Although the congressional supercommittee failed to reach an agreement to slash the nation’s deficit, every single member of the 12-person panel was able to accomplish something else this fall: raise money for their own campaigns or for other candidates and committees. Collectively, the dozen members took part in 55 fundraisers, according to a mix of Party Time’s invitations and other news reports.
That includes 24 fundraisers for their own campaigns or leadership PACs—funds they use to spread their influence—and 31 events where they served as special guests to help their colleagues or party committees attract campaign cash. All of these events were scheduled since their appointment to the panel in early August.
With a total of 19 events, Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., the House Democrats’ Assistant Majority Leader, has been involved in the most fundraisers. Clyburn also led the pack with ten fundraisers benefiting his campaign or leadership fund, while Pat Toomey, R-Pa., held five such events and Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., held four.
Below is table showing the number of fundraisers panel members were involved in, organized by each lawmaker (and here’s a complete calendar of events).
|Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.||10||9|
|Pat Toomey, R-Pa.||5||0|
|Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.||4||4|
|Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas||2||1|
|Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.||2||4|
|Dave Camp, R-Mich.||1||1|
|Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.||0||4|
|Patty Murray, D-Wash.||0||3|
|Fred Upton, R-Mich.||0||2|
|Max Baucus, R-Mont.||0||1|
|John Kerry, D-Mass.||0||1|
|Rob Portman, R-Ohio||0||1|
There are also plenty of fundraisers for the committee members right around the corner. Becerra is the special guest at three gatherings in the first six days of December. Jon Kyl and Jeb Hensarling are the main draws at two separate events for their colleagues. And Clyburn is taking part in a holiday party on Dec. 1 raising money for Democratic “Frontline” candidates.Tweet
Once the members of the powerful deficit-cutting committee were announced in early August, one of the first reported events where lobbyists could try to influence the panel was a fundraiser for Rep. Dave Camp’s, R-Mich., leadership PAC on Sept. 7.
Federal records offer a glimpse into who tried. $18,000 in donations came from the political action committees of clients of influential GOP lobbyist Susan Hirschmann, one of the hosts of the fundraiser, in the weeks before the event. And that total may very well climb higher when September’s contributions are made public later this week.
The PACs for Pfizer (also listed as a host on the invitation), Comcast and Merck, all of which have stakes in the important negotiations of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction—dubbed the super committee—donated $5,000—just the amount requested on the invitation—to Camp’s leadership PAC or campaign in the weeks leading up to the event. The PAC of another pharmaceutical company, Abbott Laboratories, gave $3,000.
Of the four corporate PACs, all gave to Camp’s leadership PAC except Comcast’s, which gave to his campaign.
The August donations were disclosed because many PACs file monthly fundraising reports. But a complete picture of who gave to Camp and the other panel members in the third fundraising quarter will only be released as candidates file their own reports this week.
Hirschmann, who works for Williams & Jensen, hosted the dinner with four other lobbyists and a former congressman-turned “senior strategic policy advisor.” One of the lobbyists, Sam Lancaster, works for Comcast. Two others work for the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America and UPS, whose PACs did not report giving to Camp in August.
The 12-member committee is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts by Thanksgiving. For lobbyists, influencing the super committee has been more difficult than their usual lobbying, according to news reports, and so fundraisers provide a rare opportunity for face time with the lawmakers. Some of the members have said they have curtailed their schedule of fundraisers. John Kerry, D-Mass., said he won’t put on any of his own but still attended one for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Camp and Fred Upton, R-Mich., have said they will not put on fundraisers unless the events were scheduled before their appointment.
The invitation for this fundraiser was sent out on Aug. 10, the same day Camp was appointed to the panel, according to Time Magazine’s Swampland blog. The event date was set in the spring, “long before any consideration of the Budget Control Act and the Joint Select Committee,” Camp’s spokesperson Megan Piwowar wrote in an email. She did not respond to a question asking when the invitation was first sent.
Although Hirschmann did not respond to a request to comment and federal records do not reveal whether a PAC’s donation is connected to a particular fundraiser, she may have convinced many of her clients to donate for the event.
Hirschmann is the former chief of staff to former House Majority Whip Tom Delay, and is a frequent fundraiser for GOP candidates in Washington, hosting 20 events in recent years in Party Time’s records alone. Her long list of clients include some of the most influential companies and interest groups in the capital—from the Chamber of Commerce to General Electric to some of the country’s biggest pharmaceutical companies.
Merck’s gift came in the final days of August, while Comcast contributed on Aug. 10 and Pfizer contributed on Aug. 17, according to each PAC’s Federal Election Commission filings.
Abbott’s PAC gave to dozens of federal candidates on Aug. 22, including other super committee members. The PAC gave $1,500 to Max Baucus, D-Mont., $1,000 to Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., $1,000 to Fred Upton, R-Mich., and $1,000 to Upton’s leadership PAC. Merck also gave $2,500 to Baucus the same day the company contributed to Camp’s leadership fund, according to its FEC filing.Tweet
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said he wouldn’t schedule new campaign fundraisers while serving on the special deficit-cutting panel, but that doesn’t mean he’s not fundraising in Washington.
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., made the same pledge, yet neither has addressed events that were already on their calendars. Nor do their promises cover the kind of event that Upton agreed to attend on Oct. 13, where deep-pocketed lobbyists and PAC representatives with business before the Joint Select Committee on Debt Reduction—better known as the super committee—will have the chance to rub elbows with the Michigan lawmaker in exchange for between $500 and $5,000.
The event benefits the Tuesday Group PAC, a fund that helps moderate House Republicans’ re-election efforts. Upton is among dozens of House members hosting the affair at a Capitol Hill bar, according to the recently released invitation. While the event is not for his own re-election, it is the second fundraising event he will be involved in since being named to the committee in August, according to invitations received by Party Time. He also hosted a lunch for Michigan Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra in September.
A spokeswoman for Upton was not immediately available to confirm whether he would attend.
Upton is in good company on the 12-member super committee, which is trying to find at least $1.2 trillion in cuts to the nation’s deficit. The lawmakers have scheduled over 30 fundraisers from early August, when they were named to the committee, through Thanksgiving, when the panel’s work ends, according to released invitations [See a complete list]. Every member of the committee—except Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who canceled one—has been scheduled to appear at a fundraiser since being named to the committee, according to invitations received by Party Time.
Tomorrow evening, Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., who, like most on the committee has continued fundraising as usual, has planned an attractive annual event called “A Taste of Los Angeles,” complete with live salsa jazz and tacos shipped in from Southern California, according to a newly-disclosed invitation. The flyer entices donors with the promise of “Food, Fun, Music & Friends!”
The committee’s co-chair, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, also appears to have continued helping his colleagues bring in bucks. Yesterday, the Texan planned to attend a barbecue fundraiser for Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas. The event sought to raise up to $5,000-per-head, though a ticket could be had for as little as $100.
Hensarling is also still fundraising for his own campaign, according to a Politico report last week. The Investment Company Institute’s leaders and lobbyists put on a fundraiser for him on Oct. 5 at ICI’s headquarters. The event was co-hosted by Paul Schott Stevens, Donald Auerbach, Dean Sackett, Peter Gunas, Allen Huffman, Tonnie Wybensinger and Jim Hart of the ICI. The suggested contribution was $2,000 and the invitation did not mention Hensarling’s membership on the super committee, Politico reported.
Spokespeople for Hensarling and Becerra were not immediately available to comment.
On Oct. 27, panel member Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., will be involved in yet another moneymaker—the eleventh on his calendar while the super committee is in session. This time he’ll be seeking to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the Washington, D.C. home of Tom Daschle. Besides Clyburn and other Democratic leaders, another main draw to the high dollar event is the presence of young author James Farmer, who recently published a book on Southern-style garden living.
Update, Oct. 6: This post was edited to reflect that Kay Granger’s barbecue fundraiser was not the first that Jeb Hensarling was involved in since being named to the committee and to add details about the Hensarling fundraiser at the Investment Company Institute.Tweet
Another lawmaker on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., has put off a fundraiser until after the panel finishes its work.
But a spokesperson for the congressman would not answer whether he has nixed all such events through Thanksgiving, when the committee will finish its work. And no member of the committee—except Senator John Kerry, D-Mass.—has said he would cancel all of them. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, indicated he would cut back on his events and Max Baucus, D-Mont., canceled one of his.
Camp’s fundraiser, originally planned for Aug. 4 and to be hosted by former Senate Majority Leader-turned lobbyist Trent Lott, among others at the lobbying firm Patton Boggs, has not been rescheduled. And it will not take place until after the so-called super committee comes to a close, according to Camp’s spokesperson Megan Piwowar.
The event will likely be held in December, according to Camp’s fundraising consultant, Elaine Svigos.
Party Time asked Piwowar, over email, if the Michigan lawmaker would continue to hold fundraisers while the committee was working. Her response was:
“Since being named to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Congressman Camp has not and will not schedule new fundraising events.”
But what about events that were already scheduled before his appointment to the committee on Aug. 10? After all, many fundraisers are booked months in advance, and fundraising consultants take advantage of the summer recess to book events for the fall. Camp had also planned a fundraiser on Sept. 7, the night before the super committee’s first organizational meeting, and there is no indication that it was postponed—only that it had been on the calendar before his appointment.
Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, in an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer last week, did not commit to canceling all of his events either. He told the paper, “Members aren’t going to have the time to be involved in (as many) events that they would have been. Personally, I’ve canceled a bunch of events.”
But that does not appear to include an event happening tonight, hours after the committee finishes its first hearing, Portman is the main draw to a fundraiser benefiting the campaign of Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio. And he still plans to be there, according to the event’s organizer.
“The latest I’ve heard, yes,” Chabot’s fundraising consultant Mackenzie Smith said this morning. Portman’s press secretary was not immediately available to confirm this.
Portman is among the nine lawmakers on the 12-member committee who are known to be holding or hosting events since being appointed to the committee.
*note: This post has been updated to reflect that John Kerry had announced he would not raise money while the committee meets.Tweet
Another member of Congress who is on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or Super Committee, will be hosting a fundraiser as the group begins its formal work.
GOP senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a Senate freshman who is experienced with budget issues, is headlining a fundraiser on Sept. 13 for Congressman Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, according to a newly released invitation.
The evening reception asks PACs to ‘host’ the event for $2,500 or attend for $1,000. Individuals can participate for $500. The reception is being held at Capitol Hill’s high-class Johnny’s Half Shell, a seafood restaurant where the Maryland crab cakes go for $32.
That makes Portman the third Republican on the 12-member committee known to be hosting or holding a fundraiser in the coming weeks, just as many lobbyists will be looking for creative ways to catch their ears. Five of the six committee Democrats plan to be involved in fundraisers, Party Time’s invitations show. [Click here for a complete list of events on our new Super Committee page].
Lobbyists who have helped Portman, a former congressman and White House budget director under President George W. Bush, bring in cash before may have an easier time getting his attention. A slew of K street insiders planned a ‘Chili Fest’ for him in July.
That group includes Washington representatives of corporate lobbying heavyweights Ford, UPS, and Citibank, represented by Ziad Ojakli, also a former Bush aide, Sheryl Bonilla and Robert Schellhas, respectively. Schellhas, a principal at Washington Council Ernst & Young, was also Portman’s one-time chief of staff and a former staffer of another super committee member, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.
Portman’s other lobbyist hosts included Thomas Scully of Alston & Bird, who was the administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under President Bush and now represents a long list of health care clients.
When it was announced that he would join the ATAA last year, Calio told Politico he wanted to bolster the group’s PAC. He said:
“You’ve got to be part of the political process and contributions and political support are part of the political process,” he said. “When you have people who consistently support you on policy issues, they expect you to be part of their political life support system. It’s just that simple.”
Update, Sept. 1: Committee member Rob Portman is also hosting a fundraiser, which has been added to the list below. That list will be updated as more invitations are received.
During the week of Sept. 12, the week of the deadline for the Joint Committee on Debt Reduction to hold its first meeting, one of the panel members, Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., has planned fundraisers on four consecutive days, according to newly-revealed invitations.
Those events are just a few among the many (see list below and our page of all super committee fundraisers) being held or hosted by the members of the powerful committee as they decide how to slash at least $1.2 million from the nation’s deficit—work they have already begun.
As the lawmakers deliberate, they will also be accepting campaign checks as usual. Meanwhile, lobbyists who will be prodding them on issues from tax reform to Medicare will be attending their D.C. fundraisers.
As for Clyburn, there are a total of nine fundraisers on his schedule this fall, including the first one—a “Healthcare Breakfast” at the Caucus Room on Sept. 13. Pharmaceutical companies and doctors’ and hospitals’ groups will no doubt be interested in attending, as cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are expected to be considered by the panel.
On Sept. 14, another super committee member, Senate Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., is a special guest at a moneymaker for Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc,—at the Caucus Room again—for those willing to donate between $500 and $2,000.
On the following Monday, committee member Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is planning to leave the capital for Boston, where he is headlining a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee—though few details about the event are known.
On Oct. 5, high rollers will have the chance to schmooze with Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the headliner for a dinner benefiting his colleague, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Penn. PACs are asked to chip in $2,500 or $5,00o for that affair.
Other than these newly-disclosed events there are at least six others previously reported by Party Time and other media outlets since the committee members were announced. Below is a current calendar of events involving panel members. Note that if the lawmaker is hosting the event—if it’s not for his own campaign—the beneficiary committee is listed.
Aug. 31 — Xavier Becerra — Evening Event
Sept. 7 — Xavier Becerra’s Leadership PAC — Baseball Game
Sept. 7 — Dave Camp — Reception
Sept. 13 — Jim Clyburn –”Healthcare Breakfast”
Sept. 13 — Patty Murray hosting — DSCC — Annual Fall Reception
Sept. 13 — Rob Portman hosting — Rep. Steve Chabot — Reception
Sept. 13 — Jon Kyl hosting — Sen. Roger Wicker — Reception –
Sept. 14 — Clyburn’s Leadership PAC — Breakfast
Sept. 14 — Jon Kyl hosting — Sen. Ron Johnson — Dinner — POSTPONED
Sept. 15 — Clyburn hosting — Rep. Gabbie Giffords — Breakfast
Sept. 15 — Van Hollen hosting — Rep. Tim Ryan — Lunch
Sept. 15 – Jim Clyburn – Dinner
Sept. 16 — Jim Clyburn – Breakfast
Sept. 18 — Chris Van Hollen’s joint fundraising committee — Evening event
Sept. 19 — John Kerry hosting — DSCC — Breakfast
Sept. 19 — Fred Upton hosting — Pete Hoekstra — Lunch
Sept. 21 — Jon Kyl hosting — Heather Wilson –Reception
Sept. 21 — Becerra hosting — Congressional Hispanic Caucus PAC — Reception
Sept. 22 — Pat Toomey’s Leadership PAC — Breakfast
Sept. 22 — Chris Van Hollen hosting — Reps. Tim Bishop and Kathy Hochul — Reception
Sept. 23 — Chris Van Hollen — Breakfast
Sept. 23 — Patty Murray hosting — DSCC — Reception
Sept. 26 — Clyburn hosting — Rep. Terri Sewell — Golf and Dinner
Oct. 4 — Jeb Hensarling hosting — Rep. Kay Granger — Texas Barbecue
Oct. 5 — Chris Van Hollen hosting — Rep. Allyson Schwartz — Dinner Reception
Oct. 5 — Jeb Hensarling — Event at Investment Co Institute (reported by Politico)
Oct. 6 — Becerra — A Taste of Los Angeles
Oct. 10 — Jim Clyburn – Reception
Oct. 13 — Jim Clyburn – Breakfast
Oct. 13 — Fred Upton hosting — Tuesday Group PAC — Reception
Oct. 16 — Max Baucus hosting — Sen. Jon Tester — Event at Oceana Restaurant in New York City (reported by Politico)
Oct. 20 — Pat Toomey — Breakfast at Bistro Bis (reported by Politico)
Oct. 20 — Jim Clyburn — Reception
Oct. 24 — Clyburn hosting — Emanuel Cleaver — Birthday and BBQ
Oct. 25 — Hensarling’s Leadership PAC — Reception and Dinner at Acadiana with Speaker Boehner (reported by Politico)
Oct. 25 — Clyburn hosting — DCCC — Speaker’s Cabinet National Issues Conference (reported by Politico)
Oct. 25 — Becerra hosting — Congressional Hispanic Caucus Bold PAC — Reception
Oct. 26 — Clyburn’s Leadership PAC – Breakfast
Oct. 27 — Patty Murray hosting — DSCC — National Innovation Conference
Oct. 27 — Clyburn hosting — DCCC — Reception
Nov. 1 — Kyl hosting — Sen. Ron Johnson — Breakfast
Nov. 3 — Clyburn hosting — Rep. John Yarmuth — Bourbon & BBQ Birthday Bash
Nov. 4 — Becerra hosting — Rep. Larry Kissell — Breakfast
Nov. 8 — Pat Toomey — Dinner at Charlie Palmer’s (reported by Politico)
Nov. 14 — Dave Camp hosting — Rep. Kenny Marchant — Dinner
Nov. 14 — Clyburn hosting — Steven Horsford — Reception
Nov. 15 — Van Hollen hosting — Rep. Lloyd Doggett — Breakfast
Nov. 15 — Jim Clyburn — Breakfast at Art & Soul
Nov. 15 — Xavier Becerra — Breakfast at National Democratic Club
Nov. 16 — Clyburn’s Leadership PAC – Breakfast
Nov. 16 — Clyburn hosting — Charles Rangel — Reception
Nov. 16 — Pat Toomey — 50th Birthday Party Reception (Reported by Politico)
Nov. 16 — Pat Toomey — Breakfast (Reported by National Journal)
Nov. 17 — Jon Kyl hosting — Sen. Orrin Hatch — Breakfast
Nov. 17 — Clyburn hosting — Suzanne Bonamici — Breakfast
correction: The original version of this post mistakenly said that a Sept. 14 fundraiser benefited Sen. Jon Kyl rather than Sen. Ron Johnson.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
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