About 35 events are happening this week, folks. Here are the highlights:
Obama and a show…or two: Like any other week the Obama campaign is out to entice donors to open their wallets with numerous events and, this time around, a little bit of razzle dazzle, and perhaps a bit of tension. Obama appears at two events with former President Bill Clinton, who made news this week by telling CNN that Obama’s GOP opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, had a “sterling business career” at Bain Capital.
On Sunday the campaign opens the week with a reception in Maryland. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who doubles as the chair for the Democratic National Committee, will be hosting the reception in the president’s honor. Tickets to the event start at $250.
The next day, former President Bill Clinton will join President Obama in New York for a gala dinner featuring special musical guest Jon Bon Jovi, lead singer of the rock band Bon Jovi. Event tickets range from $2,500 to $35,800. A mere hour later, the dynamic presidential duo will head down to the New Amsterdam Theater for “Barack on Broadway.” This more modestly priced event costs between $250 and $1,000.
Update, 5 p.m. ET 6/4/2012: Turns out that Obama and Clinton will be enjoying yet another bite of the Big Apple today. Before the gala dinner and “Barack on Broadway” there will be a 4:30 p.m. reception at the home of billionaire Marc Lasry, an enthusiastic Democratic supporter and the chairman, CEO and co-founder of the investment firm Avenue Capital Group. Tickets for this private reception cost $40,000 per person.
On Wednesday the president will be in Los Angeles for a reception hosted by the LGBT Leadership Council. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Obama fans (along with allies of course), can attend this event for $1,250 to $25,000.
Update, 5:40 p.m. ET 6/4/2012: In addition to the LGBT reception, Obama will be venturing to Beverly Hills for a dinner at the home of Ryan Murphy, creator of the much-loved musical comedy-drama “Glee“. The dinner alone costs $25,000, but those who wish to be a part of the photo reception have to pay double that.
While Obama is in California, the first lady will be in New York doing some fundraising of her own. Political activist Patricia Duff, along with Caroline Kennedy, Planned Parenthood Chief Cecile Richards and economist Laura Tyson will be hosting a morning conference and lunch for Obama. Tickets start at $250.
Romney traveling from West to South As Party Time reported yesterday, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will be spending sometime in Oregon and Texas this week after a long weekend in California.
On Monday, Romney will be at a luncheon reception in Portland, Ore. partying with Telecom pioneer Craig McCaw and a host of other hosts and guests. Tickets to the luncheon cost either $2,500 or $5,000 for VIP.
Two days later, Romney will be venturing south to Texas for another luncheon in his honor. Party Time doesn’t know the ask for this event.
Update, 6 p.m. ET 6/4/2012: We now have more information on (and the actual invite for!) the Texas luncheon thanks to Jay Root of the Texas Tribune and the San Antonio Express News. Root reports that the fundraiser behind the lunch is Leslie Sullivan, a Texas consultant who earlier this year was in a politically divided household: She was raising money for Romney while her husband, Ray Sullivan, helped presidential rival Rick Perry. Now that Perry, the Texas governor, is out of the race, breakfast time at the Sullivan household must be more peaceful. Root also directed us to this Express News story. It reports that tickets for the San Antonio luncheon start at at $2,500. However, those who raise $200,000 for the Romney campaign or contribute $50,000 themselves will get, in addition to lunch, a chance to join the roundtable discussion and have a photo taken with Romney.
Party Time also learned that before traveling to San Antonio, Romney will be in Dallas on Tuesday for an “Evening in Downtown Dallas” at the historic Belo Mansion. Following his Wednesday lunch in San Antonio, the GOP nominee will then travel to Houston for a reception and dinner at the Central Houston. The asks for both these events are the same as the lunch, we hear. But we don’t have the invites. If you do, please toss them over Party Time’s transom.
The Unusual: For the Party Timers that are quite tired of the usual breakfasts, lunches, dinners etc, we have a few more intriguing events lined up for you this week.
If you enjoy a good cigar every now and again, Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich. is hosting a Cigar Smoke on Tuesday. Hosts have to cough up as much as $2,000, but individuals can get in for a mere $500.
Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., will be hosting a Chicago style hotdog reception on Wednesday for those who prefer a more down-to-earth setting. However chill a reception it may be though, these hotdogs don’t come cheap. Tickets cost up to $2,500 a pop.
There is also something lined up for the liquor connoisseurs. Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., will be having an Irish Whiskey Tasting at the Diageo Townhouse on Thursday. Remember to have a driver designated and $500 to $2,000 if you intend to enjoy this event to the fullest.
Also on Thursday, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., will kick off her 11th Annual Crawfish Fest. Seafood lovers are asked to contribute between $50 and $1,000 for this event.
The lovers of heartier meat (like beef) are also in luck. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., will be celebrating his birthday with his Annual Bull Roast, which will include a full out country barbeque and ice cream sundaes, according to the invite. Students can get in for a mere $15, while hosts have to dole out $1,000.Tweet
A relatively slow week follows Memorial Day, Party Timers, with fewer than 20 events planned. But presidential fundraisers are making up for the quiet congressional schedule:
Romney partying it up: This week, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has actually topped President Obama on the party circuit, (at least, as far as Party Time knows). The Romney campaign has at least three events planned for supporters.
On Tuesday, Romney fans have the chance to attend an evening reception with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. Tickets for this event range from $2,500 to $50,000, although those who wish to chair the event must raise a staggering $250,000, a first in Party Time records.
The very next day, Ann Romney will be appearing on behalf of her husband at a “Bay Area Ladies Luncheon” at the Palo Alto-area home of Cisco CEO John Chambers and his wife, Elaine. Party Time doesn’t have the details on the ask for this particular event. (But let us know if you do!)
Later that evening, both Mr. and Mrs. Romney are expected to attend another reception at the historic Chateau Carolands, just south of San Francisco. Tickets for this event also start at $2,500 and cap at $50,000. According to Politico’s calendar, Romney has several other fundraising events planned for California next week, in Bakersfield, in Los Angeles and in San Diego. Got the invites? Check here for details on how to send them our way.
Win the dinner of your dreams, fete Romney and Trump: On a fun side note, the Romney campaign is not only depending on dinners at faux-ancient chateaus for its fundraisers. Yesterday, Party Time saw the campaign had started a most interesting competition, which is essentially a fundraiser.
Entrants to this lottery, at which the pièce de résistance is a chance to dine with celebrity business magnate, Donald Trump, are encouraged to donate anything from $3 to $2,500 (or more). Along with dinner with Trump and Romney himself, winner gets airport transportation in the Trump vehicle, a stay at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York City and a tour of Trump Tower. The competition started Thursday and is expected to run until June 22 when the lucky winner will be chosen.
Sweet home, Chicago. According to Chicago Sun-Times reporter extraordinaire Lynn Sweet, the president is heading home Friday for two big fundraisers: a reception that will cost between $1,000 and $15,000 to attend, followed by a dinner where the tickets run $38,500. The president is scheduled to attend another fundraiser, earlier in the day, in Minneapolis. Got the invites? You know what to do.
Obama Reception with DNC chair: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who doubles as chair of the Democratic National Committee, will be hosting a reception for the campaign. Tickets for this event start at a mere $250 and go up to $1,000 for those who want to host.
DCCC to celebrate Barney Frank’s coming out: It’s been a few weeks now since President Obama publicly announced his support of same-sex marriage and what better way to celebrate than to fundraise at a coming out (anniversary) party! In honor of the 25th anniversary of Rep. Barney Frank’s coming out, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will be holding a fundraiser on Wednesday at fashionable DC eatery El Centro D.F., showcasing its continued support for the LGBT community. Tickets range from $250 to $5,000 and will give attendees the chance to rub shoulders with Frank, a veteran Massachusetts Democrat — who intends to marry his long-time companion before retiring from Congress at the end of the year, as well as many other lawmakers including Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
The Getaways: For those weary of the capital, there are the usual getaways:
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., will be hosting a Florida Weekend at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande, where takers can indulge in spa days, golf and fishing. This Friday to Sunday trip will cost $1,500 for individuals and $3,000 for political action committees.
That same weekend, also from Friday to Sunday, Delaware Democratic Rep. John Carney will be holding his 2nd Annual Lewes Weekend Retreat in his home state. This event costs $1,500 for individual and $2,500 for PACs.Tweet
Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Chris Dodd set off a firestorm of criticism last week when he suggested that Hollywood would withhold campaign money from President Obama and lawmakers who don’t toe the Hollywood line on online piracy.
Losing support of the entertainment industry would not be insignificant for the president: In 2011, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg gave $2 million to Priorities USA, the super PAC backing Obama. Another major bankroller is Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax Films, who along with Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour last August co-hosted a $71,600-a-couple fundraiser for Obama at his New York home.
But so far at least, Party Time hasn’t detected any slowdown in the entertainment industry’s enthusiasm for the president, despite the White House’s decision to put the brakes on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Just a few days before the White House raised concerns about the legislation, which is being enthusiastically backed by the entertainment industry, Obama was raising funds at the New York City home of director Spike Lee.
In addition, Party Time records show a Feb. 7 Runway to Win fundraiser scheduled for the Obama Victory Fund 2012. Hosts for the event include: Wintour, actress Scarlet Johansson, hip-hop moguls Sean Combs and Russell Simmons, singer Beyonce, and fashion designers Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs and Vera Wang. Party Time records also show a Jan. 9 reception fundraiser in DC featuring featuring singer-songwriter Sarah Bareilles. Both the fashion and music industries support SOPA.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, the SOPA debate has set off a $100 million lobbying war. Both the entertainment companies who back SOPA and the tech giants who oppose it have lined up blue-chip lobbyists who are regulars on the Party Time circuit.
Former Rep. Victor Fazio, D-Calif., now a lobbyist at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, represents AT& T, a proponent of SOPA. He was one of the hosts at a dinner fundraiser benefiting Democrats Win Seats, the leadership PAC of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., a SOPA supporter and the Democratic Party’s national chair. Reps. Karen Bass, D-Calif and Ted Deutch D-Fla., both SOPA supporters, and Reps. Adam Smith, D-Wash., and Bruce Braley, SOPA opponents, were listed among those scheduled to attend. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Senate Judiciary Committee member and one of the four co-sponsors of PIPA, has had several fundraisers featuring lobbyists from tApple (has not formally stated a position on SOPA), the Motion Picture Association of America, Time Warner and Time Warner Cable.
And as we’ve previously told you in this space, companies backing SOPA have held several fundraisers benefitting Reps. Howard Berman, Adam Schiff, Joe Baca and Mary Bono Mack of California .
Not to be outdone, the tech industry, which sent a powerful message Jan. 18 about its distaste for SOPA on popular websites such as Google, Wikipedia and Craigslist, has been well represented on the Party Time circuit.
Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., a member of the Judiciary Committee is one of the 27 co-sponsors of SOPA; on the day of the online protest, he issued a press release withdrawing his support, saying his constituents have “made clear” their opposition to legislation. Alex Vogel of Mehlman, Vogel and Castagnetti, who once worked for then-Republican Senate Leader Bill Frist, was one of the four hosts for Griffin’s reception in early December of last year. Vogel clients include CC Media Holdings, eBay Inc., Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and Yahoo! Inc. Yahoo! and eBay are opponents of SOPA. Also hosting the fundraiser were other lobbyists representing a range of communications interests, including some on both sides of the SOPA debate: Marc Lampkin, who represents AT&T, Microsoft Corporation, Sony Corporation and Visa Inc. Kathryn Lehman, who represents Google Inc. and Verizon Communications, and Susan Hirschmann, who represents Comcast Corporation, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Recording Industry Association of America; US Chamber of Commerce and Visa Inc.
Sen. John Cornyn R-Texas, the chairman National Republican Senatorial Committee and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee member, is another former backer of anti-piracy legislation who shifted his position. Cornyn’s Alamo PAC had two fundraisers featuring a lobbyist from Clear Channel, Verizon Communications and AT&T, all supporters of SOPA. But after the online protest, the Texan took to Facebook to share misgivings about the legislation those companies are backing.“Better to get this done right rather than fast and wrong. Stealing content is theft, plain and simple, but concerns about unintended damage to the internet and innovation in the tech sector require a more thoughtful balance, which will take more time,” Cornyn wrote.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., also once supported the anti-piracy bill but now opposes it. According to Party Time records, he had a fundraiser hosted by lobbyists Doyle Barlett and Becky Relic. Barlett represents clients such as Comcast Corporation, eBay, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Relic represents eBay. Another supporter-turned-opponent, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., had a fundraiser in which three of the hosts are lobbyists who represent Comcast, National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Time Warner Cable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
There are a few lawmakers who have not formally expressed a stand on SOPA. One example is House Oversight Committee member Rep. Ed Towns, D-N.Y. At his 25th Annual Taste of New York fundraising event, Towns had lobbyists representing both sides of the SOPA debate as hosts. Paul Braitwaite, a lobbyist for the Podesta Group represents Google, Time Warner Cable and the National Association of Broadcasters is listed as one of the hosts. The list of hosts for Towns event also included Roger Mott with Verizon Communications, Lyndon Boozer of AT&T, Matt Gelman of Microsoft and Jesse McCollum, a lobbyist with the Eris Group representing the Comcast Corporation.Tweet
Duck…Duck…Goose! – The Valley PAC, the leadership fund for Rep. Collin Peterson, D—Minn., will be hosting a Goose Hunt this weekend in Eagle Lake, Texas. This is not the first time the Valley PAC has hosted a poultry themed weekend. Early this year, the PAC had a Turkey Hunt at the Blue Head Ranch in Lake Placid, Fla., as well as a Quail Hunt in 2009 at the Southern Woods Plantation in Georgia.
“Key Largo, Montego baby why don’t we go” – If you feel the need to reminisce to the popular Beach Boys song or the 80’s Tom Cruise movie Cocktail, Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., will be hosting a fundraising event in Key Largo this weekend.
This is Not a Repeat of 1832 - What better way to take a break from all that talk of income inequality related to the Occupy Wall Street protests by shelling out $1,000 to watch Les Miserables with a congressman? Donors can do just that on Wednesday evening at the Kennedy Center for Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa. The musical follows the lives of several struggling poor characters leading up to the Paris Uprising of 1832.
Ms. Pac-Man – As we reported earlier this year, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., swore off donations from PACs (and lobbyists) for her personal campaign when she took the helm at the DNC in May. But the leadership PAC, called Democrats Win Seats, that bears her initials is still going to be accepting dollars from such sources, and is doing so at a Tuesday dinner organized by lobbyists. The PAC is now run by one of her longtime supporters, although the congresswoman stepped down as its chairwoman earlier this year, POLITICO reported.
Super Committee members cashing in – Panel members have booked at least four events this week [See all of the panel's events]. Co-chair Jeb Hensarling’s, R-Texas, Leadership PAC is getting help from Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Tuesday. The leadership fund of Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., is putting on a Wednesday breakfast.
On Thursday evening, Clyburn is one of the special guests for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event at the home of Tom and Linda Daschle, who lobbies for Lockheed Martin and General Electric. Both companies are impacted by the committee’s work, although Daschle did not report directly lobbying the panel in the third quarter.
The DSCC is putting on a “National Innovation Conference” in California on Thursday and Friday, and, Patty Murray, D-Wash., the chair of both the DSCC and the Super Committee, agreed to be one of the hosts.
Allen West’s fundraising surge – The biggest font on this Thursday invitation is reserved for former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who reportedly offered his services to help with former Lieutenant Colonel Allen West’s, R-Fla., reelection. Another tidbit: for $2,500, donors will receive a copy of the former Defense secretary’s memoir, “Known and Unknown,” according to an event notification sent to Party Time.Tweet
Party Time has received invitations for two upcoming fundraisers benefiting recovering congresswoman Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. On May 31, Reps. Sander Levin, D-Mich., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., are hosting an event in honor of Rep. Giffords at the headquarters of the DNC. Donors to the event are being asked to pay from $250 for an individual supporter to $5,000 for a PAC host. The following month on June 22, Giffords will be the beneficiary of a breakfast reception hosted by the Blue Dog PAC at the Strategic Healthcare Townhouse. Giffords, a member of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, received $10,000 from the PAC during her 2010 campaign. For this event the PAC is asking for donations from $500 to $5,000.
Since the tragic shooting in Tucson in January, the congresswoman has been unable to actively fundraise for her 2012 campaign, but this has not put a stop to the inflow of campaign cash. On March 15, a fundraiser was hosted by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Rep. Adam Smith, D. Wash., and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, D. Fla., along with a slew of other Democratic House members, on behalf of the recovering representative at the offices of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Giffords, along with 14 other Democratic representatives in competitive districts, was also the beneficiary of a fundraising event on March 30 at the Democratic National Headquarters.
These fundraisers thrown by her Democratic colleagues have ensured that the representative does not fall behind any potential Republican opponents in campaign funds raised. According to the latest release of FEC data, the Giffords campaign raised $ 357,737.69 in the first quarter of 2011. This leaves her campaign with $556,013 on hand, which is well ahead of the competition. The Republican with the most campaign cash is her 2010 opponent Jesse Kelly with $19,159. The amount the Giffords campaign has raised also far outstrips its own efforts from previous years. This quarter’s amount is double the first quarter total from 2009, which was $168,459.Tweet
You might have read in yesterday’s Politico that the nine democrats have raised $50 million for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to internal fundraising numbers obtained by the newspaper. Raising that amount of cash would be daunting to anyone, but for Washington insiders, it’s part of their daily grind.
The Party Time database also reveals that beyond the cash these lawmakers raise for the DCCC, they are also fixtures and draws at fundraisers for other lawmakers. This fact would not show up on DCCC reports.
* Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. – Pelosi has raised $23.5 million for the DCCC, according to Politico. Party Time invites show that she’s served as a draw for at least eight fundraisers this year for other lawmakers and at least two for the DCCC — the latest DCCC event was a March 19th breakfast at Democratic National Headquarters, along with several other Democratic lawmakers. The cost to attend ranged from $5,000-$20,000.
* Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. – The second highest fundraiser according to Politico, Van Hollen is also the chair of the DCCC and has raised $7.1 million for the committee. According to Party Time invites, Van Hollen has been present for at least for nine fundraisers for other lawmakers and one for the DCCC.
* Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y. – Crowley raised an $6.5 million for the DCCC, according to Politico. He’s also incredibly active in fundraising for his colleagues. According to Party Time invites, he’s attended at least 10 fundraisers for colleagues and at least 15 for either the DCCC or the New Democrat Coalition PAC. His most recent headliner was for the Coalition’s fifth annual retreat at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina.
* Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. – According to Politico, Wasserman Shultz has raised $3.5 million for the DCCC. She’s also been busy raising money for fellow lawmakers, Party Time invites list her at at least 7 fundraisers this year for her colleagues, and she’s attended at least six for the DCCC or her own leadership political action committee, the Democrats Win Seats PAC.
* Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. – Clyburn has raised $3 million for the DCCC, according to Politico and he’s attended at least 13 fundraisers for colleagues and at least two for the DCCC and held at least two for his own Bridge PAC. Later this week he will host a fundraiser for Baron Hill, his Democratic colleague in Indiana, where guests can attend after paying $1,000-$5,000.
* Rep. Steny Hoyer, D- Md. – Hoyer has added $2.3 million to DCCC coffers, according to Politico. He’s also attended at least 17 fundraisers for his colleagues this year, and at least three for the DCCC and Wasserman Schultz’s Democrats Win Seats PAC.
* Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. – Israel has collected $1.5 million for the DCCC, according to Politico, it’s possible he raised part of that while attending a January 13th DCCC Business Council Kickoff Reception where guests paid anywhere from $5,000-$15,000.
* Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. – Frank has raised $1.5 million for the DCCC, according to Politico. He’s also helped fundraise for at least 12 of his colleagues and at least two times for the DCCC, according to Party Time invites. His latest effort was a June 7th lunch fundraiser for Democratic colleague Rep. Ron Klein of Florida. Guests could attend for anywhere from $500-$2,500.
* Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. – Barney Frank’s Massachusetts colleague has raised $1.1 million for the DCCC, according to Politico. It’s possible that part of that total was raised that money while serving as the special guest of the DCCC Business Council Breakfast on March 4th. The invitation lists Markey as the headliner and asks for donations ranging from $5,000-$15,000 for the DCCC.
And let’s not forget how the DCCC raises money for itself, such as the Committee’s upcoming June 23rd, “DCCC Summer Solstice Reception” at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers offices in Capital Hill. The event says “friends” can attend for $5,000, while “hosts” can buy 4 tickets for $15,000.Tweet
The Huffington Post’s Arthur Delaney takes a look at what happens when congressional fundraisers and committee hearings overlap:
As Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was leaving a fundraiser at a Capitol Hill townhouse, he said that earlier he’d made an appearance at a hearing on hazardous materials (which was ongoing).
HuffPost interns Julian Hattem and Elyse Siegel asked Schauer which guests attended the fundraiser to give him money. Schauer said it was “people for labor, the environment.” He added, “Even though health care is the big story, there are still lots of other issues.”
Also at Schauer’s fundraiser: “Special Guest” Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), who was missing out on a Judiciary Committee hearing on “Competition and Commerce in Digital Books”.
Read the full article here.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.