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
Updated 2/10, 12:38 p.m. ET
He’s baaaaack! That’s right, Partiers, the Fundraiser-in-Chief has returned, committing himself to at least 14 parties this year to help his Democratic colleagues try and take control of Congress. Obama has proven himself to be the hands-down world’s best at generating cash — he was our 2012 Partier of the Year, collecting more than $1 billion overall — and his presence will certainly boost the bottom line of any blue event. His efforts will especially benefit the DCCC, as the Democrats will be on the offensive in gaining a net 17 seats to take back the House.
Breaking down his “aggressive schedule,” the president will appear at 10 events outside the District, five each for the DCCC and DSCC. In addition, he’ll host four separate and joint appearances for the committees inside the beltway. And that’s not all; professional schmoozer Joe Biden and #1 surrogate Michelle Obama will have their own intense funder schedules too. Sorry, Barack, just because you’ve completed your last campaign doesn’t mean you can escape the trail.
Gabby Giffords back on the circuit
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., still recovering injuries suffered when a gunman shot her at a town hall meeting, will host a DC fundraiser for her new pro-gun control super PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions. Hat tip to our friends at Politico for sharing the invite for the pre-State of the Union party. Politico is reporting that the fundraiser is aimed at young professionals with tickets priced at $100 and $500. It will be held at a Capitol Hill pizza spot on Tuesday, aka prom night on Capitol Hill: it’s the night everyone dresses up and stays late for the SOTU.
Bon Jovi and Tim Kaine find Common Ground
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., formed a new leadership fund called “Common Ground PAC,” a nod to the bipartisan image he promoted during last year’s campaign against Republican George Allen. And if there’s one thing that can bridge this hardened partisan gap, it’s the rock prowess of Bon Jovi. That’s why one of the first events for CG PAC will be at a concert performed by the famed New Jersey band on Feb. 10 here in D.C. Tickets to the event will run $3,000, but it’s a small price to pay for true bipartisanship in Washington.
Moran’s new party committee
But Kaine’s not the only one who’s starting up new committees: Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran is teaming up with the NRSC, of which he is the new chair, to establish a joint-fundraising committee called the Moran NRSC Victory Committee. The group doesn’t show up in the FEC database, Moran’s office refused to comment and the NRSC wouldn’t return PT’s phone calls about it — why so mysterious? What’s not mysterious is the fundraiser Moran’s new committee is throwing — Burgers and Shakes! That’s something PT can always unconditionally support. (Maybe they’ll be getting their food from close-by Good Stuff Eatery, where you can try their famous toasted marshmallow milkshake – YUM.) The Feb. 13 kickoff event is surprisingly cheap too — individual tickets run as low as $50, but PACs still need to pay $1,000 to get in.
Republicans get a case of the Mondays
Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. have an interesting fundraising strategy that they’re returning to this spring — the Monday Meeting PAC (because when PT thinks of fun, we think of going to meetings on Mondays). It’s a series of dinners happening on Monday evenings at the Capitol Hill Club. All have a fixed price point of $1,500 per event — or, if you’re a big spender, $12,500 for a Series Pass. Though still listed as a beneficiary on the invitations, Chambliss is retiring from the Senate and will not be seeking re-election in 2014 — PT wonders if he’ll still be included in the future… The first Monday Meeting takes place at 7:30PM on Feb. 11; you guessed it, a Monday.
Microsoft and ITI take a Cruz
In the midst of rallying against Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will be having a breakfast at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center on K Street. The Feb. 12 event is hosted by Microsoft PAC and ITI PAC, which are perhaps looking to chat with Cruz, a member who sits on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The price for you to chat with Cruz: Up to $2,500 PAC and $1,000 personal.
Fischer still retiring campaign debt
Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer may have won her election over Democratic ex-Sen. Bob Kerrey, but the victory is still taking its toll — she still has about $250,000 in debts. To get out of the red, Fischer will be holding an aptly named Debt Retirement Lunch on Feb. 14 at Capitol Hill favorite Charlie Palmer’s. Prices for PACs max out at $2,500, while personal invites run up to $1,000.
(Photo credit: The White House via Flickr)Tweet
As Thanksgiving rolls around next week, we should all honor the things and people we appreciate most in life. Take the time to count your blessings, share time with loved ones and pray for world peace.
Or, you know, do what everyone else does: Eat way more than you should, watch way more football than you should, and fall asleep on the couch way earlier than you should. Nothing more American than that!
Unfortunately for Party Time, it looks like politicians will be busy doing the same thing next week, leaving our database as empty as Hostess’ bank account (goodbye, Twinkies?). Instead, we’ll be letting you Partiers know who certain lawmakers should be thankful for – which celebrities and lobbyists have hosted important fundraisers to sustain campaigns, and even propel some to victory.
I know the stars came out in full support of me this year. I mean, I had people like John Legend, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Tom Hanks, and more. I think Romney had Ted Nugent and Meatloaf – enough said. But let me be clear, you really stood out from the pack. I have to thank you for opening your doors for that May 10 reception. It was crazy. That night alone netted me over $15 million! Apparently it was the most lucrative fundraiser ever, and I can’t thank you enough. You even had my back on the international front, traveling all the way to Switzerland for a $20,000/plate reception. Here’s to another four years as President (thanks to you!), and another four years of Clooney fundraisers!
(Still) The President
Hello Mr. Gidwitz,
I am so pleased with your efforts in helping my campaign, even if we were vanquished. Your four fundraisers that took place last September and October helped me generate precious money to keep my campaign in tip top shape. And your confidence never faltered, even when it came down to the wire; that $10,000 private dinner in your beautiful Gold Coast home contributed to more swing state ad buys, which almost worked. And I never said any campaign-crippling comments at your fundraisers either! From one businessman to another, thank you.
Willard “Mitt” Romney
We love your work, which is exclusively hosting fundraisers for blue representatives like us. And we really mean all of us – from uber-liberal Lynn Woolsey to the centrist Baron Hill.We checked the Party Time database (doesn’t everyone these days?), and you’ve hosted over 70 parties for us. That’s enough to top the PT list as the most prolific host! We know you don’t personally hand over checks to us, but the way you just bundle together everyone else’s – $1,000 here, $5,000 there – and send them over in a nice little package is just so handy. And you even let us use your work place, the 21st Century Townhouse, for our shindigs. We hate clean up. Anyways, thanks again – we hope to see you soon!
On behalf of Colorado Democrats such as former Rep. Betsy Markey, Rep. Diana DeGette, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, former Rep. John Salazar, Interior Secretary (and former Sen.) Ken Salazar, and Sen. Michael Bennet, thank you! We know you appreciate The Centennial State as much as we do by the amount of fundraisers you’ve hosted for us. We can tell you’re an old pro by the way you throw so many parties at Capitol Hill hotspots like Bistro Bis, Art and Soul and the Capitol Hill Club. Sure, you’ve successfully sought earmarks from us while working as a lobbyist for The Normandy Group while throwing parties, but we know that you just organized the meeting – nothing more. We look forward to more meetings “organized” by you!
So there’s an inside look into how politicians thank some of their VIPs, courtesy of Party Time. We’re always grateful for invitations, and we’d definitely appreciate it if you could send some our way here!
Happy Thanksgiving, Partiers!Tweet
Partiers, you know we love a good bash, and no one has been more energetic in recent months than Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. That’s why they were the top two partiers of 2012! But even we have to wonder – could they have partied too hard?
Look at the record and you can’t help but wonder whether the different fundraising styles of the president and his unsuccessful Republican challenger may have affected the outcome in swing states and thereby, the race for the White House.
Since June of 2011, when Romney officially announced his candidacy for president, both his campaign and Obama’s team spent significant time fundraising in what we like to call ATM states. Think New York, Texas, California. These are places the candidates like to visit because that’s where the money is. In other words, both candidates often opted for attending low-turnout, high-dollar events rather than the town halls and rallies where they could build rapport with citizens in battleground territories. (Sunlighters have even tried to crash one of these exclusive dinners, but with no success – killjoys!)
But when studying which events Obama and Romney actually attended (as opposed to events merely thrown by campaign staff), it is Romney who appears to have been the heartier partier, possibly leaving him less time to establish visibility in crucial purple states.
Romney’s VP pick, Paul Ryan, also appeared at many solidly red state events even through the end of October, time that could have been utilized to attain crucial votes in toss-ups — one of which, Florida, came down to a fraction of a percent. But Ryan is like the Andrew W. K. of fundraising – he always parties hard.
Comparing the two campaign’s dance cards, one can see the overwhelming preference for safe states, whether it be their own color or their opposition. Take a look at the Obama Victory Fund’s and Romney Victory, Inc.’s top eight fundraising states in that time period:
Romney Victory (209 total parties)_____ ___________ Obama Victory (319 total parties)
California – 25 parties California – 50 parties
New York – 17 New York – 39
Florida – 15 Massachusetts – 34
Texas – 12 Washington, D.C. – 32
Illinois – 12 Florida – 22
Georgia – 12 Illinois – 20
Washington, D.C. – 12 Washington – 9
Massachusetts – 9 Texas – 9
Romney Victory’s top stops include big blue states like California and New York, as well as ones he had locked up like Texas and Georgia. Obama’s committee also sticks to liberal havens California and New York, in addition to Massachusetts, D.C. and Illinois. Only one battleground state, Florida, shows up on these lists at all; each campaign held about 50 events total in undecided states, a relatively small amount in the time frame. There seems to be no difference here, other than Obama’s camp throwing more parties overall, with high fundraising totals in already decided states that can boost cash rather than votes.
But the pure number of fundraisers, mostly small-scale, private affairs, each candidate has attended differs significantly. According to Party Time data, Romney swept his way through about 114 parties, while Obama appeared at only 86, a difference of 28 overall. Overall, Romney attended 55% of his campaign’s parties, while Obama maintained a more staid 27% pace. OK, presidents are busy guys but this also may have freed Obama up for campaigning in the swing states, turning undecideds in his favor.
Yep, it looks to us like buttoned-down Mitt suffered from a classic case of partyitis.
The timing of Ryan’s fundraising was also questionable. Within two weeks of the election, generally thought of as a time to thrust efforts towards swing state campaigning, Ryan was attending multiple private events to raise cash in hardcore red states. On Oct. 26, he participated in a $25,000 roundtable in Huntsville, Ala.; earlier that same day he attended a $12,500 VIP reception in Greenville, S.C.; and on Oct. 24 Ryan appeared in a $12,500 campaign discussion in Atlanta, Ga. Colorblind as your Party Time guide may be (really), even I can tell that none of these states is exactly purple.
In his defense, the high price tag of each event generated millions for the Romney/Ryan ticket, a valuable asset that purchased a multitude of ad buys across the battlegrounds. But when you consider that Romney’s campaign had $169 million cash on hand on Oct. 17, that’s $8.5 million in per day spending up until the election, one wonders whether they really needed all that green.
Another factor: The date at which each candidate decided to stop personally appearing at fundraisers. The president announced he would be in complete campaign mode on Oct. 11, 9 full days before Romney could say the same. As Obama was tidying up for the night, Romney had just popped his next bottle of champagne — one that he simply couldn’t afford.
Both Romney and Obama declined public funding of their campaign, the first time each presidential candidate has done so since government financing was offered. Each candidate proved they can raise far more than the $91.2 million offered in public funding; their combined campaign expenditures ballooned to over $2 billion. The down side, however, is that Obama and Romney lost valuable campaign time attempting to maintain aggressive fundraising schemes, especially leading up to Election Day — when every second counts.
We knew the parties had to end for one of them. In the end, it was Obama and his supporters that celebrated well into the night, while Romney and the Republicans were forced to turn in early.Tweet
With the placid weather in D.C. right now, one wouldn’t expect Hurricane Sandy to be hitting the East Coast in less than 24 hours – a force so devastating it’s been dubbed “Frankenstorm” and even “More Perfect Than the Perfect Storm.”
It’s an oddly similar situation here at Party Time. There’s less than two weeks until Election Day, and we know gale force rhetorical winds are blowing out there somewhere, yet the calendar of PT looks awfully bare now; the calm before the storm indeed.
The potential destruction of the hurricane already has had an impact on the political world: Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has cancelled a Virginia Beach rally, and more crucial changes could be on the way for both him and Obama as they try to squeeze in their last stops throughout the battleground states. But a few courageous lawmakers are braving the storm and continuing to throw fundraisers. We’ve got the highlights below. Stay safe, Partiers!
Presidential Fundraisers – They Never (Ever) End
In a rare spectacle of political honesty, it seems as though both Romney and Obama are keeping their promises to stop appearing at campaign fundraisers. Both presidential candidates have escalated their campaigning efforts, attending rallies rather than partying (not cool!). But the fundraisers haven’t ended completely, and both camps have something scheduled next week.
The Obama Victory Fund is hosting a fundraiser featuring singer Carole King on Oct. 29 at a private home in Belmont, Mass. (Belmont is also Romney’s current residence – er, at least one of them). Tickets will be $10,000 per couple to co-host, $5,000 per individual to get Priority Seating, and a minimum $2,500 to get in the room. As of this writing, there could still be spots open for this “Grassroots Fundraising House Party” – “It’s Not Too Late” to get your tickets! (Couldn’t resist the musical pun, folks.)
The following day there will be a “Taste of Boston” event benefiting Obama in Bean Town, with Michelle Obama on the guest list. The fundraiser takes place at the ritzy Park Place Castle, and will feature high-end restaurants such as Rialto, dbar, Stella, Hamersley’s Bistro, Orta and Pigalle. The price for such a feast? Just $250 for general admission, but $3,500 for a picture with the First Lady.
Romney Victory, Inc. hasn’t finished either, hosting a dinner with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson in Chicago (Oddly enough, Obama’s stomping grounds…). This invitation came via letter from a Romney Victory finance staffer and urges the importance of the fundraiser, writing, “We’re not the country we used to be and if we don’t change course in November, we may never be again.” Dire words and a stiff warning, which is why they are asking for donations of up to $10,000 to attend this dinner, one of the last Romney Victory events in the region.
A Koch Brother Sighting
On Nov. 2, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be the “special guest” at a fundraiser for the NY Republican Senate Committee. But Walker will be in familiar company, as major benefactor and multi-billionaire David Koch will be on-hand as host. Koch supported Walker in his recall election and has called the governor “an impressive guy,” so it is no surprise to see him involved with the event. To hang with the boys, it’ll run you $2,500 for lunch and a photo, and $1,000 for the reception.
Packers Get Into Politics
Fellow Wisconsinite Ron Johnson will be throwing his own fundraiser (to benefit the senator’s Strategy PAC) on Oct. 28 at the next Green Bay Packers game. It’s uncertain how much supporters will have to shell out for the event, but those who endure the brutal cold of Lambeau Field deserve a free pass. The fans who do go are probably in for a favorable outcome – the Pack’s opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, have been one of the league’s worst (and probably aren’t used to the cold).
In With the Old, In With the Young
If you’re a fan of “A Prairie Home Companion,” you’re probably over 60 years old. But have we got the perfect fundraiser for you! Legendary host Garrison Keillor and those signature red shoes of his will be headlining “The Grand Forks Hot Dish” for North Dakota Senate Candidate Heidi Heitkamp. Tickets for the event cost anywhere from $250 to $25, and everyone who goes gets a free Heidi potsticker! And don’t worry, it starts at 1:30PM, so it’ll only run a little bit past bed time.
If you run with a slightly younger crowd, the hippest congressman around, Keith Ellison, is having a #GetOutToVoteMN hip-hop concert to benefit the Minnesota Democrat’s campaign for re-election. The headliners include Brother Ali (a blind, albino rapper) and Slug (real name Sean Daley) of the group Atmosphere, so it’s bound to be a high-energy show. And the best part – it’s only $5 to get in, dawg.
Elections in 2014 – Fundraising Already?!
It’s never too early to start fundraising, and it’s looking like Maryland Delegate Heather Mizeur is gearing up for a run at governor in 2014. (Somebody told her it’s only 2012, right?) Singer Melissa Etheridge is raising money to jump start Mizeur’s campaign by performing at a Special Evening event. Both Etheridge and Mizeur, good friends, are gay and champion marriage equality, including Maryland’s same-sex marriage law which is on the ballot for Nov. 6. Tickets to the event cost $250.
It’s hard to imagine the next fundraising cycle is here – and the election hasn’t even happened yet! Here we go again.
Until next time, Partiers.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.