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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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Wild Wednesday of fundraising feat. Bon Jovi, Billie Jean King, the Washington Capitals and more

While we trot to the office and lethargically work after surviving the #blizzard2016, our lawmakers are out raising money. (Fundraising does not hibernate.) In one of the craziest days of the 2016 campaign trail, here are some of the most notable fundraisers happening on Jan. 27th.

Was the snowstorm to kickoff the year not enough for you? For even more ice, join Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., for an evening of hockey, Philly style. It’s at Washington’s Verizon Center, but instead of rooting for the Capitals, your $2,000 ticket probably requires you to cheer for the Flyers. Go sports!

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will attend a gala tonight in Philadelphia, joined by Franklin Square Capital Partners Executive Michael C. Forman and state Rep. Michael Gerber, D. But is the former secretary of state still the frontrunner or is she Livin’ on a Prayer? She constantly tells voters I’ll Be There for You and she will Never Say Goodbye. While her poll standings are certainly not on a Bed of Roses, she just wants her donors to Have a Nice Day.

If you haven’t guessed it, her special guest tonight is none other than Jon Bon Jovi. Enjoy his acoustic set for $1,000 and become a host with a photo op for folks who bundle $27,000.

Presidential candidate Chris Christie is in the Windy City for a fundraiser with Dan Webb of Winston & Strawn and local CEOs Gregg Sherrill of Teneco and Greg Brown of Motorola Solutions. Dan Webb previously donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but he promises his vote to the New Jersey governor.

Chelsea Clinton is busting her supporters into shape at SoulCycle this afternoon in the NYC neighborhood of Tribeca. Joined by famed instructor Laurie Cole, Chelsea wants you to be part of her “pack” and reserve a bike for $2,700.

She may have won the Battle of the Sexes, but Billie Jean King is still fighting – for Hillary, that is. The tennis superstar and Hillary campaign manager Robby Mook will host an LGBT reception in New York City tonight.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is out to lunch at one of D.C.’s hottest Indian restaurants, Rasika. Those who want to splurge can host for $5,000, or you can simply dine with the senator for $500. Additionally, those who just want to go for Restaurant Week in D.C. can pay $478 less for a three-course lunch. (Sunlight gives this spot 10/10).

And finally, House Speaker Paul Ryan is fundraising in Chicago tonight with the largest entourages so far this year. Sure, you can attend the reception for just $1,000, but the speaker wants you to go all out and donate at least $50,000 to be a Council Member on Team Ryan. Congressmen in attendance include GOP reps Greg Walden, Ore., Adam Kinziger, Ill., Mike Bost, Ill., Randy Hultgren, Ill., Rodney Davis, Iowa, Darin Lahood, Ill., John Shimkus, Ill., Bob Dold, Ill., and Peter Roskam, Ill..

For a look into the rest of this week’s parties and beyond, check out our calendar of events here. Party On!

2016 elections 2016 presidential PartyTimeData Partytime Spending • POSTED - 12.16.15 BY Drew Doggett

The Top Holiday Gifts from 2016 Presidential Candidates

While Christmas is just around the corner, we know many of you are making the mad dash for last minute gifts. For the political junkie in every family, or that friend who needs an extra coffee cup, Political Party Time has you covered.

1: Rand Paul Fake Hard Drive

Probably your next paperweight, “Hillary’s Hard Drive with Wiping Cloth” promises a nonworking product with multiple wiping cloths. Currently on sale for only $59.95.

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2: Jeb Bush Guacamole Bowl

Are you tired of those boring guac bowls? Do you want to support your favorite GOP candidate without having his pesky name on the item? Look no further than Jeb!’s latest Guaca Bowl. Only $75.


3: Marco Rubio Airfare

Flights are expensive! Marco has talked at length about his financial struggles early on in his career, so now is your chance to sponsor his trip across the country to one of his big fundraisers. Only $500.

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4: Donald Trump Signature Hat

What began as a Reagan slogan, Trump’s Make America Great Again trucker hat has morphed into a signature totem and one of his biggest campaign expenditures. Only $25.


5: Bernie Sanders Schlep Bag
You know a loved one who carries around too much baggage. Help them out with this tote bag — guaranteed to help schlep around all their belongings/liberal agenda. Only $27.

6: Ted Cruz Coloring Book

He may want you to vote red come November 2016, but for now you can color him any way you’d like with his personal coloring book. Only $10.

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7: Hillary Clinton Spatula

Help your grillmaster brand your burgers a big ‘H’ with the Grillary Clinton Spatula. Only $18.


8: Bernie Sanders Coffee Mug

Bernie’s coffee mug offers a fair warning, reading, “Caution! Contents May Cause a Serious Bern.” Only $15.


9: Marco Rubio Coffee Mug

“There are definitely not enough coffee mugs with puns,” said many campaign managers (at least we assume). If your coffee mug is missing a cheesy pun, look no further than the “Freedom of Espresso” mug from Marco Rubio. Only $25.

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10: Ted Cruz Mugshot Poster

While we don’t know who the mystery body in the picture belongs to, this “Blacklisted and Loving It” poster shows off a different side of the Texas senator – one that you can’t unsee. Only $55.

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11: Hillary Clinton Pillow

She’s winning the wordplay with this throw pillow that reads “A Woman’s Place is in The White House,” and the website describes the pillow as “The perfect touch for any home, whether it’s 1600 Pennsylvania Ave or simply Pennsylvania.” Only $55.


12: Rand Paul Liberty Bear

Rand wants you to enjoy the right to bear arms — and the right for your bear to blare iTunes music. The “Liberty Bear” features a built-in Bluetooth stereo and the head even moves when it speaks! Only $50.

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And then there were 3: The latest fundraising activity from 2016 Democratic hopefuls

There’s still more than 10 major GOP candidates left running for president; that must be music to the ears of the Democratic 2016 contenders. But they also make their own! One can serenade you with timeless ballads, one enjoys being sung to by a different voice and another enjoys the 1960’s garage-rock revival endorsement.

Hillary Clinton travels so much you’d think her pantsuits enable time travel. Frequently touring multiple states a day, the Democratic frontrunner racks up the most miles by far. While she leads the congressional endorsement race, HRC fares well in celebrity endorsements too. With a little help from her friends, (Christina Aguilera, Michelle Kwan and Katy Perry) she boasts the most star-studded entourage in the field. Clinton recently celebrated her 68th birthday in style with her husband, Bill Clinton.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the only candidate without a super PAC, prefers big turnouts to big donors. While his grassroots support is historic, Bernie “Larry David” Sanders was centerstage at Oklahoma City’s Blue Door arena. For only $20, patrons could Feel The Bern and almost a dozen musical acts.

Martin O’Malley plays a mean guitar, and he may have sang a few Irish hymns at The Dubliner this week. O’Malley is courting younger voters by offering student admission for just $20. The former Maryland governor also hosted a Civic Innovation Pitch Contest where students could enter for just $25.

For an update on the GOP field, check out our previous post here.

As the 2016 campaign continues, we’ll strive to build the most comprehensive database for the presidential fundraising circuit. Please share any invitations you find by anonymously uploading or emailing them to us here.

(Photo credit: Joe Crimmings/Flickr)

2016 elections Partytime • POSTED - 06.23.15 BY Idrees Kahloon

Candidates see green in Orange County

Surfers and swimmers standing on beach near bright blue water.

It’s a busy week in Orange County, Calif., where three Republican presidential candidates will be visiting to fundraise for a wide-open primary. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina are making the rounds at the multimillion-dollar homes and swank hotels in the conservative-leaning county.

Walker’s event, to be held tonight at the glitzy Newport Beach Balboa Bay Resort, asks couples for up to $2,500 to attend his VIP reception and $10,000 to be on the host committee. Walker, who has not yet announced his candidacy for president, is fundraising for his newly formed “testing the waters” exploratory committee. He would have full control over the money raised if he announces his candidacy for president, as is widely expected.

Fiorina will attend a reception tomorrow at a home in Laguna Beach worth an estimated $13 million, where her campaign will charge $2,700 per person to attend a private dinner with her, the maximum allowable contribution to a candidate’s committee under federal law.

Rubio’s fundraising schedule includes a dinner in Irvine on June 30, at the home of David and Michelle Horowitz. Guests must donate $2,700 to attend, while a couple must raise an additional $5,400 from other donors to earn a coveted spot on the host committee.

Rubio isn’t the only Republican contender courting the Horowitzes’ political network, however. The prominent Republican donors and private equity fund owners also played host to Fiorina and Walker’s Orange County fundraisers. According to the events’ invitations, a spot on the host committees for those three events could have cost the couple at least $23,500 — in just one week.

Of course, it’s not just Republicans hitting the fundraising circuit this week. Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential contender, is in St. Louis today for a fundraiser with the Busch brewing family, closed to the public and the media. She has another fundraiser scheduled in Chicago later in the day.


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

PartyTimeData Partytime Uncategorized venues of interest visualizations • POSTED - 11.20.13 BY Peter Olsen-Phillips

Happy birthday Joe, you travellin’ man

It’s Vice President Joe Biden’s birthday today, and even at the tender age of 71, he’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, if recent travels are any indication,  the VP may be angling for shot at the White House in 2016. On Monday, Party Time reviewed Biden’s recent excursions on the national party circuit — noting his stops in key primary states and large, donor-rich cities.

Today the vice president is in Panama on official business, touring the famed canal and meeting with President Ricardo Martinelli. Though, it seems that even on the other end of the continent the VP can not avoid the rumors of his presidential ambitions. A pool report notes that Martinelli — who will have exhausted term limits by 2014 –quipped that Biden would be the next of the two men to run for a presidency. Biden, ever bashful, could only muster a cryptic “Oh, we’ll talk about that,” in response. (Pictured right: Biden returning from Panama to rejoin the party circuit).

Luckily, if he decides to toss his name into the ring his post has given him all the experience necessary for the gig — at least when it comes to fundraising.

As the current man occupying the Oval Office has shown, presidents must be both leaders and chief fundraisers, and Biden has certainly done his due diligence. Although he has picked up his pace in recent weeks, Party Time records show (see map) that Biden has been crisscrossing the country raising cash for members of Congress and the national party all year.

Click on the “cup o’ Joe” icons to learn more about the fundraisers

Biden’s 2013 itinerary included funders in “ATM” states for the Democratic National Committee in places like Atlanta, Austin and San Francisco. He also lent his name to and embattled incumbents Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La.,  and Kay Hagan, D-S.C.

An appearance by a party bigwig like the vice president can help to drum up buzz and cash. At least four of the fundraisers Biden attended (or will attend) this year have suggested contributions in the five figure range. Three of these — the upcoming Windy City funder for Durbin’s Senate Victory Fund, DNC’s National Issues Conference in Washington and the Baltimore bash for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — had maximum contributions of over $30,000.

Sounds like someone is ready for the big leagues.

As always, if any of our intrepid readers catch wind of other fundraisers featuring the vice president, show you care and kindly share.

(Note: All dates for 2016 caucuses and primaries come from the 2016 calendar of


Mega-giver Sheldon Adelson and GOP bigwigs push African American conservative for Congress

They’re ba-a-a-ack! Some of the Republican Party’s most munificent bankrollers, Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, are co-hosting a fundraiser in Las Vegas next week where they’ll be joined by an eclectic list of other GOP boldfaced names. Among them: Jeb Bush Jr. (son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, nephew of former President George W. Bush and grandson of former President George H.W. Bush) and Herman Cain, inventor of the immortal 9-9-9 plan.

They’re all gathering at the 8,100-square-foot, $1.5 million home of Las Vegas businessman and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Victor Chaltiel to launch what they hope will be a a congressional challenge by one of those political rarity of rarities: an African American Tea Partier.

The focus of all the conservative GOP hope and moolah (ticket prices for the Tuesday bash range from $500 to $5,200): Niger Innis, a conservative commentator and National Outreach Director for, as well as the group’s national spokesperson. Innis also is the son of Roy Innis, an iconoclastic civil rights leader who has headed the Congress of Racial Equality since 1968.

Funds raised at the event go to the Niger Innis Action Fund, an exploratory committee apparently aimed at funding Innis, a resident of North Las Vegas, in an as-yet unofficial campaign to oust freshman Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford. Horsford currently represents Nevada’s 4th Congressional District.

The support of Adelson, the force behind the Las Vegas Sands Corp., certainly bodes well for Innis’ financial prospects. The casino magnate has become the face of big money in politics and when he’s not publicly musing about a nuclear attack on Iran, he’s often devoting time and money to electing Republican candidates to office.A Sunlight report in Dec. 2012 found that Adelson and his wife had contributed over $92 million to outside spending groups — just in the year 2012.

Also listed on the host committee: campaign finance lawyer and Tea Party activist Dan Backer, Esq. of DB Capitol Strategies. Backer, who also acts as the treasurer for many conservative PACs, is representing plaintiff Shaun McCutcheon in the ongoing Supreme Court case that could overturn existing aggregate contribution limits.

As reported by Jon Ralston, Innis and co. may be emboldened by incumbent Horsford’s weak fundraising numbers. To date, the Dem has raised less than $500,000 in 2013. Should he officially declare his candidacy, the conservative pundit will have to weather a primary battle with Las Vegas councilman Cresent Hardy, who recently declared his intent to run.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

PartyTimeData Partytime Uncategorized • POSTED - 10.22.13 BY Peter Olsen-Phillips

Toot! Toot!! All aboard the de Blasio train!

It seems like everyone is jumping on the Bill de Blasio bandwagon these days.

The NYC mayoral candidate who started out as an also-ran in the Democratic primary, de Blasio surged to capture his party’s nomination and is currently throttling his Republican opponent in the polls. His ‘tale of two cities’ platform has made his campaign exhibit A for progressive success stories.

However, while de Blasio has cast himself as a champion of the Big Apple’s underclass, an invitation for his Oct. 21 fundraiser with Hillary Clinton and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., at midtown Manhattan’s Roosevelt Hotel shows that he’s not having any trouble finding support amongst the city’s elite.

While the presumptive mayor’s populist rhetoric has irked some of Wall Street’s major players, at least one of the financial world’s biggest players is throwing his weight behind the de Blasio camp. The invite lists Sandy Frucher — Chairman of NASDAQ among the reception’s “Chairs” meaning that he and his wife raised at least $25,000 for the campaign. Others included in this list of high rollers are a restaurant magnate, a prominent state lobbyist and several legal professionals.

In sharp contrast with outgoing mayor — billionaire Michael Bloomberg – De Blasio has capitalized on the ‘99 percent’ sentiment that accompanied the Occupy Wall Street Movement and even stated that he supported efforts to “build spaces” for an Occupy Wall Street forum (though he has since clarified that he did not mean physical structures). However, there comes a time when every politician needs a little help from some deep-pocketed friends.

In total nine supporters earned the rarified distinction of event chair, while 35 others raised the requisite $10,000 for a chance to take a photo-op with the would-be mayor and the former State Department head. The New York Daily News reports that the event raised over $1 million for de Blasio’s camp.

The seven-figure soirée was not the first political encounter between de Blasio and Hillary Clinton — the candidate managed Clinton’s successful bid for U.S. Senate in 2000. Which just goes to show that it really does pay to have friends in high places. De Blasio went on to represent part of Brooklyn on New York City Council and then won election as the city’s public advocate, a high profile office that has allowed its occupants to cast themselves as defenders of the taxpayers against big government.

The invitations in Party Time’s records show that Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota’s fundraisers have mainly targeted smaller contributions, though he has also received a helping hand in from some of the city’s wealthiest — Lhota’s birthday funder featured the CEOs of both the American International Group and the Loews Corporation.

As always if one of our intrepid partiers finds the deets on other mayoral fundraisers, send ‘em this way. We love New York parties!

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons


PT Round-up: Partying in the era of uncertainty

Salutations, party people! Another week of government shutdown means another week of uncertainty for furloughed workers, political pundits and those tracking the political fundraising scene.

Last week, as congressional haggling over budget and healthcare issues dragged on, party after party was postponed or cancelled. Apparently, members were concerned about the bad “optics” involved in raising money for their own reelection efforts while government workers were going without paychecks.

However some valiant pols held out hope that the government — and the fundraising — would continue as planned. Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, waited until the last possible minute to cancel his shindig because he was “hoping for a miracle,”  while Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas partied on as planned.

As of publication, the upcoming week features at least 10 fundraisers with sitting members of Congress that have yet to be postponed or cancelled.  However, the coming days may bring with them a fresh batch of cancellations should the gridlock on Capitol Hill continue.

Here’s a rundown of the members who will be soldiering on in their pursuit of hard money this week:

A Kennedy-Sarkozy cash connection? Oh là là!

Members of two powerful political families from either side of the Atlantic will be joining forces Monday at a high-priced affair in the Big Apple.

Olivier Sarkozy, half-brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is a banker with dual citizenship and a penchant for contributing to candidates on both sides of the political spectrum. The funding fête will support Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., the 32 year old scion of the fabled political dynasty. He won the seat of retired Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., in 2012.

The New York Post reports that Sarkozy’s e-mail invitation praises Kennedy as “pragmatic, principled and willing to look past party labels in the interest of getting things done.” Suggested contributions range from $1,000 to a $5,200 maximum.

Should the young Kennedy be able to pry himself away from Capitol Hill and carry on with the party as planned, his bash may benefitting from a little star power: Sarkozy is romantically involved with former child star Mary-Kate Olsen.

Garden State green

In a Senate race that was once considered to be all but decided, lately there have been some glimmers of hope for New Jersey Republican Steve Lonegan. While Newark Mayor Corey Booker still has a commanding lead in fundraising figures, recent polls show that Lonegan is eating away at what used to be a seemingly insurmountable lead for Booker.

The former mayor of Bogota is fresh off of a feisty debate with Booker that took place Friday night. The contest has become increasingly testy in the final weeks before the election: while Lonegan has long criticized his Democratic counterpart’s record as mayor, the Booker campaign just released its first overtly negative ad Oct. 1.

Monday evening, the Jersey conservative will hold a low dollar event with a planned appearance by Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J. For just $150 supporters have the chance to partake in “refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and discussion” with the Garden State GOPpers. A cancellation by Lance could be a serious blow to the Lonegan camp, which has finally gained some momentum in the final weeks leading up to the Oct.16 vote.

California Dreamin’

Seven members for the price of one?

If you’re a fan of nifty deals — or the California GOP — then you’ll be thrilled to hear about their Wednesday reception at that venerated fundraising locale, the Capitol Hill Club.

While $250 would generally buy a donor no more than a few minutes of banter with ONE politician, the Oct. 9 funder offers wealthy Capitolites the chance to mingle with the entire California House Republican delegation.

For $5,000 you can even be listed as a co-chair (what an honor!) All proceeds will benefit the San Diego’s Carl DeMaio, who briefly flirted with a run at his home town’s mayorship, before turning his sights back to Congress.

Golf with Graham

Has all this talk of shutdowns and furloughs got you down? Perhaps Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., can interest you in a round of golf at the swanky Kiawah Island Resort.

This is the second annual Ocean Course golf fundraiser on the South Carolina island that’s benefiting Graham’s leadership PAC, Fund for America’s Future. (Spoiler alert: it sends money to Republicans and the committees that campaign for them.) Fork over $2,500 for two days of seaside links.

Graham has been off the party circuit for a few months, despite multiple from-the-right challengers hopping into the primary fight for the 2014 Senate race.

More recently, he’s donated his salary to a vets’ service organization during the shutdown and been vocal about getting paychecks to active military personnel. Last week, he told Roll Call that people who get in the way of those paychecks are “going to make an enemy of me for life.”

Our question: Does that threat extend to the golf course?

First Lady Fundraiser

First Lady Michelle Obama is logging some frequent flier miles as she heads to California at the end of this week for fundraisers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Obama will headline a one-hour event benefiting the Democratic National Committee at the house of “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Philip Rosenthal on Friday. For a cool $32,400, you can take part in an “off-the-cuff discussion” with the first lady … and get a picture.

On Sunday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Obama will join forces at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Francisco for a “Women’s Brunch.” The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will reap up to $32,000 per couple at the 9 a.m. meal, which, if everyone’s being honest, definitely makes this breakfast.

That’s all for this week folks, as always, let us know if you hear of any new comings or goings in the par-tay world.

Contributing: Palmer Gibbs; Photo credit: Flickr user Will Palmer


Shutdown shutting down some parties

Update 2:18 p.m. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., has joined the ranks of shutdown party poopers. Her $500-and-up Autumn Reception has been postponed.

It’s truly a sad day in the nation’s capital, party people. The right to ‘get down’ — and raise campaign dough — is one of the most inalienable tenets of life inside the Beltway. Sadly, it appears that nothing is immune to the harsh specter of government shutdown: the mass canceling of pre-planned fundraisers for this week illustrates just how dire the situation really is.

On Monday, Party Time reported that there were at least seven congressional fundraisers scheduled to take place this week. Some savvy pols were even using the healthcare debacle as fundraising fuel for grassroots money grabs: rabble rousers Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, both make appearances in online funding asks for the Senate Conservatives Fund, the staunchly anti-Obamacare super PAC associated with former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

It makes PT all aw-shucks and red-faced to share this, but our reporting was cited by, among others: USA TODAY and National Journal and Huffington Post and San Francisco Chronicle and The Columbus Dispatch and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

We’re sure it’s just a coincidence, but as of this morning, reports began trickling in of the parties being (sob!) scrubbed. Politico’s Anna Palmer reports that GOP fundraising organizers were advising members’ to cancel their events in light of the “bad optics” arising from our nation’s representatives raising thousands at a high-price events while around 800,000 ‘inessential’ federal workers have been placed on furlough.

According to Politico, at least one Democratic fundraiser fretted over the unrecoverable costs incurred from funders cancelled at the eleventh hour. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, will be donating the food from his “Taste of Cincinnati” event to a Washington shelter for homeless and battered women. Chabot — ever the optimist — waited until this morning to postpone the event, telling the Plain Dealer that he was “hoping for a miracle.” Ten other members of Ohio’s Republican delegation were schedule to co-host the event.

Thus far, at least three of the events in Party Time’s database have been affected. Aside from Chabot, Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn. postponed a bash for his Healthcare Freedom Fund leadership PAC and Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., was forced to reschedule his “Small, Convivial Dinner” which offered “stimulating conversation” and a selection of California’s finest wines for those who made the $1,500 minimum contribution.

So, what is the rationale for those still holding their fundraisers, when most other government activity has ground to a halt? In an interview with the Huffington Post Rep. Gene Green, D- Texas, defended his decision to carry out his $1,000-and-up lunch at a Capitol Hill eatery by stating, “[w]e had a year to be able to see what we can to solve this problem, and I assume there are lots of members who are having fundraisers.”

Perhaps some things will never change. As always, let us know if you hear of other fundraising happenings here.

Photo credit: Graffizone via


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.