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio is taking his congressional fundraising efforts to the East Coast, where he will be joined by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

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!



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.

California Dreamin’

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

Despite high approval ratings, favorable polls, and a significant fundraising edge Gov. Chris Christie, R-NJ, refuses to rest on his laurels.

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)


Boehner travels to the Gem State, Harris parties with pharma pals, and Sanchez rocks out with the Rolling Stones

Good morning partiers! Who knows what this busy pre-recess week in Washington will bring, given the surprises of the last? The 2013 iteration of the farm bill was defeated Thursday, with many Democrats revoking their support over cuts to food stamps. As reported by Sunlight, this failure comes in spite of strong backing by the agricultural powers that be.

The farm bill has long been one of the few policy matters that consistently garners strong bipartisan support, and the Republican leadership’s difficulties securing the necessary votes (there were 62 Republican defectors) has added some fuel to the fire of growing conservative discontent with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

On the bright side, being House speaker does come with certain advantages, including lots of parties, and trips to places like Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. As reported by the Coeur d’Alene Press, Speaker John Boehner made the trip out to the Gem State Friday on behalf of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and the Republican National Committee. Coeur d’Alene is part of Idaho’s First District that boasts part of Boise, breathtaking views, and Republican Rep. Raul Labrador, who interestingly will not be in attendance. The congressman is known as a bit of a ‘maverick’ in the GOP and was one of the few Republican House Members to not vote for Boehner as speaker. Labrador’s office maintains that he received an invite, but was simply too busy to attend.

Thus far, PT has been unable to track down an invitation, but if you find yourself in possession an invite, send it this way.

Now on to what’s happening this week.

NYC mayoral field grows; partying doesn’t stop

Back East, the  NYC mayoral race is warming up, and the pool of candidates continues to grow. Tech guru and political independent Jack Hidary is the latest to dive in. He hosted an explicitly non-fundraising meet and greet on Thursday in San Francisco (which is practically a suburb of the Big Apple). Given Hidary’s background as a co-founder of Dice he presumably used this event to gauge the interest for his candidacy among his tech industry connects.

In other news regarding the City that Never Sleeps, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., is pressing on in his own quest for the mayor’s office. This Thursday, Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin, the former aide to Hillary Clinton, will attend a “Women for Anthony” cocktail party at the home of Democratic activist and TEDx speaker Jill Iscol. Weiner will have to dig himself out of a hole to win the female demographic, as a Quinnipiac University Poll showed a slim majority of New York women were against a Weiner comeback. The recent hubbub about his response to a voter’s lesbian slur may not help his case.

Ain’t no party like a pharmaceutical industry party

Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., will attend a rooftop terrace reception in his honor this Tuesday. The reception is to be hosted by Chris Frech and Allen Shofe who represent pharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions. Health professionals appear to be big fans of Harris, as Influence Explorer shows that contributors from this industry (which includes pharmaceuticals) has been Harris’ largest contributor of campaign cash since 2007.

If you want to join the festivities, the event is bargain-priced at only $500 for an individual , or $1,500 or $2,500 contributions for a PAC. The party will be held at the law offices of Davis & Harman LLP, which appears to be a beacon of bipartisanship in our increasingly polarized Capitol.

Gimme’ shelter

If you are bored with the endless finger food and clinking glasses of normal political fundraisers, why not join Rep. Linda Sanchez at the Verizon Center this Monday to catch the still-rocking Rolling Stones in all of their bluesy brilliance. A ticket to this once-in-a lifetime experience will cost you a $2,500 donation to the Committee to Re-Elect Linda Sanchez, which is unlikely to be much more than a normal ticket to a Rolling Stones concert.

If you find yourself tied up in a previous engagement fear not, for Sanchez appears to have a penchant for unique fundraisers (and terrible puns), including a spooky Halloween party, a night of bowling, and a “Cuatro de Mayo” party for those who just could not wait for the fifth.

Early Independence Day

Speaking of those who can’t wait for holidays, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, along with its “friends on the hill” is holding its Independence Day BBQ bash this Wednesday, June 26. There is no word yet as to whether the ribs will be of the Texan or Carolinian tradition, but if you are willing to roll the dice it will cost you a cool $1,000 to attend as a “friend” of the Committee. Bringing in $2,000 for the DSCC will earn you the haughty title of “host.”

Marine Manufacturers’ PAC stays busy

As Party Time’s records show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Boat PAC has a full plate this summer. The NMMAB PAC will host at least five different politicians’ fundraisers from June through July, including an afternoon cruise with Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) this Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, the majority of these pols hail from coastal states, though Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) somehow managed to secure a boat trip fundraiser in his honor as well.

The Marine Manufacturers may want to branch out in their event planning however, as their parties seem to always follow a consistent theme.

That’s it for this week in the political party scene. As always, at PT we depend on the kindness of strangers (and friends!) so if you come across any invites to political pahr-TAYs, please send them this way.

2014 elections Congressional leadership Uncategorized • POSTED - 06.14.13 BY Jake Harper

Summer’s here: Bikini parties, golfing and rooftop events

The world of political fundraising is capricious, Partiers. Just some of what happened in the past week: Two days before he was to appear in Boston, President Barack Obama cancelled a fundraiser for Senate hopeful Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., before flying to Miami to rake in cash for the Democratic National Committee. “Pot lover” and political activist Steve Berke is running for mayor of Miami Beach, raising money on Kickstarter to make a documentary about the process. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico was to be hosted by Dennis Crimmins, a registered sex offender, before the campaign got wind of it.  (The event is still on, though Crimmins has since been removed from the host committee.) And Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks at a D.C. reception for Markey made headlines, although at this point Biden’s utterings at such get-togethers could fall under the category of “predictably unpredictable.”

But some aspects of the game are easier to count on, like the accolades bestowed upon major supporters. On Wednesday, Obama nominated campaign bundler Keith Harper for ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Harper is responsible for bundling $500,000 in contributions for the president, though he personally donated just $1,000 according to Influence Explorer.

And Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in another display of reciprocity, spoke at a fundraising gala for the League of Conservation Voters, the environmental 501(c)4 non-profit that supported Warren’s campaign against then-Sen. Scott Brown. According to Michael Beckel of the Center for Public Integrity, the dark money group spent more than $1 million to support Warren, in addition to bundling $100,000 for her campaign.

Quite the week, folks, but enough dwelling on the past. There are plenty of upcoming events on Party Time’s calendar.

Out of the office re: Monday

The congressional calendar doesn’t always tell the truth. Though the Senate is in session Monday, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., will be hitting the golf course for his PAC, Rely On Your Beliefs (ROYB) Fund. Teeing off with the senator will cost you $1,000 to $2,000, depending on your level of sponsorship, plus whatever pride you stand to lose if you’re a duffer.

Even if you’re okay at golf, Blunt has had practice. According to our database, he’s held several golf events, including an annual fall retreat at Kiawah Golf Resort. This year’s guests will pay $5,000 to attend.

Follow up your round of golf with a relaxing cruise aboard the Finished Business for Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C. You can get on board for $250, but if you’re not too tuckered out, you can be a co-captain for $2,500! Hopefully, McIntyre will keep the number of co-captains to a minimum. More than a few people at the wheel is bound to cause some seasickness among the passengers.

Secrets are no fun

The Republican National Committee is hosting a briefing session Tuesday with three of its top staffers: Chief of Staff Mike Shields, Political Director Chris McNulty and Chief Technology Officer Andy Burkett. The contact person for the event did not respond to a request for more information on the topic of discussion, so it looks like you’ll have to pay the $15,000 to find out.

Later that evening, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., will hold a $500 ‘telecom dinner,’ whatever that is. The campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry — “What’s the difference between a telecom dinner and a dinner?” — nor did the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who sends the invites for telecom dinners, and the contact person for the event declined to comment.

Secrets about telecommunications are just trending lately, we suppose.

Regional Cuisines

If you’re hungry, Wednesday evening has a lot to offer. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, who’s running for Senate, is offering a Taste of Iowa reception, featuring Iowa beers, Iowa cheeses, Iowa candy and more! And you can take it all in from a rooftop near Union Station.

Or you can practice your Italian accent with Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., at his Italian Style Reception, a biannual tradition of sorts for the congressman, held at a Capitol Hill townhouse. (The invite is a little unclear — Pascrell might be displaying the latest in fashionable outerwear, but our guess is that guests will be chomping down on spaghetti and chicken parmesan.)

Down with the coins!

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is going well beyond the aims of Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny with his “End-of-Quarter” Lunch. It’s a bold stance to take, but for a senator who mostly sees money coming in checks of $500 or more, it sort of makes sense. A quarter costs 11.4 cents to make, and a dollar is 5.6 cen–

What? What’s that? He’s just celebrating the end of June?

Well, nevermind, folks. It’s just another humdrum $500 to $5,000 meal.

Itsy Bitsy

Swimsuit season is finally here! Over the weekend, Illinois Republican state Rep. Barbara Wheeler will hold the Teeni Weeni Bikini Martini Partini–ahem, Party, in Crystal Lake, Ill.  According to the invite, sponsorship levels range from $250 (one piece) to $1,000 (speedo), and bikinis are recommended. Guests can expect to enjoy tunes from Potts & Pans and Steve Farst, in addition to the food and drinks provided by the campaign.

That’s your peek at the events of the week! As always, send your invites our way. Until next time, Partiers!


Record-setting NRCC party, Rep. Patrick Murphy parties like a teenage girl, Markey hits the ATM

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.


Snowquester gently glides through D.C., leaves funders in its wake

“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.

The PT calendar has some great parties coming up next week; hopefully the light showers forecast for Tuesday won’t derail the nation’s capital again.

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:

  • Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is celebrating with a March 12 “Reception for 2014 Campaign Kick-Off” at home base, the NRSC. Prices go up to $2,000/PAC and $1,000/personal.
  • Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., is adding some Republican star power to his March 13 “Campaign Kick-Off and Dinner.” On the guest list is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., John Thune, R-S.D., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan. That’s a lot of red. And Inhofe is expecting a lot of green — prices cost $5,000/PAC and $2,500/personal.
  • Later that same day, all of these Republican senators (except Barrasso) will be back to support the “Kick-Off Reception” of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. They won’t be the only people at this NRSC event, however; several corporations such as Raytheon, Boeing, Marriott and a host of well-known lobbyists like Doyce Boesch and Ginger Loper are all hosting the event. It’s going to be quite the soiree. Prices hit $5,000/PAC and $2,600 personal.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham will be opening his campaign with a “Team Graham Kick-Off Lunch” on March 13. Though he won’t have any special guests (that we know of), the price for admission rises to $10,000 to co-chair. Is he worried about a Tea Party challenger? His price points say so.
  • CHC Bold PAC, benefitting the Hispanic Caucus, will be holding its March 13 “Spring Kick-Off Reception” at Comcast’s offices just blocks from the Capitol. With immigration at the forefront of Congress, they could be bulking up to promote their perspective on the issue. Prices are TBD.

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 Commons


Party season returns, even if spring seems far away

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.

Murkowski Mushes
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:


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.