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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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Uncategorized • POSTED - 10.20.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama hit up ATM states; Rand Paul, Chris Christie party in Iowa; Rick Scott beats the FanGate heat with a Florida fundraiser

Hey, party people, hey! The whirlwind of pre-midterm political fundraising continues this week, with another packed social calendar that takes us from Illinois to Iowa, from California to the Carolinas. It’s crunch time, folks, so ready those checkbooks!

While most politicos are hitting the road for ATM states (New York, California) or key presidential primary pockets (South Carolina, Iowa), we have to salute one guy heading to the beach – on a Wednesday, no less. Sen. Bob Menendez is throwing a two-day retreat for his leadership PAC at the Ritz-Carlton in Puerto Rico, with tickets going for $5,000 a pop. The New Jersey Democrat – who faced an ethics complaint in 2012 for not disclosing flights to the Dominican Republic gifted by a campaign donor – isn’t up for reelection until 2018.

Whether they are catching some sunshine or chatting at a reception, this week’s schedule runs the gauntlet of fundraising ploys. But what have we missed, faithful partiers? If you know of something in the works, you know what to do! Use our confidential upload page right here, or email us invites or news clippings.

Buckle up, friends! Here is your busy week in political parties.

Hillary does California
Becoming a grandmother shook up Hillary Clinton’s travel plans, but only a little bit. In the days immediately following the arrival of tiny tot Charlotte, Clinton canceled a fundraiser for influential New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro and dispatched husband Bill to sub for her at a party for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown.

But the potential grandmother-in-chief was back at work sooner rather than later, packing her bags for fundraiser appearances in Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas, Denver and Louisville. This week, she has two high-profile stops in deep blue California, where she will raise money for Democratic House and Senate candidates.

On Monday, Clinton heads to downtown San Francisco for an event for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Called the “Ultimate Women’s Power Luncheon,” it (a) pairs Clinton with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and (b) makes us want to talk in that deep voice from movie trailers. It’s $500 for one seat at the Fairmont Hotel lunch, but a VIP reception and photo will cost you $32,400.

Later that day, Clinton is the special guest at a reception and dinner at see-and-be-seen L.A. restaurant Tavern. The party’s host list includes Hollywood heavy hitters Alan and Cindy Horn, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jolene and Michael Rapino, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, and, according to the Hollywood Reporter, is seen as a “coming out of sorts” for a possible Clinton White House run in 2016. The pricey get-together – $32,400 per person – benefits a joint fundraising committee with a long list of signers-on, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a handful of state Democratic parties and the campaign committees of Senate candidates in tight races (as in, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, Kentucky candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Georgia candidate Michelle Nunn, West Virginia candidate Natalie Tennant, etc., etc.). Whew!

Side note: The potential grandfather-in-chief is getting in on the action this week, too. Former President Bill Clinton will headline a party on Tuesday for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and an evening reception on Thursday for New Jersey’s Bonnie Watson Coleman, who has her eye on her state’s open 12th District House seat. These are the latest Party Time stops for Bubba, who has been a highly sought-after surrogate for Democratic candidates this cycle.

Obama heads home
President Barack Obama starts out his week in his adopted home state of Illinois to provide a boost for Gov. Pat Quinn and the Democratic National Committee. On Sunday, Obama rallied the troops at a get-out-the-vote event for Quinn. (Earlier this month, Obama attended a $50,000-per-person house party for the Illinois Democrat; first lady Michelle Obama lent her support, too, during $10,000-per-plate event followed by a public rally.)

Come Monday, the partier-in-chief is the special guest at a DNC event at the Chicago home of philanthropist Barbara Goodman Manilow. This isn’t Manilow’s first rodeo, though: Her Lincoln Park home was the site of an April 2013 party for Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign.

Though Obama canceled not just onebut two events last week for Ebola-related meetings at the White House, he seems to be getting back on the trail this week. His schedule also has him attending a D.C. event on Thursday for the Democratic National Committee. If you have the invite, email us the deets!

Republicans hunker down in Iowa
Sure, the next presidential race is still two years off. But for the Republican Party, which lacks a shoo-in nominee, that just means 24 more months of pushing and shoving among the GOP’s deep roster of White House wannabes. Elbows out, folks!

That jostling becomes even more apparent when looking at politicians’ travel into Iowa, site of the first caucuses of the presidential primary season. Although Iowans do party on their own (please see: Tuesday’s Ronald Reagan Dinner for the state’s Republican Party, which features Gov. Terry Branstad and Senate candidate Joni Ernst), more times than not, fundraisers include an out-of-stater with an eye on 2016 who is looking to ingratiate himself to local party officials and donors.

On Wednesday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is slated to do just that at a family BBQ for Iowa state Rep. Bobby Kaufmann. Ernst will also attend the $25-per-plate party.

According to Party Time’s records, this is Paul’s seventh trip in 2014 to the Hawkeye State. No word on what Paul – recently dubbed “The Most Interesting Man in Politics” by Time – is planning to say at the BBQ, but we anticipate something interesting.

On Saturday, Gov. Chris Christie shuffles into Iowa for a birthday party for Branstad. But don’t let the invite’s quaint clip art fool you: This is one pricey b-day bash. Although $65 gets you into the festivities, you’ll have to shell out upwards of $25,000 for birthday cake and a prime seat. The New Jersey Republican, head of the Republican Governors Association and a likely presidential candidate, has kept a very busy party schedule this year, glad-handing donors in just about every key primary and/or swing state.

Florida heats up
With all of the compounding outside demands, running for office isn’t easy. It’s a pressure cooker of sorts, and certainly not for people who can’t keep their cool. So, when Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., initially refused to join his Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist, onstage for their debate because the latter had a fan under his podium, you can imagine that the Republican caught some heat for it.

Indeed, FanGate threatened to overshadow the content of the debate itself, and, silly as it may seem, it may follow Scott around in the final crucial weeks before the election. After all, Jon Stewart weighed in on the steamy situation and the Atlantic’s Molly Ball wrote a profile on the portable electronic. Like at last week’s debate, the fan isn’t going anywhere, and Scott will have to sweat it out until the controversy cools off.

You know what might help? A party, of course! Fellow Floridians Sen. Marco Rubio, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and former Gov. Jeb Bush will gather on Friday at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables to toast Scott and raise some serious cash for his campaign. After all of the FanGate blowback, it’ll be a breath of fresh air to spend time with supporters.

(Party Time does not apologize for the magnitude of fan-related language in the above graphs. We stand by our word choices.)

And with that, we’ve got a wrap on the week in political parties! What have we missed, and what have you heard of? Upload the goods right here, or shoot us an email.

Photo courtesy Flickr

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 10.13.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Donald Trump goes to Iowa, President Obama and Vice President Biden fundraise for Democrats, and Govs. Christie and Jindal party for fellow GOPers


Hello party people! As the march toward midterms continues, so does politicians’ cross-country cash grab. Your elected representatives are working hard for the money, partying big time with deep-pocketed donors and bringing in dough at a breakneck pace.

In fact, one of the best indicators of a packed party schedule is a look at what events didn’t make our weekly highlight list. A fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (headlined by Hillary Clinton, no less!) and a shoot-out at a gun club for Colorado State Senate candidate Ray Scott didn’t even make the cut. Friends, that’s saying something.

Even though our social calendar is packed this week, we just know there’s more stuff going on out there. What are we missing, and what have you heard about? If you are feeling generous, you can email us the goods or upload an official invite right here. And never fear: We keep our sources 100 percent confidential, so you can feel comfortable sharing with us.

And with that, let’s dive into your week in political parties!

The Donald goes to Iowa
Rep. Steve King and Donald Trump walk into a West Des Moines mansion …

No, that’s not the beginnings of a joke, and yes, that’s exactly what’s going to happen on Saturday evening. The billionaire businessman, one-time presidential candidate and purveyor of some truly fabulous quotes is hosting (what else?) An Evening with Donald Trump to benefit King’s reelection campaign. This comes the same week that a bankruptcy court will be hearing The Donald’s request to slash worker benefits at his troubled Atlantic City casino.

A September poll gave the Iowa Republican an 11-point lead over his Democratic challenger, Jim Mowrer, but the race for campaign cash is a different story. Sunlight’s Real-Time tracker tool shows that Mowrer has raised more money and has more cash on hand than King, who is running for his seventh term in the House.

King’s party with the Donald, which we heard about from our friends at the Des Moines Register, goes down at George Cataldo’s $2.6 million pad on Tulip Tree Lane, the site of a 2012 private fundraiser headlined by Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. And if the host’s name sounds vaguely familiar to horse racing fans, yes, Cataldo is the part owner of Paddy O’Prado, the thoroughbred who came in third in 2010’s Kentucky Derby.

And if all that wasn’t enough, the Trump-headlined party – which will also feature Iowa Republicans Sen. Chuck Grassley, Rep. Tom Latham, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds – comes on the heels of another celebrity nod for the King camp. Chuck Norris endorsed King last week, but no news about any upcoming campaign events with the “Walker, Texas Ranger” star.

Biden keeps busy
It has been a jam-packed few weeks for Vice President Joe Biden: He’s been partying hard, traveling all over the place and doing his best to look super cool while eating ice cream.

The hectic schedule continues this week when the VP travels to sunnier states to headline Democratic fundraisers. First up is a jaunt down to Florida on Monday for a party for Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor who is running for his old position, but this time as a Democrat. Crist may be a convert, but Party Time’s data show he’s gotten loads of help from Dem bigwigs, getting feted by the likes of Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as mega Sunshine State fundraisers Mitchell Berger and John Morgan.

On Tuesday, Biden travels to South Carolina for two events. He and his wife, Jill Biden, are slated to headline a get-out-the-vote event in Columbia before attending a fundraiser for the state’s Democratic Party. It’s Biden’s second trip so far this year to the Palmetto State, site of the first in the presidential primary in the South. In May, he did a similar one-two punch, giving the keynote at a state party luncheon fundraiser and then delivering the commencement speech at the University of South Carolina.

With multiple warm weather stops in his near future, look for Biden to sneak in a stop to an ice cream stand or two.

Presidential partying
The partier-in-chief is at it again with another batch of fundraisers this week. As of this writing, President Barack Obama has three events on the books, but Party Time totally expects that number to increase. After all, his schedule last week included stops in D.C., New York, Connecticut, Los Angeles and San Francisco. (If you know of a presidential party that we don’t have on our list, you know what to do! Send whatever you’ve got right here.)

Obama gets started on Tuesday with a roundtable discussion and dinner for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the McLean home of Tori Winkler Thomas, a longtime Dem donor. DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. – both rock stars in their own right on the partying circuit – will join the president.

On Wednesday, it will be a DSCC fundraiser in Union, N.J., the Newark Star-Ledger reports, and then up to Connecticut for an old-fashioned campaign rally. Were you lucky enough to get an invite to the Union do? Give us the confidential upload right here.

Come Thursday, Obama travels to Long Island for a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Garden City Hotel. Jay Jacobs, the head of the Nassau County Democratic Party, and his wife, Mindy, will host the event. Although Obama hits up New York donors often, Thursday’s shindig marks the first time the president has been at a fundraiser in that part of the Empire State, according to local reporters.

GOP ’16 prospects hit $$ trail
Republican governors unite! This week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, two state heads often in the mix as likely presidential potentials, stump for other GOP gubernatorial candidates.

Christie, who has traveled all over and brought in mega money as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, starts off his week on Tuesday with a private fundraiser in Maine for Gov. Paul LePage. Former Sen. Olympia Snowe and her husband, former Gov. John McKernan Jr. – a Pine Tree State power couple if there ever was one – will also be on hand to gin up support during the lunchtime event.

On Thursday, Christie makes his way to Chicago for a luncheon for the state’s Republican Party. Tickets start at $1,000 per plate, but $10,000 gets you six spots at the private roundtable, seats at lunch and entry to a photo reception. And Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk and Reps. Rodney Davis, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Peter Roskam, Aaron Schock and John Shimkus will all party alongside Bruce Rauner, who is hoping to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November.

Of all the races Christie has weighed in on, the gubernatorial contest in his neighboring state of New York isn’t one of them. In fact, in July, the RGA head said he wouldn’t campaign for Rob Astorino, calling it a “landslide” race since the gubernatorial hopeful is so far behind Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the polls. After that dustup, a handful of other Republican governors (Govs. Jindal, Rick Perry, Scott Walker and Mike Pence – also all on the long list of possible presidential candidates in 2016) pledged to support Astorino.

At the end of September, Perry headlined a party for Astorino, and this week, it’s Jindal’s turn. On Thursday evening, the Bayou State governor will be the main attraction at the Union League Club event, where $2,500 will snag you a photo and a spot at the VIP reception.

Jindal will then head to Connecticut on Friday for a fundraiser for Tom Foley, the Republican hoping to unseat Gov. Dannel Malloy. To underscore the heated nature of that race, the president will be heading up to the Nutmeg State earlier in the week — not for a fundraiser, however. On Wednesday, Obama will be headlining one of his trademark fire-’em-up rallies on behalf of Malloy.

PT’s records show Jindal’s appearance marks his 17th fundraiser appearance of the year, who said just last week that he is still “thinking and praying” about a future White House bid.

Party people, that’s a wrap for the week! It’s a busy one, but what did we miss and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Photo courtesy Wikimedia

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 10.06.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Barack Obama raises goop-loads of money with Gwyneth Paltrow; Joe Biden, Carole King make donors sing; Mitt Romney fundraises with Republican heavyweights; plus, a “Game of Thrones” party


Hello, party people! This week’s social calendar is a little less packed than recent weeks, but most of the parties on the books boast big names and carry a high price tag. Over here at Party Time, we like to think of that as strategic partying: If you can charge way more money at a handful of events with well-known faces, then you get to take off an afternoon or two. Treat yourself.

The fundraiser schedule this week leans to the left, but we know Republicans love a good party as much as their Democratic counterparts. Have you heard about a GOP party in the works? If you know of a fundraiser, you know what to do! Upload all of those official invites right here, or email us whatever you’ve got.

And now, for your weekly dose of political partying!

Partier-in-chief parties on and on and on
President Barack Obama’s fundraising schedule has felt a little helter skelter lately, with events cropping up seemingly on the fly (please see last week’s Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event that we – and the White House press pool – found out about as it was happening). We know the president’s team plans everything to a T, so we are always surprised when there’s absolutely no pre-party buzz around a presidential pop-in.

But that’s about to change this week, as the fundraiser-in-chief is slated to attend five very buzzy, on-the-books parties. The most-talked-about shindig among them has to be Thursday’s reception and dinner at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Los Angeles home. Yes, the creator of Goop (it’s where she shares “all of life’s positives,” according to the lifestyle site’s About page) and the user of phrases like “conscious uncoupling” is hosting a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee, with tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400. It’s the second time the mega movie star has lent her name to a fundraiser invite with the prez: In 2012, she threw a dinner for Obama’s reelection campaign in London with buddies Anna Wintour and Tom Ford.

On Friday, Obama heads up the California coast for another DNC fundraiser, this one at San Francisco City Hall. PT records show that back-to-back events in moneyed, deep-blue pockets of the Left Coast is an often-repeated partying plan, but one we haven’t seen since July, when Obama did a Seattle to S.F. to L.A. cash grab.

But Obama doesn’t leave all of the partying for the end of the week. He actually starts off the fundraising fun on Tuesday with a three-in-one-day swing that takes him from New York to Connecticut.

An afternoon reception for the DNC at Chef Floyd Cardoz’s new restaurant, White Street in Tribeca, gets together some big names in Big Apple politics. Anne Hess, Craig Kaplan and Sarah and Victor Kovner, who all give loads of cash#mce_temp_url# to local and national Dems, will party with Broadway producer Margo Lion and the president. And another afternoon event, this one billed as a reception and discussion with President Barack Obama, will go down at the Manhattan home of power couple Bill White and Bryan Eure. Cash raised at the $25,000-per-person fundraiser will go straight to the DNC.

In the evening, Obama is off to Connecticut for a fundraiser at the Greenwich home of Richard and Ellen Schapps Richman. Tickets to the party for the DSCC start at $10,000, which is almost a bargain, considering the couple hosted Obama at a $30,000-per-plate fundraiser in 2010.

Whew! That’s a full week of presidential partying, if you ask us.

Joe hits the road for the ladies
The second in command gets in on the fundraising action this week with two on-the-road parties tailored for female House and Senate candidates. Get ready to gas up Air Force Two!

Vice President Joe Biden hits the money trail on Monday with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a cocktail reception for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Hollywood muckety-mucks – Fox executive Jim Gianopulos, former Warner Bros. chairman Barry Meyer, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and filmmaker James L. Brooks – play host at the “When Women Succeed America Succeeds” themed event, which also features a performance by Carole King. Dust off that vinyl copy of “Tapestry” and get ready to sing along to “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” (And if anyone gets a pic of Biden crooning, please-oh-please send it to your friends at Party Time.)

On Thursday, Biden hits up donors at a Seattle party for a joint fundraising committee Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell set up for female senators and candidates in tight races this year. Cash collected for Cantwell for Women in the Senate 2014 goes to Cantwell (not up for reelection until 2018, FYI), Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and West Virginia Senate candidate Natalie Tennant. Tickets cap out at $5,000.

Romney rakes it in
Mitt Romney continues to bask in his popularity, post presidential run number two. As a highly coveted figure on the campaign trail, Romney has been bouncing around the country this year, stumping for candidates in West Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado and Virginia. And his fundraising schedule has been crammed, too, with additional stops in New Jersey, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana.

As Romney’s calendar filled up, the questions started piling on. Is he staging a comeback, a la “the third time’s the charm”?

The former Massachusetts governor started out the year as a solid “no,” but at the end of last month, he delivered a coy “We’ll see what happens” to a reporter’s question about another run in 2016. Hmmmm.

While we can’t be sure about Romney’s future plans, we do know that he can’t seem to get enough of the partying scene. On Monday evening, he throws a New York City bash for the Republican National Committee with other GOPers just about always on the list of presidential potentials: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Big-time Romney supporter (and New York Jets owner) Woody Johnson and his wife, Suzanne, will host the party at their house, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will also attend.

That’s a lot of big-name Republicans at one get-together, so you know you’ll be writing a hefty check for some face-time. It’s a whopping $32,400 per person to attend.

On Wednesday, Romney heads to Utah to headline a private fundraiser for Mia Love, who is running for her state’s 4th District U.S. House seat. Love narrowly lost in 2012 to Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who is retiring this year. This go-around, Love faces Democrat Doug Owens. This may be her year as a recent poll has her up by 12 points and Sunlight’s Real-Time tool shows her winning the cash contest, too.

“Game of Thrones,” meet Party Time
Politicians glom onto just about anything of-the-moment to help them raise money for their campaigns. Nats game, anyone? Or perhaps a Beyoncé concert?

This week, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., takes advantage of the “Game of Thrones” craze with a fundraiser ploy around the HBO fantasy hit. The Udall camp is raffling off a chance to meet series writer George R. R. Martin during a VIP reception at the novelist’s personal theater. Loop us in if you hear of any spoilers!

And that’s a wrap, party people! Let us know if you hear of anything good going on out there!

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 09.29.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Mitt Romney all hit the fundraising trail; Chris Christie travels to Ohio; Pat Roberts and Jeb Bush party in Kansas


Hello, party people! Fall is in the air: The leaves are changing, just about everything is pumpkin-flavored and politicians are doubling up on their fundraising efforts. But with members of Congress back in their home districts until after the midterms, much of this week’s partying takes place far away from the usual hotspots around Capitol Hill.

As politicians begin the last full month of campaigning and cash collecting before the election, Party Time preps for a full-on fundraising frenzy. Our social calendar may be packed, but we know there’s more going on out there. What’s brewing in your home state? If you have a fundraiser invite or know of something in the works, you know what to do! Upload the goods right here, or you can email us whatever you’ve got.

And with that, let’s get right into your week in political parties!

Hillary Clinton’s very busy week
Hillary Clinton is many things – one-time first lady, former New York senator, recent Secretary of State, 2008 presidential candidate and oft-mentioned presidential prospect. And now: Grandma!

But those babysitting/diaper changing shifts may have to wait: Clinton also is doing her bit this election season for fellow Democrats, too, headlining parties and lending her name to an email missive for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

She’s set to bounce from Manhattan to Maryland to Miami this week as she headlines a whopping five fundraisers.

First up is some Big Apple partying on Monday. Clinton will hunker down at the Le Parker Meridien hotel for back-to-back events, the first one a luncheon for the DCCC with its chairman, New York Rep. Steve Israel, as well as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca. Then, Clinton, Israel and Pelosi stick around for a reception for a batch of Democratic House candidates from the region: Vulnerable New York Reps. Tim Bishop, Sean Patrick Maloney and Dan Maffei; New York candidates Sean Eldridge, Domenic Recchia, Kathleen Rice, Martha Robertson and Aaron Woolf; and New Jersey candidates Aimee Belgard and Bonnie Watson Coleman.

On Tuesday, Clinton heads to D.C., by way of a party for New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro. D’Allesandro endorsed Clinton back in ’08 when she won the presidential primary there, and when discussing his upcoming fundraiser, D’Allesandro described her as a “good friend for a long, long time.” The Manchester politician’s prominent role in such a prominent primary state has everyone, of course, a-buzz that this appearance is the latest sign that Clinton plans to run in 2016.

A few hours later, Clinton heads to a Maryland suburb for a reception with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate. This is the latest installment of big-name headliners for Brown’s campaign: In August, Vice President Joe Biden showed up at a fundraiser for Brown, and back in May, Bill Clinton threw him a party. (FYI, don’t expect a Bubba cameo on Tuesday. The former president will be in Chapel Hill that day at a luncheon for Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.)

After a one-day break, H. Clinton is back on the money trail, this time hitting up donors in Florida for Charlie Crist’s campaign. According to PT’s records, Thursday’s special dinner reception marks Clinton’s first time in the Sunshine State for fundraising fun.

Mitt the moneymaker
We’d forgive you for feeling a bit of déjà vu this week. Not only are the Clintons on the trail, but Mitt Romney is slated to attend three parties, too.

The former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential contender starts off on Tuesday at a fundraiser for Barbara Comstock, who is running for Virginia’s 10th District House seat. The race is getting national attention, as indicated by the well-known GOPers who have been stopping by to help Comstock raise cash, including a recent event with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Romney’s running mate in 2012. (And, in keeping with the “remember when …” theme, Comstock forever endeared herself to Republicans back in the ’90s when she was an opposition researcher against the Clintons.)

On Thursday, Romney goes to Kentucky to help out Sen. Mitch McConnell, who is starting to pull ahead in his headline-grabbing race against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. Power couple Joe Craft and Kelly Knight – he a coal magnate, she a Republican fundraiser – will play host at the McConnell party in Lexington along with Don and Mira Ball, who own a custom home building company and give big bucks to their alma mater, the University of Kentucky.

Romney rounds out the week by dipping his toe into yet another marquee Senate race, this one in the Bayou State. His Friday lunch in New Orleans benefits Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is hoping to unseat three-term incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu. Polls have Cassidy ahead, but Democratic outside groups are going big in the contest. According to Sunlight’s Real-Time tool, Senate Majority PAC has spent just shy of $2.4 million against Cassidy, while Patriot Majority USA has spent a little more than $2 million opposing him.

First family funders
If it’s a full week of fundraisers, and the partier-in-chief himself can’t be out of the mix. The Chicago Tribune reports that President Obama will be back in his hometown on Wednesday to raise money for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, in a tight reelection fight with Republican millionaire Bruce Rauner. Obama, known for his tireless fundraising schedule (an average of one party every five days, according to a recent Washington Post story), also has a D.C. event set earlier in the week for the Democratic National Committee. But we need the details! If you have them,  send us the goods!)

But the first lady is also in the party mix, headlining a batch of events for Democratic gubernatorial candidates on Friday. Michelle Obama will attend a fundraiser in Boston for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Coakley is running against Republican Charlie Baker and three independent candidates, and the Boston Globe recently reported that Baker’s campaign account has an $800,000 advantage over Coakley’s.

Obama is also the main draw at a mid afternoon rally and reception for Maine Rep. Mike Michaud, who has his eye on his state’s governor’s mansion. Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, will also be on hand to fire up the crowd at the University of Maine. And although that portion of the afternoon is free, never fear: A $3,000-per-person photo line and backstage reception got tacked onto the rally.

And speaking of Maine, did you know that PT partnered up with the fine folks at the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting to create the very first state-specific Party Time? It’s true! You can check it out right here (and send invites right here). Why can’t D.C. come up with more fundraisers like this one?

Christie brings in the cash
Gov. Chris Christie loves a good party. According to PT’s records, the New Jersey Republican has attended 18 fundraisers in September alone, and although most of those appearances fall under his responsibilities as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, some are outside of those boundaries. Cynics (not us, of course!) might say it looks as though Christie is trying to make inroads with voters and donors in key presidential states.

So, what’s Party Time to think when we heard Christie would be the guest speaker at a Republican finance dinner in Ohio? Does he just love Akron, or could this trip have something to do with Ohio’s perma-swing-state status and Christie’s presidential hopes and dreams for 2016? Party people, you decide!

Sunflower State partying
Last week, we looked into the increasingly interesting Senate race down in Kansas. Republican Sen. Pat Roberts suddenly is in the fight of his life after the Democrat dropped out of the race, paving the way for a serious challenge from independent candidate Greg Orman.

Since that shakeup, Roberts – who faced criticism as a “creature of Washington” during his Republican primary – has appeared in his home state with GOP crowd-pleasers like Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Last week, Roberts did a campaign stop with former Sen. Bob Dole, who hasn’t held office since 1996 but is still a bit of a rock star with Kansas voters.

Come Monday, Roberts will be in Wichita for a luncheon with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. While the Roberts campaign will benefit from the money raked in at the $100- to $2,600-per-plate event, Bush gets publicity points as he flirts with a run for the While House in 2016. He kicked his fundraiser appearances into high gear this year, traveling to Ohio, Illinois and Massachusetts, as well as partying in Florida with Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C., and Gov. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa, both early presidential primary states.

Whew, party people, what a full week! What have we missed, and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Photo courtesy Flickr

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 09.22.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Who has Sen. Pat Roberts, former POTUS Bill Clinton, Sen. Mark Udall, Speaker John Boehner, 20K invites and wants more?? Read on!

Hello, party timers! It’s the last full week of September, and politicians prepping for their midterms with – you guessed it! – fundraisers galore.

But any faithful readers of this blog know it’s never just about the election right in front of us. Sure, Republican Scott Brown (former Massachusetts senator, current New Hampshire Senate candidate) is throwing a reception on Thursday in Manhattan for his November race. But two other prominent GOPers with their eyes on the White House are lending some strategic support this week at parties in the swing state of Virginia.

On Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will indulge in some sweet fundraising at a dessert reception for Barbara Comstock, who is running in the closely watched race for Virginia’s 10th District House seat. The next day, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., continues his frenzied fundraising schedule with a stop in Falls Church for a dinner benefiting the Republican Party of Virginia. If you miss either of those get-togethers, not to worry: Rubio and Paul – along with a batch of other presidential potentials – will gather for a Family Research Council confab in D.C. on Friday.

There’s a lot going on this week, but what have we missed? If you’ve got the goods, you know what to do! Upload official invites right here, or email us whatever you’ve got. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to mention that the Party Time database hit 20,000 invites at the end of last week! So, a big thank you to PT’s friends who made that possible. Huzzah!

Party for Pat
It’s been a tough few months for Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. First, he had to hustle during a closer-than-anticipated Republican primary, ultimately elbowing past tea party challenger Milton Wolf by seven points. Then, the Democrat on the general election ballot opted to bow out, blowing open the race and giving independent candidate Greg Orman a real shot. Just last week, a poll showed that, in a head-to-head matchup, Orman leads the 78-year-old Roberts by 10 points.

Kansas may be deep red, but Rothenberg Political Report just called out Roberts as the most vulnerable Republican senator in the country. The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent two of its scrappiest operatives to the Sunflower State, and bigwigs in the party are chipping in, too, throwing a fundraiser for Roberts in D.C. on Tuesday. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., are all slated to headline the event.

We’ve heard mumblings of other parties in the works for Roberts, who is running for his fourth Senate term, but could use some details. If you know what’s going on, loop us in!

Clinton in Colorado
Former President Bill Clinton hasn’t run for office since the mid ’90s, but you’d never know it based on his travel schedule the last few years. In 2012, he bounced all over the country, stumping for President Obama’s reelection campaign, and since then, he’s lent his support to a fistful of candidates at fundraiser appearances.

Initially, Clinton headlined events for fellow Arkansans, or political buddies like Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, or family friends like Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. But Clinton has become the go-to fundraiser for many other struggling Democrats. He has helped out with fundraisers in New Hampshire for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and in Louisiana for Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Come Saturday, Clinton will try to work some of his magic on Colorado voters. He touches down in Denver for a luncheon with Sen. Mark Udall, who is in a neck-and-neck race with Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner. It’s one of the more marquee Senate contests in the country. According to Sunlight’s Real-Time tool, outside groups, including Crossroads GPS and NextGen Climate Action, have spent a combined $17.4 million on the seat so far.

Boehner hits the road
When Party Time read about House Speaker John Boehner’s August recess road trip of campaigning and fundraising, we couldn’t help but wonder if his team made a playlist for the 14-state tour. We imagine a pre-stop ritual similar to that of Dwight Schrute.

Aides better dust off the mixed tape this week, because the Ohio congressman is at it again with three on-the-road fundraisers. On Tuesday, Boehner heads to Glens Falls, N.Y., for a fundraiser for Elise Stefanik, who is running for the Empire State’s 21st District House seat and, to her credit, has had no shortage of parties with bold-named attendees.

Then, Boehner is off to downtown Manchester on Wednesday for a reception for former Rep. Frank Guinta, who is facing off – for the third time – against Rep. Carol Shea-Porter for the 1st District House seat in New Hampshire. Boehner keeps going north on Thursday for a fundraising stop in Maine for Bruce Poliquin. Poliquin, a former state treasurer, is running against Emily Cain for the 2nd District House seat.

O’Malley money
Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., makes no secret of thinking about a White House bid. Last month, he added fuel to the fire when he dispatched campaign staff into Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, all important presidential primary states. And his busy partying schedule is yet another indicator of his 2016 hopes and dreams.

This weekend, O’Malley has makes three tactical partying stops. First up: New Hampshire, where O’Malley has visited four times in 10 months. He headlines a party on Friday for State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark and then does a dinner for the Portsmouth City Democrats. On Sunday, O’Malley gets some Hollywood help at a fundraiser in California for his (cleverly named) PAC, O’Say Can You See. Film producer Moctesuma Esparza and Sony exec Eric Paquette will be on hand to gin up support among guests paying $1,000 per person to party.

And that’s a wrap! What are we missing, and what have you heard about? Send us whatever you’ve got.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 09.15.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Chris Christie headline fundraisers in South Carolina; Obamas and Hillary Clinton party in D.C.; Rep. John Boehner’s backyard BBQ

Party animals, welcome to another jam-packed week of political fundraising! Know how we know midterms are approaching? This week’s social calendar is overflowing with politicos bellying up to the (campaign cash) bar.

Aside from the usual juicy tidbits from the party circuit, the last few weeks have been rather exciting. First, there was news of that men-only fundraiser for Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., which (a) lit up social media, and (b) proved that you can’t make this stuff up. Then, our friends at the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting launched the first state-level collaboration with Party Time, complete with an ab-fab roundup of how political partying goes down in the Pine Tree State. (Want your state to be next? Let us know and we can set it up!)

We are embarking on a busy week, but what else is happening out there? If you’ve heard of something good, you know what to do! Upload official invites here, or email us whatever you’ve got.

And now, for this week’s highlights!

Palmetto State Partying
Trips to New Hampshire and Iowa by politicians pondering a presidential run always grab headlines. But as the host of the “First in the South” primary, South Carolina is an equally important stepping-stone to the White House.

So, for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, this week’s touchdown in Columbia, S.C., is just the latest nod to political watchers that he’s seriously considering a run in 2016 (for the record, he’s been partying plenty in New Hampshire and Iowa, too). He also recently shook up his political staff and added some fresh blood to his campaign posse.

And come Monday, Cruz is the special guest at a victory lunch benefiting the South Carolina Republican Party. PT’s records show this is the second time Cruz has headlined a shindig for the state party: Back in May 2013, he was the featured guest at the 46th Annual Silver Elephant Celebration, which, incidentally, also served as a tribute to former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who retired last year in favor of running the Heritage Foundation.

Then, on Tuesday, as part of his duties as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make the trek down to South Carolina for an RGA funder. It’s another stop on Christie’s marathon partying schedule, and he’ll be joined at the get-together by another fundraising powerhouse, Gov. Nikki Haley. The dynamic duo of Christie (always in the mix as a potential presidential candidate in 2016) and Haley (a rising star in the party who is up for reelection this fall) will only add to the RGA’s stuffed-to-the-gills bank account, which is thanks to Christie’s record-breaking cash-grab as head of the organization.

Two-day par-tay with Obamas, H. Clinton
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama join fundraising forces at the end of the week for the Democratic Party’s yearly confab for the Women’s Leadership Forum. The annual national issues conference is always a prime place to spot bold-named Dems, and this year, in addition to the president and first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., are slated to speak. It’s all set to go down on Thursday and Friday at the brand-new (and super swanky) Marriott Marquis in downtown D.C.

Of course we can’t be sure, but the smart money is on Clinton and Gillibrand pulling heavily from their respective new books when prepping their remarks for the women-focused event. Gillibrand, who holds the Senate seat Clinton vacated to become Secretary of State in 2008, made some waves when her book, “Off the Sidelines,” revealed a batch of sexist remarks made by her male colleagues. (She also got into a bit of trouble with Northern Virginia residents when she referred to Arlington as a “soulless suburb.”) No matter: Gillibrand still made Time’s 100 Most Influential People list this year, and her book has everyone atwitter about whether or not the memoir is a nod to a future presidential run.

As for Clinton, well, just about everything she does and says is dissected and analyzed to the nth degree. Her tome, “Hard Choices,” might not have divulged anything new, but the book tour got the media buzzing about what another Clinton candidacy would look like. And for PT watchers, in September alone, Clinton headlines a fistful of fundraisers, including a recent stop in Iowa for Sen. Tom Harkin’s Steak Fry.

Boehner makes it rain
Speaker of the House John Boehner is a fundraising fanatic. A master moneymaker. A crusader for campaign cash. During the recent recess, the Ohio Republican went on a multi-state money-grab, hitting up donors for specific candidates and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

On Thursday evening, Boehner has a party of his own, an alliterative gem called the Boehner backyard BBQ. It’s slated to take place at the Half Street Fairgrounds, right near Nats Park in Southeast D.C., but don’t let that, or the invite’s cute mason jar or quaint red-and-white-checkered theme, fool you: This is one pricey party. Tickets start at $500, and climb to $10,000 for what better be some pretty awesome BBQ.

Come Saturday, Boehner is back on the road, heading to the Empire State for a fundraiser for State Sen. Lee Zeldin. This is the latest in a string of high-profile help for Zeldin, who is running against Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop for New York’s 1st District House seat. Party Time’s records show that so far this year, Zeldin has partied with the likes of Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor (that fundraiser appearance was just a few days after Cantor’s surprise primary defeat, FYI), Oregon Rep. and NRCC Chair Greg Walden, and former Florida Rep. Allen West.

Foodie funder
Party Time has a soft spot for Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., because we can just about always count on her to throw some sort of themed get-together, complete with a gem of an invite (June’s Crawfish Fest is the latest winner). On Thursday evening, Landrieu is at it again with the sixth installment of her celebrity chef event, this one featuring Chef Rusty Holman of Pennsylvania Avenue’s Bayou. Expect to throw down anywhere from $1,000 to $5,200 to attend.

Landrieu’s creative ploys for cash collection are all sorts of necessary in her neck-and-neck race. The Rothenberg Political Report calls Landrieu’s matchup against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy a pure toss-up, and Sunlight’s Real-Time Influence Explorer tool shows that the candidates – and outside groups – are spending buku bucks on the seat.

But here’s a quandary, party people: We’ve got a pretty good record of Landrieu’s partying plans, but not a whole lot on the books for her challenger. Got a Cassidy invite to share, or know of a fundraiser in the works? Send whatever you’ve got right here.

Cash for Cotton
A similar scenario is playing out in Arkansas, another southern state where the Democratic incumbent is hanging on by a thread and gobs of money are flowing into the race. According to Real-Time, outside groups alone have spent more than $13 million on the Senate matchup between Sen. Mark Pryor and his Republican challenger, Rep. Tom Cotton. And recent polls give Cotton the advantage.

On Friday, lobbyists from mega firm Podesta Group are throwing a lunch fundraiser for Cotton at the company’s downtown D.C. headquarters. PACs are asked to chip in $1,000 to $2,500, but individuals can get in for a mere $500. Next week, Cotton will benefit from another high-profile party, when he goes to Tampa for a fundraiser headlined by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Wowzers, what a week! Those are your highlights, party people, but what have we missed? Upload invites right here, or email us whatever you’ve got.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 09.11.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

Welcome to the party, Maine! Political Party Time kicks off first state-based collaboration

Political Party Time makes no secret of wanting to get the low down on as many parties as possible. So we absolutely love it when others partying aficionados jump in to scout out the 411 on far-flung festivities. And so we are extra excited to welcome Maine to the Political Party Time family!

The good folks at the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting are PT’s first local partner in our never-ending endeavor to uncover the who, what, when and where of political fundraising. The Maine-specific project launched yesterday, and senior reporter Naomi Schalit has a fantastic and comprehensive roundup of how political parties go down in the Pine Tree State.

Schalit found that, like our friends in D.C., Maine politicians will riff off of just about anything for an excuse to throw a party. Congressional session just ended? You should throw a party! Holiday season getting started? Celebrate it with a fundraiser! In the mood for a day at the shooting range? Invite your best donors (oops, sorry: friends) to a party, and while you’re at it, raffle off a couple of guns, too!

When Political Party Time, OG edition, first launched back in 2008, we aimed to track fundraisers thrown for more top-of-the-ticket races: U.S. Congress and the White House.

But as word got out, and more and more fundraiser invitations started coming our way, our record of fundraising fun has grown to include state- and local-level races. And that’s such a good thing! If you’ll recall, one Mr. Barack Obama started out as a state senator in 1996 and was voted into the White House a mere 12 years later.

No matter one’s political inclinations, we can all agree it would be great to get our hands on some of those fundraiser invites from his first campaigns back in the ’90s. As a central repository of political fundraisers – and the only such database keeping tabs on how politicians party for campaign cash – PT couldn’t be more excited to have a boots-on-the-ground local partner with the same passion for partying.

Frankly, we hope that this partnership with our Maine friends is just the first of many state-level projects. If you are interested in joining the party, give us a shout! Contact us about setting up a Political Party Time feed specific to your community.

And this is probably an excellent time to cheerfully remind you that Party Time needs your help to keep on keeping on. PT’s database is rapidly approaching the 20,000 invitations mark, a feat that would be impossible without you all sending us the goods. So if you’ve got something to share, you know what to do! Upload official invitations right here, or email us whatever you’ve got.

Party on!

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PT Round-up: Clintons, Obamas come out for Democratic Senate candidates, Michelle Nunn parties with Usher, and a birthday fundraiser for Gov. Chris Christie


Party people, for months now we’ve been anticipating a fall season bursting at the seams with political fundraisers. And here we are, in the second full week of September, with a jam-packed social calendar.

This week, D.C.-based partying is back in full swing after the traditional emptying out of Capitol Hill during August, which saw plenty of on-the-road fundraising. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., is one politician taking advantage of D.C.’s summertime-in-September weather, throwing a fundraiser at Nationals Park during Tuesday night’s Nats-Braves matchup. It’s a popular party spot, but usually it’s to watch your home team take on the Nats (since Schneider represents Chicago’s northern ‘burbs, we’re assuming he’s a Cubs fan). But, hey, a politician’s got to do what a politician’s got to do, and if that means having a fundraiser during a baseball game when your team’s not playing, then so be it.

Although Party Time’s schedule is super full, we are sure there’s more going on out there. What have you heard about, and what invites have come across your desk? You know what to do! Upload official invites right here, or email us any news tips.

And with that, get ready for a busy week in political partying!

Dems are partying hard. Like, really, really hard.
Democrats and Republicans are in the midst of a fight to the death for control of the Senate. Seriously. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently called his race against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes a “slugfest” and a “knife fight” during a fundraiser in southeastern Kentucky.

While candidates are using “control of the Senate” to rally support around their individual campaigns (at that same fundraiser, McConnell told those gathered: “This is the biggest race in the country. And the consequences are enormous.”), national-level party committees also employ the refrain to ply mega donors for mega bucks. To wit: This week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – in charge of keeping the Senate blue – is throwing six pricey parties.

Dems have been rather adept this year at deploying unpopular-yet-moneymaking politicos (ahem, President Obama) to collect cash, and this week’s swath of fundraisers continues the trend. Tuesday evening’s annual fall reception at the National Museum of Women in the Arts features DSCC Chair Michael Bennet, D-Colo.,  and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.,  always a popular target for Republicans. Tickets start at $1,000 and climb to $32,400. And on Friday, expect a similarly priced event in Baltimore, where the partier-in-chief himself headlines a fundraiser. (Details on President Obama’s party are scarce, so let us know if you’ve heard about what’s doing in Charm City.)

Hillary Clinton makes her fall fundraising debut this week, hosting a DSCC reception and dinner – tickets go for $10,000 per person, or $32,400 per couple – at her Northwest D.C. home. Between her summertime book tour and various speaking gigs, not to mention the continual will-she-won’t-she-in-2016 storyline, Clinton keeps grabbing headlines. But Party Time counts this as her first step into purely political territory since May, when she headlined a fundraiser for Marjorie Margolies (mother-in-law to one Chelsea Clinton, not-so-incidentally), who ultimately lost her bid to return to Congress. State Rep. Brendan Boyle defeated Margolies in the Democratic primary for an open seat in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District.

Tuesday’s event is the first of two fundraisers this week for Clinton. On Sunday, she and hubby Bill will touch down in Iowa to co-headline Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual Steak Fry. As the site of the first-in-the-nation caucuses, the Hawkeye State visit has political prognosticators buzzing more than usual about her possible White House run. Ready for Hillary, the super PAC that’s collecting cash and solidifying support for a possible H. Clinton presidential candidacy, even cooked up a fundraiser raffle for supporters to win a trip to the Steak Fry.

And two more fundraisers fill out the week for the DSCC’s fundraising frenzy: On Wednesday, Delaware Sen. Tom Carper will host a lunch in D.C., and come Friday, party faithful will gather in swanky Kiawah, S.C., for a weekend-long fall retreat.

Famous faces come out for Michelle Nunn
In Georgia’s tight Senate race, Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn benefits greatly from name recognition. Her father, former Sen. Sam Nunn, continues to be a popular political figure in her home state after serving in the Senate for more than 30 years.

But a recent article questioned whether or not the Nunn name provides much of a boost among African Americans or younger voters, key constituencies for Democratic candidates. Fortunately for the Nunn camp, some very well-known people with names that just about everyone can recognize are throwing fundraisers this week for the campaign.

First up is first lady Michelle Obama, who is headlining a roundtable fundraiser Monday afternoon in Atlanta. The event benefits Nunn and the DSCC, and marks Obama’s first foray into fundraising since the end of July. Then, on Saturday, former President Bill Clinton throws a funder at the Atlanta home of Usher. Is everyone else counting on a Clinton-on-the-saxophone version of “Yeah!”? Thought so.

Cash for Comstock
Before she became a member of Virginia’s House of Delegates, Barbara Comstock was a go-to researcher and political consultant within Republican circles for years, working on former President George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000 and on Mitt Romney’s run in 2012. Now, as she competes for Virginia’s 10th District House seat, Comstock is getting help from some long-ago cultivated friendships.

On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., headlines a reunion event in D.C., which will feature other top aides from the 2012 campaign. Comstock’s team is also raffling off two tickets and a photo with Ryan, asking supporters to throw down anywhere from $25 to $2,600 for a chance to meet the former VP candidate and current chair of the House Budget Committee.

The next day, Comstock throws another fundraiser, this one at the Middleburg, Va., home of Kristi and Vito Germinario. Former Virginia Sen. John Warner and Rep. Frank Wolf, whose upcoming retirement opened up the 10th District seat, are slated to attend Wednesday’s event.

Happy birthday, Mr. Governor
Politicians will use anything for a fundraiser gimmick. And why not? If you are planning to celebrate a wedding anniversary or the coming of summer anyway, why not tack on a little fundraising for good measure?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a one-man fundraising machine for the Republican Governors Association, is joining in on the tradition and marking his birthday (which actually fell on Sept. 6) with a fundraiser for the New Jersey Republican State Committee. Christie will celebrate the big 5-2 with his right-hand man, Bill Palatucci, and Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, turned presidential candidate, turned big-time GOP surrogate in 2014.

While $150 will get you into the general reception, it’ll cost you $5,000 to attend the private reception or $25,000 to attend the roundtable. And if that doesn’t entice you to bust out the checkbook, the birthday balloons on the invite should do the trick.

And those are the week’s highlights, party animals! What are we missing, and what have you heard about? Upload invites right here or email us whatever you’ve got.

Photo courtesy Flickr

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 09.01.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Alison Lundergan Grimes raffles off lunch with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. John Boehner fundraises in Denver, and Bill Clinton parties for Dems in New York City

Hello, party people, and welcome to September! It’s the official start of what promises to be a very busy fall full of fundraisers for November’s midterm election. As politicians hunker down for the final stretch of their races, they’ll be asking you to dole out some serious campaign cash. It’s all about the money, honey!

Although Capitol Hill emptied out for August, Party Time’s records show that the partying did not stop when Congress hit the road for a five-week break. In fact, this was one of the busiest Augusts on the books for Party Time. We counted 135 parties last month, which clobbered last year’s tally of 89 events. It looks like the politicians just took the partying with them, hitting up supporters from sea to shining sea: Of last month’s 135 parties, only two of them took place in D.C.

Know of a fundraiser that happened last month and isn’t on our calendar? You know what to do! Upload invites right here, or email us tips or news clippings. And that, of course, goes for upcoming events, too. We want all of it! Send anything and everything right here.

The outside-the-Beltway fundraising trend continues this week, as politicians seem to want to extend that summer break as long as possible. In fact, a handful of them will pack their bags for a long weekend getaway. On Friday, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., will head back to his home state for his annual dove hunt weekend, and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., follows suit with a trip up to the Chesapeake Bay for a golf weekend. And Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., makes his way to French Lick, Ind., for a two-day golf trip with donors.

What else is on the books for this week? So glad you asked. Here’s your week in political parties!

No such thing as a free lunch
From the get-go, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes hasn’t wanted for bold-named supporters. The Kentucky Senate candidate, running against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has collected cash from the likes of Steven Spielberg and Ben Affleck and partied with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Will.i.am and Bill Clinton – twice!

Given McConnell’s long tenure in the Senate and his front-and-center leadership role, Democrats are salivating at the chance to unseat him. Combine that with McConnell’s own fundraising prowess, and you’ve got a truly epic race, one that some predict will cost more than $100 million by the time the dust settles.

Grimes’ reliance on Dem heavyweights continues this week, as her campaign raffles off a D.C. lunch date with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. The fundraiser sweepstakes isn’t the first time Warren has helped out Grimes, either: The two partied at back-to-back events in Kentucky at the end of June. And it’s just another example of how Warren – a liberal darling for her anti-Wall Street rhetoric – is the new “it” fundraiser for Democrats. Her partying schedule shows her bouncing from coast to coast to provide some progressive street cred to candidates and to help them raise tons of campaign cash.

Boehner brings in the bucks
Searching for an equally star-powered get-together for Republicans? Look no further than Tuesday’s early evening reception for Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, which features Speaker of the House John Boehner as the “special guest.”

It’s the latest installment of the Ohio Republican’s summertime road trip, which found him on a 14-state excursion filled with campaigning and fundraising. Boehner also huddled recently with donors and a handful of his Republican House colleagues in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where talk focused on how to pick up additional seats in the House and – you guessed it – the need for more campaign cash. (Bonus: Organizers also showed this highlight reel of sorts from Boehner’s bus tour.)

Coffman’s race, which pits him against Democrat and former state Rep. Andrew Romanoff, is one of the most closely watched this cycle, with the Rothenberg Political Report calling it out as one of the nation’s seven “Pure Toss-Up” contests in the House. And although Coffman is the one with the big-name event this week, Romanoff has gotten some support from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who headlined parties for him this July and back in August 2013.

Dem dollars
In yet another indicator that November’s election is just around the corner, Thursday’s Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in New York features three headliners who can be counted on to inspire donors to cut a fat check: Pelosi, New York Rep. Steve Israel and former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton, who logged a busy summer full of events for state-level party committees and a fistful of various candidates, continues to be a popular surrogate for Democrats. Thursday’s shindig is the first in what promises to be a long string of pre-midterm parties. And soon, Hillary Clinton – of will-she-or-won’t-she-in-2016 fame – will join in on the partying fun.

In the next few weeks, H. Clinton will be the featured speaker at four fundraisers, including an all-important stop in Iowa for Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual (and final) Steak Fry. For those keeping track at home, yes, this will mark Clinton’s first trip to the Hawkeye State since her 2008 presidential campaign.

Before the close of summer: some BBQ and classic rock
With summer wrapping up, you can’t help but want to squeeze in as many warm weather-themed activities as possible. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., is doing his part, throwing his annual Boozman & BBQ fundraiser in Little Rock. Tickets start at $60, but sponsorships cap out at $1,500.

If concerts are more in line with your idea of summer fun, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has just the ticket – well, he actually has two of them. Braley, who is running for the open Senate seat created by Harkin’s retirement against Republican Joni Ernst, is raffling off a pair of seats to Saturday night’s Eagles concert in Des Moines. We can’t decide between a play on “Take it to the Limit” or “The Last Resort,” so maybe it’s just better to let it go.

And that’s a wrap, party people! Know of anything good going on out there? Send whatever you’ve got right here.

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 08.19.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

Wake up, Party Time! It’s your birthday!

Hello party people! We interrupt our annual August nap for a birthday celebration. That’s right, folks: good old Party Time turns 6 today!

We threw – what else? – a party last year to mark five years of keeping our finger on the political party pulse, collecting invites for all of those receptions, pheasant hunts and get-togethers at Johnny’s Half Shell. Last year, we counted a total of 17,807 events in the Party Time database, but our latest check on the numbers shows we’ve now logged 19,631 invites. Whew!

And that embarrassment of riches is thanks largely to you, dear readers. We couldn’t do it without your contributions (and we don’t mean the kind our party animals collect, although the Sunlight Foundation, which created and maintains this unique database of political fundraisers, could always accept a few dollars to help feed our hungry bloggers and data-entry team).

Meanwhile, PT’s needs are far more rarefied. As the go-to place for a big-picture look at political fundraising – from the traditional to the outlandish – Party Time relies on an army of friends to send us the goods on what’s going on in their hometowns.

Which reminds us: Do you have an invite, or know of a fundraiser in the works? You know what to do! Upload whatever you’ve got right here, or email us. We take it all: invites for federal, state and local politicians; news clippings and guest lists; event menus and party photos. Send it our way!

Before we dig into that delicious-looking b-day cupcake, we should point out that it actually hasn’t been such a sleepy August. The pols are partying hard this summer recess, gearing up for 2014 and jockeying for 2016 (we see you, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., and Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md.).

In the past, August has seen a lull in fundraising fun, but not so this year. We’ve tallied 122 parties this month, compared with last year’s 89. And 2014’s total is more than double the number of invites (54) we have for August 2010, the last midterm-sans-presidential-election cycle.

Does that mean more partying or are we just hearing about more events? Who could know! Either way, keep those invites coming!

Graphic: Caitlin Weber/Sunlight Foundation

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PARTYFINDER™ Hints

Beneficiary: congressional candidate, lawmaker, or entity which collects funds raised at party

Host: person who is hosting party-often, but not always, a registered federal lobbyist

Venue Name: where the party is

Entertainment Type: type of gathering, such as "breakfast," "ski trip," "bowling"

Other Lawmakers Mentioned: lawmakers mentioned on invitation who are used as a draw for the event

Sunlight's Party Time is a project to track parties for members of Congress or congressional candidates that happen all year round in Washington, D.C. and beyond. (read more)

We also post information we receive about parties where members of Congress are expected to participate—such as convention or inaugural parties.

Since we don't hear about all the parties, you can also tell us if you know where the party is and we don't.