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
After this past week, America really needs a party to cheer up. Answering the call, several members of Congress are planning fundraising events as the 2014 races heat up — and maybe some early rumblings of 2016. In fact, the PT calendar shows almost 30 parties happening next week! From Republicans to Democrats, incumbents to candidates, everyone is looking to stuff their coffers for the upcoming elections. Boy, the cycle seems to start earlier and earlier…
Without further ado, next week’s funders coming up!
Obama Partying in Dallas for the DNC
President Obama will be in Texas next week for the opening of George W. Bush’s library grand opening, but that might not be the highlight of his trip. On Wednesday, the day before Bush’s ceremony, the president and first lady will head to the Dallas home of Naomi Aberly for a $10,000 dinner benefiting the Democratic National Committee. Aberly is an Obama bundler and huge democratic donor, contributing over $600,000 to various blue causes, including $138,000 to the DNC, and is one of the early funders of Organizing for Action, the new nonprofit group supporting Obama’s second term agenda. The invite is MIA – so send it in to PT if you’ve got it!
Things ain’t looking good for Mark “Mr. Appalachian” Sanford. The NRCC has now distanced itself from the race, depriving Sanford of its dollars, after he allegedly trespassed at his ex-wife’s home, where he watched the Super Bowl with his son; fellow GOPers refuse to talk about him; and the Colbert Busch fundraising machine churns onward. Big brother funny man Stephen Colbert returns for a Tuesday morning breakfast at the NYC home of Sallie Krawcheck, a former prominent Wall Street executive who boasts a Twitter feed with over 14,000 followers. Also in attendance will be Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as well as DCCC chair Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. Tickets cost up to $10,000, but guests can catch a sneak peek of Stephen out of character for as little as $500!
Booker’s “Special Evenings” for Senate
Newark Mayor Cory Booker will make a couple of withdrawals in the ATM state of California with two events this week. On Thursday, he’ll benefit from a LA Special Evening at the home of movie producer Jerry Weintraub, who already contributed $5,000 to Booker’s own CoryPAC in 2011. But he’s not the only Hollywood megastar/megadonor to be listed on the invite. many of whom helped kickstart President Obama’s historically well-stocked campaign. The host committee boasts director Steven Spielberg, actor Bruce Willis, producer JJ Abrams, director Rob Reiner and more. Tickets are a mere $5,000 to be in the presence of cinema greatness! The next night, Booker will head up to NorCal for a San Francisco Special Evening at the Law Offices of Keker and Van Nest; both namesake partners, John Keker and Robert Van Nest, have given tens of thousands to Democratic causes. This evening is not as special, as prices to get in range from $5,000 to a relatively cheap $250.
Funders for swing-vote senators
After Manchin-Toomey deal to expand background checks fell apart on Wednesday, it left many questioning what will happen to the future of gun control legislation in the U.S. Several key senators will be hosting parties next week where they may have to deal with these questions and more:
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.: One of the namesake sponsors of the amendment, Toomey may be feeling especially down, but cheer up — money’s on the way! The former head of the Club for Growth is holding a Wednesday dinner at Capitol Hill hotspot Acqua al 2. You can comfort Toomey with as much as $2,000 in campaign cash.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.: Landrieu is a vulnerable Democrat up for re-election in a red-state, which is why her “yes” vote (even when the amendment looked doomed) surprised many. She may faces questions about her vote during the Annual Big Easy Weekend in New Orleans, which might not be so easy after all. For $5,000, guests can enjoy some slick jazz, dinner on Bourbon Street and more.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine: Collins was one of only four Republicans who voted in favor of the Machin-Toomey deal and she too will be mingling with donors at a Wednesday luncheon. It’s located at the American Trucking Association, and is sponsored by several construction groups — not so coincidentally, Collins sits on a subcommittee for military construction. PACs can pay up to $2,500 to get in, and individuals up to $1,000.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.: Democrats hoped Ayotte would be a crucial swing vote on Manchin-Toomey; however, she ended up going against the measure. She’s headed to D.C. fundraising paradise Johnny’s Half Shell for a breakfast on Wednesday, where prices for PACs escalate to $2,000 and individuals $1,000.
Rubio for 2016?
Senator and GOP Golden Boy Marco Rubio of Florida has been mentioned as a potential presidential contender about a billion times now. Whether or not those rumors hold any truth, he has certainly been fundraising like he’s running for president — bringing in $2.3 million in the first quarter — and his pace continues this week with a Young Professionals Reception at the Oracle Townhouse in DC. PT isn’t sure what kind of “young professionals” can pony up the maximum asking price of $2,500, but guests can also get in for a more reasonable $250.
Until next week, Partiers.Tweet
Party Animal Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
Early this morning, the Committee Formerly Known As Obama’s Campaign, Organizing for Action, reported hauling in just under $4.9 million for the first quarter of 2013, an amount that the Los Angeles Times dubbed “a modest debut.” What a world we live in where $5 million dollars is considered “modest” and not “an absurdly gargantuan mountain of cash.” What’s even more impressive is that OFA started late into the cycle, missing an entire month as the committee transitioned from a campaign to the non-profit “social welfare” group it is now. It’s worth noting that the group had 109,582 unique contributors with an average donation of $44 — however, OFA did solicit gifts up to $500,000.
While OFA continues to rake in the cash, Congress is also partying hard as the 2014 campaign season gets into gear. We’ve flipped the calendar on our Follow the Unlimited Money tracker and you can see why by checking the number of new campaign committees that have popped up just since the first of the year. This week features funders benefitting S.C. congressional hopeful Elizabeth Colbert Busch, GOP darling Rand Paul and more.
Colbert and Colbert Team Up Again
Democratic candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch has proven herself to be a formidable fundraiser capable of competing with her Republican rival Mark Sanford, a former governor and former congressman, in special election for an open South Carolina congressional seat. And now she’s upped her game. Talk about a lengthy VIP list — this “Colberts United” event on Monday features 41 lawmakers! The attendees include (drum roll, please): DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., House minority whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., DNC head Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md. Additional hosts include high-powered Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta and his brother, liberal think tank czar John Podesta — and we haven’t even mentioned that big brother Stephen Colbert will be there! The massive party takes place at B. Smith’s inside Union Station, and guests will have to fork over $10,000 to get in. So much for Colbert Busch being a D.C. outsider…
Rand Rakes It In
Current Republican starlet Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is cashing in on his surge in popularity with a breakfast on Thursday. Although he stumbled through “a polite but tough reception“ at Howard University earlier this week, Paul is hoping to right the ship in a more welcoming atmosphere — the law offices of Covington and Burling in downtown D.C. The fundraising breakfast will cost PACs $1,000 and individuals $500.
Women Win at Klobuchar’s Funder
Hurray for women! Especially women that help you raise campaign money! Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is hosting her Annual Women Winning Breakfast this year on Wednesday morning — early on Wednesday morning. The start time was pushed back to 7:30 AM — but don’t worry, Klobuchar promises “we’ll have enough coffee to go around!” The host committee is packed with winning women , such as top lobbyists Linda Daschle, Susan Buck, Daniella Landau and more. The event is located at the law firm McGuire Woods — right on K Street. For guests that would like to take part in the winning, they’ll have to lose anywhere from $2,600 to $500.
Alaska Lt. Gov. Eyes Senate Seat
One of the most vulnerable senators in 2014 will be Mark Begich, D-Alaska — he barely won in 2008 and is facing stiff competition from the right in 2014. Popping up on the official National Republican Senatorial Committee fundraising list is the state’s lieutenant governor, Mead Treadwell, who is weighing a challenge against Begich. It appears he’s more than just thinking about it now, hosting a “Birthday Celebration and Meet + Greet” on Friday at the Westin in D.C. Although the invite states “No donations are requested,” the very next sentence solicits “voluntary contributions up to $2,600″ — sounds like a request to PT! The guests that do donate will benefit the Treadwell for Alaska Exploratory Committee. The question now is will he or won’t he; the number of donations on Friday may help answer that question.
Alexander Continues Partying Hard
With 10 funders planned in 2013, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is officially a party animal. And this week he’s not letting up, holding two events for his campaign committee. The first is a dinner on Tuesday at the brand new Osteria Elisir in downtown Washington. (It’s so authentic, you can even view the menu in Italian — oh wait, all it does is take the website and put it through Google translate.) Hosting the dinner will be Andy Mekelburg, VP of Government Relations at Verizon, Jay Perron, VP of Governmental Affairs at the International Franchise Association, and former Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Katie Hays. Tickets will cost $2,000 across the board.
The second funder for Alexander is a Thursday breakfast most likely inside the offices of Locke Lord Bissell and Liddell, a multi-national lawfirm. The firm’s political committee as well as Healthways Inc. will be hosting the event, which will run PACs up to $2,500 and humans up to $1,000. Alexander’s torrid party schedule has been paying off as well — his campaign’s already crossed the $1 million mark!
Check the calendar for the full slate of events. Until next time, Partiers.Tweet
Next week Congress continues its extended Easter break, because, you know, members almost had to work a whole month straight! Luckily for you Party Time never takes a week off, but that does mean the calendar is still looking slimmer than usual. However, the parties that are scheduled for next week have some serious heavy hitters involved — Barack “Partier-In-Chief” Obama, Marco “I lost the presidency because I forgot how to drink” Rubio and Cory “What’s Newark?” Booker. Check out the highlights below.
Obama Cashes In While Out West
Last month the President announced he would be back on the fundraising trail, trying to help the Democrats take back a majority in the House in 2014 — now those high-profile funders have arrived. Next week the PIC has got four events crammed into Wednesday and Thursday, all occurring in the political gold mine of San Francisco. Obama will start things off with a $5,000 cocktail reception at the home of environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer — sounds normal so far, right? Well it turns out this party might get a little awkward due to Steyer’s firm opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, a project Obama may allow to go forward. To make matters worse, Obama’s environmental woes will follow him to his next event, and by woes we mean a crowd of about 2,000 climate activists in protest of the pipeline. They’ll be harassing the president at a $32,400 per plate dinner at the home of billionaire Gordon Getty, whose house hopefully has enough land around it to keep the protesters at bay. Both of these parties will benefit the DCCC, and it comes at a critical time — the group is currently listing more than $10 million in debt. PT hasn’t got its hands on these invites, so if you’ve managed to snag them upload them to us here!
The next day, Mr. PIC will be doing double sessions again, starting out at 9:30 with a $32,400 brunch somewhere in San Fran. The intimate affair is limited to only 30 seats, so it promises some serious quality time with the prez. Just an hour and a half later, Obama will hightail it over to an early lunch at the home of philanthropists John and Marcia Goldman. Prices are $1,000 to get in, at least $5,000 for a photo opp, and $20,000 to co-chair the event. Both of these parties will directly benefit the Democratic National Committee.
No Rest for Rubio
While many of his fellow lawmakers are relaxing from the hectic party schedule, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., actually decided to ramp it up by holding two funders next week. On Monday he’ll be in Chicago for a reception and private dinner at the home of business executive Judson Green. It’s $1,000 for a couple to attend the reception, but the private dinner afterwards will max out at $10,400. If you’ve got your hands on the invite you know what to do! On Friday, Rubio will head home to the Sunshine State for a Weekend at the Biltmore Hotel, a resort destination outside of Miami. For party-poopers only wanting to stay Friday (dubbed the “Havana Nights” package, even though it is only one night), it’s $2,500. But for party animals staying the whole crazy weekend, it’ll run you anywhere from $10,000 to $5,000.
Booker Still Won’t Admit It
Although the world’s worst-kept secret is still technically unconfirmed, the Cory Booker for Senate committee continues to travel the country raising copious amounts of cash. Booker is heading back inside the beltway on Monday for a Young Professionals Reception at the hip Adams Morgan bar Jack Rose. There’s sure to be fixed gear bicycles, cuffed jeans and lots of PBR to go around. And if that doesn’t get you, then maybe the prices will — the event is appropriately cheaper than most funders, with $40 tickets available. Don’t miss this chance to be hip with the hippest mayor (for now) around!
That’s all for now. Make sure to check back next week when the lawmakers — and the parties — return in full force!
Photo courtesy of Chuck Kennedy via Wikimedia Commons.Tweet
Sure, there’s a new pope and he’s very humble and nice and all, but Party Time is more excited for the return of another nearly omnipotent figure — the Partier-In-Chief! Yes, President and heavyweight champion fundraiser Barack Obama is back, heading West for a Democratic gold rush in early April. The swing will retire some DNC debt and generate some cash for the DCCC as it launches into the 2014 midterm battle. Buzzfeed obtained an email sent by Bay Area Democrats Chair Wade Randlett describing the events: An April 4 brunch with a remarkable $32,000 price tag, as well as a lunch later that day that costs as much as $20,000. It seems like Obama hasn’t lost his touch — in fact, he looks better than ever.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here; next week alone offers a bevy of quality parties to check out. See the highlights below.
Dingell raises funds with guns
After California Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein’s verbal assault on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a full ban on assault weapons yesterday — so what better time to have a fundraiser featuring guns! Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., will be having his Annual Pheasant Shoot on Monday in the small town of Boonsboro, Md. Dingell is an avid sportsman and vehemently pro-gun, receiving A+ ratings from the NRA. Prices are TBD, so if you’ve got the invite send it in here!
Cash Course for Crapo
Ever since Mormon Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, had that small drunk driving incident earlier this year, he’s been lying low in Party Time (and everywhere else). But that respite appears over, as PT picked up on eight upcoming parties planned in 2013 for his leadership PAC Freedom Fund, three of which are happening next week. He’ll be starting out with a Tuesday breakfast at top international law firm Faegre Baker Daniels on K Street, costing up to $2,500/PAC and $1,000/individual. Two days later, Crapo will be doubling up. First, he’ll celebrate the annual NCAA tournament with a March Madness Kick Off at the townhouse of Diageo — oddly enough, the world’s biggest producer of alcoholic drinks (Guinness, Smirnoff, Bailey’s, Captain Morgan, etc.). Prices for that event are also $2,500/PAC and $1,000/individual. Later that day, Crapo (pronounced CRAY-POE) will rush to Ruth’s Chris Steak House for dinner, again at the same price point. With all this partying scheduled, maybe Crapo should pump the brakes a bit.
Barrasso’s boys club
It’s going to be a boys night out for Senate Republicans on Monday, as Wyoming’s John Barrasso hosts his Leadership Reception. Riding along in the “Bro-jan Horse” will be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as well as Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, John Thune, R-S.D., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan. It’s taking place right at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in Washington, D.C. and will run guests as much as $5,000/PAC and $2,500/individual. The event will be benefiting his leadership fund, Common Values PAC (apparently the only value they approve of having in common is conservatism). And don’t worry, girls are allowed — as long as they bring the entry fee.
GOP forgives, forgets and fundraises for DesJarlais
Talk about forgive and forget — House Republicans forgave, forgot and are now fundraising for embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn. Or at least some of them. As a practicing doctor, the pro-life, family-values oriented lawmaker encouraged not only his wife to have an abortion, but his mistress and patients as well, according to divorce proceedings. The controversy is apparently too much for one Republican, Minnesotan John Kline, who said this week he would not attend the event after originally lending his name to it. But other DesJarlais colleagues are evidently on board to help Tuesday at the Capitol Hill Club, such as House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa, Calif., and Agriculture Committee Chair Rep. Frank Lucas, Okla., as well as Reps. Jim Jordan, Ohio, Tom Price, Ga., and Steve Scalise, La. The price to let everyone know you’ve truly forgiven DesJarlais is $1,000/PAC and $500/individual.
#Stand (and #fundraise) with Rand
Fresh off his filiblizzard of now-CIA Director John Brennan, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will be capitalizing on all that attention with a Reception and Dinner on Tuesday. It’s located at the UPS townhouse, and transportation industry groups like BNSF RailPAC are hosting. Also on the host committee are eye-popping groups like the National Association for Gun Rights (which sits to the right of the NRA, and has contributed to Paul before) and the PAC of the infamous nonprofit group Citizens United. And don’t forget the power lobbyists like Doyce Boesch, Kirk Blalock and Hunter Bates. If you’d like to stand with Rand, and use him as your personal sounding board, just pony up $5,000 per PAC or $2,500 per person.
Paul Ryan makes a “Schocking” appearance
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., released a new budget proposal that “changed the conversation” on fixing America’s economy… according to Paul Ryan. If you’d like to hear Ryan talk about his game-changing policies, catch him stumping for conservative young gun Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., at his Reception and Dinner on March 21. It takes place at the Five Points Washington — Washington, Illinois, that is. The fundraiser exhibits how highly the former VP candidate thinks of Schock — Ryan’s been in high demand since the election, but has largely stayed off the party circuit. Plus it’s only $250 to get in — all the more reason to attend.
In case you missed it
Mr. Indecision A.K.A. Newark Mayor Cory Booker also has three events this week benefiting his Senate campaign committee, but PT already covered his fundraising explosion with a detailed stand-alone post here. Also make sure to read up the surge of fundraisers for lawmakers involved in the debate over immigration reform, featuring corporate-sponsored funders for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, members of the “Gang of 8″ and more.
Until next time, Partiers!
Photo courtesy of Pete Souza via Wikimedia CommonsTweet
While Mumford and Sons, Gotye and the Black Keys all came up big winners at this week’s Grammys, many of their fellow singers and songwriters have helped various politicians win big as well. Among the musicians who took home the coveted golden gramophone are several who have also appeared in Party Time’s database of political fundraisers, hitting the high notes and raising cash for lawmakers, including Beyonce and Yo-Yo Ma.
Two of the most politically active members of the music world are mega-stars Jay-Z and Beyonce, and each won at least one Grammy this year: The former captured Best Traditional R&B Performance with “Love on Top,” and the latter got three nods for his album with Kanye West, “Watch the Throne.” The one-name wonders have not been shy about their support of President Barack Obama — at an Obama rally last November Jay-Z performed a remix of his hit “99 Problems,” changing the lyrics ever so slightly: “If you got world problems, I feel bad for you son/I got 99 problems but a Mitt ain’t one.”
The first couple of hip-hop hosted multiple funders during the President’s re-election bid. The biggest of these was a $40,000 per plate dinner at Jay-Z’s own 40/40 Club in New York City, a star-studded event that raised a remarkable $4 million in a single night. Earlier in the year, Beyonce hosted a fashion show benefitting the Obama Victory Fund where tickets ran as much as $2,500. And each attended both Obama inaugurations, with Beyonce singing (err, not quite) the national anthem last month.
Obama also took advantage of the musical stylings of Yo-Yo Ma, one of the greatest cellists of all time. Ma has garnered 17 Grammys, this time winning (surprisingly) Best Folk Album for “The Goat Rodeo Sessions.” Over the course of 2012, Ma was the centerpiece of at least three private performances that directly benefitted the Obama Victory Fund. The first concert took place in March and had a max price of $10,000; the second event occurred in August, included a reception, and also maxed out at $10,000; and the last performance happened in September, fetching a cool $5,000. Ma also performed at Obama’s first inauguration in 2009. But their relationship doesn’t end there — Obama awarded Ma the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year.
Several Grammy winners also performed throughout this year’s inauguration festivities as well. fun., which claimed major wins in Best New Artist (despite lead singer Nate Reuss making music for over 10 years) and Song of the Year for “We Are Young” (despite being 30 years old), performed at the Inaugural Ball. Kelly Clarkson, America’s first idol, sang at Obama’s inauguration and merely attended the Inaugural Ball; she scored the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album for “Stronger.” (Clarkson also admitted voting for Obama twice.) Winner of Best R&B Performance for his track “Climax,” Usher performed at the Kid’s Inaugural Concert, though not without incident – he had his own sort of wardrobe malfunction. What a great role model for all those kids!
While Bonnie Raitt, the legendary singer-songwriter who picked up the Best Americana Album award for “Slipstream,” had no hits in the PT database, she erupted in Influence Explorer: She’s contributed over $225,000 over the years, mainly to various Democratic state parties. Raitt might not host fundraisers, but she doesn’t need them — she just gives straight to the source.
Honorary Bonus Mention: James Taylor has won five Grammys in his lifetime, but hasn’t released any major recordings since 2010’s “Live at the Troubador.” Despite coming up empty this year, PT is making an exception due to Taylor almost single-handedly funding Obama’s 2012 campaign. The two have deep ties, and Taylor supported the President steadfastly during each of his elections (though he initially supported Hillary Clinton in 2008). The quiet guitarist was the featured performer in almost 15 separate fundraisers for the Obama Victory Fund, attracting thousands of donations along the way. Taylor also lent his dulcet tones to each of Obama’s inauguration ceremonies, most recently crooning “America the Beautiful.” For his prolific fundraising efforts, PT salutes him.
This year’s Grammy winners appear to gravitate towards Democrats with one (sort of) exception: Southern music idols the Zac Brown Band, winner of the Grammy for Country Album of the Year with “Uncaged.” PT spotted the boys performing at an American Petroleum Institute event billed as “Fueling the Future” that promoted API’s Vote4Energy campaign. It took place in at a cruise ship terminal in Tampa during the Republican National Convention, though the event itself was nonpartisan.
Absent from the PT database were the winners of jazz, classical, gospel, Latin and electronic Grammys; looks like they’re no fun.
(Contributing: Lindsay Young)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.