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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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Cruz, Kasich and the industries that fueled their campaigns

Lobbyists and career politicians make up the Washington Cartel.Ted Cruz

“I think we need to have more low-dollar efforts here [in this] country. You know, having a handful of billionaires that can basically, with special interest, [the fact that] they can kind of buy an election is something that bothers me.” John Kasich


Despite their rhetoric, campaign cash from lobbyists served as catalysts to keep Ted Cruz and John Kasich afloat. They vied to be the alternative to Donald Trump; now they’re watching the postseason from their couches. Let’s look back at the last two presidential candidates to concede.

While lawmakers frequently fundraise with high-profile donors, many hosts are “consultants” or “advisors” at special interest groups. Here, we only use the term “lobbyist” if it is in their official title or if they are registered as such.

John Kasich

Governor of Ohio John Kasich at NH FITN 2016, Photo Credit: Michael Vadon, Flickr

The Ohio governor’s moderate agenda led to just a moderate amount of votes throughout the GOP primaries. Holding just 18 fundraisers – according to our Party Time database – during his presidential run, Kasich couldn’t muster much support after winning his home state of Ohio.

Kasich’s first fundraiser of his presidential bid occurred almost one year ago on May 20, 2015. Paul Singer, a hedge fund manager and registered lobbyist with Elliott Management, hosted the luncheon. Singer is the third-largest donor to outside groups this election cycle, donating about $10.5 million to Republicans.

Kasich’s Aqua Al 2 fundraiser — the eighth-busiest fundraising venue in the D.C. area – featured:

    —Tina Jonas, a lobbyist for CIS (which advocates for a bolstered military)
    —Kerry Knott, former Comcast VP
    — Lisa Piraneo, a lobbyist wanting to rid the country of “radical Islam
    — Mike Rock, a transportation lobbyist
    — Stewart Young, a lobbyist against net neutrality

Kasich’s first fundraiser of 2016 was at the home of Kevin Mandia in California. The event also featured at least three additional lobbyists, including:

    — Naren Gupta, founder of Nexus Venture Partners
    — Mark Kvamme, co-founder at the firm Drive Capital
    — Kevin Mandia, president of FireEye and a registered lobbyist
    — Chad R. Walsh, patent attorney

Kasich spent the next day in Los Angeles dining with Ron Burkle, co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and lobbyist for the manufacturing industry. In preparation for the Georgia primary, Kasich held a fundraiser in the Peach State with:

    — Michael J. Coles, former CEO of Caribou coffee and former CEO of Great American Cookie Company
    — John Dancu, president and CEO of Idology, registered lobbyist
    — Charles Kuck, leader of Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, lobbying for permissive immigration laws
    — William Woodall, lobbyist for Georgia Carry, a Second Amendment advocacy group

Kasich later fundraised in Gulfport, Miss., with more than a dozen hosts from the fields of nursing, anesthesiology and health care. Some of the hosts included:

    — Brian Conklin, lobbyist for USAA
    — Jay Cottingham, oil and gas lobbyist
    — Pete Perry, Hinds County GOP chair accused of voter fraud
    — Billy Powell, petroleum lobbyist

In the Big Apple, Kasich fundraised with Harry Sloan, CEO of Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. and former CEO of MGM.

Days before his big — and only — primary victory in Ohio, Kasich fundraised with Bill Smithburg, former CEO of Quaker Oats.

Kasich fundraised a month later at the home of former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, now a lobbyist at Whitman Strategy Group, and with Lawrence Bathgate, a fundraiser and donor for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Kasich then traveled to Connecticut to see:

    — Barbara Franklin, a former secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce
    — Bob Forrester, CEO of the Newman’s Own Foundation
    — Jim Loree, president of Stanley Black & Decker
    — Kevin O’Connor, former U.S. attorney for Connecticut

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the donors. According to Party Time, Ted Cruz centered most of his fundraisers in his home state of Texas, with 12 of his 33 fundraisers taking place there, five in New York City (where he spoke ill of their values) and five in D.C. with the “Washington cartel” he campaigned to upend.

One of his first fundraisers in Houston included several fossil fuel advocates. Cruz fundraised with more than 20 oil and gas lobbyists and consultants throughout the election cycle, including:

    — Charles “Chuck” Cooper, lawyer at Cooper & Kirk PLLC, lead legal defense of California’s Proposition 8, and counsel to the National Rifle Association
    — Brady Edwards, partner at Morgan Lewis, gave $10,800 to Cruz’s campaign
    — David Grimes, ‎founder of TortSmart, LLC, an oil and gas company
    — Willie Langston, Cruz’s finance chairman, previously worked for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley; currently, he’s a founding partner and chairman of Avalon Advisors, and has donated to Cruz 14 times for a total of $17,550
    — Rebekah Mercer, daughter of Robert Mercer, who donated $11 million to Ted Cruz’s Keep The Promise PAC
    — Cary McNair, vice chairman of the McNair Group and son of Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, who gave $5,400 to Cruz’s campaign and half a million dollars to his PAC Keep the Promise.

Cruz even fundraised in blue Austin, Texas, with John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair care products.

His San Antonio event featured Red McCombs, billionaire co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, chairman of Constellis Group, former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Vikings, and the namesake of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.

A reception in Dallas featured two more of the Lone Star State’s most powerful players:

    — William Alvin “Tex” Moncrief, Jr.: billionaire president of Moncrief Oil, who donated $50,000 to Keep the Promise PAC I
    — Tom Hicks, who co-founded the investment firm, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst; previously co-owned the English football club Liverpool F.C.; and chairman of Hicks Holdings LLC, which owns and operates Hicks Sports Group, the company that formerly owned the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Stars and the Mesquite Championship Rodeo

Another Houston fundraiser featured Willie Langston, Cruz’s finance chairman, who previously worked for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, and who currently is a founding partner and chairman of Avalon Advisors. Langston has donated to cruz 14 times for $17,550.

In addition to Ilya Shapiro, editor-in-chief of Cato Supreme Court Review, many other associates from Jones Day fundraised with the Texas senator.

Although Cruz decried Wall Street money and linked Hillary Clinton’s corruption with her unreleased speeches, he benefited from at least four fundraisers with prominent donors, including Joseph Konzelmann, a Goldman Sachs managing director, as well as Ken and Nina Abramowitz, whose family is one of the top contributors for campaign contributions.

In D.C., Cruz benefited from four fundraisers in our nation’s capital, partying with Jonathan Greenberg, an associate at Morgan Stanley.

The DNC recently reversed their ban on lobbyists donations. Donald Trump didn’t appear in our fundraising database as a beneficiary until last week. Now that both sides are down to party with special interests, lobbyists may FINALLY have their voices heard, one donation at a time.

2016 presidential PartyTimeData Partytime Uncategorized • POSTED - 04.27.16 BY Drew Doggett

Hillary Clinton’s most ’scandalous’ fundraiser yet

While Hillary Clinton’s weathered her fair share of scandals, it seems she’s finally encountered one that could actually boost her political career. The cast of “Scandal,” ABC’s drama about a cheating president and his mistress, is supporting the former secretary of state at a $5,000 per-person fundraiser today in Washington, D.C.

While the program’s star, Kerry Washington, won’t attend, she previously showed her support when HRC visited the Los Angeles set of Scandal in February. Washington instagrammed an #imwithher selfie with the Democratic frontrunner.

Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator, starred in Clinton campaign ads and has a history of supporting liberal causes. She previously maxed-out to Hillary Clinton in 2007, and has given big to the Democratic National Committee twice — $33,400 in 2015 and $32,400 in 2014.

The full list of hosts include actors Tony Goldwyn, Guillermo Diaz, Katie Lowes, Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young, as well as Clinton advisors Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin.

While Clinton won’t be in attendance, Abedin and Sullivan will stand in. Both are in the midst of their own scandal, with an FBI investigation regarding classified files while they were aides to Clinton at the Department of State.

Hillary’s Hollywood endorsements continue to grow – with her most recent high-profile fundraiser with George and Amal Clooney. With the Democratic nomination getting closer and closer, she has plenty of reasons to party on.

Kerry Washington

2016 presidential Partytime Uncategorized • POSTED - 04.22.16 BY Drew Doggett

Party Time Vault: Trump the benefactor

The Donald openly admits to his contributions on both sides of the aisle, but his past beneficiaries may surprise you. From the founder of Jimmy John’s to Henry Kissinger, here’s whom Trump has fundraised with in the past seven years.

    — He partnered with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — who eventually became a presidential opponent-turned-supporter of Trump — two years ago to fundraise for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who also went on to endorse Trump, at the Trump National Golf Club.
    — Trump teamed up with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to help elect Pam Bondi, the Republican Florida attorney general, at a Palm Beach, Fla., fundraiser.
    — Iowa Rep. Steve King, R, enjoyed Trump’s fundraising prowess in 2014, only to endorse Ted Cruz for the 2016 election.
    — Trump fundraised for the Republican Party of Palm Beach County at the Lincoln Day Dinner, again featuring Christie as well as conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, a Trump supporter.
    — Just last week, Donald hosted a fundraiser for the Suffolk County Republicans in New York.

Not all his fundraising goes to “winners”

While Trump claims he always wins, some of Trump’s fundraisers benefitted “losers.”

    — Trump fundraised for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in 2009, who lost his Senate race to Marco Rubio. Trump also donated to Crist’s campaign multiple times.
    — Donald hosted a fundraiser in his New York City home for Tea Party Rep. Allen B. West, Fla., who went on to become a conservative commentator after losing his re-election bid in 2012.

Throwing presidential parties

And while Trump hasn’t officially ran for president until this election, he’s been involved in presidential fundraising in the past.

    — Mitt Romney created a “Dine with The Donald” event where donors could contribute as little as $10 and be entered to win a seat at Trump’s table.
    — Just a month before the 2012 presidential election, Trump hosted a massive retreat benefiting presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Other notable names on the billing included Mayor Rudy Giuliani who recently, sort of, endorsed Donald Trump, Jimmy John Liautaud (founder of Jimmy John’s subs), comedian Dennis Miller, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and businessman and investor Charles Schwab.

Since then, the relationship has apparently soured; the two have had some not-so-nice things to say about each other.

And even when Trump wasn’t in attendance for his fundraisers, his properties were the prime venue for fundraisers.

    — His golf club in Virginia hosted the 32nd Annual Tip O’Neill Golf Tournament for the National Democratic Club, as well as a fundraiser for Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who has endorsed Trump.
    — His tower in Stamford, Conn., was used to support another Romney fundraiser with Henry Kissinger.
    — He also lent his hotel in Las Vegas for a Romney event in 2012 which charged up to $250,000 to chair.
    — His tower in NYC was used to host a fundraiser for former Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas.
    — Trump’s International Tower in Chicago played host to a funder for ex-Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill.

Even his daughter, Ivanka, hosted a fundraiser with her husband Jared Kushner, owner of Kushner Properties and the New York Observer, at their home for then-Senate candidate Cory Booker back in 2013.

Lastly, of course, here are the fundraisers Party Time has benefiting Trump himself…


Marco Rubio rides into the sunset

After failing to secure his home state of Florida last week, Marco Rubio bowed out of the 2016 presidential race. The pro-Rubio super PAC – Conservative Solutions PAC – raised $25 million in February, and his official campaign raised $9.6 million, but it wasn’t enough to keep his campaign afloat.

According to Political Party Time, there were 52 fundraisers benefiting Rubio, and nearly half of them took place in December and January. He frequently fundraised in Florida and the District of Columbia, and the events clustered around big donors.

As we bid Rubio adieu, let’s take a moment to look back over the most memorable fundraisers in Party Time.

-Best Use of Alliteration: Mojitos with Marco

-Most Girl Power: Women for Marco featuring Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., and Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah

-Most Scenic View: Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana

-Best Jazz Flute-Playing Host: Arturo Sandoval, famous Cuban jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer

-Best Bargain: Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars hosted a “Rally-Style” fundraiser in Miami and a “Birthday Celebration” in Las Vegas

-Best early 2000s Throwback: Five for Fighting singer-songwriter Vladimir John Ondrasik III

-Best Wi-Fi Reception at a Reception: At the Capitol Hill Club fundraiser, Marco was joined by Rep. Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis., Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., and Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., in addition to Peter Davidson (Verizon lobbyist) and Christopher Chapel (NextEra Energy lobbyist)

-Most Expensive: $27,000 reception at Miami Beach

2016 elections 2016 presidential Uncategorized • POSTED - 03.08.16 BY Drew Doggett

Ben Carson, a Party Time tribute

Dr. Ben Carson finally threw up his hands and ended his presidential bid last week. The Motor City native sputtered out after nearly nine months on the campaign trail, but during that time he benefited from a number of big fundraisers. Here’s a Party Time recap of Carson’s 54 funders on the campaign trail.
Ben Carson fundraised in 23 states, including big money locales like Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville:

While he ended 2015 on an impressive fundraising run (with 25 events from October to December), Carson only held 9 fundraisers in the last two months.

His top venues were country clubs, hotels, and restaurants. But Carson also ventured outside the norm occasionally: The campaign hosted two fundraisers at automotive museums, including the famed Corvette Museum (which the Carson campaign asked us to take down for some reason). But his love for cars didn’t stop there, later fundraising at the Speedway Club in North Carolina, which hosts dirt bike and NASCAR races every month.

Aside from dining with several doctors, surgeons, and neurologists, Teddy Turner Jr. (son of CNN creator Ted Turner) hosted two fundraisers for Dr. Carson.

Even as Carson raised an impressive $22 million in 2015 – putting him atop the GOP field at the time – it wasn’t enough to buoy him above his opponents.

(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Uncategorized • POSTED - 03.04.16 BY Drew Doggett

Episode 2: Political Party Time Podcast — Super Tuesday, super delegates and super PACs

In the second edition of the Party Time Podcast with host Melissa Yeager, Libby Watson pulls back the curtain on powerful DNC superdelegates, Josh Stewart dives deep into Super Tuesday spending, Drew Doggett details Donald Trump’s self-funding claim and Jenn Topper investigates what shamrocks and sushi have in common. Tune in to learn more about the importance of super PACs in the 2016 election. Party on!

Because this is one of our first shows, die-hard partiers, we’re looking for your feedback on how to make it better. Which parts rocked the house? Which parts felt like a wet blanket? What did you want to hear that we didn’t cover? Have a listen, and tell us what you think! 

Send us your comments here, or tweet at @SFPartyTime.

Uncategorized • POSTED - 06.08.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Hillary Clinton does 5 more fundraisers, Sen. Rand Paul parties in Baltimore and California, Sen. Marco Rubio collects cash with Oracle founder Larry Ellison, and Sen. Lindsey Graham raises money for his leadership PAC

Politicians continue to crisscross the country for campaign cash this week, and Party Time is the only place with all of the details. We’ve got our finger on the pulse of the who, what, where and when of political fundraising from sea to shining sea.

As you look at what’s cracking on the party circuit this week, what are we missing, dear friends? If you’ve got a fundraiser invite or know of an event in the works, you know what to do: Share with Party Time! Upload invites right here, or you can email us whatever you’ve got.

Quick housekeeping note: Although political partying is the only kind of partying that never truly stops, PT is going to take a bit of a summer break. We will continue to collect invitations – so keep them coming! – but our blog won’t be updated as regularly.

With that out of the way, let’s take a quick look at your week in fundraising!

Hillary Clinton continues her breakneck pace of fundraising this week with five events in three days. The Democratic presidential candidate starts on Monday in the D.C. suburb of Bethesda with a fundraiser at the home of Susan Ness, the former head of the Federal Communications Commission. On Tuesday, Clinton parties at a $2,700-per-person D.C. funder, and then heads north on Wednesday for a trio of events in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She glad-hands donors in Boston and in its swanky suburb of Chestnut Hill before traveling to East Greenwich for a fundraiser hosted by long-time Clinton buddies Mark Weiner and Joe Paolino.

– On the heels of Sen. Rand Paul’s almost-filibuster of the PATRIOT Act and news that his presidential committee hasn’t yet snagged a deep-pocketed benefactor, the Kentucky Republican hits the road for a string of fundraiser appearances. On Tuesday evening, Paul delivers the keynote at the Baltimore County Republican Party’s Lincoln/Reagan Dinner, where tickets start at $100. And on Friday, he makes his way west to California, where he will headline the Republican Party of Orange County’s 16th Annual Flag Day Salute. But Paul isn’t just partying for others: On June 7, he had a fundraiser up in Massachusetts for his own campaign coffers.

– Speaking of Sen. Rand Paul and well-heeled donors, many eagle-eyed politicos thought he had the support of tech industry giant Larry Ellison, since the senator headlined a GOP fundraiser last October at the billionaire’s Bay Area home. But this week, Ellison shows he’s got his eye – and checkbook – trained on a different candidate. On Tuesday, Ellison hosts a four-figure fundraiser for presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

– Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced he is running for president and then quickly threw a fundraiser for that race. Come Wednesday, Graham will have another party, but his one is for his Senate leadership PAC, the Fund for America’s Future. Clearly this guy just loves a good party (and the campaign cash it brings)!

And that’s a wrap on your week in political parties! What have we missed and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Uncategorized • POSTED - 06.01.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Hillary Clinton headlines 8 fundraisers, Sen. Marco Rubio keynotes a party in Connecticut, Democrats throw their support behind Ted Strickland and Sen. Joni Ernst makes ‘em squeal at a pig roast

Welcome to June, party people! As summer heats up the nation’s capital, the party animals who are your elected representatives continue to go big on the campaign cash circuit. This week’s social calendar features shindigs from the Lone Star State to the Empire State.

We’ve got a pretty comprehensive list of goings-on, but what are we missing? If you know of a political fundraiser in the works, or have an invite, please share with your friends at Party Time! You can upload invites right here, or email us the goods.

Let’s take a quick spin around your week in political fundraising!

Hillary Clinton keeps us on our toes over here at Party Time. The Democrat announced seven weeks ago that she’s running for president, and PT already counts 35 HRC-headlined events for the presidential campaign – that’s about one fundraiser every 36 hours! Clinton keeps up the hectic schedule this week with four very full days of fundraising. She starts in New York on Monday with three parties: a fundraiser at the home of Jay Jacobs, the former head of the New York Democratic Party; a noontime get-together in Manhattan that’s hosted by Silda Wall Spitzer, the ex-wife of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer; and a $2,700-per-person “Conversations with Hillary” event in Queens. On Wednesday, Clinton hits up donors in the Southwest, first at a breakfast in Albuquerque and then at two stops in Texas. She has breakfast in Austin on Thursday morning, and then makes her way to Greenwich, Conn., on Friday for a high-dollar fundraiser at the home of investment manager Malcolm Wiener and his wife, Carolyn.

– Although Clinton will be partying with Connecticut Dems on Friday, the state’s GOP faithful plan to go big Thursday evening at the Prescott Bush Awards Dinner. The annual confab – named for the Connecticut senator who was former President George H. W. Bush’s father, and therefore grandpa to George W. and Jeb – gives the coveted keynote speaker slot to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. (FYI, this doesn’t indicate an internal Bush family dispute: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke at the event last year.)

– Bold-faced Democrats come together at Capitol Hill restaurant Bistro Bis on Wednesday evening to fete former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. In February, Strickland announced he would challenge Republican Sen. Rob Portman, and since then, the former governor has collected high-profile endorsements from former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. In a show of congealed party support for Strickland’s candidacy, Brown, as well as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, congressman-turned-lobbyist Dick Gephardt, lobbyist Steve Elmendorf and lobbying partners Jeff Forbes and Dan Tate will all be on hand Wednesday.

– It started with a low-budget ad that likened cutting government waste to castrating hogs, meant to set apart Joni Ernst’s fledgling Senate campaign in Iowa. But more than a year after the ad ran, and several months into now-Sen. Ernst’s first term, she can’t seem to shake the hog theme. On Saturday, Ernst throws her first annual Roast and Ride event at the Central Iowa Expo. It’s a motorcycle-ride-meets-pig-roast-meets-fundraiser for the Republican senator’s leadership PAC, the Jobs, Opportunity and New Ideas PAC (JONI PAC – get it?), but it’s also a see-and-be-seen gathering of Republican presidential hopefuls. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson will all be vying for face time at the daylong affair. Make ’em squeal, Joni!

And that’s your busy week of political partying! What have we missed and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Uncategorized • POSTED - 05.25.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Gov. Chris Christie does fundraisers in New York and New Jersey, GOP hopefuls come out for Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, Hillary Clinton is a fundraising fiend and Martin O’Malley parties pre-announcement

Party people, this long weekend of BBQs and sunshine marks the unofficial start to summer, and politicians are celebrating the seasonal shift with some good, old-fashioned political partying. While us regular Janes and Joes are thrilled to enjoy a Monday holiday, Congress heads home for a full week, which can only mean one thing: lots of non-D.C. shindigs fill up Party Time’s social calendar this week.

As we do our best to keep track of the who, what, when and where of fundraising, if you, dear friends, hear of anything in the works, let us know! Upload official invites right here, or you can email us whatever you’ve got.

Now let’s take a quick spin around your week in fundraisers!

– Gov. Chris Christie thumbs his nose at the ever-increasing field of potential presidential candidates with a pair of fundraisers this week. The New Jersey Republican, who hasn’t yet committed to a White House run, will lunch at the ritzy Metropolitan Club in Manhattan with GOP mega donor Paul Singer on Tuesday afternoon. Come Thursday, the people behind America Leads PAC, the super PAC supporting Christie, will throw a high-dollar fundraiser in the Garden State.

– It’s good to be a Hawkeye State politico! Sen. Chuck Grassley continues to cash in on his status as an Iowa Republican with fundraisers with two presidential hopefuls this week. He parties for his reelection bid on Tuesday with Sen. Marco Rubio in Rubio’s home state of Florida. On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., headlines a fundraiser for Grassley in Davenport. A few weeks ago, Grassley partied in Iowa with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and on June 15, Grassley will make his way to New Jersey for a fundraiser that Gov. Chris Christie is slated to headline. And yes, that makes for four potential presidential candidates in four weeks. Whew!

– When it comes to fundraising, Hillary Clinton’s motto seems to be “can’t stop, won’t stop.” Since her mid-April announcement that she’s running for president in 2016, Clinton is on the books for throwing more than 30 fundraisers for her presidential committee, according to PT’s count. This week, she does a two-states-in-two-days swing that takes her through Atlanta and then to Miami on Thursday. She stays in the Sunshine State on Friday with a fundraiser in Parkland and another one at the home of big-time Dem donor John Morgan. Incidentally (or not), Morgan hosted two fundraisers in 2013 for now Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., a longtime friend and fundraiser for the Clintons.

– The Democratic field of presidential candidates isn’t as crowded as the Republican side, but this weekend, another left-leaning White House hopeful is prepping to throw his hat into the ring. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley looks likely to announce his candidacy Saturday morning in Baltimore, but the day before, he’ll be partying for his presidential committee. It’s all about the money, honey!

And that’s your week in political partying, friends! What have we missed and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Photo courtesy

Uncategorized • POSTED - 05.18.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Jeb Bush parties for his PAC, Sen. Amy Klobuchar celebrates her birthday, and Sen. Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Marco Rubio fundraise for their presidential committees

Politicians keep up the cash collecting contest this week, with presidential hopefuls, members of Congress and local politicos hitting the money trail hard. When it comes to political partying, the partying never stops!

We’ve got a good number of fundraisers on this week’s social calendar, but what are we missing? Friends, if you know of a political party in the works, let us know! Upload invites right here, or you can email us whatever you’ve got.

It certainly takes a village to build up the database of fundraiser invites Party Time houses, and we really hope that political watchers continue to use the great gems on the site. In fact, the Wall Street Journal just did a deep dive into Jeb Bush’s fundraiser rolodex, using Party Time data to look at 326 donors who have hosted events for Bush’s Right to Rise PACs. If you are interested in digging into PT’s data and want to talk about the ins and outs of political fundraising, shoot us an email – we’d love to work with you!

With that little plug out of the way, let’s take a quick look at this week in political fundraisers.

– Speaking of Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who still hasn’t officially announced that he’s running for president continues to party for his PAC. On Monday, Bush will headline a Miami reception with Columba Bush, his publicity-averse wife who is inching her way into a more public role. By PT’s count, this is Columba’s second fundraiser appearance; for her party animal hubby, on the other hand, this marks Jeb’s 70th event so far this year. And, at $25 per person, Monday’s event is – by far – one of the more reasonably priced parties for Bush’s PACs.

– What’s a good birthday present for the woman who has everything? Campaign cash, of course! Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is having a birthday celebration and dinner Tuesday night in downtown D.C., where a b-day cupcake could set you back as much as $5,000. For that much dough, you could buy 1,667 treats from Georgetown Cupcakes! Either way, we recommend something with sprinkles.

– Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, makes his way to his home state on Tuesday for a reception for his presidential committee. Tickets start at $100, but you’ll have to throw down $1,000 if you want to attend the 30-minute VIP portion of the evening.

– You may think of Wednesday as “hump day,” but over here at PT, we think of it as “party day.” We’ve found that it’s a popular day to party, since most politicians are in D.C. in the middle of the week. It’s no different this week, with Wednesday showing a significant spike in fundraising events:

  • Hillary Clinton will make it rain in Chicago, first at a fundraiser at the home of mega Dem donor Fred Eychaner and then at a fundraiser at the home of private investment guru J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K. Worth noting that Penny Pritzker, J.B.’s sister, is the Commerce Secretary under President Barack Obama and a major bundler for his campaigns.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio looks to cool off with a midweek adult beverage … and some campaign donations. The Florida Republican throws Mojitos with Marco just in time for happy hour on Capitol Hill. But this summertime staple will cost you: Tickets are $250 a pop, or $1,000 to play host.
  • Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., throw dueling events at the Nats-Yankees game at Nationals Park. Nothing like a little fundraising over America’s other favorite pastime.

And with that, party people, we wrap up another busy week in political fundraising! What have we missed and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Photo courtesy Wikimedia


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.