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Documenting the Political Partying Circuit
From the early hours of the morning until late in the evening, politicians are partying. Sunlight's PARTY TIME can help you find out who is partying, where and when.

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 03.10.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: President Obama’s New York fundraiser, Reps. James Clyburn and David Scott host D.C. dinners, plus hunting and spring training

Hello party people! We hope all you CPAC-ers have recovered from your weekend of keynotes and debates, plus something we learned about late in the game – Reaganpalooza for the Young Conservatives Coalition. What a whirlwind few days.

We aren’t sure, but that might explain why this week’s social calendar skews to the Democrats. We know the GOP doesn’t need a full week to recuperate, though, so let us know what parties are brewing out there. Email us any tips, or upload your goods here. (Know how we know Republicans can party like nobody’s business? Texas Gov. Rick Perry, fresh off his rousing CPAC appearance, is headlining the Lincoln Reagan Dinner in Kentucky with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.)

Before digging into the week, we feel obligated to point out two funders for the themed party aficionados among our readers. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., is having his Annual St. Patrick’s Celebration on Monday evening in Paterson. Even the contribution levels are themed – $350 for “shamrock” sponsorship, or $500 for the “emerald” level. And on Thursday, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., is throwing his Sixth Annual Taste of Buffalo event at the DNC’s headquarters in Capitol Hill. The menu? Buffalo wings, Imperial Pizza and beef on weck, obviously.

Here’s what the rest of the week looks like, partiers. (If you know of anything we’ve missed, send whatever you’ve got here!)

Partier-in-Chief in the Big Apple

President Barack Obama is maintaining his packed fundraising schedule this week with a trip up to New York for two events. He’s smack in the middle of his run of 18 fundraisers this year, all scheduled in his party’s attempt to shore up cash for the 2014 election.

Although Obama’s approval ratings continue to drop (a recent Fox News poll has him at 38 percent), the president can still inspire deep-pocketed donors to write hefty checks. In addition to an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, he’ll be hobnobbing with donors at a price tag of $32,400 per person during a Fireside Chat at the N.Y.C. home of Alan and Susan Patricof. That fundraiser for the DNC is limited to 13 couples or 26 people, according to Politico.

As far as we can tell over here at Party Time, this is the first Patricof-Obama event. The Patricofs are big-time supporters of the Clintons from way back when, as the foursome met in the Hamptons in the late ’80s and the Patricofs spent a night in the White House during Bill Clinton’s tenure. Alan Patricof raised lots of money for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, but stayed out of the 2012 election, meaning Tuesday’s event is yet another indicator of the Democratic establishment and Clintonworld aligning for 2016.

Cash for Clyburn

On the other hand, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., wants everyone to calm down about the still-far-off 2016 election. He recently rallied Democrats in Charleston during a Young Democrats of America meeting, encouraging attendees to get motivated for the midterms and not to focus too much on 2016. He, for example, said he was heading to Florida to gin up support for Alex Sink, who is in a tight race for the late Rep. Bill Young’s seat. A Democratic pickup there is “critical,” Clyburn said. (Side note: That special election in Florida is Tuesday, so if you know of any last-minute fundraisers – or early debt-retirement parties – happening, let us know!)

“Let’s have some victories in 2014, and then, the morning after the November election, we can get to work on 2016,” Clyburn told the crowd, according to a Post and Courier report.

He’s taking some of his own advice come Tuesday evening when he’s having a dinner fundraiser in downtown D.C. for his 2014 campaign. The Rev. Leon Winn announced in October he would challenge Clyburn this cycle, making the Baptist minister the first African-American Republican candidate in South Carolina’s 6th District since 2000. But Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, already has a significant leg up on the cash contest: Our Real-Time Tracker shows he’s got a little more than $1.1 million in the bank.

Scott’s small shindig

Rep. David Scott knows how to do Georgia politics. The Democrat served in state-level government from the ’70s to 2002, and then was elected to the U.S. House. Since then, Scott has won reelection easily, despite news reports in 2007 about some questionable campaign finance activity.

This year, Scott is facing a primary challenge from Michael Owens, a businessman and Marine Corps veteran. According to our Real-Time Tracker, Scott had loads more cash on hand than Owens, and the incumbent will only add to his totals after a Thursday night event. Scott is having a Small, Convivial Dinner at fundraising hotspot Johnny’s Half Shell on Capitol Hill. Tickets start at $500 and go up to $2,500.

Weekend Update with Party Time

Florida is the happening place to be this upcoming weekend, with two politicians heading to the Sunshine State for fundraising trips. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., will travel back to his home state on Friday for a three-day hunting excursion. When PT first heard about the event, details were still TBD, so if you know what’s on tap, let us know!

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., may not have another election until 2018, but that won’t stop him from throwing a fundraiser or two. On Friday, Casey will make his way to Bradenton, Florida, for a Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Weekend. And it’s probably a good time to get out of Washington – Casey was one of eight Democratic senators to vote against the confirmation of Debo Adegbile, President Obama’s pick to head up the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Adegbile’s nomination was controversial from the start, since he was on the legal team that attempted to get a death penalty sentence overturned for Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of murdering a police officer in Philadelphia in 1981. Obama was obviously peeved by the Senate’s vote, calling it a “travesty.” When it gets that chilly in D.C., it’s definitely time for a warm weekend getaway.

And that’s the week in review! What have we missed? Send us what you’ve got here. Until next week, party on!

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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2010 Elections • POSTED - 12.07.10 BY Keenan Steiner

New Dems requesting debt dollars too

Today the New York TimeEditorial Page called many incoming freshmen Republicans hypocritical for smoothly entering Washington’s money culture after running anti-business-as-usual campaigns.

The Times commented on the dozens of Washington fundraisers being held by GOP freshmen in the past few weeks before the group is even sworn into office. As previously noted on Party Time, many of the events aim to pay down campaign debts from the costly midterm elections.

To be sure, the other side of the aisle is playing the same game; Party Time has received a couple of invitations to debt retirement events for Democrats.

Tomorrow morning, Mark Critz, D-Pa., the former aide to the late Rep. John Murtha, who faced stiff competition for his old boss’s seat in a special election earlier in 2010 and defended it in the midterm, is getting help from the Democratic National Committee, which is holding a fundraiser for Critz at its headquarters, the congressman’s office confirmed.

With strong attendance, Critz could easily make up his election debt — totaling about $65,000, according to Federal Election Commission filings. PACs are being asked to shell out as much as $5,000, though individuals can attend for $500.

Donors appear to have a choice: if they want their funds to go towards 2010’s debt, they simply need to write “General Election Debt” on their checks, according to the invitation.

Debt relief fundraising provides an opportunity to special interests that were not big contributors before Nov. 2 to bend the congressman’s ear. By donating now, as opposed to during Critz’s close election race, corporate PAC managers and lobbyists are getting a sure thing — there is no doubt that Critz will be in Congress come January. The former Murtha aide won his seat in a tight race, winning 51 percent of the vote.

Down in New Orleans, a Democrat saddled with a bit more debt — Cedric Richmond — planned a “Debt Retirement Lunch” for today. The Congressman-elect has over $170,000 in debt, according to FEC filings, and is asking for contributions of between $500 and $5,000, according to the invitation.

And what about the Democrats that lost? Rep. Mike McMahon, D-N.Y., fell to Michael Grimm, but he held a donor appreciation event at a Capitol Hill lobbying office last week which drew a sizable crowd, according to his fundraising consultants. The event was complimentary to donors and the invitation did not solicit donations.

Of late, a handful of other “Thank You” events have been scheduled by Democrats, including election winners Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and David Scott, D-Ga., neither of whom has campaign debt, according to the FEC.

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Partytime • POSTED - 04.06.09 BY Nancy Watzman

Take me out to the fundraiser

As those first pitches are thrown in baseball stadiums around the country, some lawmakers are using the events to do a little fundraising, as Politico reports today. We’ve got links to invitations for several of these occasions, including:

  • A $1,500-a-head party for Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) at Camden Yards in Maryland tonight, Orioles v. the Yankees.
  • On Friday, Rep. David Scott (D-GA) is asking for cash at a shindig at the Braves home opener in Atlanta. One version of the invite has the requested $1,500 directed to his leadership PAC, Brave PAC (is the name a coincidence?); the other has the contributions going to his campaign committee–and also mentions a special appearance by Hank Aaron. Maybe some guests will give to both.
  • Some lawmakers, like Rep. William Clay (D-MO), have baseball fundraisers scheduled later in the month. In fact Clay has two: one on April 24, the Cubs v. the Cardinals and the other on April 30, the Cardinals v. the Nationals.
  • Then there were those lawmakers who got in some pass-the-hat opportunities at spring training. We The People PAC (Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa.) had a baseball weekend in Clearwater, Florida during which guests could meet the Philadelphia Phillies’ broadcasters and some of the team’s players. Guests were also able to attend a spring training game. And Rep. Mike Arcuri (D-NY), invited guests to a reception back in March featuring former Yankees relief pitcher RIch “Goose” Goosage, recently inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Check out this list of fundraisers listed here at Party Time that show up when you do a search for “baseball” on the “entertainment” field. You’ll see that baseball and congressional fundraising appear to mix quite well.

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PARTYFINDER™ Hints

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.