Party people, welcome to the first Monday after McCutcheon.
We are bracing ourselves for an influx of fundraiser invites, seeing as the Supreme Court gave a heave-ho to that pesky cap on aggregate contributions. Now, anyone can dole out big-time bucks to federal candidates and political parties, limits be damned! Get ready to make it rain, K Street.
This only means more parties, friends. As politicians’ call lists grow, expect more invites to receptions at Johnny’s Half Shell, meet-and-greets at Tortilla Coast, and luncheons at Bistro Bis. (In the market for a creative way to get out of writing another check? We’ve got you covered with this list of excuses.)
And as your inboxes get flooded with invites, you know what to do – send them our way! We are dying to know who is taking advantage of the new no-limit rule and clamoring to get more money into their campaign coffers. Special Party Time kudos (hey, we may even get you a special PT hat!) for the intrepid soul who snags us the first invite to a funder for the-lid’s-off, post-McCutcheon committees that Sunlight’s own Jacob Fenton has dubbed “a super-joint.” We think that makes him a contender in the contest over at The Fix!
Let’s dig into this week, party people. And remember to send whatever you’ve got right here!
Obama heads to Houston
Another Wednesday, another fundraiser. After doing a twofer in Chicago last week, President Barack Obama hits up donors this Wednesday in Houston at a pricey fundraiser. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will also attend.
Pharmaceutical lawyer John Eddie Williams and his wife, Sheridan, will host the partier-in-chief at their fancy-pants River Oaks home. This feels like a perfect matchup: The Williams couple knows how to throw a successful fundraiser and Obama knows how to get people to write a big check. (For those keeping track at home, PT records show this is the president’s 14th party since February.)
GOP = Going Out to Party
New Hampshire and Iowa are always popular party destinations for politicians with an eye toward higher office. Getting in good with the locals and the state’s party leadership usually pays off come voting time in these early primary states – and people mentioned in conversations about 2016 (see: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.) drop by strategically and often.
The upcoming weekend is no different, as Party Time has four big-time (and big-name) events on the books for both states. The Republican Party of New Hampshire kicks things off on Friday evening with a Rally with Rand in Dover. It’s 50 bucks for what’s billed as a “casual reception” with the Kentucky senator. But that’s just the warm-up to Saturday’s conservative gabfest in Manchester at the first annual Freedom Summit.
Paul and Cruz are slated to speak at the daylong meeting, as are Donald Trump, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Newt and Callista Gingrich, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, Iowa Rep. Steve King, and American Enterprise Institute head Arthur Brooks. A couple of groups you may have heard of – Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity Foundation – are hosting the sold-out event.
Meanwhile, over in Iowa, that state’s Republican Party will have its Lincoln Dinner Friday night in Cedar Rapids. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is the keynote speaker, and a fistful of Hawkeye State politicians will hobnob with donors paying between $75 and $1,000 for the dinner.
In a noteworthy nod to New Hampshire, Iowa’s King won’t be sticking around for the Lincoln Dinner’s after party. After that event wraps up, King will make his way over to New Hampshire where he’s a confirmed speaker at the Freedom Summit.
And Ryan will make the most of his westward trip, stopping in Chicago en route to his evening gig in Iowa. Friday afternoon, he’ll work the crowd at a luncheon fundraiser for Bob Dold, who is looking to reclaim his old House seat.
Georgians go for green
Turns out, it’s the week for GOP state delegations to party hard. On Monday evening, Georgia Republicans get together in Atlanta for the state party’s Spring Gala. Gov. Nathan Deal and a bunch of state pols will celebrate with T.W. Shannon, a “rising GOP star” running to replace retiring Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn. Also invited to attend the event? The full complement of Georgia’s GOP congressional delegation, which may make for an interesting evening.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is stepping down this year, will be there, as will three of the people hoping for a chance to replace him. Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston continue to duke it out in a crowded primary race, which will be held in May.
Rep. Austin Scott, who represents Georgia’s 8th District, is also invited to the event. But Scott’s got some of his own fundraising to do, thank you very much. Monday afternoon, the National Maritime Manufacturers Association’s Boat PAC hosts a Cherry Blossom Cruise for Scott, with tickets starting at $500. The cruise should wrap up by 4:30, so if he hustles, he might be able to make dessert and coffee at the Spring Gala. Busy day!
Bill steps up for Marjorie
In a bit of a ’90s flashback, former President Bill Clinton rallies the faithful in Philadelphia this week for Marjorie Margolies. Margolies is running in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s 13th District seat, which she held in 1992. But she only served one term, getting the boot from constituents after she delivered the last vote Clinton needed to pass his 1993 budget.
So Bubba is returning the favor and bringing some star power to Thursday’s noontime fundraiser.
It’s not the first time Margolies is calling on her Clinton connections, either; last October, she had an event with Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Oh, and did we mention that Margolies is Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law? We anticipate a fair bit of good-natured ribbing about picking up the pace on grandchildren.
The Kentucky Senate race continues to keep us on our toes. This week, in a grab bag of hosts, various PACs representing car companies, chemical manufacturing and alternative energy production are throwing a party for Sen. Mitch McConnell. Tickets to Thursday’s dinner at the Toyota HQ in downtown D.C. start at $1,000 and go up to $5,000.
The minority leader is a prolific fundraiser, and a recent peek at how one of his fundraising dinners goes down gives a little insight as to how he became so formidable on the social circuit. Looks like McConnell uses the silent treatment to his advantage, telling party attendees that they have to give the maximum amount and then simply waiting until they do.
This is the first fundraiser on the books for McConnell since the McCutcheon ruling, which makes us wonder just how much – and how – he’ll make donors pay up. Yikes.
(Photo courtesy Flickr)Tweet
Are you still exhausted from last week’s frenzied fundraising schedule? In our last update, we reported that 28 parties were keeping politicians busy, but after a little help from our friends (hint: that’s you!), that count bumped up to 40 parties. That’s a lot of schmoozing, folks.
The legislators asking for your money seem to need a bit of a breather, too. The social calendar really hit the breaks this week, although some big names are still on the schedule. After his extensive travels in Europe and Saudi Arabia, President Barack Obama hops on a plane again, this time heading to Chicago. He’s slated to have a “Small Dinner” fundraiser on Wednesday for the Democratic National Committee at the home of big-time bundlers Grace Tsao-Wu and Craig Freedman.
But we bet there’s a whole lot more going on in fundraiser-land than what’s on our calendar – after all, politicians never pass up an opportunity to party hard for cash. Over here at Party Time, we will keep digging around for more details and more invites, but if you hear of anything, shoot it our way! Double check those mailboxes and email lists, and send anything and everything you’ve got right here.
Clinton cash machine
Bill Clinton loves to help out his friends. The former president has been hopscotching the country to raise some big bucks for his buddies now running for office. In February, he stumped for Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, a longtime family friend. A few weeks ago, he rallied the troops in New York for Seth Magaziner, who is running for Rhode Island treasurer and whose father is a longtime Clinton adviser (and current head of the Clinton Health Access Initiative).
This upcoming weekend, Bubba makes his way back to his native Arkansas for two fundraisers for Democrats running for House seats. On Saturday, Clinton will work the crowd for James Lee Witt, running in Arkansas’ 4th district. Witt led the Federal Emergency Management Agency during Clinton’s presidency, and Clinton is retuning the favor with a $250-per-person party at Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa in Hot Springs. Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, considered a star since winning the 4th district in 2012, currently holds the seat but is challenging Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in November.
On Sunday afternoon, Clinton makes his way over to the Argenta Community Theater in North Little Rock for a fundraiser for Pat Hays. Hays, who worked on Clinton’s campaign in 1992 and was the mayor of North Little Rock for 24 years, is running for the 2nd district seat. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., is hanging up his hat after two terms in the House.
Not to be outdone, Ready for Hillary, the super PAC set up to encourage Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016, is throwing a pricey fundraiser at Capitol Hill hotspot Johnny’s Half Shell this week. The organization usually sticks to events with a $20.16 price tag (it’s clever and subtle), but tickets to Thursday’s party are going for $1,000 to $2,500.
DeMoney for DeMaio
Carl DeMaio caps off a bit of a fundraising spree on Monday with a reception in Southern California. During the past week or so, the Republican House candidate, running in California’s 52nd district, has held four fundraisers in attempts to bolster his campaign coffers. DeMaio, a former member of San Diego’s City Council and a mayoral candidate in the city in 2012, has his sights set on November, when he’ll likely face off against Democratic Rep. Scott Peters. (There’s an open primary in May, but our Real-Time tracker shows DeMaio and Peters are the top two candidates when it comes to cash on hand.)
DeMaio, who is one of three gay Republican House candidates in 2014 and made waves in February with an ad that featured him holding hands with his partner, has been a busy fundraising bee. Since last June, Party Time has 30 funders on the books for DeMaio.
Oprah comes to Virginia
The ever-influential Oprah Winfrey arrives in Alexandria on Saturday to party with Lavern Chatman, who is hoping to replace the retiring Rep. Jim Moran in Virginia’s 8th district. In her announcement about the Oprah-headlined event, Chatman said, “Oprah is a good friend and we both share a passion for empowering women and girls for leadership.”
It’s a good friendship to have, especially since Chatman faces a crowded Democratic primary field. Although the media mogul doesn’t often get involved in politics, when she does, it tends to have a winning effect. Remember that time when Oprah got pumped up for one Mr. Barack Obama? Or when she threw a party for New Jersey’s Cory Booker? She’s two for two!
Rick Scott rakes it in
It’s been a tough few weeks for Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign. The Florida chief executive, running for reelection in November, recently lost his campaign committee’s co-finance chairman, health care bigwig Mike Fernandez. Fernandez abruptly resigned his post, and leaked emails reveal big-time internal issues, including concerns about outreach to Florida’s Latino community.
Then, last Thursday, Scott’s team got wind of another resignation: Gonzalo Sanabria, a board member of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, quit as a result of the Fernandez episode.
Sounds like it’s time for a party. Scott will have a private reception in Tampa this week, with tickets starting at $1,000 and climbing to $10,000 for a VIP reception. (Fun fact: One of the event’s hosts, Brent Sembler, heads up a shopping center development company and is a reliable GOP donor. In 2009, PT shows Sembler and his wife hosted a shindig for Charlie Crist, back when he was a Republican running for Senate.)
Photo courtesy WikipediaTweet
Party people, we’ve got another packed schedule of fundraisers upon us. Looks like Congress is taking advantage of its week away from Washington to shake the money tree in warmer locales: Texas, Arizona, California and Florida are all on the calendar. These politicians sure do know how to make the best of their time off the clock.
The one exception to the outside-of-the-District trend is Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who is throwing a St. Patrick’s Day Fete in Fairfax on Monday. According to Party Time’s data, this is the second themed St. Paddy’s Day shindig on the books this year. But there must be more happening out there – after all, no self-respecting politician would pass up the opportunity to use a cute leprechaun with a pot of gold as a means to inspire campaign contributions! If you’ve heard of anything good, you know what to do: Send those invites and newspaper clippings here.
Now, it’s time to hit the road for this week in parties!
President Obama: Florida fundraising (and golfing?)
The Partier-in-Chief will join Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., DCCC head Steve Israel and Florida’s Democratic congressional delegation for a fundraiser in Miami on Thursday evening.
The cocktail reception and dinner will take place at the home of former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, who has also been known to join President Obama on the golf course. A few weeks ago, while on a family vacation in Key Largo, Obama hit the links with Mourning, sportscaster Ahmad Rashad and Cyrus Walker, Valerie Jarrett’s cousin. We can’t imagine that the president won’t take advantage of the sunshine and Florida’s omnipresent golf courses on this trip, either.
But wait, this just in: Late Friday night, Party Time learned that President Obama will attend a second fundraiser in Miami on Thursday for the DNC. He’s also the headliner for a DNC funder on Tuesday in D.C., but this is all we know about either event. If you’ve got details, please share! Email us, or upload an official invite here.
Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa … again
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, may enjoy reading about Dr. Seuss’s take on breakfast foods, but on Tuesday, the freshman senator will have a plate full of sweets and goodies at a fundraiser in Mason City, Iowa. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Cruz are both slated to attend a Dessert Reception for the Cerro Gordo County Republicans in yet another indicator that the Texan is laying the groundwork for a run at the GOP presidential nomination. The next presidential election may be 32 months away, but it’s never too soon to buddy up with voters in Iowa, perennial site of the first-in-the-country caucuses.
Since the Iowa caucuses provide an important initial go-around for candidates vying to be president, getting in good with the state’s party leadership is always a wise first step. Cruz learned that one early, with our PT records showing he first hit up the Hawkeye State six months after being sworn in. Then it was last October’s Ronald Reagan Commemorative Dinner in Des Moines, followed by that memorable weekend Pheasant Hunt with Rep. King.
Need another sign Cruz has 2016 on the brain? The next fundraiser PT has on his schedule is the Freedom Summit in New Hampshire, the state with the first presidential primary.
Ted Cruz, you are one savvy partier.
McConnell in sunny SoCal
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., plans to party on Wednesday afternoon with Christian conservative heavyweights in Southern California. The fundraiser, first reported by the Washington Examiner, will be hosted by California insurance executive John Nelson and Salem Communications CEO Edward Atsinger.
Atsinger’s Salem is a mega communications firm that specializes in evangelical Christian and conservative websites, like TownHall.com and HotAir.com, and radio shows hosted by the likes of Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt. In January, the Salem family got bigger when it gobbled up Eagle Publishing, which produced RedState.com and HumanEvents.com.
That move consolidated a significant chunk of right-leaning media outlets and personalities under one organizational umbrella, making a fundraiser with the organization’s head an efficient tip o’ the hat to voters in Kentucky wary of McConnell’s conservative bona fides. (And, might we add, Republican funders on the fence about doling out some dough to the Senate’s minority leader.)
Although polls have McConnell way ahead of his from-the-right primary challenger, Matt Bevin, the longtime senator is still neck-and-neck with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. So, bring on the bucks! Wednesday’s fundraiser, headlined by Prager and Hewitt, costs $15,200 per person or $30,400 per couple.
Cash for Crist
Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist continues to beef up his new left-leaning bona fides. On Wednesday evening, he will hobnob with the gay elite of South Florida at a fundraiser at the home of Dean Trantalis, the first openly gay member of the Fort Lauderdale City Commission. According to the invitation, other hosts include Michael Albetta, a leader in the state’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Caucus, and Norman Kent, the publisher of South Florida Gay News.
The fundraiser provides another opportunity for Crist to make nice with Florida’s LGBT community. While he was Florida’s governor from 2006-2010 – and had an “R” after his name – Crist supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. But two years after moving out of the governor’s mansion, Crist changed his party affiliation and his position on marriage equality, even going so far as to apologize for supporting the amendment.
This is Crist’s second fundraising event Florida’s LGBT heavy-hitters. In January, Crist had a reception at Brad Grosberg and Phil Kean’s Winter Park home, where tickets started at $250 and went up to $10,000.
Weekend getaways + funders
A day away from D.C. is great, but why not turn that trip into a weekend getaway if you possibly can? Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., heeds that advice and heads to Las Vegas for a Spa Weekend Trip with a price tag of $1,500 for individuals or $2,500 for PACs. By the way, we trust Wagner’s intuition when it comes to a weekend of relaxation and luxury. She was, after all, the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg during President George W. Bush’s second term.
If you’re more in the mood for a go-go-go weekend, the Americans for Spring Training trip has you covered. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., will converge in Orlando for a weekend full of spring training baseball games and a day at Walt Disney World.
But ever since Party Time heard about Allen West’s Black Tie Boot Camp weekend in Palm Beach, we couldn’t get it out of our heads. Not only is the invite priceless, we are beyond intrigued to learn about what goes down at West event that combines bow ties and camo. If you have any details – seriously, anything – send it right here.
Photo credit: Wikimedia CommonsTweet
Hello party people! We hope all you CPAC-ers have recovered from your weekend of keynotes and debates, plus something we learned about late in the game – Reaganpalooza for the Young Conservatives Coalition. What a whirlwind few days.
We aren’t sure, but that might explain why this week’s social calendar skews to the Democrats. We know the GOP doesn’t need a full week to recuperate, though, so let us know what parties are brewing out there. Email us any tips, or upload your goods here. (Know how we know Republicans can party like nobody’s business? Texas Gov. Rick Perry, fresh off his rousing CPAC appearance, is headlining the Lincoln Reagan Dinner in Kentucky with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.)
Before digging into the week, we feel obligated to point out two funders for the themed party aficionados among our readers. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., is having his Annual St. Patrick’s Celebration on Monday evening in Paterson. Even the contribution levels are themed – $350 for “shamrock” sponsorship, or $500 for the “emerald” level. And on Thursday, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., is throwing his Sixth Annual Taste of Buffalo event at the DNC’s headquarters in Capitol Hill. The menu? Buffalo wings, Imperial Pizza and beef on weck, obviously.
Here’s what the rest of the week looks like, partiers. (If you know of anything we’ve missed, send whatever you’ve got here!)
Partier-in-Chief in the Big Apple
President Barack Obama is maintaining his packed fundraising schedule this week with a trip up to New York for two events. He’s smack in the middle of his run of 18 fundraisers this year, all scheduled in his party’s attempt to shore up cash for the 2014 election.
Although Obama’s approval ratings continue to drop (a recent Fox News poll has him at 38 percent), the president can still inspire deep-pocketed donors to write hefty checks. In addition to an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, he’ll be hobnobbing with donors at a price tag of $32,400 per person during a Fireside Chat at the N.Y.C. home of Alan and Susan Patricof. That fundraiser for the DNC is limited to 13 couples or 26 people, according to Politico.
As far as we can tell over here at Party Time, this is the first Patricof-Obama event. The Patricofs are big-time supporters of the Clintons from way back when, as the foursome met in the Hamptons in the late ’80s and the Patricofs spent a night in the White House during Bill Clinton’s tenure. Alan Patricof raised lots of money for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, but stayed out of the 2012 election, meaning Tuesday’s event is yet another indicator of the Democratic establishment and Clintonworld aligning for 2016.
Cash for Clyburn
On the other hand, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., wants everyone to calm down about the still-far-off 2016 election. He recently rallied Democrats in Charleston during a Young Democrats of America meeting, encouraging attendees to get motivated for the midterms and not to focus too much on 2016. He, for example, said he was heading to Florida to gin up support for Alex Sink, who is in a tight race for the late Rep. Bill Young’s seat. A Democratic pickup there is “critical,” Clyburn said. (Side note: That special election in Florida is Tuesday, so if you know of any last-minute fundraisers – or early debt-retirement parties – happening, let us know!)
“Let’s have some victories in 2014, and then, the morning after the November election, we can get to work on 2016,” Clyburn told the crowd, according to a Post and Courier report.
He’s taking some of his own advice come Tuesday evening when he’s having a dinner fundraiser in downtown D.C. for his 2014 campaign. The Rev. Leon Winn announced in October he would challenge Clyburn this cycle, making the Baptist minister the first African-American Republican candidate in South Carolina’s 6th District since 2000. But Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, already has a significant leg up on the cash contest: Our Real-Time Tracker shows he’s got a little more than $1.1 million in the bank.
Scott’s small shindig
Rep. David Scott knows how to do Georgia politics. The Democrat served in state-level government from the ’70s to 2002, and then was elected to the U.S. House. Since then, Scott has won reelection easily, despite news reports in 2007 about some questionable campaign finance activity.
This year, Scott is facing a primary challenge from Michael Owens, a businessman and Marine Corps veteran. According to our Real-Time Tracker, Scott had loads more cash on hand than Owens, and the incumbent will only add to his totals after a Thursday night event. Scott is having a Small, Convivial Dinner at fundraising hotspot Johnny’s Half Shell on Capitol Hill. Tickets start at $500 and go up to $2,500.
Weekend Update with Party Time
Florida is the happening place to be this upcoming weekend, with two politicians heading to the Sunshine State for fundraising trips. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., will travel back to his home state on Friday for a three-day hunting excursion. When PT first heard about the event, details were still TBD, so if you know what’s on tap, let us know!
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., may not have another election until 2018, but that won’t stop him from throwing a fundraiser or two. On Friday, Casey will make his way to Bradenton, Florida, for a Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Weekend. And it’s probably a good time to get out of Washington – Casey was one of eight Democratic senators to vote against the confirmation of Debo Adegbile, President Obama’s pick to head up the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Adegbile’s nomination was controversial from the start, since he was on the legal team that attempted to get a death penalty sentence overturned for Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of murdering a police officer in Philadelphia in 1981. Obama was obviously peeved by the Senate’s vote, calling it a “travesty.” When it gets that chilly in D.C., it’s definitely time for a warm weekend getaway.
And that’s the week in review! What have we missed? Send us what you’ve got here. Until next week, party on!
Photo courtesy WikipediaTweet
Happy Monday, party people! Aside from more congested streets in D.C., you know how we can tell that Congress is back from break? A super-busy social calendar. Yes, this town will be bustling again with senators and representatives doing good, old-fashioned legislating. But they’ll also manage to find some time for partying with anyone with a checkbook.
Things get started right away, with three – count ’em, three – members of Congress getting their groove on during Monday night’s Justin Timberlake concert. Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., will all attempt to bring sexy back with J.T. at the Verizon Center. Tickets range from $1,000 to $2,500, but you may want to hold off on making any purchases. The “Suit & Tie” singer had to move around his N.Y.C. concert and postponed a show in Buffalo for unspecified “health reasons.”
Frankly, we’re most concerned about how Grimm, known more now for threatening to break a reporter in half than his campaign finance issues, will react to any bad news. For all of our sakes, take your vitamins and get better, Justin.
Later on in the week, Priorities USA hits up donors in the Big Apple. In January, the super PAC, which supported President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection, beefed up its board, brought on Jim Messina (Obama’s former campaign manager), and announced it was aligning itself with Hillary Clinton and her still-TBD 2016 presidential run. Thursday evening’s reception is the first fundraiser since this shakeup, and will provide yet another indicator of which Dem power players will line up behind H.Clinton.
And these are just some of the highlights, partiers! We’ve still got to thumb through our invites of weekend getaways, a gun raffle, and a traditional fundraiser or two. It’s a busy week, but there’s got to be more going on. Let us know what you’ve heard about by emailing us or uploading invites here.
Grimes gets it going
Alison Lundergan Grimes maintains two campaign trends this week: a busy fundraising schedule and big-name special guests.
On Tuesday, Grimes lunches with supporters and Bill Clinton at downtown Louisville’s Galt House, a high-rise hotel on the Ohio River. The former president is tight with Grimes’ father, Jerry Lundergan, a prior chair of Kentucky’s Democratic Party. It’s sure to play out like a family reunion lovefest, with the added benefit of fundraising.
On Sunday evening, Grimes flies to the Sunshine State for a reception in Palm Beach. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who heads up the effort to keep the Senate in Democratic control, will be on hand to ply donors for cash. Recent polls give Grimes a four-point lead over Sen. Mitch McConnell, but the Minority Leader won the fundraising battle at the end of last year.
Paulie, get your gun
Last January, when a slate of Republicans voted against Rep. John Boehner keeping his post as the Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia threw some salt into the wound: He suggested outspoken conservative Allen West for the position, even though the Florida congressman had lost his reelection bid and was no longer in Congress. One reporter cited it as an example of Broun’s “flair for the provocative.”
It’s a different year, but the Atlanta native continues with similar tactics. This week, Broun, who is running to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., is wrapping up a gun giveaway. Yep, all you need to do is give your name and email address to Broun’s campaign committee and you could win an AR-15. It’s simple, it’s free, and it sure is provocative.
POTUS and VP fundraise for DNC
The partier-in-chief is getting back on the fundraising horse. Last week, President Obama went to a dinner for the Democratic Governors Association at D.C.’s St. Regis, but this Friday, he’s doing his first fundraiser of the year for the Democratic National Committee.
Not to be outdone, Vice President Joe Biden heads to Arizona on Friday. The reception in Phoenix is the second DNC event this year for Biden, who had a dinner fundraiser last week in Minneapolis at the Bachelor Farmer. And that reminds us: Party Time wants to give a big, confidential air high-five to the person who slipped us the menu for that dinner! We love hearing about those details, so keep them coming. Email us, or upload whatever you’ve got.
Cash for Capps
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., may be retiring from Congress but he’s not hanging up his fundraising hat just yet. The longtime SoCal congressman is slated to attend a Wednesday dinner for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., at Capitol Hill’s Monocle Restaurant.
After years of winning handily in safely blue communities, redistricting in 2012 made Capps’ race against Republican Abel Maldonado, a former state senator and lieutenant governor, one to watch. Capps won by 10 points, largely because she was able to – wait for it – raise more money than her challenger.
For the 2014 campaign, Capps is again on the Democrats’ “Frontline” list, which means she’ll benefit from extra support around fundraising and voter outreach. Wednesday’s event will pair Capps with Waxman, buddies from their time together on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Our Real-Time Tracker shows she’s still winning the money game.
Wanna get away?
Everyone needs to get out of the city once in a while. For us regular folks, it means fresh air and a few minutes away from work emails. But for politicians, it means that plus fundraising. And for this upcoming weekend, we’ve got three fundraising trips on the books.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., heads back to his home state on Friday for a Spring Training Trip that’ll cost you $1,500 to $2,500. If a Spa and Cooking Weekend is more your style, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., has you covered with a getaway to the swanky Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood, Miss. While specifics for those two trips are still TBA (you know what to do if you’ve got ‘em), Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, promises plenty of skiing during her Anchorage trip. (And, as a side note, of the three weekend getaways, she totally wins the best invite award. See what we mean?)
What a week, party people. Keep sending us those invites and news tips!
Photo courtesy WikipediaTweet
The country’s number one and number two are hoping to cash in on some major donors’ feelings of holiday-induced goodwill on Monday and Tuesday. President Barack Obama is slated to attend four fundraisers in California, and Vice President Joe Biden will lunch with fellow Dems in downtown Chicago.
Obama is making the most of his West Coast travels. On Sunday, he attended a $20,000-per-person “discussion” at the home of philanthropists/Zumiez creator Sonya and Tom Campion in Seattle. Then, Obama hit up donors at former Microsoft exec and art aficionado Jon Shirley’s Seattle home during a $32,400-per-couple event. Obama raised money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., at the art collector’s mansion, which happens to be a few doors down from Bill Gates’ 48,000-square-foot charmer. Here’s hoping that this time the prez remembered Shirley’s name – when he hosted a $35,800-per-couple brunch in 2011, Obama apparently referred to Shirley as “Mark.” Now that’s what we call awkward.
Come Monday, it’s time to schmooze with deep-pocketed Democratic supporters in California. First stop: the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco for a lunch benefiting the Democratic National Committee.
The president has been a money magnet throughout his busy fundraising schedule, which made last week’s news about reduced ticket prices to the Bay Area event all the more surprising. Entry to the luncheon originally started at $1,000 and went up to $15,000, but the SF Gate reported that the first-level tickets were slashed to $500 and “organizers are even making deals on some of the $15,000 tickets to the reception with the president, with prices dropping to as low as $10,000.” Is this a case of donor fatigue, or maybe just a post-Thanksgiving Day sale come early?
Then Obama hits the L.A. pad of Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie, for a reception. (Quick game of hoops in the backyard, anyone?) The former Laker and Showtime star has been in the news recently, talking with Anderson Cooper about his HIV diagnosis in 1991 and his recently out gay son.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Pelosi will be on hand at the Johnsons’ home for the $2,500- to $15,000-per-person event. The DCCC also set up a lottery so people could sign up for free to win a seat at the event – or, if you read the fine print, you could make a hefty contribution and then enter the lottery. Which feels counterintuitive to the whole “win a free trip” thing, but we digress.
Come dinnertime, Obama will head to the home of billionaire media mogul Haim Saban. Saban is tight with the Clintons – he backed Hillary in the 2008 primaries, and reportedly was so upset when she lost that he considered supporting the Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain, in the general election – and has been critical of Obama’s approach to Israel. He contributes significantly to Democrats, but has never hosted an event for Obama.
Back in October, the event’s organizers were hoping to have the $32,400-per-couple shindig at Saban’s Beverly Hills mansion, and turns out, the partier-in-chief got his way.
Tuesday morning finds Obama at “Friends” creator Marta Kauffman’s home for a roundtable discussion. This funder is a long time coming: It was rescheduled twice, first from a September event that the White House put off due to the crisis in Syria and then from an October event with First Lady Michelle Obama that was scratched because of the government shutdown. Hopefully everyone can make up for lost opportunities with plenty of coffee drinking and as many “Friends” references as possible.
The VP is no slouch when it comes to fundraising, which we learned when checking out his recent party schedule. On Monday, Biden heads to downtown Chicago for a luncheon for Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin. Tickets start at $2,500 and go up to $37,600 per person.
After playing coy about running for reelection, Durbin decided to go for it in 2014. State Sen. Jim Oberweis recently said he’s looking to throw his hat in the ring for the GOP primary, but, according to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Republican leaders are suggesting he do some “soul-searching” first, citing previous controversial statements he’s made during campaigns.
That’s a whirlwind few days of fundraising, so let’s all agree to take off Thursday and Friday for turkey, football and bargain hunting. Catch you on the flip side, partiers.
(P.S. What funders are we missing? Drop us a line and let us know!)
Photo credit: FlickrTweet
Hello, partiers! Everyone loves Halloween, even your elected representatives as we see in this 1963 photo of President John F. Kennedy being surprised by some trick-or-treaters (a.k.a. his kids, Caroline and John). Of course some of this year’s political goblins may want a little more than candy. And they are busy: This week builds on last week’s post-shutdown return to fundraising-as-usual. As of press time, we’ve got 33 parties on tap this week, including one with President Barack Obama as the headliner.
After a raft of shutdown-induced cancellations, Obama has been hitting the party circuit hard, speaking at the DNC’s pricey Women’s Leadership Forum last Thursday, and then schmoozing Friday in New York at DCCC and DNC events. This week, it’s up to Massachusetts for a party at the home of his former ambassador to Spain, Alan Solomont. Wednesday’s Solomont event will raise as much as $32,400 per person, or $64,800 per couple, if you want to make a date night of it. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steve Israel are also slated to attend.
Not to be outdone, the National Republican Congressional Committee is slated to host a fundraiser in the Big Apple on Wednesday. We don’t know any details beyond that, so let us know if you’ve got the scoop!
Find out who else is trick-or-treating for cash this Halloween week …
Bucks for Bruce
Fresh off a Gabrielle Giffords-hosted event Sunday afternoon in Iowa, Rep. Bruce Braley heads back to D.C. to celebrate his birthday with – you guessed it! – a fundraiser.
Braley, celebrating the big 5-6 this year, hopes to bring in some serious cash at Tuesday’s “birthday cocktails” party.
After serving six years in the House, Braley is making a run to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, a fellow Democrat, in 2014. According to Influence Explorer data, during his last election, Braley brought in $2,683,457, of which lawyers and law firms contributed $969,528. Among Iowa House races that year, Braley was the second-highest recipient of out-of-state contributions, collecting $1,138,173 from non-Iowa donors.
That trend may continue, seeing as tickets to “Bruce, Blues, and BBQ” in Iowa were $15 to $500, and his D.C. b-day bash starts at $250 a pop.
On Monday, McAuliffe goes to suburban Virginia with Bill Clinton for an evening fundraiser that seeks to raise at least $2,500 per attendee. The hosts that night, Dwight and Martha Schar, are GOP heavy-hitters with an expansive $9.9 million McLean estate. Dwight Schar, part owner of the Redskins and a former RNC finance chairman, bucked his party and lent his endorsement to McAuliffe in June.
On Wednesday, Clinton confidants Cheryl and Haim Saban will host McAuliffe and his supporters at a luncheon in their Beverly Hills home. Haim Saban, a media mogul who “slept in the White House several times” during Clinton’s tenure, has given $276,065 to McAuliffe through his TV production company, Saban Entertainment. Also slated to attend the $15,000-per-head lunch? Hillary Clinton, who recently endorsed McAuliffe during a “Women for Terry” event in Falls Church.
Trick or treat!
It feels like the Clintons are especially ever-present this week on the party circuit, which is saying something. On Halloween, Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeline Albright will make her way to Pennsylvania to raise some dough for Marjorie Margolies, mother-in-law to Chelsea Clinton.
Margolies held Pennsylvania’s 13th District House seat, just outside Philadelphia, in the mid ’90s, and lost it after infamously casting a last-minute vote in favor of then-President Clinton’s budget. Now, she’s hoping to get the same seat back but she faces a competitive Democratic primary in which she lags in fundraising, according to the latest figures compiled by the Sunlight Foundation’s Real-Time FEC tracker. Madeleine Dean, a state representative, is hosting the “Evening of Dessert and Conversation,” and tickets range from $250 to $2,600.
We want to know if there will be costumes, and who will wear a Bill mask.
Wanna get away?
If the changing leaves and chilly fall air aren’t your thing, perhaps Rep. Xavier Becerra can convince you to join him (and donate to his Leadership for Today and Tomorrow PAC) in warm Puerto Rico for an “Autumn Leadership Golf Getaway” this upcoming weekend. The $5,000 entry gets guests a weekend on the course and plenty of talk of … leadership.
If Puerto Rico is too far, Des Moines’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner to benefit the Iowa Democratic Party may call (although we can’t promise anything resembling warm weather there). Sen. Charles Schumer is the keynote speaker.
That’s what we’ve got for this week, partiers; what have you heard about? Let us know!
(Photo credits: National Archives, Wikimedia commons)Tweet
America, congratulations: Your government is up and running again! Feel free to check out the reinstated panda cam, visit your nearest now-open National Park, and call the Environmental Protection Agency, you know, because you can.
After 16 days of shutdown-induced uncertainty, the government is sprouting to life again, and politicians and the lobbyists who love them are celebrating with fundraising events. The Clintons are getting busy in New York for a handful of local races, and President Barack Obama will follow them there to help Democratic House candidates. Meanwhile, Iowa lights up for Republicans looking to raise some campaign cash.
The Democratic Party’s favorite social butterfly will fundraise for David Fried, running for Rockland County Executive, at 5 p.m. Oct. 21 at Nyack Seaport. Fried, an aide in the Clinton administration in the late ’90s, secured the former president’s endorsement in April during the six-person primary race. Tickets range from $500 to $5,000 to party on the Hudson.
Organizers for Noam Bramson’s campaign will be keeping their fingers crossed that that event finishes on time, seeing as Clinton is headlining a 7 p.m. fundraiser for their candidate across the river. Bramson is running for Westchester County executive, and hopes to raise up to $10,000 per person Monday night. Last Friday, a local organization of African-American and Latino leaders called on Clinton to cancel the funder, stating Bramson “is not deserving of the honor of standing with a real leader that respects the black community.” As of press time, the event is still a go.
On Wednesday, Bill heads to Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck to raise some cash for Tom Suozzi, candidate for Nassau County Executive. Not sure what the ex-prez’s vegan diet will permit him to snack on at the Italian eatery that skews toward meat and cheese, but we heard he’s broken the rules every once in a while.
And, not to be outdone, Hillary parties with N.Y.C. mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio on Monday at the Roosevelt Hotel. The event will put you back between $1,000 and $25,000, the latter of which gets you into a private reception and photo op with Clinton and de Blasio.
Looks like a week of multitasking for the Clinton clan.
Obama travels to the Big Apple
The shutdown caused Michelle Obama to cancel a West Coast tour of fundraisers a few weeks ago, but her husband will be back on the trail this week.
Obama’s been bopping around the country quite a bit this year, raising funds for Democratic candidates in next year’s congressional races. Obama will attend a Friday night funder for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in New York City. He has another one scheduled for the end of the month in Weston, Mass., to raise money for House races.
However, a reported Oct. 21 trip to Dallas doesn’t show up on Obama’s White House schedule for the week, available here thanks to Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, a major friend of PT. According to an earlier Politico report, the president was to have been the headliner for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at the Texas dinner and reception.
Raising money, talking issues
Thursday and Friday find Obama and a fistful of other Democrats and their operatives at the Grand Hyatt in downtown D.C. for the National Issues Conference. This is the 20th annual conference for the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum.
Students can attend for $25, but general admission starts at $250. For $32,400, you can be a forum board member, and partake in two – yes, TWO! – photo receptions on Friday. What a deal.
Dinner at the Iowa Fair
Iowa, always a popular hangout for politicians hoping to increase their national profile, is a busy hotspot for Republicans this weekend. Sen. Ted Cruz, who said last week that he “will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare,” will headline the Ronald Reagan Commemorative Dinner in Des Moines on Friday night.
The Iowa State Fairgrounds, home of fried butter on a stick, will host the two-hour event with Cruz and other GOP luminaries (Gov. Terry Branstad, Sen. Chuck Grassley). People can attend the dinner for $100, or pony up $750 for a VIP reception and a ticket to sit at Cruz’s table for dinner.
Hunting for dollars … and pheasants
For those aiming (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) to make a weekend of it in the Hawkeye State, a two-day hunting excursion may be in order. Rep. Steve King is holding his annual pheasant hunt and “Defenders of Freedom” lunch talk in Akron on Saturday and Sunday. The hunting starts at 8 a.m.!
Sen. Cruz is making the most of his Iowa trip, stopping in on Saturday to speak at the luncheon. While the lunch is $30 per person, $2,500 will get attendees the full weekend of events at the Hole N’ the Wall Lodge. Apparently, it also means “membership in King’s Inner Circle for 2013.” What does that even mean?
What a week, partiers! Let us know if you hear of anything good happening out there.
Photos courtesy Gage Skidmore, Flickr and Roger Goun, FlickrTweet
(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
Hey, Partiers! After golfing on Saturday, then celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday and hosting British Prime Minister David Cameron this morning, you might think that President Obama would be too tuckered out to deal with any fundraising. But you’d be wrong! (This is the Party Time blog. You should see these things coming…)
The president is traveling this afternoon to the New York City to attend three fairly secretive Democratic fundraisers, one DCCC/DSCC party at the Waldorf Astoria hotel and another DNC event at the home of Harvey Weinstein, legendary executive producer of two of this year’s Oscars contenders — Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook — and, of course, Zack and Miri Make a Porno. As the New York Post reported, the event costs $32,400 per couple and will host fewer than 65 guests, giving Weinstein the chance to dim the lights and give his guests intimacy they crave. Let’s just assume it’s not the same sort of intimacy he’s famous for producing in Shakespeare in Love, Cold Mountain and Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
No info has been reported on the third event except that it is being held at a private residence. Diddy?
Lucky enough to snag an invite to any of these swell events? Put it right here.
But the president isn’t the only one kicking off the week with a fundraising bonanza. NYC Republican candidate for mayor Joe Lhota will be close by, plying donors with alcohol and conversation, along with another entertainment icon, Steve Schirripa. (He played a guy on The Sopranos. It’s okay, I didn’t know who he was, either.)
Mikulski kicked off her 23rd annual tournament today at the Whiskey Creek Golf Course in Ijamsville, Md., while Burr will be hitting the links in Gainesville, Va. at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. Individual players will pony up a minimum of $1,000 to weather 18 holes on an unseasonably blustery May day.
Golf is the worst, which is why I give Mikulski and Burr credit for suffering through it. It might not be as bad as a Taylor Swift concert, but if I were elected to one of the nation’s highest offices, no way would I be caught trudging around a golf course on a super-fun day I was scheduled to be in session. Bravo!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.