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


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Uncategorized • POSTED - 09.01.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Alison Lundergan Grimes raffles off lunch with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. John Boehner fundraises in Denver, and Bill Clinton parties for Dems in New York City

Hello, party people, and welcome to September! It’s the official start of what promises to be a very busy fall full of fundraisers for November’s midterm election. As politicians hunker down for the final stretch of their races, they’ll be asking you to dole out some serious campaign cash. It’s all about the money, honey!

Although Capitol Hill emptied out for August, Party Time’s records show that the partying did not stop when Congress hit the road for a five-week break. In fact, this was one of the busiest Augusts on the books for Party Time. We counted 135 parties last month, which clobbered last year’s tally of 89 events. It looks like the politicians just took the partying with them, hitting up supporters from sea to shining sea: Of last month’s 135 parties, only two of them took place in D.C.

Know of a fundraiser that happened last month and isn’t on our calendar? You know what to do! Upload invites right here, or email us tips or news clippings. And that, of course, goes for upcoming events, too. We want all of it! Send anything and everything right here.

The outside-the-Beltway fundraising trend continues this week, as politicians seem to want to extend that summer break as long as possible. In fact, a handful of them will pack their bags for a long weekend getaway. On Friday, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., will head back to his home state for his annual dove hunt weekend, and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., follows suit with a trip up to the Chesapeake Bay for a golf weekend. And Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., makes his way to French Lick, Ind., for a two-day golf trip with donors.

What else is on the books for this week? So glad you asked. Here’s your week in political parties!

No such thing as a free lunch
From the get-go, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes hasn’t wanted for bold-named supporters. The Kentucky Senate candidate, running against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has collected cash from the likes of Steven Spielberg and Ben Affleck and partied with Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Bill Clinton – twice!

Given McConnell’s long tenure in the Senate and his front-and-center leadership role, Democrats are salivating at the chance to unseat him. Combine that with McConnell’s own fundraising prowess, and you’ve got a truly epic race, one that some predict will cost more than $100 million by the time the dust settles.

Grimes’ reliance on Dem heavyweights continues this week, as her campaign raffles off a D.C. lunch date with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. The fundraiser sweepstakes isn’t the first time Warren has helped out Grimes, either: The two partied at back-to-back events in Kentucky at the end of June. And it’s just another example of how Warren – a liberal darling for her anti-Wall Street rhetoric – is the new “it” fundraiser for Democrats. Her partying schedule shows her bouncing from coast to coast to provide some progressive street cred to candidates and to help them raise tons of campaign cash.

Boehner brings in the bucks
Searching for an equally star-powered get-together for Republicans? Look no further than Tuesday’s early evening reception for Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, which features Speaker of the House John Boehner as the “special guest.”

It’s the latest installment of the Ohio Republican’s summertime road trip, which found him on a 14-state excursion filled with campaigning and fundraising. Boehner also huddled recently with donors and a handful of his Republican House colleagues in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where talk focused on how to pick up additional seats in the House and – you guessed it – the need for more campaign cash. (Bonus: Organizers also showed this highlight reel of sorts from Boehner’s bus tour.)

Coffman’s race, which pits him against Democrat and former state Rep. Andrew Romanoff, is one of the most closely watched this cycle, with the Rothenberg Political Report calling it out as one of the nation’s seven “Pure Toss-Up” contests in the House. And although Coffman is the one with the big-name event this week, Romanoff has gotten some support from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who headlined parties for him this July and back in August 2013.

Dem dollars
In yet another indicator that November’s election is just around the corner, Thursday’s Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in New York features three headliners who can be counted on to inspire donors to cut a fat check: Pelosi, New York Rep. Steve Israel and former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton, who logged a busy summer full of events for state-level party committees and a fistful of various candidates, continues to be a popular surrogate for Democrats. Thursday’s shindig is the first in what promises to be a long string of pre-midterm parties. And soon, Hillary Clinton – of will-she-or-won’t-she-in-2016 fame – will join in on the partying fun.

In the next few weeks, H. Clinton will be the featured speaker at four fundraisers, including an all-important stop in Iowa for Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual (and final) Steak Fry. For those keeping track at home, yes, this will mark Clinton’s first trip to the Hawkeye State since her 2008 presidential campaign.

Before the close of summer: some BBQ and classic rock
With summer wrapping up, you can’t help but want to squeeze in as many warm weather-themed activities as possible. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., is doing his part, throwing his annual Boozman & BBQ fundraiser in Little Rock. Tickets start at $60, but sponsorships cap out at $1,500.

If concerts are more in line with your idea of summer fun, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has just the ticket – well, he actually has two of them. Braley, who is running for the open Senate seat created by Harkin’s retirement against Republican Joni Ernst, is raffling off a pair of seats to Saturday night’s Eagles concert in Des Moines. We can’t decide between a play on “Take it to the Limit” or “The Last Resort,” so maybe it’s just better to let it go.

And that’s a wrap, party people! Know of anything good going on out there? Send whatever you’ve got right here.

Uncategorized • POSTED - 12.30.13 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Roundup: 2013 year in review, oddball parties edition

Hey, did somebody say party?

Yeah, we told you we were done for the year but as everybody togs up to say ta-ta to 2013, Party Time just had to get into the action. We’ve already given you our swell all-about-the-cash playlist. Now, as the old year winds down, we decided to indulge in our own version of Auld Lang Syne: a look back at the top 13 weirdest political fundraisers we heard about this year. (Got one that beats these? You know what to do.)

In no particular order:

- Remember that time when Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., had a target practice fundraiser where people were encouraged to “bring your own gun”?

- In September, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., invited supporters to a weekend of Cajun cooking, a swamp tour and an alligator hunt.

- Not to be outdone, Florida Gov. Rick Scott tried to host his own gator hunt in October (with tickets at $25,000 per person!). The Republican ended up canceling his event when questions came up about hunting licenses.

- Brian Nieves, a state senator in Missouri, had a fundraiser that incorporated an AR-15 giveaway.

- Along the same lines, Don Dwyer, a member of Maryland’s House of Delegates, raffled off an AK-47 and an AR-15 in May, with raffle tickets going for 5 bucks. Dwyer’s serving a part-time jail sentence, BTW (in between legislating — we kid you not) but, relax partiers: It has nothing to do with the gun funder.

- Although she ended up canceling, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., originally planned a “low-dollar breakfast” in the Big Apple in October. We never got specifics for ticket prices, but trust us: “low” is in the eye of the beholder.

- Only in Washington, kids: Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., had a “Non-Industry Specific Luncheon” in March.

- The Fund for a Conservative Future, along with Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, had a reception and Mountain Man Dinner at the always rustic, reminds-us-of-the-outdoors Acadiana. (For example, here’s what’s for dinner.)

- Bowling with Stephen Colbert. ’Nuff said.

- Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod wanted to meet you, greet you, and then be your Valentine at her Feb. 14 fundraiser. (Oh, and also take your money – tickets went for $500 to $5,000 a pop.)

- Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., cashed in on his Hollywood connections and raffled off a brunch with Conan O’Brien at the late-night host’s house.

- During his successful run for N.Y.C. mayor, Bill de Blasio used the power of Susan Sarandon – and pingpong! – to raise money for his campaign.

- Illinois State Representative Barbara Wheeler took advantage of the June weather and had a Teeni Weeni Bikini Martini Party. The tagline? “Families Welcome, Donations Appreciated, Bikinis Recommended!”

If we got all this in 2013, imagine what an election year is going to bring! See you at the parties, folks. Happy New Year!!


PT Round-up: checks, shrugs, and rock ‘n’ roll

It was a contentious week both on and off the Hill, my party compatriots. Are we in for another?

While Congress’ upper chamber teeters on the edge of “nuclear” combat, the news that prominent climate change denier and senior Republican senator from Oklahoma, James Inhofe was holding a lunch funder at Google’s Washington headquarters was met with shock, indignation and petitions by various liberal leaners in the green movement.

Elsewhere on the fundraising scene, former DNC Chairman and current Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is showing off some serious star power as he makes his rounds of the party circuit. A review of McAuliffe fundraisers reads like a who’s who of Democratic politics. Notable attendees include: the first lady, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and Bill Clinton, who, as of July 11, has already appeared at three such events for the would-be governor.

McAuliffe has longstanding ties to the Clinton clan, and in his past life as a Democratic booster he raised around $275 million for the former president. His steadfast allegiance appears to be paying dividends. In addition to lending his name to McAuliffe’s events, Bill contributed $100,000 to McAuliffe’s bid in the perennially purple state.

While the fundraising season has yet to reach its peak, rest assured that this week brings us a plethora of fun new activities to enjoy with our elected officials. Here’s what’s happening:


Start your week off with some time on the links with Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc. The Tuesday golf outing and reception will take place at the scenic Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport, Calif. and will benefit the Republican Governors’ Association. Suggested contributions for entry to the all-day affair range from $2,500 to $25,000. While that may strike some partiers as a tad on the pricey side for a golf outing, I must remind you that the contribution includes breakfast, a “shotgun tournament” AND a post-golf reception.

If gettin’ your schmooze on with a cheesehead governor in Southern California while supporting the RGA sounds like your bag, then this event could be perfect for you. Just remember not to mention anything about unions.

Bam! It’s a PAC!

If partying with the Democrats is more to your liking, be sure to stop by Bistro Bis on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The ever-popular Capitol Hill eatery will serve as the backdrop of a reception and dinner benefiting BAMPAC, the leadership committee of  Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.

Apparently when she’s not presiding over committee hearings, fielding Twitter criticism, or doing both simultaneously, the senior senator from the Old Line State delights in la gastronomie française. The July 16 fundraiser will be Mikulski’s 11th Bistro Bis fundraiser in Party Time’s records.

If you’re not enticed by the invitation’s totally rad clip art, perhaps you will be drawn to the restaurant’s delectable beef  bourguignon or sweetbreads (calf and/or sheep innards) served in the bretonne tradition. Suggested contributions for the event range from $1,000-$2,500 to attend just dinner, while a dinner and reception combo will set you back $5,000.

We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll

This year’s PT award for excellence in PAC naming goes to Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn, for his Rock City leadership PAC. Well… it would go to Corker if such an award existed.

You can personally congratulate the Tennessee senator this Wednesday evening, as you enjoy some time with Nashville songwriters at the Recording Industry Association of America’s downtown office.

Corker may be of particular interest to the RIAA thanks to his past role as original co-sponsor of the Performance Rights Act, which would have mandated radio stations pay artists a royalty for playing their tunes on their station — a policy effort close to the hearts of thousands in the Nashville music community. The senator was even honored by the Grammy Association for his work on the matter.

More recently the senator fought against the Pandora-backed Internet Radio Fairness Act, a measure which would slash royalties to musicians from internet radio stations that stream their music.

Suggested contributions to the event range from $1,000-$2,500 for PAC attendees, and $500-$1,000 for individuals.

DeMaio gets big ticket backing

Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio is taking his congressional fundraising efforts to the East Coast, where he will be joined by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

The Georgetown grad made a splash by becoming the first openly gay man elected to the city’s council. Undeterred by his unsuccessful follow-up campaign for the mayor’s office, DeMaio has already held at least three major fundraisers for his effort to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to PT records.

The Log Cabin Republicans endorsed DeMaio, who calls himself a “new generation Republican,” and his invitation emphasizes DeMaio’s crossover appeal to women, independents, youth, and Latinos — all demographics that Republicans are desperate to make inroads on. The seat DeMaio wants is currently held by Scott Peters, a a freshman Democrat. As of March 31, Peters had raised more than $250,000 for his re-election campaign, Federal Election Commission records show.

The going rate for DeMaio’s luncheon with House leadership ranges from $250 for individuals to $5,000 for PACs.

Stormin’ the Book of Mormon

As reported by Politico Influence, Congressman John Shimkus, R-Ill., will bring the party to the Kennedy Center this Thursday, treating his guests to a performance of the Broadway hit, the Book of Mormon.

The play, written in part by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, takes a satirical look at the Church of Latter Day Saints. Such lighthearted fun could be just what the congressman needs to take his mind off his recent health setback.

PT has yet to obtain an invitation to this event (insert sad-face emoticon here). As always, if you come across an invite please remember that sharing is caring.

That’s all we have for this week, keep those invitations coming. Until next time folks!


Season tickets, a presidential roundtable, a Google hangout, and a skeet shoot

Political fundraisers may serve many purposes, my fellow partiers.

While a politician’s chief concern at these soirees is generally stuffing the campaign war chest, parties also provide lawmakers with a chance to announce future campaign plans outside of the harsh glare of journalists’ cameras, as Maine Gov. Paul LePage just did, or to show support for their partisan compatriots.

That’s what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns PAC are up to as the Big Apple independent and the PAC he’s underwriting continue to throw political muscle behind supporters of stricter gun control legislation. As reported by Buzzfeed, Bloomberg will play host July 22 to a $1,000-and-up benefit for Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va..

Manchin, seen at right, has a complicated past with gun laws. The blue dog Democrat received campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association as recently September 2012, but later clashed with the guns group over his role in spearheading Senate efforts to mandate universal background checks. Tossing in with Bloomberg likely means Manchin will be one of the NRA’s chief targets should he run for reelection in 2018.

A New York fundraiser hosted by the billionaire mayor offers beneficiaries a chance to cash in on Bloomberg’s Wall Street connects. Party Time records show that past honorees have included former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine.

Now, on to what’s happening this week on the political party scene.

Barrasso’s season pass

Perhaps borrowing a page out of the Redskins’ marketing strategy, some politicians are wagering that fervent supporters will pony up for a season pass.

At least that’s what pols like Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., are hoping.

This Wednesday, Barrasso’s Common Values PAC will throw an Italian wine tasting happy hour at the Rowland Tasting Room in Southeast Washington. Suggested contributions range from $100 to $1,000 for individuals and PACs, but for those who hold a “season pass,” the event is free!

Such tactics offer politicians a means to get large, lump sum contributions from supporters, instead of relying on repeated requests. On the flip side, holders of a “season pass” get increased access to the recipient via ‘free’ access to fundraisers and retreats throughout the year.

This year’s going rate for season tickets to Barrasso events was $5,000 for PACs and $2,500 for individuals, according to a March 12 invitation. We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether it’s worth the dough.

Obama Roundtable

When he’s not touring South Africa or navigating the intricacies of healthcare reform, our Commander in Chief enjoys many of the same wholesome activities as any other red-blooded American, namely partying (or ’roundtabling’ in this case).

Any fundraiser featuring the Leader of the Free World is sure to cost some serious dough. But, if you have an extra $32,400 lying around, you could join President Obama and 24 other lucky participants at an undisclosed location this Thursday for a roundtable discussion benefiting the Democratic National Committee.

Similar events in the past have gone for as much as $60,000-$100,000. So, just think of this as the half-off sale.

Google hangout

The tech industry is not known as a hotbed of conservative support.

Indeed, the leftward leanings of Silicon Valley were supposedly a contributing factor to the Dems technological edge in the 2012 presidential campaign. That hasn’t stopped Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., from throwing a lunch fundraiser this Thursday in Google’s Washington office.

Influence Explorer data shows that the tech giant tends to favor Democrats with its campaign contributions and PAC money. However, a quick search through the PT database reveals the illustrious search engine’s Washington headquarters has served as the venue to at least five Republican fundraising events since September of last year.

Google’s political action committee, Google NetPAC, has also served as host for at least four events benefiting Republican lawmakers.

If you have any other invitations to political fundraisers by Google, please share with us here (we also accept fundraisers involving Bing, if that’s more to your taste).

Stick to your guns

Finally, if you need to blow off a little steam this Friday, grab your 12 gauge and join Idaho Sen. Jim Risch for a morning of skeet shooting and grub at the Prince George’s County Trap & Skeet Center in Maryland.

Sen. Risch has the distinction of holding an A+ grade from the National Rifle Association and for $500-$1,000 for an individual attendee or $1,000-$2,500 for a PAC, you can see for yourself how good of a shot he is.

Bucking the stereotype that all such fundraisers are elegant affairs held at upmarket townhouses and glitzy hotels, the Maryland shooting range has been an exceedingly popular spot for such events over the past several years.

That’s all for this week, folks. As always, if you come across an invitation to a political fundraiser, share the love and send it this way.

2014 elections Congressional Getaways competitive races lobbying • POSTED - 04.05.13 BY Louis Serino

I’ll see you at the parties: Cory Booker’s blockbuster, senators’ double features and more

Famed Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert died yesterday, taking with him the vast majority of mankind’s opinion on film. Whether he was critiquing bombs like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (“Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.”), or praising an all-time great like Citizen Kane (“It is one of the miracles of cinema that in 1941 a first-time director; a cynical, hard-drinking writer; an innovative cinematographer, and a group of New York stage and radio actors were given the keys to a studio and total control, and made a masterpiece.”), Ebert will always be remembered for telling it like it is.

Party Time honors him today with a special edition round up: “I’ll See You At the Parties.”

Booker’s Back
In Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s latest fundraiser, the viewer sees the continuation of a months-long identity crisis — a man struggling to transition from the small-screen to the big-screen. Now Booker stars in a new production titled “NYC Cocktail Reception,” which will be released on Tuesday. With a $1,000 price tag, it’s hosted and directed by Barry Coller, whom you may know in his current recurring role as Physician-in-Chief at Rockefeller University Hospital. This fundraiser is part of a larger story about expectations, and one man’s journey to achieve them — or boldly renounce them. Much like Ben Braddock choosing between “plastics” and Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, Booker faces his own dilemma: Will he continue on his path to the Senate as everyone believes, or will he reject this and spend his days in Newark? This exclusive funder film may help viewers find out.

Republican Double Features Are Must-See Entertainment
Three GOP senators will be starring in double fundraising features this week, so save up some money, viewers. One doubleheader comes to us from Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. His first feature, “Transportation Lunch,” premiers at the American Trucking Association townhouse on Thursday and is hosted by the PACs of the American Trucking Association and the Road & Transport Builders Association — both of which donated to Inhofe in the last election. It’s an outright masterpiece; a complicated love story full of entangled, embattled characters competing over the Oklahoman’s affection — and his lawmaking power. A touching study of the dynamic human-PAC relationship, this funder comes with an entry price of up to $2,500 for committees, $1,000 for individuals. Inhofe displays his acting chops by switching to a campy project called “The 2nd Annual Striper Fishing Tournament” that starts on Friday and ends the next day. Full of action, excitement, laughs and (literally) boatloads of money, it’s a G-rated event that’s fun for the whole family … if you can afford to bring your whole family to something that costs $1,500 per person and $3,000 per PAC.

A veteran of the party circuit, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will also be unveiling two funders this week. The first is his highly anticipated “Breakfast with Special Guest Sen. Ron Johnson,” out on Tuesday, where two mega-stars team up to generate some serious moolah for Hatch’s leadership PAC. Expect a strong acting performance from Hatch, who has a multitude of experience in fundraising performances over the years. This funder exposes Hatch as a character with a profound void that exists within — one that can only be filled with cash. To help him achieve self-actualization, guests may pay a maximum of $5,000. And PT could not forget the spellbinding epic “Breakfast,” a magnum opus that allows viewers to feel the invigorating touch of life itself. Directed and hosted by major drug distributor AmeriSourceBergen, this Thursday funder promises to be one of the major events of the year. For a maximum contribution of $5,000, viewers can bask in the glory that is “Breakfast.”

Continuing the funder film festival is a Tuesday “Reception” starring Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., with an ensemble cast of famous lobbyists: John MilneRoy CoffeeAllen Shofe and more. The sequel arrives the very next day, as Alexander will reprise his role as “Senator from Tennessee” with “Breakfast“ at Mastercard worldwide. Mastercard also picks up a director credit, as they are hosting the event. Both of these flicks are on the expensive side, costing up to $2,500 per PAC and $1,000 per person. Alexander is quickly becoming an A-lister by starring in no fewer than 10 funders this year alone.

Fleetwood Mac Concert a Triumph for Guthrie, Shimkus
Legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac rolls into D.C. on Tuesday for a thought-provoking Verizon Center concert that a couple lawmakers are using to raise some cash. The first event stars Rep. Brett Guthrie as a rigid Republican from Kentucky, who nevertheless reveals himself to be unequivocally, undeniably human throughout the evening. This event forces the viewer to realize that no one can escape the power of music, not even uptight Washington suits — and it makes for a great party. PACs can get a ticket to this special evening for just $1,000.

Guthrie’s co-star is Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., his own party a tour-de-force that is not to be missed. The deep, symbiotic relationship between Shimkus and Fleetwood Mac fills the viewer with audacious hope: Hope for boatloads of cash, hope for re-election in 2014. Shimkus has added an element of neo-noir mystery to the fundraiser, as PT has no idea how much it costs. If anyone can snag a pair of tickets to this concert funder, share with us here!

All these fundraisers scored a rock-solid two thumbs up. Remember, folks: There’s no good party too long, and no bad party short enough. See you at the parties!

(Photo courtesy of Rebert via Wikimedia Commons)


Snowquester gently glides through D.C., leaves funders in its wake

“Daddy, Mommy — where were you when the legendary snowquester hit?”

This is a question literally no one will ever be asked. Left with a grand total of zero inches of snow, Washington crumbled in the cruel wake of what could only be described as a pounding hard drizzle with an absolute torrent of breezy snow flurries. As always, D.C. proved its renowned wimpiness by shutting down everything, including the federal government, the second those fear mongers at the Capital Weather Gang mentioned the word “snow.” It even prompted several lawmakers to postpone their most sacred duty — fundraising, of course. At least three Washington area parties were rescheduled, including those of Reps. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Jim Himes, D-Conn. (note the time change at the top of each invite). One thing the snowquester (ugh) didn’t stop was Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., filibustering — excuse me, filiblizzarding (double ugh) – Obama’s nominee for CIA Director, John Brennan. Paul put on an inspiring display of inefficiency, holding the Senate floor for over 12 hours to question the legitimacy of America’s drone program. But that’s not all — the National Republican Senatorial Committee even took advantage of this display of moral principle to collect some cash on the side. We here at Party Time say “bravo” to that.

The PT calendar has some great parties coming up next week; hopefully the light showers forecast for Tuesday won’t derail the nation’s capital again.

Spitzer Stumps for Markey
Senate hopeful Ed Markey, D-Mass., has become a staple in the PT database as the race to fill John Kerry’s seat heats up. Now he’s enlisting the help of Eliot Spitzer to raise some necessary cash for his campaign. Spitzer and his long-suffering (to put it mildly) wife, Silda, are listed as hosts for a March 13 reception at his sister Emily’s house. This association has come under fire from the GOP, which suggests that Markey shouldn’t pair up with the disgraced Spitzer, who lost his job as New York governor after an earlier visit to Washington that didn’t work out quite so well. Markey’s campaign has held firm about the event, however, retorting: “If the Massachusetts GOP really cared about campaign finance issues they would take its potential nominees to task for refusing to sign the people’s pledge.” The reference is to a proposed deal to bar the use of funds from outside groups like super PACs. Tickets to the event run from $5,000 to $500.

Markey will also be the beneficiary of a March 11 reception at Regis College. He’ll be seeking votes in the wealthy town of Weston, Mass. — among the 100 most affluent towns (with at least 1,000 households) in the entire nation, in fact. Sounds like a great place to party! Tickets to this event run from $5,200 to just $100.

The Billionaire and the Bubba
Terry McAuliffe, who’s running as a Democrat for Virginia governor, partnered with Bill Clinton just last week to fundraise, and now they’re already back at it. The home of hedge fund billionaire Marc Lasry in New York City is the spot for this March 13 reception, where Clinton’s former Chief Advisor Doug Band will also be hosting. Turns out that all these guys are longtime friends: Band, Clinton and McAuliffe have all worked together for the Dems, while Lasry has opened his home for multiple blue funders that Clinton and others have attended. It’s been effective in the past, so it’s no surprise they’re performing an encore. Prices are TBD for this one, so if you’ve got the details let us know by uploading it here!

Campaign Kick-Off Craze
Springtime is often seen as a time of rebirth or new beginnings, and since it’s right around the corner, what better symbolic time to hold a campaign’s first funder! PT’s got a grand total of five parties next week with the word “kick-off” in the title. Without further ado, let’s kick off this list of kick-offs:

  • Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is celebrating with a March 12 “Reception for 2014 Campaign Kick-Off” at home base, the NRSC. Prices go up to $2,000/PAC and $1,000/personal.
  • Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., is adding some Republican star power to his March 13 “Campaign Kick-Off and Dinner.” On the guest list is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., John Thune, R-S.D., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan. That’s a lot of red. And Inhofe is expecting a lot of green — prices cost $5,000/PAC and $2,500/personal.
  • Later that same day, all of these Republican senators (except Barrasso) will be back to support the “Kick-Off Reception” of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. They won’t be the only people at this NRSC event, however; several corporations such as Raytheon, Boeing, Marriott and a host of well-known lobbyists like Doyce Boesch and Ginger Loper are all hosting the event. It’s going to be quite the soiree. Prices hit $5,000/PAC and $2,600 personal.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham will be opening his campaign with a “Team Graham Kick-Off Lunch” on March 13. Though he won’t have any special guests (that we know of), the price for admission rises to $10,000 to co-chair. Is he worried about a Tea Party challenger? His price points say so.
  • CHC Bold PAC, benefitting the Hispanic Caucus, will be holding its March 13 “Spring Kick-Off Reception” at Comcast’s offices just blocks from the Capitol. With immigration at the forefront of Congress, they could be bulking up to promote their perspective on the issue. Prices are TBD.

After all those kick-offs, it seems lawmakers need a new way to say that. At least Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., used the word “debut” for a March 14 luncheon benefitting his brand new “Healthcare Freedom Fund.” Located at Republican hotspot the Capitol Hill Club, this meal runs anywhere from $5,000 to $500.

Legislative Ladies Do Lunch
It’s appropriate that today, International Women’s Day, PT covers Rep. Terri Sewell’s 2nd Annual Ultimate Ladies’ Power Lunch on March 14. She’s teaming up with special guest Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to celebrate the women in Congress and around the country. It’s taking place at the Credit Union House, owned by every statewide credit union trade association. Tickets for lunch cost up to $5,000/PAC and $2,500/personal. But wait — is Sewell skirting the laws of “annual?” She’s also hosting an event billed as a “2nd Annual Ultimate Ladies’ Power Lunch” today! This one is in her home state Alabama and features Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., costing only $1,000 to $100 for entry. Two “annual” lunches in one week? What gives, Terri?

Catsimatidis Crowds the Theaters
In this week’s unusual department, NYC Republican mayoral candidate, and supermarket/oil billionaire, John Catsimatidis has brought some innovation to the partying game. He spent upwards of $60,000 buying up all the tickets to 10 performances of “The Little Flower,” a one-man show by Tony Lo Bianco about former New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Catsimatidis is giving away all the tickets to schools, senior centers and GOP groups — but is turning one of them into a fundraiser (which show is still unknown). The reason for this play: “About six, seven years ago, [the] first time I saw the play, it inspired me and I said, ‘I want to become mayor and make the difference in this city the way Fiorello LaGuardia made,’” said Catsimatidis. PT has certainly never seen anything like this.

Until next time, Partiers!

Photo credit: Rehman Abubakr/Wikimedia Commons

2014 elections Uncategorized debt retirement holiday parties • POSTED - 11.25.12 BY Louis Serino

Get Off the Couch: Holiday Season Parties Begin!

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Black Friday has launched that super-commercialized door-busting retail onslaught, also known as the holiday season. Much like shoppers rushing out at 4 a.m. to snag the best deals, politicians are hustling in the weeks after Election Day to throw parties and raise some serious holiday dough.

Check out the highlights below, and send us your invites here!

2014, Start Your Engines
If you thought you were safe from political campaigning, think again. Some politicians have already started preparing for their 2014 bids, beginning with some old fashioned partying. Class II Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., are both hosting fundraisers in the upcoming week, despite their elections being two years away.

Chambliss is making his desire clear with the “Quarterly Max-Out Reception,” not so subtly suggesting that donors contribute as much as they can to the campaign. The suggested price for this Monday event at the Capitol Hill Club is $5,000 for PACs and $2,500 for individuals, the maximum amount allowed for one election cycle. What a coincidence!

Inhofe is celebrating his birthday with style at the “Annual Joe’s Stone Crab Reception” on Wednesday. For as much as $2,500 or as little as $500, you too can enjoy Florida stone crab right here in D.C! (But that’s not as impressive as it sounds, however, as the crab can be found in places like Texas and Connecticut…) The event name refers to the famous Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant in Miami Beach, which is turning 100 next year. If you can’t make it to the party but still want some tasty crab, you’re in luck – Joe’s delivers all across the continental U.S.

Lose Some, Lose Some More
For Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, R, Election Day didn’t go as planned. His political committee, RANDPAC, bet against all the wrong candidates, resulting in a total success rate of 0% – and a loss of $500,000. Check the races he influenced (or tried to) below from Follow the Unlimited Money:

Ouch, that hurts. Perhaps to offset these losses, Paul will be hosting a luncheon on Nov. 29 at fundraising favorite Johnny’s Half Shell. Admission will cost up to $5,000 to sponsor, up to $2,500 to host, and up to $1,000 to attend. Just 500 attendees and he’ll be in the clear!

Debt Retirement Alert
Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz, R-Texas, recently prevailed in his Senate race, and now he needs to pay off some of that burdensome campaign debt – about $1.2 million of it. To accomplish this, Cruz is doubling up on Wednesday, hosting a $2,000 “Debt Retirement Reception” followed by a $5,000 “Debt Retirement Dinner” with a special guest, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Party Time covered the world of debt retirement fundraisers earlier this month – check it out!

Crapo Does Double Time
Senior Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo (it’s pronounced “Cray-poe”!) isn’t taking an extended Thanksgiving break, getting right back to his busy Washington schedule – of partying, that is. Crapo is pulling a double ‘draiser, hosting two benefits on Tuesday. He’ll fill up with a $2,000/$1,000 lunch, take an afternoon siesta, and then head over to Charlie Palmer’s for a dinner at the same price point. If Crapo is still eating that much food soon after a Thanksgiving meal, maybe he deserves the money.

Just like Black Friday has encroached upon other holidays, with some stores this year opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, fundraising season is chewing up more of the political calendar — just ask Mitch McConnell, who held a $2,500 dinner the night after the election.

Perhaps lawmakers should follow the “Buy Nothing Day” movement, an international day of protest against high-octane consumerism, and chill their fundraising efforts. Activities of Buy Nothing Day include: The Whirl-Mart, where participants silently steer their shopping carts around a store in a “long, baffling conga line” without putting anything in them; and the Zombie Walk, where people wander around malls staring at shoppers with a blank expression on their face. I have a feeling that some politicians wouldn’t be so bad at that last one.

Until next time, Partiers!


This Week’s Fundraisers: The Democrats take over Charlotte, Romney fundraising, and a Dove Hunt in Oklahoma

As convention season continues in all its glories, the time has come to shift gears — or rather, switch aisles — as we move from the Republican convention into the Democratic convention events.

As far as party tallies go, the Democrats have left the Republicans in the dust. Party Time has logged more than 400 events in Charlotte, about double the entertainment schedule in Tampa. As for the non-convention invites, this week we only have a few, but those include two for the Romney campaign.

Here are the highlights:

The Dems flock to the Old North State: As the Republicans leave Florida, the Democrats head to North Carolina, where President Obama eked out a 2008 victory that he’d like to repeat this fall. Some of the more offbeat events on the Democratic convention party calendar:

On Sunday, amidst all the delegation welcome parties the Democratic National Convention will be hosting a class on formal dining etiquette at the Academy of Etiquette & Charm in Charlotte. Mayhap it is an opportunity for attendees to brush up on their manners before attending the many breakfasts, brunches, lunches, receptions and dinners that the convention featurs. So, if you are a little bit nervous on this front before attending your parties, bring your $75 and be prepared for a two hour lesson and a three course training meal (an empty stomach may be best for this part!).

Prepare for the zombie apocalypse! Actually not really, but something pretty close. IMPACT Film Festival is sponsoring a screening of How to Survive a Plague at the convention on Tuesday at the Mez & EpiCentre Theatre at 10 a.m.

Late that same evening, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be hosting a Sex, Politics and Cocktails party. Fund President Cecile Richards will be featured at the party. There is no record for the cost of this event.

Nuns on the Bus is a Thursday event sponsored by Network, a national Catholic social justice lobby. It’s a bus tour that has traveled cross country to showcase the work of the Catholic sisters, according to the invite. The invite indicates that the sisters will also talk about the downsides of the budget proposed by GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee.

For those who wouldn’t want to miss out on their daily workout during their convention trip, the Democrats have you covered. From Tuesday to Thursday, Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness will be hosting a Zumba/Cardio Funk Dance Fitness session. This event is also free and open to the public.

Obama Campaign in Cali: As a celebration of President Barack Obama’s re-nomination, the Obama Victory Fund will be hosting a reception on Thursday at the private home of some Los Angeles supporters. In order to help host the event, individuals are asked to hand up $1,000. A “supporter couple” gets in for $750 while an individual supporter coughs up $500.

Romney campaign back to fundraising: So far we know of two fundraisers for the Republican ticket. On Wednesday, the Salt Lake City Tribune has learned, VP candidate Paul Ryan will be in Utah’s capital for a reception, where tickets run from $1,000 to $25,000. There’s this invite for a Thursday reception that actor Robert Duvall will be hosting at his home in Virginia horse country for well-known equestrienne Ann Romney. Is the Republican ticket holding other fundraising events? Let us know.

Hunting Doves in Oklahoma: If you love dove hunting, or are just interested in trying something new, Rep. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., will be having his 8th Annual Oklahoma Dove Hunt at the Quartz Mountain Lodge and Resort in picturesquely-named Lone Wolf, Okla. Tickets run from $250 for a reception without the hunt to $2,500 for a “gold level” political action committee, according to the registration form on the Inhofe campaign’s website.

Congressional Getaways • POSTED - 11.14.11 BY La Toya Gratten

This Week’s Fundraisers: Pre-Turkey Day Hunts, Birthday Bashes, Tequila Tuesday

Free as a Bird – Just in time for Thanksgiving, several lawmakers will be out hunting this week. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., got an early start shooting fowl this morning at a farm in King George, Va. for his leadership PAC. From Thursday through Sunday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, with special guests Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., is putting on a cabin retreat weekend in Georgia chock full of rugged activities: that includes “one-on-one” boar and deer hunting, quail hunting, sporting clays, “unlimited” golf, access to a fishing boat, and tennis—all in exchange for a $5,000 contribution plus hunting and lodging fees. Not to be outdone, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., is putting on a quail hunt weekend of his own, also in Georgia, this weekend.

More target practice – Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., will be at the National Rifle Association’s Capitol Hill offices tonight for a “latest in laser shooting technology” fundraiser.

Libations for Larson –The Capitol Hill townhouse of U.K.-based beverage Giant Diageo is the site of a “Tequila and Oyster Tasting” tomorrow night for John Larson, D-Conn., the chair of the House Democratic Caucus. The event may be a reminder that Diageo, the maker of Captain Morgan rum and Johnnie Walker whiskey, also distributes Jose Cuervo tequila (and has been in talks this year to purchase the brand). This attractive event commands donations between $1,000 and $5,000.

Birthday Bashes – Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., will be busy with two birthday celebration fundraisers this week. The first is a birthday reception tomorrow at the lobby shop Twenty First Century Group. The second will be at Park 52 Restaurant in Chicago this Saturday.  That party will cost $5,000 to chair and $2,500 to co-host, but individuals can get in for as little as $150.

Tomorrow night, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and a host of other GOP senators will be throwing Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., a “Joe’s Stone Crab Reception” birthday party at an office suite near the Capitol. The cost to attend is $1,000 for PACs and $500 for individuals.

The Big 4-0! Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., has landed about two dozen colleagues (including Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.) to entice supporters to celebrate his landmark birthday at the American Trucking Associations‘ digs Wednesday evening, according to the invitation. It’s free for the lawmakers but not for everyone else—PACs are paying $1,000 or $2,500 and individuals are paying $140 or $240 (a relatively low ask for these kinds of events).

Jersey Boys with Jersey Senator – Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., will be using the musical Jersey Boys, playing at the National Theatre, to fundraise tomorrow evening. After the performance, he has invited donors to a private reception at the Helen Hayes Lounge. Tickets cost $2,500.

Cyber lunch – Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., is putting on a lunch fundraiser tomorrow targeted at “High Tech, Cyber and Homeland Security” industry donors at Art & Soul. The contribution levels are $2,500 for co-hosts, $1,000 for PACs and $250 for individuals.

For a comprehensive list of this week’s fundraisers, check out our upcoming events page.

Partytime health care • POSTED - 09.24.09 BY josh

Wrapping up September Health Care Fundraisers

We’re rounding out September with six more health care related fundraisers including three events that were planned yesterday (and the parties I blogged about here and here). We now have invitations to at least seventeen health care fundraisers for the month.

Today, Jocelyn Hong is hosting lunch for Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN) at the 21st Century Townhouse.  This is Hong’s fifth fundraiser in eight days.

Matt Sulkala, David Thomas, Israel Klein, Paul Brathwaite and Laura Harper are just a few of the hosts listed on Rep. Glenn Nye’s (D-VA) “Young Professionals Birthday Beers” bash tonight at 201 Lounge.

Brathwaite and Klein (of the Podesta Group) represent Covidien–”a $10 billion global health care products leader.” Laura Harper represents Blue Cross Blue Shield and Matt Sulkala lobbies for industry group PhRMA. David Thomas, a lobbyist with Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Inc, represents pharmaceutical companies such as Merck, AstraZeneca, Abbott Laboratories, Biogen and Forest Laboratories and PhRMA.

JD Derderian, who represents US Oncology, is hosting a reception for Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) at the Stanton Park Group offices on the 29th.

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Sens. Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) are closing out September with receptions on the 30th with at least 14 health care lobbyist hosts between their three invitations (you can find those lobbyists’ names below).

To see clients for lobbyists hosting events click on individuals’ names: Louis Dupart, JD Derderian, Laura Harper, Mark Rayder, Hunter Bates, Nelson Litterst, Jocelyn Hong, Matt Sulkala, David Thomas, Israel Klein, Paul Brathwaite, Adam Olsen, George Baker, Doyce Boesch, Rick Murphy, Bill Brewster, John Bode, David Jones, Joel White Erin Graefe, Beth Jafari,Billy Piper, Charlie Harman.


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.