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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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2014 elections 2016 presidential Uncategorized • POSTED - 06.30.14 BY Stan Oklobdzija

PT Round UP: Murder Mysteries in NY, Rick Perry heads South, Scott Brown kicks off Senate Push

715554222_6ad4e51c5c_zHey party animals, just one week before we inflate the kiddie pool and break out the illegal fireworks! And while you’re still figuring out how much potato salad you can cram in your fridge, politicians from sea to shining sea are honoring our nation by collecting as many portraits of dead presidents as they can. On greenbacks, that is.

Happy birthday America, it’s political party time!

The past weekend saw one of the more innovative fundraisers to cross PT’s desk lately: One New York state legislative candidate’s very own “Who Dunnit?” murder mystery.

That’s right, on June 29th, Rich Cocchiara, a Republican candidate for New York’s State Assembly, hosted a “Party to Die For” in support of his election bid. For $75 and up, ($1,000 got you a table for eight and “sign recognition”), partiers could jump into a live-action version of Clue with the four-term mid-Hudson Valley city councilman. What else would you want to do with your Sunday night now that Game of Thrones is over?

And while we’re on the topic of wild princes from untamed lands, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be a special guest at a hamburger and hotdog feed in support of Congressman Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina. While not touring California in a Tesla or trying to remember that last federal agency he’d like to close, Perry has been busy hitting up donors far from the Lone Star State. A month ago, Perry was cruising Iowa at three separate fundraisers for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. Just two weeks before that, Perry was having a cheeseburger in paradise at a Florida Tiki Bar fundraiser for Gov. Rick Scott. No word yet if Perry will be channeling Kobayashi at the July 2 event, but if you live in the greater Indian Land, SC area, you can see for yourself for just ten bucks.

Moving further down the trail into the heart of Dixie, the state that brought us musical legends like Ronnie Van Zant, Fred Durst and Vanilla Ice is hosting famous jazz saxophonist (and former president) Bill Clinton at a fundraiser for the Florida Democratic Party on June 28th. Two hundred bones gets you a plate of chow and a chance to hear America’s most famous pseudo-vegan give the keynote address.

The man with the beat-up truck and the man with an elevator for his cars will be hanging out in the Granite State July 2. Brown, Former Massachusetts Republican senator (and former male model) Scott Brown is hoping to stack some chips for his latest Senate bid in neighboring New Hampshire. Featured at the fundraiser is another multi-state, multi-former: former Massachusetts governor and former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney who is currently paying taxes in the plush California precincts of La Jolla but who also has a lakefront “cottage” in New Hampshire. Whew! The two will stump for cash at the very farm where Romney launched his own presidential campaign in 2011, according to the Boston Globe. Perhaps “Bittersweet Farm” will be less of an ill omen for Brown as he goes to battle in New Hampshire’s GOP Primary in about two months’ time.

Boys aren’t having all the fun though. On Monday, New York City’s Harvard Club, a once all-male bastion, will play host to two powerful politicos of the female persuasion:  Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright will headline a fundraiser for veteran Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. Lowey, the top-ranking Democrat on the clout-heavy House Appropriations Committee, is considered a shoo-in for her 14th term.

As usual and as always, Party Time relies on you, dear reader, to provide the tips and send the invites that keep this site running. You can email us or use our confidential upload feature, whichever tickles your fancy. Party Time is always accepting dinner menus, guest lists or any other tidbits about how politicians are raising the big bucks that keep their campaign machines well fueled.

Until next week party animals and happy Fourth of July!

Photo Courtesy Creative Commons.

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

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

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

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

And now, for your week in parties.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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

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

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

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

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

With that, here are this week’s highlights!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 06.11.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

Party Time looks back at Rep. Eric Cantor’s fundraising highlights (hint: there were lots in D.C.)

As the House of Representatives prepares to bid adieu to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor after his primary loss Tuesday night, Party Time has to admit: We are sad to see this partying fiend go.

A quick look at Party Time’s data shows that Cantor and his leadership PAC have benefited from 49 fundraisers since 2006, a majority of them in Washington. And although that sure is a good amount of glad-handing donors and lobbyists, PT also knows that count is just the tip of the iceberg.

In fact, we just learned that on the morning of his primary, Cantor wasn’t traveling his 7th District or chatting up voters in Richmond. Instead, he was at a fundraiser at a Starbucks on Capitol Hill. PT’s data indicate this was a favorite haunt of the longtime politician – this makes for 14 caffeinated get-togethers at the Starbucks on Southeast Pennsylvania Avenue, and word is it’s a monthly meeting between Cantor and lobbyists. (We are still hunting around for an official invite to the primary day funder heard ’round the world, but if you’ve got it, feel free to confidentially upload it right here.)

Aside from his favorite Starbucks, the Virginia Republican, who lost his primary to economics professor David Brat, was fond of parties in the District. Of the 49 Cantor fundraisers that PT knows about, 43 were in D.C. Venues ranging from Latin American restaurant Ceiba to popular PT haunt Johnny’s Half Shell to Foggy Bottom hangout District Commons to Nationals Park for his Day in the Park event.

Reason to party: Could Cantor snag a half-million-dollar parting gift?

PT has records for just two Cantor fundraisers in Richmond: a pair of campaign breakfasts in 2013 and 2014. This year’s event, in February at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, cost $100 a plate and featured Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as a special guest.

While Cantor had his fair share of staid dinners and receptions at places like seafood chain The Oceanaire and wine bar Sonoma, he did know how to spice it up with his Festivus for the Rest of Us events, a weekend trip to Los Angeles, and an expensive golf tournament at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Va.

As Vox, via Open Secrets data, pointed out, Cantor spent $168,000 at steakhouses in this cycle alone. And that’s compared to his opponent, Brat, who spent a total of $200,000. But PT has high hopes for the political newbie, as our data find a set of back-to-back D.C. fundraisers for Brat. On May 14, he held a breakfast fundraiser with Grover Norquist followed by a lunchtime party.

As fundraising for the general election heats up and you hear about more parties for the Virginia’s 7th District seat, keep your friends at Party Time in the loop! Email us tips and newspaper clippings, or upload official invites right here.

Photo courtesy Flickr

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 06.10.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

Hillary Clinton’s “Hard Choices:” Where she and her backers have been shaking the money tree

As Hillary Rodham Clinton dusts off her luggage set for a mega-book tour to hawk her latest manuscript, “Hard Choices,” and speculation mounts about whether it’s a warm-up to a 2016 campaign, we at Party Time decided to pull together our own itinerary — of Clinton’s strategic fundraiser appearances we’ve tracked.

For the well-traveled former secretary of state, most of those jaunts have required just an overnight bag, as she’s stayed close to her home turf of D.C. and New York.

PT’s records show that last fall, Clinton attended a fistful of parties for Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the final months of Virginia’s gubernatorial race. McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton family friend and a prolific Democratic fundraiser himself, benefited from host Hillary at a get-together at her Northwest D.C. home and headliner Hillary at a New York party.

Clinton also attended an evening reception for McAuliffe in Northern Virginia, where tickets started at $2,500. Clinton then lent her name to an even pricier shindig for McAuliffe in Beverly Hills, just a few days before voters went to the polls in Virginia. The Oct. 30, 2013, luncheon was at the home of media heavyweight Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, and cost $15,000 per person or $25,000 per couple.

MORE: Anti-Clinton group airs ads during her debut book interview.

Last fall, Clinton also found time to take the stage at a Manhattan fundraiser for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. She headlined the evening event at the Roosevelt Hotel, with tickets starting at $1,000 and climbing to $25,000 for a private reception with Clinton, de Blasio, and de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. According to the New York Daily News, the de Blasio campaign collected $1 million from the event.

While McAuliffe and de Blasio won their respective campaigns, Clinton did headline one party for an unsuccessful candidate, Pennsylvania’s Marjorie Margolies, who also happens to be Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law. But last month’s event, at the Upper East Side home of Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, wasn’t enough to snag Margolies a victory. She lost the Democratic primary – for the suburban Philadelphia congressional seat she held in the ’90s – to state Rep. Brendan Boyle.

But when it comes to her tour for “Hard Choices,” Clinton will collect some serious frequent flier miles. Yahoo! News reports that this month alone, Clinton will crisscross from Chicago to Canada to Philadelphia to Austin, Texas. She’ll also log some serious television time, sitting down with Diane Sawyer in prime time (which Sunlight found inspired an anti-Clinton TV ad buy), Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America,” and Fox News.

That schedule better mirrors the far-flung adventures of the super PAC that’s encouraging Clinton to run for president in 2016, Ready for Hillary. Party Time’s records show that Ready for Hillary has thrown 30 events since October 2013, with parties sprouting up in Texas, Florida, California, New York, Arkansas, D.C., Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Washington, New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, North Carolina and Minnesota.

Just last week, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., announced his support for a Clinton campaign in ’16 at a Ready for Hillary party in Chicago, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he was ready, too, during a fundraiser for the group in Westport. Blumenthal is the latest Democrat to voice support for a second Clinton presidential run; every female Democratic senator already signed a letter calling on the former senator from New York to run. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., will headline a D.C. fundraiser for the organization on June 19.

So far, Clinton has remained mum on just how ready she is to launch another presidential bid. According to ABC News, Clinton said she would “be on the way to making a decision by the end of the year” and “probably likely” to make an announcement in 2015.

She also said she plans to campaign for Dems running this year, but Clinton’s name already is getting put to good use for the party. National Journal reported that, for the first time this year, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is employing Clinton’s name in a fundraiser pitch. The email offers donors a chance to win a signed copy of “Hard Choices” with a contribution to the DSCC.

Photo courtesy Flickr

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 06.09.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Mitt Romney parties big, Sen. Mary Landrieu throws crawfish fest in D.C., and Republicans fundraise in Iowa

Hello, party people! It’s been a busy few weeks on our social calendar, with some politicians raising last-minute cash before their primary elections and others throwing down last-minute endorsements. There’s never a dull moment when it comes to political partying.

It’s a lot to keep up with, and we can always use an extra helping hand or two. When you take a look at this week’s schedule, what have we missed? Email us tips and newspaper clippings, or upload official invites right here. What have you heard about, faithful partiers? Let us know!

As we look ahead to this packed week of fundraising, the Partier-in-Chief anchors our schedule with a Wednesday event in Boston. President Barack Obama will headline a par-tay for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is slated to attend. After a busy May, Party Time counts this as Obama’s first of four fundraisers scheduled (so far) for June.

What else is on the books for the week? So glad you asked …

Republicans heart Romney
The Democratic Party knows that President Obama can still encourage donors to write fat checks. That’s why its various campaign committees continue to dispatch him to high-dollar events, even as Democratic candidates don’t seem super excited to have him campaign on their behalf.

It’s an awkward situation for Obama, and one that’s thrown into sharp relief when comparing it to the year Mitt Romney is having. Yes, the guy who unsuccessfully ran for president (twice!) is more popular – and more in demand – than the current Commander in Chief.

Romney is partying all over the place, appearing in TV ads, and, as the Daily Beast put it, he’s “batting 1,000 [sic] in the 2014 GOP primary game”: all of the candidates he endorsed this go-around have won their primaries.

The GOP-Romney love connection continues this week with two events. First, the former Massachusetts governor travels on Monday to Manhattan for a reception for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Then, on Thursday, Romney kicks off his Third Annual Policy Summit and Leadership Retreat in Park City, Utah. The three-day event features a who’s-who of Romney’s inner circle (his wife, Ann, and their son, Tagg, and his old business partner, Bob White), famous faces (the Broncos’ Peyton Manning, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson), potential 2016-ers (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan), and business world muckety-mucks (Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, Univision head Randy Falco).

Crawfish for cash
Sen. Mary Landrieu is in a tight race. Polls have the Louisiana Democrat a few points behind her Republican challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy, and Rothenberg calls the contest a “Pure Toss-up.” Sunlight’s Real-Time tracker shows that the candidates are spending millions on their race, and outside groups have already weighed in to the tune of $2.5 million.

As she seeks her fourth term in office, Landrieu is touting her Bayou State bona fides, releasing two ads with her father, former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu, and, as head of the Senate’s Energy Committee, slamming President Obama’s new global warming rule. This week, she’s even got a home state-themed fundraiser planned for D.C.

On Wednesday evening, Landrieu throws her 13th Annual Crawfish Fest in Capitol Hill (please-oh-please click the link for the clip art masterpiece that is this invite). Tickets start at $50 and climb to $1,000 for a plate at the soirée.

Hawking for money in the Hawkeye State
Whenever Iowa pops up on a politician’s schedule, Party Time – and political watchers everywhere – take note. As the host of the first-in-the-country caucuses, visits to Iowa often are equated with presidential ambition. And this upcoming weekend is no different.

PT counted three parties on the books in Iowa this weekend, all circling around the Republican State Convention on Saturday in Des Moines. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum – all mentioned as possible GOP White House contenders in 2016 – will each speak at the convention.

That’ll be Jindal’s second gig of the weekend. He actually kicks things off on Friday with a fundraiser for the state’s Republican Party.

And Paul is getting in on the action, too. He’s invited to a cocktail roundtable after the convention on Saturday evening. Iowa’s own Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Chuck Grassley will all be on hand, too, to hobnob with donors. According to the Des Moines Register, the National Republican Senatorial Committee organized the party for the Iowa Victory Committee.

Get ready, Iowa. You’ve got an epic weekend of political partying ahead of you.

Corbett + Christie + cash
Gov. Tom Corbett is not doing so hot. A poll released by Quinnipiac last week showed the Republican earning low marks with voters in his home state of Pennsylvania – 55 percent of voters disapprove of his job performance and 58 percent don’t think he should get reelected. In a head-to-head matchup between Corbett and his Democratic challenger, businessman Tom Wolf, voters are going with Wolf, big time. That same poll found that Wolf topples Corbett by 20 points.

Corbett’s underdog status is catnip to Gov. Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor makes his way to Philly on June 9 for a fundraiser for his fellow Republican. Christie’s Monday event is the latest in a string of well-documented party appearances by the Republican Governors Association chairman (and comes a few days before the big Park City confab with Romney intimates).

West Coast party for West Virginia’s Natalie Tennant
As the Rockefeller political dynasty cruises to its finish line – in January 2013, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said he wouldn’t seek reelection – political operatives on both sides of the aisle are angling for a seat that’s been in Democratic hands since 1958. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., had her eye on the Senate position even before Rockefeller announced his retirement, but Dems didn’t have a candidate named until last fall, when former Secretary of State Natalie Tennant threw her hat into the ring.

Sunlight’s Real-Time tracker shows Capito is winning the money game, so far out-fundraising Tennant $4,347,636 to $1,746,716. Sounds like it’s time for a party! EMILY’S List and Progressive Women Silicon Valley will host Tennant Thursday evening for an expensive fundraiser in fancy-pants Portola Valley, Calif., a long way from the Mountain State. The reception will put you back at least $100, but in order to snag a seat at dinner, plan to write a check for a cool $2,600.

And that’s a wrap, you partying fiends! What have we missed and what have you heard about? Email us whatever you’ve got, or upload official invites right here.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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PT Round-up: Alison Lundergan Grimes fundraises in D.C., Michael Bloomberg hosts Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and Dems line up for Hillary Clinton


Hello party people, and welcome to your first full week of summer! As the swamp that is D.C. continues to heat up, a fearless foursome is heading west for a Southern California getaway – plus fundraising! Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., and Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., are taking advantage of the House’s weeklong recess and hanging out at the luxurious beachfront Four Seasons Santa Barbara for four days. Frankly, we can’t say that we blame them.

The rest of our social calendar is plenty busy this week, but we are sure there are other parties out there that haven’t made it onto our schedule. And that’s where you come in, party people! What have we missed? Email us whatever you’ve heard about, or upload official invites right here. And we always keep our sources confidential, so you can feel comfortable sharing.

Now let’s get into your week in parties!

Grimes goes for green
Political watchers have had their hawk eyes on the Kentucky Senate race for months now, tracking Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes’ every move and watching Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s GOP leader,  topple his primary challenger, Matt Bevin.

With the May 20 primary now in the rearview mirror, Grimes and McConnell are really free to go at each other. In fact, on May 21, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a super PAC that supports McConnell, threw down $560,961 on anti-Grimes TV ads, according to Sunlight’s Real Time tracker. That’s a hefty chunk of the nearly $2.4 million the group has spent opposing Grimes.

Sounds like it’s time for a fundraiser or two. On Wednesday evening, Grimes – who has benefited from some bold-named and well-connected help on the party circuit – will have a D.C. reception at the Georgetown home of lawyer Nelson Cunningham. The party is hosted by big-time Dem donors David and Carol Pensky and political consultant (and former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff from 1993-1994) Mack McLarty. McLarty and Cunningham hop in and out of the revolving door, holding key political posts in the Senate and White House and working at various private sector firms. They currently work together at McLarty Associates, an offshoot of the powerful but hush-hush Kissinger Associates.

Here’s hoping Grimes doesn’t party too hard on Wednesday evening. At 7:45 a.m. Thursday, she’s back at it, breakfasting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. Party Time records show this is the second time Reid has thrown a fundraiser for Grimes: Last October, Reid held a luncheon in Las Vegas for the Kentucky Senate hopeful.

Manhattan money
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is an equal opportunity partier. Our records show the Independent politician has been hosting Republicans and Democrats at his Upper East Side townhouse for years. And come Thursday, he opens up his recently renovated digs for a fundraiser for Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Mich.

The first-term governor and Michigan native travels to the Big Apple to raise funds for his reelection campaign. Snyder will face off in November against former Democratic Rep. Mark Schauer, who represented his southern Michigan district on Capitol Hill for one term in 2009.

When we first caught wind of the get-together, Party Time was surprised by the Manhattan-Michigan connection. But turns out this won’t be the first face-to-face for the pair: Bloomberg and Snyder have appeared together at multiple events to advocate for immigration reform.

Lunching with lobbyists
Sen. Mark Pryor is holding on in Arkansas. The Democratic senator is facing a tough reelection fight in his red state – Rothenberg calls the race “Toss-up/Tilt Republican” – and polls show he’s neck-and-neck with his Republican challenger, Rep. Tom Cotton. Last month, Sunlight reported that a Democratic super PAC, Senate Majority PAC, spent $464,000 on ads opposing Cotton, the latest in a string of hefty independent expenditures in the race. Mother Jones, meanwhile, tried without success to find out who’s behind a $1.5 million dark money bomb on behalf of Cotton.

Sunlight’s Real Time tracker shows that Pryor and Cotton already have raised more than a combined $12 million for their race, with Pryor bringing in slightly more. But in politics, there’s no such thing as too much money, so Pryor will have a lunch on Thursday to fatten up that wallet even more. The noontime meal at Art & Soul will put you back $1,000 to $2,500 a plate.

Cohosting the fundraiser:  Eddie Ayoob, a Barnes & Thornburg lobbyist and former top staffer in Reid’s Senate office, and Brady King – a CPA lobbyist and former Hill staffer in multiple offices, including that of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Virginia is for lovers partiers
Virginia Republicans have a busy weekend ahead of them. On Saturday, they gather in Roanoke for their state convention to determine who should face off against Democratic Sen. Mark Warner in the fall. Ed Gillespie – Republican operative, lobbyist, RNC chairman, etc. – looks likely to snag the nomination, even though the convention usually brings together more conservative voters, who (in case you hadn’t heard) tend to eye establishment Republicans with some uncertainty.

Before folks get down to business, they should probably have a party, right? Right. Fortunately, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will be on hand to get things going during Friday night’s Commonwealth Gala. Tickets to the dinner start at $75, but climb up to $2,500 to host a table of 10.

More and more Dems Ready for Hillary
Chicago is, like, really Ready for Hillary. Last week, the super PAC that’s encouraging Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016 had a fundraiser in the Windy City, and this week, there are two more events on the books.

First up is a $1,000 per head reception Thursday at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan are slated to attend. All three are buddy-buddy with President Barack Obama, meaning yet another batch of Obama faithful are, well, Ready for Hillary. The host committee is a veritable who’s who of Chicago bigwigs and Obama bundlers: Conlon & Dunn Public Strategies higher-ups Kevin Conlon and Chris Dunn, Barnes & Thornburg partner Richard Boykin (who recently won the Democratic nominee for Cook County Commissioner), Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts, and Andrea and Alan Solow are some of the hosts listed on the invite.

And then it’s off to another steakhouse for another fundraiser. Mayor Emanuel will attend both parties, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., will join in for the second shindig. Another fistful of H. Clinton fans will be on hand to host.

On Friday evening, the super PAC gets yet another boost, this time during a reception in Connecticut. The fundraiser will be at the home of Ann Scheffer and Bill Scheffler, Democratic donors who attended a pricey DNC dinner in 2012 where President Obama spoke.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., will attend Friday’s party and the invite promises he will make a “special announcement” at the event. (We are not holding our breath on what that announcement will be, by the way.) A bit of history: Blumenthal and Clinton were classmates at Yale Law School, and during her 2008 run for president, Blumenthal, then Connecticut’s Attorney General, attended a fundraiser for Clinton’s campaign.

What a week party people – and those were just some of the highlights! But if you know we’re missing something, feel free to email us or upload those invites right here. Until next week, party on!

Photo courtesy Flickr

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 05.27.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Joe Biden hits the fundraising trail, Rick Perry parties in Iowa, and Chris Christie heads to New Mexico, Tennessee

Hey, party people, hey! We hope you are enjoying this long weekend of sunshine, BBQs and (hopefully) red, white and blue-themed rooftop get-togethers. Your hard-working legislators are taking a three-day weekend, too, stepping away from Capitol Hill and, with one exception, even holding off on political partying. But the Memorial Day BBQ that Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., had a at her downtown Santa Barbara headquarters was a private morale-booster for hard-working volunteers, not a fundraiser, a Capps’ campaign staffer told PT.

As for the rest of this week, our social calendar revs up with some big-name headliners partying for friends in high places. We’ve got you covered with this week’s partying particulars in our roundup below.

But what have we missed, PT faithful? Let us know what you’ve heard about by emailing us or uploading invites here. We want to know all of the juicy details, so if you’ve got pictures from an event or newspaper clippings with rumors of an upcoming party, we want it! Send whatever you’ve got right here.

Joe goes a-fundraising
He’s not the Partier-in-Chief, but he comes in at a close second. While the media have a grand old time with President Barack Obama’s hectic fundraising schedule, Vice President Joe Biden has been doing quite a bit of partying himself. Party Time records show that Obama has appeared at nine fundraisers so far this month, while Biden has checked in at seven parties.

The second-in-command wraps up his busy May with two more fundraisers this week. On Tuesday, Biden heads to Denver for a reception for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and the state’s Democratic Party. Then, on Wednesday, the VP makes his way farther west to San Francisco for a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. Billionaire Dem donor and climate change activist Tom Steyer will host the DNC event at his Pacific Heights brownstone.

It’s an interesting one-two punch for the people involved in the two events. Late last week, Steyer announced his super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, would spend $100 million on seven Senate and gubernatorial races in 2014 – and that he would throw in $50 million from his own wallet to get things started. One of those seven highlighted races just happens to be the tight contest between Udall, who opposes the Keystone XL pipeline, and Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who is for it. The Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity recently put out an ad that high-fived Gardner for supporting Keystone.

This week’s parties may not technically be connected, but there sure is a common theme.

Rick Perry parties in a primary state
Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, has come a long way from his painful-to-watch-but-you-just-can’t-look-away “oops” moment during the 2012 Republican presidential primary campaign. He’s got glasses! He killed it at the Conservative Political Action Conference! He’s touting job growth in Texas in out-of-state TV commercials!

Does this all amount to a superficial, licking-his-wounds makeover? Or is something more at play here? A few weeks ago, Perry went on “Meet the Press” and talked about how “America is a place that believes in second chances.” Hmmmm. When you combine comments like that with his political partying schedule, it’s hard not to see another presidential run in his future.

And it only continues this week. On Thursday, Perry is slated to attend not one, not two, but three fundraisers in Iowa for Gov. Terry Branstad. The Hawkeye State not only is a key early  battleground for any politician with presidential aspirations, it’s also the site of Perry’s fifth-place finish in the 2012 caucuses.

Christie shakes the money tree for fellow guvs
Gov. Chris Christie continues his fundraising blitz for the Republican Governors Association. Last week, the New Jersey governor went to the Sunshine State to raise funds for Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and the RGA, and this week, Christie has two more parties on the books.

First stop: New Mexico, for a fundraiser on Thursday for Gov. Susana Martinez. It’s the second time in recent weeks that Martinez has gotten a big-name attendee at a fundraiser for her reelection campaign – on May 21, a ton of GOPers and lobbyists feted the New Mexico governor during a D.C. area reception.

Next on Christie’s calendar is a pair of events in Tennessee. Christie headlines a fundraiser for Gov. Bill Haslam, R-Tenn., and then delivers the keynote at the Tennessee Republican Party’s Statesmen’s Dinner. Tickets to the dinner go for $250, but for $1,000, you could get two tickets and a commemorative photo. Math may not be our strong suit, but somehow that just doesn’t sound like a good deal.

E. Warren in Oregon for buddy Jeff Merkley
Oregon is heating up. Last week, voters came out for their state’s primary, picking Portland pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby as the Republican candidate to go up against Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in the fall. The Oregonian reported that the two candidates wasted no time pivoting to the general election, trading barbs and slinging mud the day after the primary.

This Wednesday, Merkley gears up with a fundraiser with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. The $100-per-person event at Portland’s Hilton is the latest example of the progressive lovefest between Merkley and Warren: Last month, during a book tour stop to promote her latest tome, “A Fighting Chance,” Warren name-checked Merkley as a “particularly helpful” Senate colleague.

And that’s your week in parties, friends! What have we missed, and what do you want to share? Let us know by emailing us or uploading invites right here.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 05.19.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Obama continues fundraising frenzy, Republicans rally for Gov. Susana Martinez, and Jeb Bush parties with Iowa Gov. Branstad

Happy Monday, party people! It’s another busy week on the political fundraiser circuit, with big-ticket shindigs happening across the country. Some non-D.C. highlights? Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is partying with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday at a huge convention center in Greenville. And Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes throws a funder in Ohio with Democratic operative James Carville a few days after her state’s Republican candidates duke it out in their primary.

Back in D.C., at the Convention Center on Wednesday evening, the Aces and Angels Foundation hosts the always-bipartisan Congressional Poker Classic, where members of Congress, lobbying shops and other organizations will gather for a night of cards. Curious what California Rep. Darrell Issa’s poker face looks like? Now’s your chance!

Have we missed anything, partying fiends? If you’ve heard of something good going on, you know what to do – email us whatever you’ve got, or upload official invites here. We want it all: Send us the goods on state-level races and federal contests, and remember that we keep our sources completely confidential, so you can feel comfortable sharing.

And now, for your week in parties!

President Obama, aka the Energizer Fundraising Bunny
The Partier-in-Chief just can’t help himself. In the last few weeks, President Barack Obama has been hitting the partying scene hard, fundraising at seven different stops in California and New York (where he suggested that some of his devotees might move to North Dakota) for the Democrats’ House and Senate campaign committees. And Obama’s hectic schedule continues this week, with two more pricey outings.

On Monday, Obama – along with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. – makes his way to Potomac for an “intimate dinner.” Tickets start at $10,000 per person and climb to $32,400 per couple for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event. Party Time data show that the dinner’s hosts, Lora and Jeff Drezner, threw a fundraiser for Van Hollen in 2011.

Obama will then jet off to his hometown of Chicago on Thursday for a reception and dinner benefiting the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. That group’s chair, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, will be on hand to help chat up donors, as will Illinois’ own Sen. Dick Durbin.

It’s another high-dollar event, with tickets to the reception starting at $1,000 and going up to $15,000. The 5 p.m. reception is at the home of energy industry guru Michael Polsky and his wife, Tanya. Dinner, at the home of Newsweb Corporation owner and big-time liberal donor Fred Eychaner, goes for a cool $35,000 per couple.

Ring my bell
The last few weeks of political headlines have had a bit of a throwback theme to them – Monica Lewinsky wrote a first-person account of her affair with President Bill Clinton, and Marjorie Margolies is ramping up her campaign for the House seat she held in the ’90s.

Jeff Bell continues the trend, if pushing back the nostalgia a few more years to the late ’70s, when he last ran for Senate in New Jersey. The Republican is making another go at Capitol Hill, challenging Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., some 36 years after his first – and unsuccessful – run in the Garden State.

In February, Bell – a Republican political consultant who lives in Virginia – rented a house in New Jersey and announced he would run against Booker this year. And we all know what that means: It’s time for a party! PT records show Monday evening’s funder in Manhattan is Bell’s first of this campaign.

Booker is a fundraising powerhouse, with the likes of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck queuing up to throw him parties. But Bell’s got connections, too; CNBC personality Larry Kudlow is listed as a “special guest” on the invite to Monday’s event. Hosts Sean Fieler, Robert P. George and William Mumma are all big names on the conservative Christian scene: Fieler started American Principles Fund, which encourages Republican candidates to talk about opposition to abortion and gay marriage; the New York Times called George the “country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker”; and Mumma heads up the Becket Fund, a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases.

Money for Martinez
Republicans are rallying on Wednesday evening at a fundraiser for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. An overflowing invite to the event boasts a boatload of governors, senators, representatives … and lobbyists.

The reception is at the Chevy Chase home of American Beverage Association CEO Susan Neely. Neely and her soft drink lobbying outfit will co-host the event with, among others, Artemis Strategies founder Ari Storch, BGR Group founder (and former governor) Haley Barbour and BGR lobbyist Loren Monroe.

One governor missing from the list of notable attendees? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who, as the Washington Post pointed out, has gotten some post-bridgegate support from Martinez. Don’t read too much into his absence, though, since the Garden State head honcho will headline a New Mexico fundraiser for Martinez next week.

Jeb Bush + Iowa + Florida = 2016?? (Maybe.)
Like many other politicians called out as possible 2016 contenders, Jeb Bush is still playing the will-he-won’t-he game. Although he won’t say for sure what his plans are, Politico reported last month that Bush told the crowd at a Catholic Charities fundraiser that he is “thinking about running for president.” His comment came right in the middle of a spate of spring fundraisers that had the former Florida governor rubbing elbows with donors and party operatives.

It continues on Thursday, when Bush throws a party in Coral Gables for Gov. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa. It’s a savvy tip of the hat to the primary voters in the Hawkeye State, all without leaving the sunny shores of South Florida.

And that just about wraps up your week in political fundraisers, party animals! What have we missed, and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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2014 elections 2016 presidential Uncategorized • POSTED - 05.12.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Hillary Clinton hits the fundraiser circuit; President Obama, Rep. Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker in New York for Wall Street-hosted parties

Most of the time, Party Time is a great place to work. And then sometimes, it’s totally awesome.

It’s been a phenomenal few weeks over here at Political Party Time – fundraising season is picking up, invites and tips are coming to our inbox, and some truly noteworthy parties are keeping us busy.

Last week we told you about President Barack Obama’s hectic midweek party schedule in California, with five fundraisers in two days. Before the trip, we learned of some specifics, but the juiciest tidbits came afterwards, when the reporters who cover the president when he travels, sent back details from the road.

For example, we learned that the site of one fundraiser – the expansive Bel Air home of Disney Studios head Alan Horn – includes a chicken coop near the property’s guest house. This, fundraising friends, is a Party Time first: chicken coops and campaign cash. The reporter said the coop contained “perhaps a rooster,” which makes us giggle to think of fancy-pants Bel Air folks waking to the sound of a rooster’s crow.

During a San Diego luncheon with Obama, the group of traveling reporters was stationed near a bathroom that contained a ToTo toilet, an engineering phenom that has – among other perks – a heated seat. Using all of our investigative reporting skills, our Google search found that these spiffy toilets can go for around $5,000. (And for a bit of perspective, tickets to this funder started at $10,000. Buy two toilets or go to an Obama-headlined lunch? Decisions, decisions!)

Before we get to this week’s gems, give us a minute to deliver that friendly reminder to send us whatever party goodies you’ve heard while out and about. We want it all – newspaper clippings, hot tips and gossip, official invites. Email us, or upload what you’ve got right here. And we keep our sources 100 percent confidential, so you can feel comfortable sharing.

And now, party people, your week in political fundraisers!

More money for Marjorie
Marjorie Margolies, running for the Pennsylvania House seat she held for one term in 1993, has Clinton connections to spare. One of the reasons Margolies only served one term is that she cast the deciding vote for then-President Bill Clinton’s budget – not the most popular move in the Republican wave of 1994. And her son, Marc Mezvinsky, is married to Chelsea Clinton, who announced in April that she is pregnant with their first child.

Last week, the New York Times ran a story that wondered about the Clintons’ lack of involvement in the Pennsylvania race. But over here at Party Time, we were left scratching our heads. After all, last October, Margolies benefited from a Madeleine Albright-headlined party, and in April, Bill Clinton went to Philly for a fundraiser.

Yes, but what about headline-grabbing, potential presidential candidate Hillary? Well, the wait is over, folks – the Margolies campaign is having a fundraiser May 15 with H. Clinton herself. And although Clinton has been making plenty of political comments during paid speaking gigs, this is her first step into officially political territory this year (PT records show her last fully political outing was an L.A. lunch for Terry McAuliffe during his successful campaign for Virginia governor).

Now for the good stuff, party people: Thursday’s four-figure funder is at the Upper East Side home of Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild. Aside from having one of the toniest names PT has ever come across, de Rothschild is definitely one of the more colorful iconoclasts to grace our columns. An ardent Hillary Clinton supporter in 2008, de Rothschild opted to endorse Sen. John McCain over Obama in that year’s general election, saying at one point of the Democratic nominee: “I feel like he is an elitist.” This from a billionaire who runs a private investment company and who, during a remodel of a London home once owned by artist John Singer Sargent, made sure the property’s new gym had “a mirrored ceiling for Lynn’s stretching sessions,” according to a story in W Magazine.

In fact, de Rothschild’s zingers are so good that, on the heels of the fundraiser announcement, Mother Jones compiled a list; Slate, meanwhile, collected her best video clips because, yes, they are that good.

So, to recap: Marjorie Margolies, running for a House seat representing suburban Philadelphia, is having a fancy fundraiser with Hillary. And Lady Lynn. On Thursday. In Manhattan.

We couldn’t make it up, even if we tried.

GOP-ers go head-to-head in Big Apple
Two top-tier Wisconsin Republicans are slated to attend separate fundraisers in New York City as part of what Politico dubbed the “Wall Street primary.” Tuesday’s parties will allow Rep. Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker, both often called out as potential presidential contenders, to glad-hand financial bigwigs and test the 2016 waters.

Ryan, who chairs the House Committee on the Budget, will party with hedge fund heavyweights Paul Singer and Cliff Asness, as well as New York Jets owner Woody Johnson. Although the crux of the get-together likely will be economic issues, it’s worth noting that Singer and Asness are outspoken supporters of gay marriage. In 2012, Singer threw down $1 million to start American Unity PAC, which urges Republican politicians to support marriage equality.

A few blocks away, Walker will be the headliner at a Republican National Committee fundraiser. It’s yet another step into the national spotlight for the Badger State governor, who rather famously beat back a recall challenge after he cut collective bargaining rights for most of his state’s public workers. More recently, he’s been partying with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and other bold-named Republicans at American Enterprise Institute’s three-day forum and the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Spring Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas.

Obama keeps the money train going for Dems
You know it’s a busy week when the president’s jaunt to Manhattan for a fundraiser isn’t the most significant highlight. On Wednesday, Obama will headline a party benefiting the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and hosted by investment banker Blair W. Effron and private equity guru Jamie Rubin. No, not the ex-State Department flack and hubby of CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour. The Jamie who will be partying with has some pretty sweet connections, though: His dad is former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, a longtime banking exec who is no slouch in the campaign giving department himself. The move certainly doesn’t help to squash comments, like the ones just made by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., about the president’s coziness with Wall Street.

Effron’s Upper East Side mega-apartment – which, post remodel, contains a unit once owned by etiquette expert Emily Post – is the site of the super pricey reception and dinner. Businessweek reported that Effron bought the property for $24.5 million two years ago.

Rand ramps up in Ohio
In just a few short years, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. – aided by name recognition, spot-on messaging skills and a rising and boisterous bloc of libertarian-leaning voters – has moved from the “long-shot” to “presumptive” category in the list of potential 2016 presidential candidates. And Party Time has been watching this shift happen as he, not coincidentally, kicks into high gear his fundraising appearances in key states.

Paul’s Friday role at the Hamilton County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner is just another example. His keynote speech at the Cincinnati fundraiser will get Paul in front of swing state voters, and give him a chance to chat with key Ohio operatives, like Sen. Rob Portman and Gov. John Kasich.

And that’s your busy week in fundraising, partiers! As always, let us know what we’ve missed by emailing us or uploading invites here.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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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.