The Conservative Political Action Conference kicked off its four-day lovefest on Wednesday afternoon, with a fistful of Republican personalities and White House hopefuls aiming to solidify their conservative bona fides and connect with the party’s activists.
The yearly confab, hosted by the lobbying organization the American Conservative Union, always promises plenty of red-meat speeches and presidential positioning. But with 2016 shaping up to be one of the more wide-open presidential contests in recent memory, this year’s agenda features a particularly long list of speakers. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are all slated to deliver remarks.
And at the end of last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got added into the mix. Although Christie scored a standing ovation (even before he started speaking) at last year’s event, CPAC organizers snubbed the governor in 2013, just months after Christie memorably embraced President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The down-to-the-wire addition of Christie is noteworthy, since the brassy governor has seen his stock fall slightly among Republicans within the past few weeks. The New York Times reported that New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, a big-time Republican donor who has hobnobbed with Christie at Republican fundraisers, has opted to back Bush and his all-but-certain presidential run. Johnson reportedly attended two recent fundraisers in the Chicago area for Bush’s political committees.
Bush’s recent trip to Illinois wasn’t all about the parties, though, since the former governor dipped his toe into foreign policy territory with a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The appearance got mixed reviews, and Bush’s uncertain delivery resulted in a Politico article that wondered how his introverted personality would fare on the campaign trail.
On Friday afternoon, Bush will look to quell that narrative with a Q&A session with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. A knock-it-out-of-the-park showing at CPAC could endear Bush to the Republican base, long wary of his more moderate stances on education and immigration. In December, for example, radio talk show host Mark Levin – who will speak at CPAC on Saturday morning – said Bush is “a very good moderate Democrat” and “very boring.”
Throughout his fundraisers and public appearances, Bush has carefully avoided saying the words “Common Core” – the federal education benchmarks that have become synonymous with big government among conservatives – even though he supports the standards. Even if the topic doesn’t come up during the Friday Q&A, the subject still gets the CPAC treatment on Thursday with a breakout session titled “Common Core: Rotten to the Core?”
Wednesday afternoon’s activism training gets the ball rolling, but CPAC begins in earnest on Thursday morning with an 8:40 a.m. talk by Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon and conservative darling flirting with a presidential run. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst speaks during a noontime tribute to veterans, and Walker, Jindal and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin close out the day with back-to-back-to-back speeches.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham get things started on Friday, and RNC head Reince Priebus, Donald Trump and NRA chief Wayne LaPierre follow with remarks throughout the day. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will keynote Friday night’s Ronald Reagan Dinner. Saturday features a full day of breakout sessions about religious freedom, government spending, abortion and gun rights, as well as the results of the conference’s all-important straw poll, which provides a snapshot of how conservatives feel about potential presidential candidates. (Paul won the poll last year.)
One-day passes go for $125, but premium tickets – which get attendees priority seating at breakout sessions and admission to the Ronald Reagan Dinner and meet and greets – are $1,700 at the door.
Photo credit: CPACTweet
The theme of the year has been, so far, all about early-on angling by presidential hopefuls. The 2016 election is still 22 months away, but that hasn’t stopped the likes of Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and Sen. Marco Rubio from ramping up their fundraising operations.
As always, Party Time is on the hunt for the latest developments on the party circuit. But as the fundraising fun ramps up after the holidays and swearing-in ceremonies, we need your help! What have you heard about, friends? Please-oh-please send us whatever you’ve got by shooting us an email or uploading invites right here. (And rest assured: PT always keeps mum about our sources.)
Let’s get to your week in political parties!
GOP goes big in Iowa
Conservative heavyweights and activists descend on Des Moines Saturday for a full day of red, white and blue rallying. This year’s Freedom Summit, a joint effort put on by Citizens United and Iowa Rep. Steve King, boasts a long list of speakers who will talk about the economy, social issues and national defense (and maybe 2016 prospects?).
Sarah Palin, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Newt Gingrich, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Ben Carson, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa Rep. Rod Blum, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, Carly Fiorina, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, former Ambassador John Bolton, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan and New Hampshire state Rep. William O’Brien will all be on hand.
This is the second annual Freedom Summit, and the free event hit capacity again. Last year’s get-together was in New Hampshire and featured many of the same speakers, although this time around, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is noticeably absent from the lineup. Hmmm …
Money for Marco
Sen. Marco Rubio is in full-on can’t stop, won’t stop mode. The Florida Republican just published his book, “American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone,” hit up donors at a luncheon tied to the tome’s release, and chatted up Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.” Plus, Rubio keeps on reminding everyone that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s decision to run for the White House won’t impact the senator’s presidential plans.
And this weekend, Rubio parties with his biggest fans at the Fourth Annual Team Marco Event in Miami Beach. The fundraiser, at the super swanky Delano South Beach Hotel, will benefit Rubio’s leadership PAC, the Rubio Victory Committee. Fingers crossed for a round of Marco Polo in the hotel’s infinity pool.
Everything’s bigger in Texas
Our friends in the Lone Star State sure know how to throw a party. Whether they are hosting national Democrats for a star-studded shindig at a filmmaker’s home in Austin or gathering conservatives for Americans for Prosperity’s National Summit in Dallas, the good folks out in Texas never disappoint.
And this week, the tradition continues. Inauguration festivities will keep Austin buzzing for two days as the state welcomes Republican Greg Abbott to the Governor’s Mansion.
Things get started on Monday evening with what organizers are calling the Young Texans Celebration. The Josh Abbott Band – whose lead singer isn’t related to the incoming governor although they share the same last name – will perform at the Moody Theater, with tickets going for $35 per person.
The inauguration itself takes place Tuesday morning, and will be followed by a lunchtime BBQ (obviously). Word on the street is that planners ordered four tons of beef brisket! Eddie Deen & Company, which put together the grub for inaugural events for former Govs. Rick Perry and George W. Bush, will cater the meal, according to the Texas Tribune. Then, after the BBQ at the Capitol, there’s a parade along Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.
Things get fancier by Tuesday night, though, with a black tie inauguration gala at the Convention Center. Lady Antebellum and Pat Green are slated to headline the Future of Texas Ball, where tickets start at $75.
And who, you might ask, is bankrolling such a full schedule of celebratory events, which is estimated to cost upwards of $4 million? You’ll have to wait until after the party wraps to learn that. According to the Dallas Morning News, in a break from previous inaugural committees (and in a departure from Abbott’s campaign, which focused on government transparency), officials this year are staying quiet about the donors until after the champagne gets popped.
A few months after winning his first full term in Congress, Sen. Chris Coons celebrates by hitting the Party Time circuit with a fundraiser for his leadership PAC, Blue Hen PAC. On Wednesday night, the Delaware Democrat and his donors will hobnob at the Verizon Center while the Washington Wizards take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Tickets are $2,500 per person, which will put you in the “assist” category, while $5,000 for a pair will give you the distinction of a “three-pointer” contributor. We get the attempt at basketball-themed donor tiers, but could you all be a bit more creative – or at least consistent? How about ranking gifts as assists versus alley-oops? Or maybe labeling different levels as a layup versus a three-pointer?
Also: How has no one created a “bank shot” donor tier for a basketball fundraiser? Just sayin’.
And that wraps up your week in political parties, friends! What are we missing, and what have you heard about? Send whatever you’ve got right here.
Photo courtesy WikipediaTweet
Hello party people! As the march toward midterms continues, so does politicians’ cross-country cash grab. Your elected representatives are working hard for the money, partying big time with deep-pocketed donors and bringing in dough at a breakneck pace.
In fact, one of the best indicators of a packed party schedule is a look at what events didn’t make our weekly highlight list. A fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (headlined by Hillary Clinton, no less!) and a shoot-out at a gun club for Colorado State Senate candidate Ray Scott didn’t even make the cut. Friends, that’s saying something.
Even though our social calendar is packed this week, we just know there’s more stuff going on out there. What are we missing, and what have you heard about? If you are feeling generous, you can email us the goods or upload an official invite right here. And never fear: We keep our sources 100 percent confidential, so you can feel comfortable sharing with us.
And with that, let’s dive into your week in political parties!
The Donald goes to Iowa
Rep. Steve King and Donald Trump walk into a West Des Moines mansion …
No, that’s not the beginnings of a joke, and yes, that’s exactly what’s going to happen on Saturday evening. The billionaire businessman, one-time presidential candidate and purveyor of some truly fabulous quotes is hosting (what else?) An Evening with Donald Trump to benefit King’s reelection campaign. This comes the same week that a bankruptcy court will be hearing The Donald’s request to slash worker benefits at his troubled Atlantic City casino.
A September poll gave the Iowa Republican an 11-point lead over his Democratic challenger, Jim Mowrer, but the race for campaign cash is a different story. Sunlight’s Real-Time tracker tool shows that Mowrer has raised more money and has more cash on hand than King, who is running for his seventh term in the House.
King’s party with the Donald, which we heard about from our friends at the Des Moines Register, goes down at George Cataldo’s $2.6 million pad on Tulip Tree Lane, the site of a 2012 private fundraiser headlined by Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. And if the host’s name sounds vaguely familiar to horse racing fans, yes, Cataldo is the part owner of Paddy O’Prado, the thoroughbred who came in third in 2010’s Kentucky Derby.
And if all that wasn’t enough, the Trump-headlined party – which will also feature Iowa Republicans Sen. Chuck Grassley, Rep. Tom Latham, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds – comes on the heels of another celebrity nod for the King camp. Chuck Norris endorsed King last week, but no news about any upcoming campaign events with the “Walker, Texas Ranger” star.
The hectic schedule continues this week when the VP travels to sunnier states to headline Democratic fundraisers. First up is a jaunt down to Florida on Monday for a party for Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor who is running for his old position, but this time as a Democrat. Crist may be a convert, but Party Time’s data show he’s gotten loads of help from Dem bigwigs, getting feted by the likes of Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as mega Sunshine State fundraisers Mitchell Berger and John Morgan.
On Tuesday, Biden travels to South Carolina for two events. He and his wife, Jill Biden, are slated to headline a get-out-the-vote event in Columbia before attending a fundraiser for the state’s Democratic Party. It’s Biden’s second trip so far this year to the Palmetto State, site of the first in the presidential primary in the South. In May, he did a similar one-two punch, giving the keynote at a state party luncheon fundraiser and then delivering the commencement speech at the University of South Carolina.
With multiple warm weather stops in his near future, look for Biden to sneak in a stop to an ice cream stand or two.
The partier-in-chief is at it again with another batch of fundraisers this week. As of this writing, President Barack Obama has three events on the books, but Party Time totally expects that number to increase. After all, his schedule last week included stops in D.C., New York, Connecticut, Los Angeles and San Francisco. (If you know of a presidential party that we don’t have on our list, you know what to do! Send whatever you’ve got right here.)
Obama gets started on Tuesday with a roundtable discussion and dinner for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the McLean home of Tori Winkler Thomas, a longtime Dem donor. DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. – both rock stars in their own right on the partying circuit – will join the president.
On Wednesday, it will be a DSCC fundraiser in Union, N.J., the Newark Star-Ledger reports, and then up to Connecticut for an old-fashioned campaign rally. Were you lucky enough to get an invite to the Union do? Give us the confidential upload right here.
Come Thursday, Obama travels to Long Island for a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Garden City Hotel. Jay Jacobs, the head of the Nassau County Democratic Party, and his wife, Mindy, will host the event. Although Obama hits up New York donors often, Thursday’s shindig marks the first time the president has been at a fundraiser in that part of the Empire State, according to local reporters.
GOP ’16 prospects hit $$ trail
Republican governors unite! This week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, two state heads often in the mix as likely presidential potentials, stump for other GOP gubernatorial candidates.
Christie, who has traveled all over and brought in mega money as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, starts off his week on Tuesday with a private fundraiser in Maine for Gov. Paul LePage. Former Sen. Olympia Snowe and her husband, former Gov. John McKernan Jr. – a Pine Tree State power couple if there ever was one – will also be on hand to gin up support during the lunchtime event.
On Thursday, Christie makes his way to Chicago for a luncheon for the state’s Republican Party. Tickets start at $1,000 per plate, but $10,000 gets you six spots at the private roundtable, seats at lunch and entry to a photo reception. And Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk and Reps. Rodney Davis, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Peter Roskam, Aaron Schock and John Shimkus will all party alongside Bruce Rauner, who is hoping to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November.
Of all the races Christie has weighed in on, the gubernatorial contest in his neighboring state of New York isn’t one of them. In fact, in July, the RGA head said he wouldn’t campaign for Rob Astorino, calling it a “landslide” race since the gubernatorial hopeful is so far behind Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the polls. After that dustup, a handful of other Republican governors (Govs. Jindal, Rick Perry, Scott Walker and Mike Pence – also all on the long list of possible presidential candidates in 2016) pledged to support Astorino.
At the end of September, Perry headlined a party for Astorino, and this week, it’s Jindal’s turn. On Thursday evening, the Bayou State governor will be the main attraction at the Union League Club event, where $2,500 will snag you a photo and a spot at the VIP reception.
Jindal will then head to Connecticut on Friday for a fundraiser for Tom Foley, the Republican hoping to unseat Gov. Dannel Malloy. To underscore the heated nature of that race, the president will be heading up to the Nutmeg State earlier in the week — not for a fundraiser, however. On Wednesday, Obama will be headlining one of his trademark fire-’em-up rallies on behalf of Malloy.
Party people, that’s a wrap for the week! It’s a busy one, but what did we miss and what have you heard about? Let us know!
Photo courtesy WikimediaTweet
Party people, welcome to the first Monday after McCutcheon.
We are bracing ourselves for an influx of fundraiser invites, seeing as the Supreme Court gave a heave-ho to that pesky cap on aggregate contributions. Now, anyone can dole out big-time bucks to federal candidates and political parties, limits be damned! Get ready to make it rain, K Street.
This only means more parties, friends. As politicians’ call lists grow, expect more invites to receptions at Johnny’s Half Shell, meet-and-greets at Tortilla Coast, and luncheons at Bistro Bis. (In the market for a creative way to get out of writing another check? We’ve got you covered with this list of excuses.)
And as your inboxes get flooded with invites, you know what to do – send them our way! We are dying to know who is taking advantage of the new no-limit rule and clamoring to get more money into their campaign coffers. Special Party Time kudos (hey, we may even get you a special PT hat!) for the intrepid soul who snags us the first invite to a funder for the-lid’s-off, post-McCutcheon committees that Sunlight’s own Jacob Fenton has dubbed “a super-joint.” We think that makes him a contender in the contest over at The Fix!
Let’s dig into this week, party people. And remember to send whatever you’ve got right here!
Obama heads to Houston
Another Wednesday, another fundraiser. After doing a twofer in Chicago last week, President Barack Obama hits up donors this Wednesday in Houston at a pricey fundraiser. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will also attend.
Pharmaceutical lawyer John Eddie Williams and his wife, Sheridan, will host the partier-in-chief at their fancy-pants River Oaks home. This feels like a perfect matchup: The Williams couple knows how to throw a successful fundraiser and Obama knows how to get people to write a big check. (For those keeping track at home, PT records show this is the president’s 14th party since February.)
GOP = Going Out to Party
New Hampshire and Iowa are always popular party destinations for politicians with an eye toward higher office. Getting in good with the locals and the state’s party leadership usually pays off come voting time in these early primary states – and people mentioned in conversations about 2016 (see: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.) drop by strategically and often.
The upcoming weekend is no different, as Party Time has four big-time (and big-name) events on the books for both states. The Republican Party of New Hampshire kicks things off on Friday evening with a Rally with Rand in Dover. It’s 50 bucks for what’s billed as a “casual reception” with the Kentucky senator. But that’s just the warm-up to Saturday’s conservative gabfest in Manchester at the first annual Freedom Summit.
Paul and Cruz are slated to speak at the daylong meeting, as are Donald Trump, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Newt and Callista Gingrich, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, Iowa Rep. Steve King, and American Enterprise Institute head Arthur Brooks. A couple of groups you may have heard of – Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity Foundation – are hosting the sold-out event.
Meanwhile, over in Iowa, that state’s Republican Party will have its Lincoln Dinner Friday night in Cedar Rapids. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is the keynote speaker, and a fistful of Hawkeye State politicians will hobnob with donors paying between $75 and $1,000 for the dinner.
In a noteworthy nod to New Hampshire, Iowa’s King won’t be sticking around for the Lincoln Dinner’s after party. After that event wraps up, King will make his way over to New Hampshire where he’s a confirmed speaker at the Freedom Summit.
And Ryan will make the most of his westward trip, stopping in Chicago en route to his evening gig in Iowa. Friday afternoon, he’ll work the crowd at a luncheon fundraiser for Bob Dold, who is looking to reclaim his old House seat.
Georgians go for green
Turns out, it’s the week for GOP state delegations to party hard. On Monday evening, Georgia Republicans get together in Atlanta for the state party’s Spring Gala. Gov. Nathan Deal and a bunch of state pols will celebrate with T.W. Shannon, a “rising GOP star” running to replace retiring Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn. Also invited to attend the event? The full complement of Georgia’s GOP congressional delegation, which may make for an interesting evening.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is stepping down this year, will be there, as will three of the people hoping for a chance to replace him. Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston continue to duke it out in a crowded primary race, which will be held in May.
Rep. Austin Scott, who represents Georgia’s 8th District, is also invited to the event. But Scott’s got some of his own fundraising to do, thank you very much. Monday afternoon, the National Maritime Manufacturers Association’s Boat PAC hosts a Cherry Blossom Cruise for Scott, with tickets starting at $500. The cruise should wrap up by 4:30, so if he hustles, he might be able to make dessert and coffee at the Spring Gala. Busy day!
Bill steps up for Marjorie
In a bit of a ’90s flashback, former President Bill Clinton rallies the faithful in Philadelphia this week for Marjorie Margolies. Margolies is running in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s 13th District seat, which she held in 1992. But she only served one term, getting the boot from constituents after she delivered the last vote Clinton needed to pass his 1993 budget.
So Bubba is returning the favor and bringing some star power to Thursday’s noontime fundraiser.
It’s not the first time Margolies is calling on her Clinton connections, either; last October, she had an event with Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Oh, and did we mention that Margolies is Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law? We anticipate a fair bit of good-natured ribbing about picking up the pace on grandchildren.
The Kentucky Senate race continues to keep us on our toes. This week, in a grab bag of hosts, various PACs representing car companies, chemical manufacturing and alternative energy production are throwing a party for Sen. Mitch McConnell. Tickets to Thursday’s dinner at the Toyota HQ in downtown D.C. start at $1,000 and go up to $5,000.
The minority leader is a prolific fundraiser, and a recent peek at how one of his fundraising dinners goes down gives a little insight as to how he became so formidable on the social circuit. Looks like McConnell uses the silent treatment to his advantage, telling party attendees that they have to give the maximum amount and then simply waiting until they do.
This is the first fundraiser on the books for McConnell since the McCutcheon ruling, which makes us wonder just how much – and how – he’ll make donors pay up. Yikes.
(Photo courtesy Flickr)Tweet
Hey, party people, hey! It has been a busy few weeks on the party circuit, and we love hearing about all of the fundraiser details: What was on the menu for Vice President Joe Biden’s visit? How were Rep. Tom Price’s dance moves at the Justin Timberlake concert? (Know more details, or have some invites to share? Send it all here.)
This week is shaping up to be a bit more traditional, with your run-of-the-mill luncheons and receptions. But even those can get interesting once you throw in a boldfaced politician or two, such as the fundraiser-in-chief himself: President Barack Obama will be out shaking the money tree for his party. And on Friday, the Republican Governors Association will be lunching and fundraising in Atlanta with Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Nathan Deal. The two GOP leaders continue to get heat for recent traffic issues in their respective states, with Christie not able to shake the George Washington Bridge scandal at home and Deal still recovering from the snow-induced commuter nightmare at the end of January.
And, as he’s fond of doing once every few months, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., is having one of his Bagels with Ben fundraisers on Wednesday morning. We’ve always had a soft spot for this event, seeing as it combines two of our absolute favorite things – alliteration and carbohydrates.
Let’s keep this train going, folks. Here’s the rest of your week in parties!
No, not that “Magic Mike.” We’re talking about Mike McFadden, the investment-banker-turned-Senate-candidate hoping for a magical run for Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s seat.
Franken squeaked into the Senate in 2008, besting his Republican opponent by just 312 votes (out of the approximately 2.4 million cast). But after six years of legislating, fundraising and shedding a bit of his “SNL”/Hollywood boisterousness, Franken doesn’t look as vulnerable as he once did. Rothenberg even put the seat into the “Safe Democrat” column for the 2014 cycle.
No matter – the GOP is throwing some of its biggest names behind McFadden this Wednesday at Party Time’s first recorded fundraiser for the Republican candidate. Last May, McFadden stepped down from his post as co-CEO of Lazard Middle Market to focus on his campaign; just a few months later, and he’s partying with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 13 other senators, plus former Minnesota Sens. Rudy Boschwitz and Norm Coleman.
Our Real-Time tracker shows McFadden will need to keep the parties coming in order to elbow out Franken, who has been known to get creative on the social circuit. The Republican has just shy of $1.7 million in the bank compared to Franken’s $4.8 million.
Mike Making Money
Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Mass., wants to stay in the House and is having a luncheon this week to prove it. The Massachusetts native will fundraise over cheeseboards and meatball appetizers at Sonoma Restaurant on Wednesday afternoon.
This funder comes a few months after Capuano opted out of a run for governor in his home state. The Democratic primary would’ve pit him against Attorney General Martha Coakley, who bested Capuano once before. Back in 2010, the two duked it out for a chance to face Republican Scott Brown in that year’s special election for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat. Capuano lost that primary by almost 20 points, and then Brown won the general, becoming the first Republican senator elected from the Bay State since 1972.
Party Time’s data show the luncheon fundraiser is a go-to move for Capuano, but we’ve got high hopes that the congressman will spice it up a little during this campaign. After all, his nephew is “Fantastic Four” actor Chris Evans, who went out on the trail in the run-up to the 2010 special election. If you hear about a Capuano party in the works, you know what to do – send the details here.
Rally that base
This weekend (in a fairly accurate visualization of our country’s political polarization, by the way), the right and the left will be partying with some of their staunchest supporters on opposite coasts.
In Los Angeles, California Dems are having their State Convention, and inviting a fistful of big names to draw all sorts of blue state voters and operatives. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will all be on hand on Saturday, as will Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (a potential 2016 White House contender) and Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
Across the country, on the Maryland Harbor, the Conservative Political Action Conference will get going on Thursday. This is going to be the place to be for conservative activists and politicians this weekend, and boy oh boy, it looks to be a jam-packed weekend.
Be sure to come caffeinated: Things get started at 9 a.m. with speeches from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and Donald Trump. And the hits just keep on coming Friday and Saturday – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Heritage President Jim DeMint, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin are all slated to speak. And if all that speechifying gets you down, check out the Ann Coulter-Mickey Kaus debate Saturday afternoon.
Democrats hit the road
We know the president is scheduled to headline an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in DC on Tuesday and, the following day, two fundraisers in Boston for the Democratic National Committee. But if you’ve got more deets, please share!
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has a busy weekend planned. He’ll pop down to Florida on Friday and then head north on Sunday for two days in New York. He’s had the trips on the books for a few weeks now, and the timing couldn’t be better for the freshman senator. Last Wednesday, Udall and political watchers everywhere learned that Republican Rep. Cory Gardner would challenge Udall rather than running for reelection to the House seat he has held since 2010. Expect the GOP to pour lots of money and resources into this race, as Gardner is considered an up-and-comer and the National Republican Senatorial Committee made him a top recruiting target. Gardner has close — very close — ties to the energy industry, Sunlight has found.
With his southern California district encompassing some of the best-known movie and TV studios, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., knows the powerful draw of a big-screen star. This weekend, he is having his Second Annual Weekend with the Stars fundraiser in L.A. Specifics are TBA, although there is a nifty film role on the invitation, undeniable proof that donors will be rubbing elbows with celebs all weekend long.
Photo courtesy WikipediaTweet
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
Congress is coming back from spring break and so are the parties! Party Time’s most newsy get of the upcoming week is undoubtedly the invite to the birthday luncheon that “The” Donald Trump is hosting in New York for Ann Romney, the new poster child for stay-at-home moms. It’s just one of more than 20 fundraising events crowding the PartyTime database as lawmakers return from a two-week spring break. The highlights:
Happy Birthday Ann! Talk about fortunate timing for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee: Would-be first lady Ann Romney, the perceived victim in a media furor over what constitutes a working mom, will be the honoree at a Women for Romney reception at Trump Tower in honor of her birthday. The invite goes out of the way to assure maxed-out donors they can attend — as long as they bring a guest who can cough up the $1,000 ticket price. The New York City event comes as Mitt Romney has been focusing on the GOP’s gender gap to attract more female voters.
Bidens and the other Clinton raise money for 2012. Vice President Biden and two of his children, Ashley Biden and Hunter Biden, will join former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis on Tuesday at a Gen 44 fundraiser for President Obama’s reelection campaign. Tickets start at $44 and run to $2,500 for the photo reception. The venue is the just-reopened Howard Theatre.
Get away to South Carolina: For those who would like to escape the district, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., will be having his annual D.C.-to-South Carolina trip this weekend. The event, which begins April 22 at The Sanctuary Hotel on the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, will cost $3,000 per PAC and $1,500 for individuals.
Check our list of “upcoming fundraising events” at right for the full schedule of this week’s breakfasts, lunches, receptions and dinners.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.