A government shutdown would sabotage the country’s economic growth, put 800,000 federal workers on furlough and further damage Congress’ standing in the eyes of their electorate at a time when approval of the legislative branch is already at an all time low. However, PT records prove that there’s one thing a shutdown would not stop:
‘The show must go on’ appears to be the motto for members of Congress in the days following post-midnight, when government services will start to wind down should Congress be unable to reach a budget deal. Party Time data reveals that at least seven different members have planned fundraising bashes that will occur on, or directly after, the potential shutdown.
And something tells us there’s more. Let us know (anonymously) here.
**Update: Chabot’s fundraiser has been canceled according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Chabot’s offers PACs and other individuals a chance to enjoy a “taste of Cincinnati” with the entire Ohio Republican delegation. Truth in advertising compels us to caution that contributors may be robbed of the presence of the delegation’s top dog: Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. The Republican leader already had a fundraising retreat fall victim to budget negotiations (see below for more details), and will likely still have his hands full parlaying with Dems — not to mention his own caucus members — come Tuesday.
Other fetes on the social docket include a $500 and up reception for longtime Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. — which will feature a bevy of the New Yorker’s congressional allies — as the 83-year-old New Yorker raises money for a race in which he does not yet have a challenger.
For those seeking a nice capstone for your weekly social calendar, Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark. has his Second Annual Trout Fishing retreat scheduled for this weekend. For $2,500 you too can join the senator at Gaston’s White River Resort in Lakeview, Ark., for a weekend of fishing tackle and trout filets — what better way to unwind from a hectic week of closing up Uncle Sam’s shop?
And then there’s what you might call the shutdown profiteers:
Healthcare ire means big bucks for pols’ campaign coffers
**Update: Roe’s fundraiser has been canceled according to a source at the Huffington Post. The never-ending debate over health care that’s causing the potential shutdown may be threatening the paydays of government workers, but, hey it’s turning out to be a money-making opportunity for some of our enterprising pols. For instance, Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., is hoping to capitalize on the furor over “Obamacare” with a Thursday fundraising breakfast.
Party Time has obtained an invitation for the bash, which will benefit the Healthcare Freedom Fund –Roe’s “new” leadership PAC, established “to help elect federal candidates seeking office to add to the debate here in Congress to establish healthcare freedom and reform,” according to the invite. The term “new” may be a stretch, as FEC filings show that HFF first registered in Sept. 2012.
The veteran and former doctor is asking for contributions from $250 to $1,000 for attendees of the party, which also features Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.
Not to be left out of the Obamacare bashing, the Koch brothers-led Americans for Prosperity — a conservative dark money group — is using the bill to stir up support for a three-pronged canvassing session just outside of the beltway in Northern Virginia. A recent e-mail from the group urges supporters to join a door-to-door canvassing effort aimed at upending healthcare overhaul, Medicaid expansion and, not so coincidentally, Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee in next month’s Virginia governor’s election.
In a fundraising countermove, Organizing for America — President Obama’s own dark money operation — sent out a similar e-mail asking for funds and urging supporters to “[pick] up a phone, [get] the facts out to friends on social media, or [show] up at your local congressional office.” Of course, clicking the helpful the link to “Add your voice” directs you to a web page asking for contributions from $15 to $1,000.
To check out the e-mails for yourself, head on over to PT’s own Tumblr. Of course, if any of our friends in the party-sphere catch wind of other Obamacare-themed fundraising efforts, do us a solid and send ‘em this way.
All work and no play
Obviously, not everyone is able to raise dough off Congress’ healthcare shenanigans.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, the House Republican leader will reschedule the kickoff event for his “Capitol Program” — a fundraising campaign aimed at pulling contributions of $10,000 or more from major DC donors.
Bringing donors on a retreat is a common tactic of politicians seeking to squeeze a little more scratch out of supporters than they could at a regular, humdrum breakfast reception near Capitol Hill. The increased access that comes from spending multiple days with a member can be appealing to lobbyists and other deep-pocketed donors hoping to make their issues heard with the relevant party.
Peter, Paul and Martha
It appears that Democratic congressional hopeful Martha Robertson is aiming for an older, more nostalgic cadre of contributors. On Monday, the New York Dem will raise money with an exclusive performance from folk music legend Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. Yarrow is perhaps best-known for penning the whimsical 60’s hit: “Puff, the Magic Dragon.” The Robertson campaign is charging $250 to $1,000 for the event.
Unfortunately for Robertson, media interest in the event has not centered on the musical stylings of Yarrow, but rather his past conviction as a sex offender — Yarrow pleaded guilty to “taking indecent liberties with a child” in 1970. State and national GOP reps have harped on the Yarrow appearance, pressuring Robertson to disinvite the singer from the event.
The event was still on as of press time.
A giant in Hoboken
With the NFL season in full swing, the New York Giants are still in search of their elusive first win, and the offense in particular has come under fire for its poor performance in the first three games of the season.
Maybe that’s why the quarterback, Eli Manning, is testing out the political fundraising game.
The younger Manning brother will appear Monday at a benefit for Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer, where the entertainment will be — what else? — watching a football game: the 8:40 p.m. tilt between the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints.
Suggested contributions range from $500 to $1,500. While that might sound like a bit of a hefty price tag for a trip to the local sports bar, how often do you get to show off your football IQ with a real-life professional player?
An NC Insurance Commissioner in NYC?
A midtown New York City fundraiser charging contributors donors thousands for a little more than an hour of face time with a pol? It sounds like a classic Big Apple funder for a Senate or House bigwig. Not in this instance.
On Wednesday, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin will join insurance executives at a reception at Tavern 29. For $4,000, you have the chance to join the exclusive ranks of Goodwin’s Platinum Sponsors, though it’s anyone’s best guess what that distinction will earn you.
Insurance commissioners may be an increasingly hot commodity as insurance corporations explore ways to profit from the federally-mandated state exchanges that come with the Affordable Care Act. If it ever gets funded, that is.
Till next week, partiers! Remember: government or no government, the fundraisers must go on!!
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Garden State Gov. Chris Christie is on a fundraising tear. The (Newark) Star-Ledger reports that his campaign has already raised more than $12.4 million, which begs a question: Since New Jersey state law limits what gubernatorial candidates who accept matching funds can spend to $12.2 million, why is he still out chasing campaign cash?
New Jersey is one of ten states that offers a system of public financing for gubernatorial candidates in an effort to limit the role of big money in politics. Any candidate who raises at least $380,000, and agrees to participate in public debates is eligible to receive two dollars of public money for every dollar they receive in private contributions.
Christie (pictured right) has benefited handsomely from the public money, largely because he unleashed an all-out fundraising blitz to defend his place in the governor’s mansion from Democratic challenger Barbara Buono. Of course, being among the frontrunners for the 2016 potential Republican presidential nomination is a boon to any candidate’s fundraising appeal.
But ‘the Boss’ has showed no signs of slowing down.
As reported by the Connecticut News Blog, the Garden State governor will attend yet another big name funder on October 9, hosted by wrestling exec Linda McMahon, husband of WWE royalty Vince McMahon and former candidate for U.S. Senate in Connecticut (she ran twice). The event also boasts appearances by former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Charles Glazer, and would-be governor of Connecticut Tom Foley, among others.
For any political partiers who want to stop by and rub shoulders with some of the biggest Republican players in New England, just know that it’s gonna’ cost you. Suggested minimum contributions are $3,800, which means that tens of thousands more dollars are likely to flow into Christie’s campaign war chest.
While the governor’s campaign would run afoul of state campaign finance law if it exceeds the $12.2 million mark in spending, some expenditures are not included in this tally. According to a representative from the Public Financing Department of the New Jersey Election Law Commission, these permissible expenses include the somewhat vague “reasonable costs” of campaigning, travel expenses and food and beverages for campaign events. But big ticket expenses like political advertisements are subject to the spending cap.
The Christie campaign would either need to use the surplus cash on overhead costs, or simply ’sit’ on the cash and wait until the gubernatorial cycle ends — at which point it could transfer the excess funds into other different political committees.
A bulging campaign war chest can be a great way for a lawmaker to shore up partisan support — particularly for a pol with an eye on the White House.
Should Christie end the race with excess funds, he would not be able to transfer it to a federal political action committee, though he could make contributions to other state level candidates and party committees.
The Christie campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comments.
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Good morning party people. The party circuit is starting to get crowded as incumbents and would-be elected officials rev their fundraising engines in advance of the looming close of the books on the third quarter. We’ve noticed a distinct pattern in partying fever; everyone wants to fatten the bottom line that will be reported in a few weeks to the Federal Election Commission.
This week’s round-up has a host of goodies for political partiers including a Cory Booker trip to Tinseltown, a Biden family reunion and even the return of Party Time favorite, Governor Rick Scott.
Booker’s been busy
Another week, another jam-packed social calendar for the most famous mayor in New Jersey. Cory Booker raised some eyebrows (along with cash) last week when it was reported that he was partying in San Francisco with local pols and Silicon Valley-ites the same day as a planned Jersey City rally in his honor. Ultimately, the event was cancelled at the 11th hour as the headliner, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, had to return to the Windy City in the wake of a mass shooting.
This Monday, Booker will take the coastal cruise down south to join celebrity A-listers at a Hollywood fundraiser at the home of major Democratic donor Ron Burkle.
It’s not often that the stars of Hollywood and Capitol Hill align, but it seems that Booker has a special affinity for attracting big-name supporters. In the past he has partied with Ivanka Trump and Oprah Winfrey.
This week’s funder features both Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (pictured above) — who has been quite vocal about his political views in the past.
Grounds with Rounds
Would you pay $500 for a cup of joe?
Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds certainly hopes so, as the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate will be charging $500 and up of attendees to the first Washington fundraiser of his campaign.
The morning event will take place at the MacFarlane Group Townhouse and features veteran K Streeter Dan Gans.
Rounds is considered to be one of the Republicans most likely to pick up a Democratic Senate seat in the upcoming 2014 elections and is currently enjoying a slim lead in most polls. We can only speculate as to whether the coffee warrants the $500 contribution.
When the Partier-in-Chief is unavailable, the second in command will do in a pinch.
This week, Vice President Joe Biden will appear at a private townhouse for a fundraiser benefiting Jim Mowrer, who is challenging conservative Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for the state’s fourth congressional district.
Mowrer may have cashed in some sort of political two-for-one deal, as the Vice President’s son Hunter will also be in attendance.
The VPOTUS fueled talk of a potential 2016 bid during Sunday trip to Mowrer’s home state for the annual Steak Fry hosted by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. As they say, no one visits Iowa without a good reason.
Hosted but not endorsed
In a prime example of political parlance, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. recently told the Associated Press that his co-hosting of a reception for U.S. Senate candidate and current North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis should not be viewed as an official endorsement of Tillis. In an interview Burr stated that he has always been happy to “help any North Carolina Republican who wants to come to Washington to raise money.”
Burr may be wary of allying himself with Tillis due to recent controversy stemming from campaign finance finagling.
North Carolina law prohibits any serving state representative from accepting donations from current North Carolina lobbyists or companies with lobbyists currently lobbying the Assembly. However, as the law does not cover Tillis’ federal campaign committee, the Speaker has legally raised money for his Senate bid from lobbyists and other groups with business before the state legislature.
Suggested contributions for the Tuesday evening event run from $500 to $2,500. If he clears the Republican primary, Tillis will face incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. in 2014.
Unburdened by those pesky federal regulations that prohibit candidates from directly coordinating with their associated super PACs, as a candidate for state office in Florida, Scott may ask for $1,000, $10,000 or $50,000 from attendees for his 527 organization Let’s Get to Work.
Time will only tell if it will live up to the hype of his previously scheduled gator hunt.
Check ya’ later partiers. Make sure to send us those invites!
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When your social calendar is as full as Senate candidate Cory Booker’s, there’s bound to be scheduling conflicts. An RSVP may go unreturned, wires get crossed and you may show up 15 minutes late for a stump speech. And then there are the times when you have to blow off a rally with the voters back home because you’re fundraising on the other side of the country.
NJ.com reports that Booker will miss a Jersey City campaign rally featuring Democratic heavy-hitter Rahm Emanuel and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop today to attend a fundraiser at the Temple Night Club in San Francisco.
In case you were wondering what sort of high-class soiree would be so enticing that the ‘Book-man’ would miss spending time with his fellow Jerseyites to hoof it all the way to California, Party Time has obtained a copy of the invitation for your perusing pleasure.
Update 11:49 am: Politwoops caught a deleted tweet from the Booker campaign asking supporters to join them in Jersey City. Apparently, some of Booker’s staff did not know he wasn’t planning to be there.
The funder, which is still going on as far as we know, features local Golden State political types, like Keesa Ocampo, of the San Mateo County Commission on the Status on Women and Jill Habig of the California Department of Justice and features a wide array of contribution options, ranging from the economical “Young Professional” at $50 to a chair position at $1,000.
While Rahm may understand the priority of campaign cash, it’s not as if Booker is hurting for dough right now. FEC reports from July show the Senate hopeful had more than $4 million on hand.
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What better way to celebrate a member of Congress than with a lil’ pigskin? The District’s chilly days and fast-changing leaves signal the coming of pumpkin spice lattes, football and of course congressional funders.
We must have ESP(N). Just this past Monday we here at Sunlight were discussing professional football’s popularity among our members of Congress, when lo and behold, what’s made its way over our transom: another NFL fundraising invite!
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., aims to catch some campaign cash this Sunday, as the Washington Redskins take on the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. As the ‘Skins try to steal their first win of the season, Brad Cheney and Bill Killmer (Note: this is not the similarly-named former Washington QB) of the Mortgage Bankers Association will be on hand. This may or may not have something to do with Warner’s place on the Senate Committee on Banking.
While Warner, a George Washington University grad, may have rooted for the boys in burgundy and gold for years, a survey of FedEx Field fundraisers show that local NFL games are a fundraising fixture for lawmakers from across the nation.
But the cash-chasing opportunities of the most lucrative professional sport in the world aren’t just limited to live games. In the past, prospective members have charged donors thousands just for the pleasure of watching a televised NFL game at the local wing joint and young Democrats enjoyed a lovely afternoon of financial football at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
When it comes to the political fundraising scene, the NFL is no benchwarmer. It’s not just the formidable campaign and K Street clout of the NFL; PT archives show that members of Congress aren’t immune from football frenzy.
In June, the gridiron gang played host to two fundraisers for Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who serves on the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety. The NFL is has huge workplace issues, as illustrated by the class-action suit it recently lost from former players affected by head injuries.
Been to a football funder we don’t know about? Got an invitation. As always, make sure to send ‘em this way
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Too many evening fundraisers filled with hors d’oeuvres and quiet conversation can get a little tiresome for a young, hip political donor. Thankfully, members are always coming up with innovative new events to help rake in the cash for their campaign war chests.
With the launch of Party Time’s excellent new Tumblr, we have been vigorously searching for zany new fundraising events — and our party-hearty politicians have happily obliged.
While this week’s social calendar features a plethora of picturesque funding fiestas — from a cigars and spirits reception, to an evening with pop star Will.i.am or a funder on the shooting range — one unhappy Florida lawmaker has provided us with a crash course in how not to party.
Scott sings the blues
Gov. Rick Scott’s fundraising woes began with news that the Florida governor had postponed the execution of an inmate on the Sunshine State’s death row. The reason? The timing conflicted with a fundraiser in honor of Attorney General Pam Bondi. Remember folks, sometimes even the biggest party animals need to take some off.
On top of Scott’s sticky death row situation, the governor recently found himself the center of another fundraising controversy over the procurement of hunting licenses for potential donors.
Perhaps copying a page out of the playbook of Sen. David Vitter,R-La., Scott’s reelection campaign had planned a $25, 000-a-head ‘gator hunt.’ Unfortunately, alligator hunting permits are a hot commodity for hunters in the Florida swamps. The state awards its scarce number of licenses each year through a lottery system — prompting questions of how the adequate number of gator licenses were acquired for the funder.
Though Scott has since cancelled the hunt, if Sen. Vitter’s facebook is any indication, there’s nothing like a good day in the swamps for scaring up some campaign cash.
Rubio back on the hunt
The end of summer means the reappearance of familiar faces on the Washington money trail, and few are more aggressive in stocking the ole war chest than prospective 2016-ers.
As reported by Politico, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. expects to raise hundreds of thousands at his Wednesday shindig in downtown Washington. The reception will take place at Hill Country BBQ and features a bevy of high profile Republican lobbyists on its host committee.
Suggested contributions range from $1,000 to $10,000 and will benefit Rubio’s Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee benefiting both the Marco Rubio for Senate committee and Reclaim America PAC — Rubio’s leadership committee.
Strong fundraising numbers can serve a number of purposes for savvy politicians: If Rubio should pass on a 2016 White House bid, an overflowing campaign war chest could discourage presumptive challengers from entering a battle over his Senate seat. Additionally, as House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has shown, aiding other party members with a little cash can go a long way towards preserving one’s good standing among caucus compatriots.
Stogies and Spirits
While everyone knows that nothing kills the mood of a good par-tay like running out of booze, rest assured that Garcia’s reception will be well-stocked, as it is hosted by none other than the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers’ Association and the Distilled Spirits Council. While this is the Cigar & Pipe retailers’ first appearance in PT’s archives, the Distilled Spirits Council clearly prefers to share a cold one with Dems.
If you can’t make it, or just can’t get enough of the Florida congressman, fear not: Garcia will be holding another bash this Friday at the Erickson & Co. Townhouse.
Lundergan Grimes, ready for prime time?
While the next election for Kentucky’s Senate seat is not until November of next year, the three way race to fill the seat of Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is already in high gear with astronomical spending and bizarre attack ads.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recently gained two new feathers in her campaign cap with the news of two upcoming fundraisers featuring A-list invitees.
This Friday the Bluegrass state will receive a visit from pop star Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, appearing on Lundergan Grimes’ behalf at a private residence. Contributions run the gamut from $100 to $2,600.
That’s right, a political fundraiser where you get to blast away with a variety of different firearms — all while supporting New Jersey’s Republican candidate for Senate.
Sponsored by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, the event offers different firing experiences for different levels of support. $40 will buy a contributor the chance to shoot 20 rounds from a “Savage 10.P 308,” while a $125 contribution will give you the chance to fire five rounds from the Barret M107 .50BMG.
Of course, no firearms fundraiser would be complete without a chance to try one of the event’s two “mystery rifles.”
As always, if you catch wind of other fundraisers, share them here. Party Time out.
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(Updated 09/10: Tip o’ the hat to the partier who sent us the Christie-in-Texas invites. See them here.)
Sometimes even the biggest party animals need to have a little pause in the action.
With mounting tension over a proposed U.S. strike on Syria, Southern California Public Radio reports that our nation’s Partier-in-Chief has cancelled a fundraising reception for the DNC in Los Angeles.
While this may be something of a downer for those Democratic boosters who shelled out $32,400 for the chance to participate in an hour long discussion with the ‘leader of the free world,’ our representatives in Congress have been more than willing to pick up the partyin’ slack.
As members settle back into their Washington routines after the long summer recess, the fundraising scene is already beginning to ramp up to its accustomed breakneck pace. This week’s docket features fundraisers from a Democratic whip, possible 2016 contenders for the White House and weekend getaways for those donors wanting to squeeze every last bit of congressional face time out of their generous contributions.
As always, if you catch wind of any other fascinating funding fiestas, send ‘em this way.
Everything’s bigger in Texas
A Cowboys fan from Jersey?
At least that’s what New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Party Time veteran would have us believe. The ‘Boss’ claims his longtime loyalty to “America’s Team,” began in his boyhood during a disappointing stretch for the New York Giants. He plans to cheer on Texas’ boys in blue during their Sept. 8 home opener against the Giants — a team which has its home field in Christie’s state.
Though Christie’s affection for the Cowboys is not new, he may have an ulterior motive for reminding folks of it this weekend: The Giants-Cowboys game will be in Texas, where Christie will be on a fundraising trifecta on behalf of the GOP. Maybe wearing a little silver and blue will produce more green? According to the Associated Press, the governor will be attending three separate fundraisers in one day for the Republican National Committee: A breakfast in Dallas, luncheon in Houston and a reception in San Antonio. (It would be just lovely if a fellow partier would share some invites.)
The Jersey Gopper is no stranger to raising big bucks. Thanks to his aggressive fundraising, the incumbent governor, one of only two in the country who will be facing voters this year, is already finished raising money for his reelection effort. As reported by NorthJersey.com, Christie has already ‘maxed out’ the amount of private contributions he can raise to obtain state matching funds: He’s got more than $4 million in his war chest. According to Bill Palatucci, the chairman of Christie’s reelection campaign, “[t]hat gives the Governor the luxury in September and October of focusing on his day job.” And, it seems, fundraising.
While Christie may be able to spend the months of September and October basking in his fundraising success, other pols have no such luxury.
The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation PAC will host a trio of Democratic reps at a Sept. 10 breakfast at Bobby Van’s Grill in Washington. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. and Jim Hines, D-Conn. will be in attendance and contributions will benefit Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill.
Party Time records show the DTCC supports an array of Democratic members, though the more likely reason for the financial group’s hospitality has little to do with whether a member has a “D” or “R” following their name — all three representatives attending Tuesday’s fundraiser serve on the House Financial Services Committee.
A savvy politician knows what excites her base. Sometimes that’s a picture of a finger-pointing confrontation with the president on an airport tarmac. Like the memorable one cameras captured of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, and President Obama.
The finger-wagging standoff gained media notoriety when it occurred in Tucson last year, giving viewers visual confirmation of the the governor’s disappointment in the president’s immigration policies. And now she’s using it to broaden her constituency — at least her cash constituency.
The invitation for a Sept. 14 fundraiser in Raleigh, N. C. prominently features the photo, as the Grand Canyon State governor attempts to drum up Tar Heel cash at an event hosted by the Wake County Republicans.
This is not the first time in PT’s records that a Republican lawmaker has raised dough off controversy. Recently Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. used photos of environmental protesters — angered by the senator’s climate change denial – at his Google-sponsored funder to highlight his commitment to bringing jobs to Oklahoma.
Suggested contributions for the Brewer fundraiser range from $75 to $5,000.
Soaking up summer
While vacation is over for most of us, two Republican senators are grasping at the last straws of summer this weekend with retreats in Nashville and New Hampshire.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will be taking some generous friends on a weekend excursion to “Music City,” while fans of Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., can shell out $1,500 or more to spend a weekend with the Senator in Mount Washington, N.H.
The weekend R&R should give the two Republicans plenty of time to consider the president’s plan of action in Syria — both members have cited a need for more information in advance of the proposed strikes.
Until next time partiers. But it doesn’t have to be long! For those of you in need of a mid-week Party Time fix, stay tuned for the launch of our new PT Tumblr this week. It’ll be a great way to feature those invites. So keep ‘em coming, and keep on rockin’ in the free world.Tweet
While Washingtonians have been basking in the clear streets and open sidewalks that come with the summer recess, a new season is upon us. The leaves are starting to change, staffers are trickling back into the district, and the steps of Capitol Hill will soon again be ringing with the pitter-patter of lobbyists’ feet. That’s right — summer recess is coming to a close.
Invitations to September fundraisers are already streaming in (of course, we are always grateful for a little help) and before PT gets too inundated with post-recess data we thought some retrospection was in order.
The summer time offers some unique opportunities for the political party scene, as members shed the hotel ballrooms and luxe eateries of Capitol Hill for weekend golfing excursions and swampland gator hunts.
Here are some of the more notable takeaways from PT’s summertime data.
John Boehner: Frequent Flier Rewards Member
As noted by Michael C. Bender of Bloomberg News, for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, cash has been the adhesive of choice for patching fissures in the Republican party.
The speaker is a fundraising force for the GOP, and PT data shows that his recess was anything but restful. In fact, a return to the office may come as a relief to the Ohio conservative, whose summer schedule included journeys from Idaho to Pennsylvania on behalf of his fellow House Republicans.
His summer began with a trip to Harrisburg to benefit rookie Scott Perry, R-Pa. Boehner was welcomed to the Pennsylvania capital by a small group of protesters upset with the House Republicans’ stance on immigration reform.
From there, he visited central New York and suburban Detroit in quick succession, before jetting off to Big Fork, Mont., for rookie Rep. Steve Daines and Boise, Idaho in support of Idaho Gov. “Butch” Otter (a former House member) and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho. Then it was on to the “Larson Barn” in Steamboat Springs, Colo for a funder with Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo. Oy vey!
As reported by Politico, Boehner has rolled out a brand new fundraising campaign in hopes of drawing even more bucks out of the Washington cash cow. The “Capitol Program” effort kicks off with a retreat for Washington insiders at a tony resort in northern Virginia. The event features some K Street bigwigs familiar to Party Time: Mark Isakowitz, Brian McCormack and Dirk Van Dongen.
The going rate? $10, 000 a pop. It’s a good thing K streeters have a few bucks to spare.
“2016ers” fun in the sun
Just as the Speaker of the House must travel during recess in support of his caucus members, White House hopefuls have to make the rounds in support of their own personal brands — and to gauge support in crucial states.
Big name Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Texas Gov. Rick Perry attended fundraisers in New Hampshire and South Carolina (both early primary states), while a certain Democrat is conspicuously missing from PT’s summertime data.
As for another progressive member who may take a stab at the Democratic nomination: The national aspirations of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. got a boost when she was named keynote speaker of the North Iowa Democrats’ 10th annual Iowa Wing Ding. The low-dollar event attracts scores of attendees and is viewed by many as a jumping off point for presidential contenders aiming to win the first in the nation primary.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to bring in serious moolah for the Republican party — and his own war chest. Aug.. 21 “The Boss” headlined a Philadelphia fundraiser for the Republican Governors’ Association, with suggested contributions ranging from $10,000 to a whopping 25 grand.
On his own behalf, the governor was joined just three days later by former Big Apple mayor Rudy Giuliani at a residence in New York’s Hamptons for a $3,800 a person cocktail reception.
Getting away from it all
What would summer vacation be without a little ‘get away?’ Recess gives lawmakers the chance to take a weekend to play golf or even trek out into the wilderness — while high dollar donors get the opportunity to enjoy multiple days of face time with a member.
Far from the prying eyes of the Washington media, home district retreats are generally more intimate affairs than the regular wine and cheese receptions near Capitol Hill. From a “Teton Tee-Off” with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. and his Summer in Vermont tour, at least five different congressional retreats this recess took the opportunity to ask for a little more dough in exchange for some added donor attention.
With all the colorful fundraising invites flooding our mailbox for the past month, it was difficult to pick favorites. But upon review, it is clear that some of our duly elected officials are a cut above the rest when it comes to throwin’ down. Here are the parties highest on our summer “Wish We Were There” list:
1. The Louisiana Bayou Weekend for Sen. David Vitter, R-La. The undeniable fact is that Vitter (read: Vitter’s staff) has a gift when it comes to party planning. First a family-friendly Justin Bieber concert, and now a true-blue Louisiana alligator hunt! The invite even mentions cajun cooking and an airboat swamp tour, lest you think this is some second-tier alligator hunt. Our invitation must have gotten lost in the mail (sniffle).
2. Ping pong with Susan Sarandon. We’re not sure what it is about New York City that drives A-list celebrities to fundraise for candidates for municipal office (sees exhibits B and C), but we’re not complaining.
3. On the Mic with Mike. Skillful ‘punnage’ aside, karaoke fundraisers with sitting members of congress are few and far between. Our hat goes off to Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., for his courageous trailblazing in this regard.
Now that summer has reached its end, PT will be returning to a weekly schedule for our blog round-ups. An-n-nd, stay tuned for a rollout soon of our PartyTime Tumblr! We’re sure that with a little teamwork, we can make it worth your clicks.
Aside from Vitter’s alligator extravaganza, both the NRCC and DSCC are hoping to attract major donors to their fall retreats. For upwards of $30,000 you can join them, and revel in the chance to rub shoulders with our nation’s political heavyweights.
Additionally, Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell is making the trip to Columbus, Ohio to scare up some cash for his 2014 Senate bid. The invitation touts Treadwell’s “deep” Ohio roots and the ‘winnability’ of the seat. For $250 you can join the Alaskan second-in-command.
That’s all for us, party people. See you next week!
(Photo Credit — Wikimedia Commons)Tweet
Steve Lonegan, the outspoken Republican squaring off against Newark Mayor Cory Booker for New Jersey’s special Senate election, is hoping the specter of gun control will be equally effective in scaring up some cash in the Garden State.
Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, N.J., and two-time gubernatorial candidate, next month will attend a “Fundraiser Shooting Event” in his honor at the South Jersey Shooting Club, hosted by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society.
As opposed to a more run-of-the-mill congressional fundraiser, the event offers contributors a clear –and immediate — return on investment. Instead of tying contribution levels to cheesy titles like ‘Friend’ or ‘Platinum Level Sponsor,’ Lonegan is literally providing a bigger bang for bigger bucks: The amount donors give directly corresponds to the amount of firepower they’ll get your hands on at the firing range.
Instead of fish or steak, attendees have the option to choose from rifles or pistols. For $40, a contributor gets to blast five rounds from a Desert Eagle 50, or 20 rounds from an AR15. Guests also have the option of paying $50 for the chance to take one of the event’s two “mystery rifles” for a spin.
For those with deep pockets, throwing down $125 will buy five shots from the “Barret M107 .50BMG.”
Only time will tell if the national Second Amendment crowd will rally to Lonegan’s aid. The Republican faces an uphill battle in the Oct. 16 election. But his funder reflects a continuing trend.
Months after a bill mandating universal background checks on gun sales died in the U.S. Senate, candidates from both sides of the spectrum have found that the issue of gun control still generates plenty of enthusiasm — and cash.
Witness recent fundraising efforts around the recall election of two Colorado state senators, whose tenures have been thrown into question after a successful petition –backed by guns rights groups — forces a fresh vote for their seats on Sept. 10.
Angela Giron, D-Puebl0, and Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, drew the ire of Second Amendment backers over their support of stricter gun control legislation for the Centennial State. Morse’s “Sickness In Our Soul” speech to the upper chamber is credited with igniting the maelstrom of gun-group indignation. Former Colorado Springs councilman Bernie Herpin will be challenging Morse for his seat, while Giron faces a showdown with former Pueblo Deputy Police Chief George Rivera.
The recalls have become a sort of proxy fight for national players on both sides of the guns issue. New York senator and Democratic heavyweight Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., released an e-mail asking for contributions on the incumbents’ behalf, while conservative commentator Michelle Malkin recently took a trip out west to party with Herpin.
Of course, no battle over gun rights would be complete without the seemingly omnipresent Michael Bloomberg — of Mayors Against Illegal Guns fame — entering the fray. According to a report by Channel 7 News of Denver, the New York City mayor and business magnate has contributed $350,000 to a group supporting Giron and Morse, while the NRA has spent $108,600 on the endeavor.
(Photo Credit – Flickr user Jenn Durfey)Tweet
Go Party Time, it’s your birthday! Go Party Time, it’s your birthday!
Apologies, political party people, but sometimes you just need to stop and give yourself a little pat on the back. It’s been five years since Party Time officially launched. That’s right — five years since we began amassing invitations, crashing parties and reporting all the ins and outs of the rubber chicken circuit. It feels like the time just flew by, doesn’t it?
In classic PT style, we’re marking the occasion with reflection, and of course, a par-tay. On the Sunlight Foundation’s blog today, Ellen Miller, Executive Director of Sunlight, shares her thoughts on PT’s role in improving government transparency. And check out another post by Nancy Watzman, Party Time’s legendary original hostess, on how the project has evolved.
Details on the PT fete are still forthcoming, but you can rest assured it will feature fun, frivolity and perhaps a gator hunt. After all, we’ve learned a thing or two in our years covering political shindigs.
If you just can’t bear to wait for our birthday party (neither can we!), here are some recess funders to tide you over:
The Maine Democratic party is throwing a $100-a-plate New England-style bash this Sunday — and it features some big names from the region.
Beyond the allure of rubbing shoulders with big politicians, the seafood bake may simply appeal to those who have always dreamt of co-hosting a funder. For an economical $250, a supporter can have their name added to the host committee. What a steal!
He may market himself as a regular guy, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be schmoozing with the swells on Saturday as he heads to a fundraiser on the Hamptons. The event will be held at the home of GOP mega-donor (check out his Influence Explorer profile) — and, it goes without saying, former two-time ambassador (Brazil, the Netherlands) — Clifford Sobel. For a mere $3,800 entry fee, you can get a peek at Sobel’s little 9,704-square-foot beachfront cottage. According to the real estate website Zillow, it’s valued at $16.4 million.
But it’s not for sale, partiers! So you can save your money for Christie. Sunday’s New York Times speculates that the GOP gov is aiming for bigger things than this fall’s reelection campaign. Ya think?
Co-hosts of the bash: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who once tried that “bigger things” gig himself, and two more GOP sugar daddies, Wall Streeter Joseph Plumeri (Influence Explorer profile) and investment banking scion John Loeb — another former ambassador (Denmark)! Check out Influence Explorer for possible explanations for that coincidence. The Loeb family is getting a lot of ink (or the digital equivalent) lately for its daughter-in-law-to-be: Modern Family star Sofia Vergara. Intended hubby Nick Loeb, who has his very own Influence Explorer profile, also gets top billing on the Christie funder invite.
Raining on her parade
Senate primary candidate Brenda Lenard may not be in the best of moods at her campaign office’s grand opening. Lenard, a Tennessee Republican and would-be Tea Partier, has faced some harsh criticism within conservative ranks for her past felony conviction and economic woes.
As reported by the Daily Caller, the challenger to Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was caught writing fraudulent checks in 1993 and was rebuked by a federal judge for filing bankruptcy four times from 2003 to 2005.
While Lenard contends that she is now on the straight and narrow — she is currently completing her doctorate at the University of Tennessee — her FEC filings show that the negative press may be weighing down her fundraising efforts. Lenard’s July filings show that her campaign has just over $3,000 in receipts from January through June.
Cruzin’ to the primaries
It seems as if Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, just cannot stay out of those key early presidential primary states.
PT records show that the presidential contender’s journey to Dublin, N.H. will be at least his third visit since May to one of the early venues for the 2016 relay, and he has already been confirmed as speaker at the Iowa GOP’s Reagan Commemorative Dinner in October (as always, if you catch wind of any other activity, don’t be shy).
While most members of Congress return to their districts for town halls, getaways and charity events during the congressional recess, the life of a member on the short list for 2016 offers no such respite.
The event is not pricey (at least compared to some Washington-area parties), but offers the Lone Star senator a chance to gauge local support. Cruz is not the only member to testing the White waters: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. have been riding the same circuit.
DeMaio told you so
The new-age Republican who is “shaking up” the Grand Old Party in his bid for the U.S. House, has undergone something of a shakeup himself.
Before launching his congressional run, former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio was a candidate for mayor. As you may have heard, the current mayor, Bob Filner, is going through a rather rough patch right now, as he battles widespread allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.
Campaign ads from the DeMaio camp in 2012 highlighted a purported assault by Filner on a baggage clerk at Dulles Airport. The race was ultimately decided by a two-point margin, which DeMaio, in a recent interview with local ABC news 10, blamed on special interests for “cover[ing] up” for Filner’s past indiscretions.
While Filner has yet to relinquish his position, if he is forced out of office DeMaio would be a likely candidate in a special election. DeMaio has not yet confirmed whether he would run for mayor.
Shifting gears from a congressional run to a municipal bid would pose some interesting challenges for the DeMaio camp. A representative from the San Diego Ethics Commission confirmed that federal candidate committees may not contribute to a municipal election, meaning that the money the councilman raised from events like his Aug. 27 Young Professionals for Carl event would most likely be off limits.
If you stop by the event (held at Hard Rock San Diego), let us know what his plans are, will ya’?
Frequent flier Boehner
Another week, another cross-country journey for the House of Representatives’ lead partier.
Speaker of the House John Boehner has been holding together an increasingly fractious GOP caucus with the tried-and-true tactic of fundraising. This time he makes the trip out to Steamboat Springs, Colo., for a reception benefiting Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo. Suggested contributions start at $1,000 for a PAC attendee and $250 for normal guests.
That’s all for this mid-August roundup, partiers. Like Congress, we’re on a bit of a summer hiatus, but will break open the beer — er, we mean, blog — at a moment’s notice for big party news. You know where to send it!
(Graphic: Caitlin Weber/Sunlight Foundation)Tweet
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.