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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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PT Round-up: Alison Lundergan Grimes goes to N.Y.C., President Obama hits up donors in Minneapolis, New Hampshire Republicans have dueling fundraisers

Here we are, party people, deep into June of a midterm election year, which can only mean one thing: as the humidity keeps climbing, so does the tally of political fundraisers.

Local and federal politicians are busy bees this week, partying all over the map, from New York to Colorado to Utah to Iowa. But even in the midst of this far-and-wide fundraising, one invite did manage to catch our eye and pique our interest. Illinois Rep. Bill Foster – Democrat by affiliation, physicist by trade – wants his donors to learn the art and physics of trapeze during a fundraiser event on June 25. Details are scarce, but we do know that tickets run from $500 to $5,000 for this D.C. event.

And that leads right into our regular Party Time refrain: Send us the goods! If you’ve heard of an event or have an official invite, email us or use our handy (and confidential) upload feature. If you know of extra details – dinner menus! Attendee lists! Pictures! – send them right here.

And now, for your week in parties.

Cash for cocktails
Before her last fundraiser, Alison Lundergan Grimes promised to talk to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., about coal and fossil fuels. But as the Kentucky Senate candidate and the Majority Leader partied at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Grimes never said the word “coal,” according to leaked audio from the event.

While political insiders are trying to ferret out the source of the leak, Grimes preps for another high-dollar fundraiser, this one at the see-and-be-seen Waverly Inn in Manhattan’s West Village. Monday’s cocktail party gives Grimes some face time with well-heeled donors who can shell out $2,600 per person, as well as hosts/mega Dem donors/Hollywood heavyweights Jeffrey Katzenberg and Harvey Weinstein. Katzenberg last hosted a fundraiser for Grimes in January in Los Angeles, but PT data show this is Weinstein’s first shindig for the Kentuckian.

Dems celebrate July Fourth in June
Democrats may have the majority in the Senate, but it’s a razor-thin margin. Number crunchers posit that the GOP can gain control, making those tight races (see: Louisiana, Colorado, Arkansas, etc.) even more crucial for Dems to hold onto.

Enter the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the group tasked with keeping the Senate in the blue column. And in order to accomplish that, everyone knows that means one thing: get ready for some fundraisers! According to PT’s records, the DSCC has benefited from 12 parties in 2014, and, perhaps more importantly, often boasts big-name attendees like President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

On Tuesday evening, the group keeps up the partying (but minus any specific special guests) with a decidedly Americana get-together on the grounds of Capitol Hill’s Mott House. The Fourth of July is still a few days away, but no matter – the DSCC is throwing an Independence Day Summer BBQ, with tickets going for $1,000 to $2,000 a pop.

Obama parties in Minneapolis
The DSCC’s counterpart for the House, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has an even harder job this cycle, seeing as Democrats need to snag 17 seats to get a majority. President Obama also vowed to help the DCCC’s fundraising efforts, headlining a handful of pricey parties this year in the hopes of inspiring deep-pocketed donors to write fat checks.

Come Thursday evening, there’s another partying opportunity for the DCCC. Obama bundlers Sylvia and Sam Kaplan – he founded law firm Kaplan Strangis & Kaplan P.A. in 1978, and was Obama’s ambassador to Morocco in 2009 – are hosting an expensive reception and dinner at their Minneapolis home, where donors can throw down as much as $32,400 per couple. Obama, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel will all be on hand to gin up support for House Dems.

Granite State GOPers throw two part-ays
The Republican primary in New Hampshire’s 2nd District House race pits a retired Marine against a harpist, and yes, you read that right.

Marilinda Garcia, musician-turned-professor-turned-state-representative-turned-U.S.-House-candidate, is getting nods from across the Republican spectrum. The Republican National Committee named her a “rising star” last year, ShePAC endorsed her in May, and the Club for Growth just announced it was backing her run. Jarhead (he’s still in the Marine Reserves) Gary Lambert, a former state senator and small business owner, has support from veterans’ groups, but isn’t getting the same kind of national attention that Garcia is. But Sunlight’s Influence Explorer tool shows that, so far, Lambert is winning the money race: He has almost $200,000 more cash on hand than Garcia.

The two candidates are hoping to bump up their bottom lines this week with a pair of fundraisers. Lambert will be partying at the Nashua Country Club Wednesday evening, with tickets capping out at $3,500 per person. On Saturday, Jerry Gappens, the VP of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, throws a shindig at his racetrack for Garcia.

Lambert and Garcia will face of in September’s primary, with the winner going up against Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, a first-term Democrat who was a state-level lobbyist before coming to Capitol Hill. Politico recently reported that the National Republican Congressional Committee will target Kuster and 16 other House Democrats in an $18 million ad buy this fall.

Tea party parties on
Last, but certainly not least, is a Thursday evening party for the Sevier County Tea Party. The Tennessee-based group is throwing an America’s Last Stand get-together headlined by former Gov. Sarah Palin, former Rep. Allen West, former Sen. Rick Santorum, various media personalities, and this bald eagle. The forecast calls for rain, but no worries: Organizers moved the party from a stadium to the Sevierville Convention Center.

And that’s your week in parties, friends! Let us know what you’ve heard about and what we’ve missed by emailing us or uploading invites here.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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PT Round-up: Jeb Bush parties in Ohio, Barack Obama does two fundraisers in New York, Christian conservatives go big in D.C.

Party people, we hope you rested up this weekend, because wowzers, do we have a full week of fundraisers for you. Folks with an eye on 2016 are coming out of the woodwork for some tactical party appearances, and some politicians from yesteryear are popping up, too, lending their name to invites for allies in need of an extra boost. Former President Bill Clinton, for example, is headlining a lunch on Monday in New York for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and then helping out longtime political buddy Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday at an event in Chicago.

But the best example might be a couple of parties that bookend the week. Bob Dole, a GOP presidential candidate in 1996, a vice presidential candidate in 1976 and a longtime senator from Kansas, throws a party Monday for North Carolina GOP Senate candidate Thom Tillis. The lunch will be held at law firm Alston & Bird, where Dole serves as special counsel.

Fast-forward to Friday, when Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., heads to Iowa for a pair of events benefiting that state’s Democratic Party. O’Malley, who makes no secret of his presidential aspirations, will attend the Hall of Fame Celebration Friday evening and then deliver the keynote during Saturday’s State Convention.

It’s a jam-packed week, but what are we missing, faithful partiers? If you’ve heard of something good out there, you know what to do. Email us tips, suggestions and newspaper clippings, or upload official invites right here. And it’s totally confidential, so you can feel comfortable sharing.

With that, here are this week’s highlights!

GOP in N.Y.C.
A batch of House Republicans and a group of congressional hopefuls gather together on Monday at the super swanky New York Palace for a fundraiser. The National Republican Congressional Committee’s leadership – Reps. Lynn Westmoreland, Ga., Steve Stivers, Ohio, Ann Wagner, Mo., and Roger Williams, Texas – and House heavyweights Reps. Peter Roskam, Ill., Pete Sessions, Texas, Darrell Issa, Calif., and Ed Royce, Calif., will all be on hand for the afternoon meet and greet.

The fundraiser benefits the NRCC, but it also provides some of that all-important face time among established GOPers and candidates hoping to make their way to Capitol Hill this year. The invite lists Virginia’s Barbara Comstock, Florida’s Carlos Curbello, Arkansas’ French Hill, West Virginia’s Evan Jenkins, Arizona’s Martha McSally and Massachusetts’ Richard Tisei as attendees. Not surprisingly, these six nominees are all identified, through the NRCC’s Young Guns program, as promising candidates in their respective districts.

Jeb Bush + Ohio = hmmm…
November 8, 2016, is still 876 days away but it’s never too early to hobnob with swing state voters. Just ask Jeb Bush.

The former governor of Florida, and oft-mentioned GOP presidential candidate, travels to Ohio on Monday evening for a private fundraising event for the Republican National Committee. Bush will chat up RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Ohio’s own Sen. Rob Portman, as well as the well-heeled Ohioans able to afford the admission: Tickets range from $1,000 to $64,800 for the multipart event (the invite promises a roundtable discussion, photos, a reception and then dinner).

Ohio, with its history of selecting the president and those crucial 18 Electoral College votes, is always a big player every four years. And Bush’s stop in the Buckeye State is just the latest of his notable overtures toward key states – last month, he threw two parties in Florida for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.

Obama logs more frequent flier miles
After his weekend jaunt to sunny SoCal for a pricey fundraiser, UCI’s commencement ceremony and a Palm Springs getaway, President Barack Obama returns to the White House Monday evening. But don’t unpack that suitcase, Barry! You hit the road Tuesday for a set of fundraisers in New York.

First up, the N.Y.C. home of Anna Wintour, Vogue editor and fundraiser host extraordinaire for Obama’s 2012 campaign. A seat at the dinner benefiting the Democratic National Committee goes for up to $32,000.

The Partier-in-Chief then hops over to Gotham Hall where he will headline another DNC event, this one billed as an LGBT Gala. According to Politico, a note that went out to potential gala attendees heralded Obama’s stance on gay rights to get people to come out for the party … and bring their checkbooks. “From hospital visitation rights, to workplace protections for transgender federal employees, to supporting marriage equality, we have so much to be proud of – and so much at stake in 2014,” the note reads.

More Dems pumped for Hillary
Hillary Clinton continues her slow-burn flirtation with a presidential run in 2016, making campaign-like stops as she promotes and signs her latest manuscript, “Hard Choices.” (Last week, Party Time looked at her fundraiser schedule as she embarked on her book tour.) But she’s already in hot water about some comments she made about marriage equality as well as her and Bill Clinton’s financial situation once they left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in 2000.

Most pundits agree that the cross-country book tour will help Clinton determine if she wants to launch another run for the White House. But as Clinton figures out if she’s ready to run, supporters keep lining up – and writing checks – encouraging her to do so.

On Wednesday, Minnesota jumps on the bandwagon with a kickoff party for its arm of the Clinton-supporting super PAC Ready for Hillary. The invite name-checks Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Rick Nolan and a handful of state-level politicians as attendees at the fundraiser.

On Thursday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., dives into the fray with a high-dollar event at the D.C. home of Edie Frasier, a philanthropist and businesswoman. Tickets to the party are $250 or $2,500, a departure for Ready for Hillary events, which usually ask for a contribution of $20.16. (Although this may just be the beginning of a new trend: The last few Ready for Hillary events have been on the pricier side.)

Christie, Cantor speak to Christian conservatives
Christian conservatives converge in Northwest D.C. starting Thursday morning for three-days of fist pumping and chest thumping. The annual Faith and Freedom Coalition get-together, this year called the Road to Majority, features the usual suspects (Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., Rep. Steven King, R-Iowa, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., etc.) and 2016 GOP hopefuls (Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, etc.).

And Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., will also be on hand to give a talk on Friday. It’s the second time in recent months that Christie, consistently on the short list of potential presidential candidates in ’16, has given a very public bear hug to Christian conservatives: In March, he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Christie follows up his Friday talk with a quick trip up to New Hampshire for a fundraiser for Walt Havenstein, who is running for governor in the Granite State.

But wait a minute, is that Rep. Eric Cantor listed as a speaker, too? Indeed, the House majority leader turned primary contest victim will speak on Thursday evening during a congressional reception, event organizers confirmed to Party Time. And it won’t be the first time Cantor has made good on his fundraising duties after his historic loss to economics professor David Brat. He was the special guest at a luncheon June 14 for state Sen. Lee Zeldin, running for New York’s 1st District House seat.

Whew, party people, what a busy week! What have we missed, and what have you heard about? Send us whatever you’ve got right here.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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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

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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 Will.i.am 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 Will.i.am 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.

Gun-draising

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

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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)

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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:

Fooooore!

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!

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Recess!

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)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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PARTYFINDER™ Hints

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.