Today is September 21st
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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Football, funders and our friends on Capitol Hill

What better way to celebrate a member of Congress than with a lil’ pigskin? The District’s chilly days and fast-changing leaves signal the coming of pumpkin spice lattes, football and of course congressional funders.

We must have ESP(N). Just this past Monday we here at Sunlight were discussing professional football’s popularity among our members of Congress, when lo and behold, what’s made its way over our transom: another NFL fundraising invite!

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., aims to catch some campaign cash this Sunday, as the Washington Redskins take on the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. As the ‘Skins try to steal their first win of the season, Brad Cheney and Bill Killmer (Note: this is not the similarly-named former Washington QB) of the Mortgage Bankers Association will be on hand. This may or may not have something to do with Warner’s place on the Senate Committee on Banking.

While Warner, a George Washington University grad, may have rooted for the boys in burgundy and gold for years, a survey of FedEx Field fundraisers show that local NFL games are a fundraising fixture for lawmakers from across the nation.

But the cash-chasing opportunities of the most lucrative professional sport in the world aren’t just limited to live games. In the past, prospective members have charged donors thousands just for the pleasure of watching a televised NFL game at the local wing joint and young Democrats enjoyed a lovely afternoon of financial football at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

When it comes to the political fundraising scene, the NFL is no benchwarmer. It’s not just the formidable campaign and K Street clout of the NFL; PT archives show that members of Congress aren’t immune from football frenzy.

In June, the gridiron gang played host to two fundraisers for Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who serves on the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety. The NFL is has huge workplace issues, as illustrated by the class-action suit it recently lost from former players affected by head injuries.

Been to a football funder we don’t know about? Got an invitation. As always, make sure to send ‘em this way

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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venues of interest • POSTED - 09.02.10 BY Keenan Steiner

With luxury suite, Crapo capitalizes on Boise State football

With Boise State, an Idaho school which some observers say could win college football’s national championship this year, coming to the D.C. area to play its season opener on national television Monday night, Sen. Mike Crapo’s, R-Idaho, campaign team saw a chance to add to his war chest.

“It’s not far from the general election, and we’re fundraising. Period. So, it’s an opportunity that arose and people are excited about it,” said Jake Ball, the senior senator’s campaign manager.

The senior senator, running in November for a third term, will be rubbing elbows with high-rollers in a luxury suite — purchased directly from the stadium, the campaign said — at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, home of the Washington Redskins. According to the invitation, donors are asked to contribute the maximum campaign contribution for a ticket: $5,000-per-PAC and $2,400-per-person, and “payment is required to secure tickets.”

The Broncos are playing the Virginia Tech Hokies, a perennial powerhouse, in the so-called “Battle at the Capital.”

Thousands of Idahoans – including this cash-strapped family — will be traveling across the country to watch the Broncos, a smaller and newer program than the large schools it competes against.

“It’s a big deal because a team from Idaho would not normally travel to the East Coast to play a football game,” Ball said.

Crapo’s seat is safe, according to observers, but Ball said the campaign is going full steam ahead nonetheless.

At about $4 million, Crapo has already raised nearly double what he did for his 2004 campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Suites for the game are being sold for between $5,000 to $16,000, depending on the location and size of the suite, according to a FedEx Field ticket agent. Twenty-person boxes are on the low end, while 40-person boxes are pricier.

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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.