Orange Julius – Today, Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., is scheduled to attend the National Orange Show Annual Awards Dinner in San Bernardino, Calif. To join Baca at this event, tickets range from $5,000 for PACs to $99 for individual contributions. Baca’s fundraiser invitations appear frequently in the Party Time database.
Tuesday Moneymakers – Tuesday is a popular day to fundraise this week for several members of Congress. Legendary R&B singer Chaka Khan is the featured entertainment at an evening concert at the Birchmere, where Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga. plans to raise cash. Cost is $85 for a ticket from Ticketmaster; Johnson is asking donors for $1,500 for one ticket, $2,500 for two.Meanwhile, Reps. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., are planning fundraisers at the Washington Capitals vs. St. Louis Blues hockey game. Stearns’ event is hosted by former Texas Rep. Jack Fields, now a lobbyist for the Twenty-First Century Group, along with an AT&T lobbyist, a Verizon lobbyist, and another with the Glover Park Group. Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., will be hosting a seasonal New York Apple Harvest Reception at the National Democratic Club Townhouse. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. plans to appear at a dinner fundraiser benefiting Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Tuesday night.
Race for Massachusetts - As the Massachusetts Senate race continues to heat up, Sen. Scott Brown continues his fundraising efforts on Wednesday as he hosts a breakfast fundraiser. To join Brown for breakfast, tickets start at $2,500 for PACs and $1,000 for individuals.
Big Easy in DC – Bringing Louisiana flavor to the nation’s capitol, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D. La., will be hosting an evening filled with sweets and treats from the Bayou at her Capitol Hill home on Wednesday.
Tired of Turkey, Try Chinese Takeout – If people are tired of Thanksgiving leftovers, they can join Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., on Wednesday for Chinese Takeout. Hosts are lobbyists Dan Mattoon and Mike Zarrelli.
Texas Sized Breakfast – Originally scheduled for October 25, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, R-Texas, breakfast fundraiser has been rescheduled for this Thursday. Former Super Committee Member Rep. Xavier Becerra, R-Calif., is scheduled to attend as a special guest.
Tis’ the Season – As 2011 comes to a close, politicians are scrambling to raise money with holiday cheer. This Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will be hosting a holiday party featuring Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. This fundraiser is to benefit a long list of “Frontline Members,” including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., Melvin Watt, D-N.C., and Heath Schuler, D-N.C. will also be hosting holiday themed fundraisers on Thursday. Sewell will be having a holiday cupcakes and cocktails reception; Watt will be hosting a “holiday sip” in the evening; and Shuler will kick-off winter with a Southern reception.
Rep. Gwen Moore, D- Wis., is hosting a holiday concert fundraiser featuring American Idol finalist and Wisconsin native Naima Adedapo this Saturday. Attendees can pay $75 for two tickets or $50 for one ticket.
California Dreamin’ – Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., will be at Honorable Tom Reynold’s 19th Annual Pebble Beach Golf Weekend starting Dec.2-4. The cost is $5,000 per PAC and $2,500 per individual.
For the complete list of fundraisers this week, check out Party Time.Tweet
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
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
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
A new fundraiser was also disclosed involving Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who has planned to attend ten such events from September through November, when the so-called super committee wraps up its work: five for his campaign, three for his leadership PAC and two for his colleagues. The newly disclosed event is a golf outing and dinner to raise money for Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., in Birmingham, Ala. on Sept. 26.
Van Hollen’s event, at 8 a.m. on Sept. 23, would conflict with any informal, collegial breakfast of the type the 12-member deficit committee held today. The panel is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion of deficit cuts by Thanksgiving.
Van Hollen’s breakfast will take place just across the street from the Capitol at Charlie Palmer Steak, a frequent destination for such events, and asks for between $500 and $5,000. The Maryland Democrat was also billed as the special guest to a fundraiser for Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, earlier today and is hosting one for Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., on Oct. 5.
Nine lawmakers on the 12-member super committee have scheduled fundraisers or appearances at colleagues’ events since being named to the committee (See them all on our Super Committee page or on this list).
In Party Time’s records, there are currently no events planned for co-chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., or Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., through Thanksgiving. However, such events could still be scheduled; we do not receive invitations to every congressional fundraiser in Washington, D.C.Tweet
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
With the end of the second quarter on the horizon, lawmakers are scheduling more than the usual number of fundraisers to get in as much campaign cash as they can before June 30. Party Time has received 162 invitations to congressional fundraisers scheduled for the last ten days of June.
These events run the gamut from the usual dinners and receptions to Rep. Rush Holt’s, D-N.J., 7th Annual Jeopardy Event. Attendees of the event will have to pay at least $250 for the honor of being bested by 5-time Jeopardy Champion Holt, a man who has even beaten IBM supercomputer Watson.
For those more interested in outdoor competition, two senators and their leadership PACs will be hosting golf events. On June 20, Sen. Richard Bur, R-N.C., and his Next Century PAC will be hitting the links at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainsville VA. The price to tee off will range from $1,000 to $2,5000. From June 24 to June 26, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., will be on the greens at the Harbourtown Golf Course in St. Michaels, Maryland. Contributions will run $5,000 and be made to Cardin’s leadership PAC, LEGPAC.
Less than a month after her victory in the special election for New York’s 26th district, Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., will be the beneficiary of a fundraiser for her 2012 re-election campaign. The fundraiser will be held on June 21 at the home of fellow New York Democratic representative Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. Also present at the event to welcome Hochul into the fold will be freshmen Democratic representatives Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Terri Sewell, D-Ala. Listed contributions start at $250 and top out at $5,000.
Democrats will also be fundraising for another candidate in a special congressional election. A reception benefitting Janice Hahn, the Democrat in the special election to replace Jane Harman of California, is scheduled at the Democratic National Headquarters on June 22. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is headlining the event along with the Democratic house leadership including Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. The invitation lists nineteen Democratic members of the California congressional delegation who will be there in support of the candidate as well.Tweet
The week after AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka suggested that the labor union would challenge Democrats who fail to support the movement, six Democrats are holding fundraisers targeted at unions. While the events were scheduled well in advance of Trumka’s speech at the National Press Club, his words may have these Democrats toeing the labor line.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters are scheduled to host two fundraisers at their offices today. In the morning, Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., will stop by for a “Labor Breakfast” and collect contributions of $250 to $5,000 while Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., will be honored in the evening at a “Labor Reception” where the checks will be written for $500 to $2,500.
Two other Democrats benefited from labor fundraisers yesterday. Rep. Brian Higgins, D- N.Y., was scheduled to be honored at a reception hosted by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, an AFL-CIO affiliate. The suggested contribution levels for the event ranged from $250 to $2,500. At the same hour, Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., was the beneficiary of a “Labor Breakfast,” hosted by the Teamsters. Suggested contributions to the Deutch campaign were $1,000 for a guest, and $2,500 as a host.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., will be honored tomorrow with a “Labor Lunch” at the offices of the American Federation of Teachers, another AFL-CIO affiliated union. Suggested contributions for the event start at $1,500 and max out at $5,000.
Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the number three Democrat in the House, was the beneficiary of a fundraiser at a “Labor Lunch” yesterday at the headquarters of the Communications Workers of America, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Clyburn’s relationship with labor is an interesting one as he represents a district in a right to work state with low union membership. Additionally his district borders an area in which Boeing has recently opened a new manufacturing facility, which prompted an allegation of union intimidation from the National Labor Relations Board. Boeing also contributed $10,000 to the 2010 reelection campaign of Rep. Clyburn.Tweet
Members of Congress and candidates hold fundraisers at all different hours and in all different forms – from casual policy talks over bagels to evening steakhouse sit-downs, and, oftentimes, they choose to hold these events around the day’s main meals.
Which meal a lawmaker picks for such events largely depends on the member’s habits and schedule, according to interviews with a pair of fundraising consultants.
In the adjacent graphic representing all of the breakfasts, lunches and dinners in Party Time’s database of fundraising invitations last year, we tallied 965 breakfasts, 729 lunches and 368 dinners.
There’s nothing scientific about these totals, since an event description (which we call “entertainment type”) is usually but not always included on the invitation. And this graphic does not include another very common kind of event — receptions — which usually occur in the evening.
But the graphic does show that a high volume of Washington fundraisers takes place throughout the day. According to a GOP consultant who did not want her name published, shindigs of all types have increased over the years, due to a constant push from members to fundraising consultants to raise more money.
“There’s more fundraising so there’s a greater need to have it at more times of the day,” she said. “Members used to do two big cattle calls a year,” she added.
Those days are long gone. She said moneymakers are now smaller and targeted towards an industry, such as a financial services breakfast. The more intimate affairs mean lobbyists and corporate PAC types get “more bang for their fundraising buck,” she added.
“You want to make people think that if they’re giving you money…they’re having some form of interaction,” she said.
The meals also serve an important function for members and lobbyists, providing a space where lobbyists can get face time, after a 2007 congressional gift ban barred lobbyists from taking a member of Congress out to eat. One of that law’s loopholes is for political fundraisers, where members can accept food, lodging and transportation associated with an event. (See page 47 of the House Ethics Manual).
Lawmakers also fancied holding many other kinds of events last year. They put on at least 55 birthday celebration fundraisers, 31 happy hours and 35 “meet and greets.” A fundraiser centered around coffee at least 37 times. Of course, there were likely many more such events, as Party Time does not grab all of Washington’s invitations.
Many members prefer breakfasts, according to Democratic fundraising consultant Tom Erickson.
“[Breakfasts] are cheaper, they’re quicker, people get to work on time and members are done for the day,” he said.
One former, senior GOP member was strictly a breakfast guy, as he wanted to get back to his family and did not like socializing late into the night, the Republican consultant said.
Longtime congressman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, favors early breakfasts, with the vast majority of his events in Party Time records last year being limited seating breakfasts at the GOP-only Capitol Hill Club (attendance to some was capped at six people).
Brady opts for early fundraisers so they stay “out of his busy, official schedule,” and he can talk policy, according to his campaign spokeswoman Francine Stanfield.
“He prefers the small groups so he can explore complicated issues like tax, trade, energy and social security in-depth,” Stanfield said.
Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., seems to like his breakfasts at downtown offices of lobby groups or firms that hire lobbyists. Last year he planned at least six such morning events benefiting his campaign or his leadership PAC, including fundraisers at three of the top grossing lobby shops: Patton Boggs, Akin Gump, and Williams & Jensen. Akin Gump was one of Clyburn’s top donors last election cycle, sending over $16,000 the congressman’s way, which includes donations from the group’s PAC and employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Clyburn’s office did not respond to multiple emails and a phone call.
The graphic also shows that campaigns try to squeeze in a lot of fundraisers in the last month of the quarter — in March, June and September. The Federal Election Commission requires campaigns to submit the donations they received each quarter. These publicized totals matter, in an election year particularly, because campaigns use them to show off their fundraising credentials to both opponents and supporters.
On one end-of-quarter day, Erickson had to juggle four separate breakfasts for his clients, a situation he tries to avoid.
“We try to front load ours because at the end of the quarter it can get insane. We try to do a lot of follow-up calls,” he said.
Note: The original version of this post neglected to include “last year” when describing Rep. Brady’s invitations in Party Time’s files.Tweet
It’s no surprise that Martha’s Vineyard, secluded and home to mostly liberals, where the Clintons liked to visit and where President Obama and his family will vacation starting Thursday, is also a place where top Congressional Democrats would choose to hold fundraisers.
A day after the commander-in-chief arrives for a stay on a private farm, Oakland Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Barbara Lee, D-Calif., will kick off a weekend fundraiser, and if last year’s jaunt is any clue, the festivities could run the campaign more than $18,000, according to analysis of expenditure reports.
Once again, Lee has invited Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., Obama’s scheduled golf buddy last summer, to be a special guest at the fundraiser, and he’ll be attending, his campaign said. This time around, G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., another member of the CBC, also got top billing on the invitation.
Clyburn, whose leadership PAC has given $5,000 to Lee this cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, has been a draw to at least 19 Democratic fundraisers this year. He has also given more than $1.2 million to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year, according to this report in Hotline OnCall.
Many have weighed in on why Democrats flock to Martha’s Vineyard. It’s tolerant and unpretentious, Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree Jr. told the New York Times. The town of Oak Bluffs, where Rep. Lee and her entourage spent some time last summer, according to expenditure reports, is an historic black neighborhood, where Spike Lee and Henry Louis Gates have homes.
It’s also a secluded island, and an expensive one at that, where celebrities can let down their guard down and not worry about paparazzi, Skip Finley, a radio broadcasting executive who calls Oak Bluffs home, told the Times. He donated $450 to Rep. Lee during her weekend event last summer, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He has also given a total of $3,000 to Clyburn over the years.
Yet the Lee campaign has invited guests to stay in Edgartown, more upscale than Oak Bluffs, on the water at the Harbor View Hotel & Resort, which cost the campaign about $4,400 last year, according to expenditure records.
A happy hour at Harbor View and a dinner at Edgartown’s l’etoile Restaurant, with the tab coming to about $6,400, according to CRP, were both on last summer’s agenda. An afternoon sail on a catamaran from Edgartown Harbor cost the campaign $2,300.
Lee also spent $750 for a fundraiser at Cousen Rose Gallery, a cultural salon in Oak Bluffs, where she also had time to do a book signing for Renegade for Peace and Justice: Congresswoman Barbara Lee Speaks for Me, reported the Vineyard Gazette (paywalled).
Just being ferried around the island cost the campaign about $850 (Adam Cab). Then there was about $250 of “supplies” brought from a booze and convenience store (Jim’s Package Store), and a $300 fee to a piano player (Peter MacLean), according to expenditure records from CRP.
Just like last year, for $3,000, PACs could send a couple to the event. The ask for individuals is $2,400.
It’s unclear who attended in 2009, but among the eight PACs that gave exactly $3,000 between June and August is the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department. By sector, labor contributes the most to the Oakland Rep., followed by lawyers and lobbyists.
Student lender Sallie Mae and top campaign contributors the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Boeing, Pfizer, Comcast were also among the batch of PACs giving at that time, according to CRP.
To view all of the parties attended by Clyburn and other top brass, Party Time recently unveiled an “Events by congressional leadership” page, where all of the events attended by Clyburn and other members of the top brass are listed, as well as this page where you can see events where commitee leaders appear. You can also sign up to receive email alerts for events added to each of these pages.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.