Today is November 30th
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.


Search Hints

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


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


Christie body slams fundraising expectations, but where will the money go?

Garden State Gov. Chris Christie is on a fundraising tear. The (Newark) Star-Ledger reports that his campaign has already raised more than $12.4 million, which begs a question: Since New Jersey state law limits what gubernatorial candidates who accept matching funds can spend to $12.2 million, why is he still out chasing campaign cash?

New Jersey is one of ten states that offers a system of public financing for gubernatorial candidates in an effort to limit the role of big money in politics. Any candidate who raises at least $380,000, and agrees to participate in public debates is eligible to receive two dollars of public money for every dollar they receive in private contributions.

Christie (pictured right) has benefited handsomely from the public money, largely because he unleashed an all-out fundraising blitz to defend his place in the governor’s mansion from Democratic challenger Barbara Buono. Of course, being among the frontrunners for the 2016 potential Republican presidential nomination is a boon to any candidate’s fundraising appeal.

Party Time records show that the governor has  raised dough from New York to California, benefiting from appearances by major political players like Rudy Giuliani and Mark Zuckerburg along the way.

This aggressive pace has paid dividends. The governor is leading Buono in the polls by a wide margin and his campaign’s receipts have outpaced Buono’s by a margin of 10 to 1.

But ‘the Boss’ has showed no signs of slowing down.

As reported by the Connecticut News Blog, the Garden State governor will attend yet another big name funder on October 9, hosted by wrestling exec Linda McMahon, husband of WWE royalty Vince McMahon and former candidate for U.S. Senate in Connecticut (she ran twice). The event also boasts appearances by former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Charles Glazer, and would-be governor of Connecticut Tom Foley, among others.

For any political partiers who want to stop by and rub shoulders with some of the biggest Republican players in New England, just know that it’s gonna’ cost you. Suggested minimum contributions are $3,800, which means that tens of thousands more dollars are likely to flow into Christie’s campaign war chest.

While the governor’s campaign would run afoul of state campaign finance law if it exceeds the $12.2 million mark in spending, some expenditures are not included in this tally. According to a representative from the Public Financing Department of the New Jersey Election Law Commission, these permissible expenses include the somewhat vague “reasonable costs” of campaigning, travel expenses and food and beverages for campaign events. But big ticket expenses like political advertisements are subject to the spending cap.

The Christie campaign would either need to use the surplus cash on overhead costs, or simply ’sit’ on the cash and wait until the gubernatorial cycle ends — at which point it could transfer the excess funds into other different political committees.

A bulging campaign war chest can be a great way for a lawmaker to shore up partisan support — particularly for a pol with an eye on the White House.

Should Christie end the race with excess funds, he would not be able to transfer it to a federal political action committee, though he could make contributions to other state level candidates and party committees.

The Christie campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comments.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


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.