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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 - 04.13.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Republicans descend on New Hampshire, Rep. Barbara Comstock has a D.C breakfast, Illinois Senate race features dueling fundraisers, Rep. Joe Kennedy bowls for dollars, plus a long weekend in California

They’re baaaaaaack!

Party people, the congressional spring break has come to a close, and perhaps the best indicator is the uptick in political partying in our nation’s capital. That’s right – the politicians are back from their home districts, and that means it’s time to hunt for some dollars in the District.

Our social calendar is popping with Washington events, but we are sure there are more parties happening out there. What have you heard about? Share with your friends at Party Time! You can email us, or upload invites using our easy (and confidential) tool right here.

Now let’s take a quick look at this week’s parties!

– In the latest installment of where-in-the-world-are-Republican-presidential-hopefuls, Party Time brings news of the New Hampshire GOP’s First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit. For two jam-packed days, politicians, media and activists will descend on Nashua to hear from Republican movers and shakers. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New Hampshire Rep. Frank Guinta, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Donald Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham are all slated to speak at the sold-out event.

– Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., has been in office for a few months, but she’s already logged a good amount of time on the fundraiser trail. At the end of March, she trekked to Manhattan for a party hosted by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. But on Tuesday, she’s got a shorter jaunt – she just has to walk across the street from her office for a breakfast at the Capitol Hill Club. Fellow Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte is listed as the event’s special guest.

– The fight for an Illinois Senate seat hits the moneyed streets of D.C. on Wednesday, when Sen. Mark Kirk and Rep. Tammy Duckworth have dueling fundraisers. A few weeks ago, Duckworth – an Illinois Democrat serving her second term in the House – announced she would challenge Kirk, a Republican who is in his first term in the Senate. Duckworth will have her spring reception Wednesday evening at the Democrats’ Capitol Hill townhouse, while Kirk will party at a private home just a few blocks away.

– Rep. Joe Kennedy gets right back into the swing of things with back-to-back political parties on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday evening, the Massachusetts Democrat bowls for dollars at Lucky Strike in Chinatown, where you’ll have to spend a lot more than the going rate for shoe and lane rental: Tickets for 90 minutes of bowling go for $1,000 to $2,500. Bright and early Thursday morning, Kennedy will breakfast at the downtown lobbying offices of Cassidy & Associates.

– One member of Congress can’t quite seem to say goodbye to spring break just yet. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., will take a long weekend at the super swanky St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in sunny SoCal for her annual golf and spa retreat. It’s $1,500 per person, $2,500 for a pair, and PACs have to chip in $4,000.

And that’s a wrap on your week in political fundraisers! What have we missed and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Uncategorized • POSTED - 03.30.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul hit the road to headline fundraisers; Republican heavy-hitter Paul Singer hosts party for Winning Women

As members of Congress head home for an enviable two-week break – just as spring kicks into gear, no less! – the fundraisers that usually clog the streets surrounding Capitol Hill hit the road, too. Although Party Time has learned to never say never, our social calendar (so far) has nary a D.C. event in the next two weeks.

Party people, we could use your help as we keep track of what politicos are up to while in their home districts. Is your representative a fundraising fiend while back among his constituents? Does your senator party hard with supporters at her favorite local hangout? We want to know! Upload fundraiser invites with our handy (and confidential) tool right here, or you can email us whatever you’ve got.

Turning our focus to this week’s out-and-about political parties, PT notices the continuing trend of potential 2016ers hitting the money trail hard. The Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary may be 10 months off, but there’s plenty of cash to be collected in the meantime. After all, as the Republican National Committee’s new chief of staff said recently: “If you can get people to give money, that’s a much bigger get than getting people to vote for you.” Ah, democracy.

Jeb Bush continues his fundraising tear/tour across the country with three stops in California this week. The former Florida governor and likely presidential candidate hits up well-heeled SoCal donors, first in picture perfect Newport Beach on Monday and then in fancy pants Bel Air. Maria and Robert Tuttle, longtime supporters of the Bush family (Robert gave big bucks to President George W. Bush’s campaign and was the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom during his second term), will host Tuesday’s fundraiser for the Right to Rise super PAC at their L.A. home, with tickets going for $25,000 to $100,000. On Thursday, Jeb Bush heads to the Bay Area for another super PAC fundraiser, this one hosted by school choice activists Bill and Susan Oberndorf and financial guru Jay Kern and his wife, Katie.

– It’s been one week since Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, made official his run for the White House, and Party Time already counts three fundraisers for the presidential candidate (in fact, on the same day he announced his campaign, Cruz partied in Manhattan). On Tuesday evening, Cruz and his wife, Heidi, will hobnob with their fellow Houstonians at Goode’s Armadillo Palace, a BBQ joint meets music venue.

– Yet another potential presidential candidate graces PT’s calendar this week. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will have a dinner on Monday night in Florida for his joint fundraising committee. Tickets start at $250 and go up to $2,700 per plate.

– In a reminder that not all partying is presidential partying, five Republican members of Congress will get an assist from GOP sugar daddy Paul Singer. Tuesday’s lunch in New York will benefit Winning Women, a joint fundraising committee Singer set up in 2014 to help out specific House and Senate candidates. Funds raised at this week’s event go toward the campaigns of New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, Arizona Rep. Martha McSally and Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock.

And that’s a wrap on your week in political parties, friends! What have we missed and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Photo courtesy Flickr user Gage Skidmore

Uncategorized • POSTED - 03.02.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Sen. Lindsey Graham “tests the waters” with a fundraiser, Emily’s List honors Hillary Clinton, Rep. Gwen Moore parties with bankers and Republicans go big in Iowa

As most of the country braces for yet another cold snap, Party Time is here to assure you that the political fundraising season is only heating up.

We’ve got a jam-packed week of political parties on the books, but we also know there must be more brewing out there. Friends, what are we missing and what have you heard about? Share with your friends at Party Time!

You can upload invites right here, or email us whatever you’ve got. No matter what, we keep our sources 100 percent confidential, meaning you can always feel comfortable sharing.

And now, a look at your week in political parties!

– Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is “testing the waters” for a presidential run in 2016 and he’s got a D.C. fundraiser on Tuesday to prove it. The host list for the luncheon for his Security through Strength committee shows he’s snagged some key backers, too. Mega Republican donors Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, Blackstone Group lobbyist Wayne Berman, Boston kingmaker Ted Cutler, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Arizona Sen. John McCain are among a long list of attendees.

– As questions continue to swirl around foreign governments’ donations to the Clinton Foundation, Emily’s List will fete Hillary Clinton at its annual gala dinner on Monday night in D.C. Tickets to the fundraiser for the organization, which supports pro-choice Democratic women candidates, cap out at $30,000, and the special guest list reads like a who’s who of top tier progressives. Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi and DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz are all slated to attend. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is now a senior adviser to the pro-Clinton PAC Ready for Hillary, is another special guest.

– If that event doesn’t get your heart racing, perhaps this will: Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., will have a seated dinner with the financial services community Monday night in downtown D.C. What’s not to love about a sit-down meal with a bunch of bankers and a member of the House Committee on Financial Services?

– Former Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., keeps up his trend of presidential positioning with a two-day trip to New Hampshire at the end of the week. He’ll headline a fundraiser in Concord on Friday, plus an event for the state’s Democratic Party on Saturday.

– Sen. Bob Casey hits the road! The Pennsylvania Democrat heads to Florida on Friday for a three-day weekend of sun, spring training and sweet fundraising.

– Republicans converge in the Hawkeye State on Saturday for the first annual Iowa Agriculture Summit, put on by GOP donor Bruce Rastetter. Just about every Republican looking to run for president in 2016 will be there, making for a long speakers list, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Donald Trump and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Whew, what a week, party people! Let us know if you’ve heard about anything going on out there.

Uncategorized • POSTED - 10.06.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Barack Obama raises goop-loads of money with Gwyneth Paltrow; Joe Biden, Carole King make donors sing; Mitt Romney fundraises with Republican heavyweights; plus, a “Game of Thrones” party

Hello, party people! This week’s social calendar is a little less packed than recent weeks, but most of the parties on the books boast big names and carry a high price tag. Over here at Party Time, we like to think of that as strategic partying: If you can charge way more money at a handful of events with well-known faces, then you get to take off an afternoon or two. Treat yourself.

The fundraiser schedule this week leans to the left, but we know Republicans love a good party as much as their Democratic counterparts. Have you heard about a GOP party in the works? If you know of a fundraiser, you know what to do! Upload all of those official invites right here, or email us whatever you’ve got.

And now, for your weekly dose of political partying!

Partier-in-chief parties on and on and on
President Barack Obama’s fundraising schedule has felt a little helter skelter lately, with events cropping up seemingly on the fly (please see last week’s Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event that we – and the White House press pool – found out about as it was happening). We know the president’s team plans everything to a T, so we are always surprised when there’s absolutely no pre-party buzz around a presidential pop-in.

But that’s about to change this week, as the fundraiser-in-chief is slated to attend five very buzzy, on-the-books parties. The most-talked-about shindig among them has to be Thursday’s reception and dinner at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Los Angeles home. Yes, the creator of Goop (it’s where she shares “all of life’s positives,” according to the lifestyle site’s About page) and the user of phrases like “conscious uncoupling” is hosting a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee, with tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400. It’s the second time the mega movie star has lent her name to a fundraiser invite with the prez: In 2012, she threw a dinner for Obama’s reelection campaign in London with buddies Anna Wintour and Tom Ford.

On Friday, Obama heads up the California coast for another DNC fundraiser, this one at San Francisco City Hall. PT records show that back-to-back events in moneyed, deep-blue pockets of the Left Coast is an often-repeated partying plan, but one we haven’t seen since July, when Obama did a Seattle to S.F. to L.A. cash grab.

But Obama doesn’t leave all of the partying for the end of the week. He actually starts off the fundraising fun on Tuesday with a three-in-one-day swing that takes him from New York to Connecticut.

An afternoon reception for the DNC at Chef Floyd Cardoz’s new restaurant, White Street in Tribeca, gets together some big names in Big Apple politics. Anne Hess, Craig Kaplan and Sarah and Victor Kovner, who all give loads of cash#mce_temp_url# to local and national Dems, will party with Broadway producer Margo Lion and the president. And another afternoon event, this one billed as a reception and discussion with President Barack Obama, will go down at the Manhattan home of power couple Bill White and Bryan Eure. Cash raised at the $25,000-per-person fundraiser will go straight to the DNC.

In the evening, Obama is off to Connecticut for a fundraiser at the Greenwich home of Richard and Ellen Schapps Richman. Tickets to the party for the DSCC start at $10,000, which is almost a bargain, considering the couple hosted Obama at a $30,000-per-plate fundraiser in 2010.

Whew! That’s a full week of presidential partying, if you ask us.

Joe hits the road for the ladies
The second in command gets in on the fundraising action this week with two on-the-road parties tailored for female House and Senate candidates. Get ready to gas up Air Force Two!

Vice President Joe Biden hits the money trail on Monday with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a cocktail reception for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Hollywood muckety-mucks – Fox executive Jim Gianopulos, former Warner Bros. chairman Barry Meyer, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and filmmaker James L. Brooks – play host at the “When Women Succeed America Succeeds” themed event, which also features a performance by Carole King. Dust off that vinyl copy of “Tapestry” and get ready to sing along to “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” (And if anyone gets a pic of Biden crooning, please-oh-please send it to your friends at Party Time.)

On Thursday, Biden hits up donors at a Seattle party for a joint fundraising committee Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell set up for female senators and candidates in tight races this year. Cash collected for Cantwell for Women in the Senate 2014 goes to Cantwell (not up for reelection until 2018, FYI), Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and West Virginia Senate candidate Natalie Tennant. Tickets cap out at $5,000.

Romney rakes it in
Mitt Romney continues to bask in his popularity, post presidential run number two. As a highly coveted figure on the campaign trail, Romney has been bouncing around the country this year, stumping for candidates in West Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado and Virginia. And his fundraising schedule has been crammed, too, with additional stops in New Jersey, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana.

As Romney’s calendar filled up, the questions started piling on. Is he staging a comeback, a la “the third time’s the charm”?

The former Massachusetts governor started out the year as a solid “no,” but at the end of last month, he delivered a coy “We’ll see what happens” to a reporter’s question about another run in 2016. Hmmmm.

While we can’t be sure about Romney’s future plans, we do know that he can’t seem to get enough of the partying scene. On Monday evening, he throws a New York City bash for the Republican National Committee with other GOPers just about always on the list of presidential potentials: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Big-time Romney supporter (and New York Jets owner) Woody Johnson and his wife, Suzanne, will host the party at their house, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will also attend.

That’s a lot of big-name Republicans at one get-together, so you know you’ll be writing a hefty check for some face-time. It’s a whopping $32,400 per person to attend.

On Wednesday, Romney heads to Utah to headline a private fundraiser for Mia Love, who is running for her state’s 4th District U.S. House seat. Love narrowly lost in 2012 to Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who is retiring this year. This go-around, Love faces Democrat Doug Owens. This may be her year as a recent poll has her up by 12 points and Sunlight’s Real-Time tool shows her winning the cash contest, too.

“Game of Thrones,” meet Party Time
Politicians glom onto just about anything of-the-moment to help them raise money for their campaigns. Nats game, anyone? Or perhaps a Beyoncé concert?

This week, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., takes advantage of the “Game of Thrones” craze with a fundraiser ploy around the HBO fantasy hit. The Udall camp is raffling off a chance to meet series writer George R. R. Martin during a VIP reception at the novelist’s personal theater. Loop us in if you hear of any spoilers!

And that’s a wrap, party people! Let us know if you hear of anything good going on out there!

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Uncategorized • POSTED - 04.07.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Après McCutcheon, le party deluge?

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!

Meanwhile, about those like-bunnies-multiplying invites: Email us, or upload them here (and, as always, rest assured that it’s a totally confidential process).

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.

McConnell money

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.

Party people, that wraps up your week in fundraising! As those invites start really rolling in, keep us posted on what you hear about. Email us, or upload those invites right here.

(Photo courtesy Flickr)

Uncategorized • POSTED - 02.17.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Biden parties in Minneapolis, Paul Ryan heads to New Hampshire, Chris Christie continues collecting cash

Happy long weekend, partiers! We hope you are all snuggled up against the snow and cold, and enjoying the annual national tip of the hat to our famous presidents.

Our current politicians are piggybacking on the winter break theme with a handful of seasonally appropriate parties: the National Republican Senatorial Committee has its Winter Retreat this week; Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, hits the slopes, and Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., trades in the cold for a weekend of golfing in California. Plus, Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday goes to Minneapolis and First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday hits New York City, both raising money for the Democratic National Committee.

We got a stack of party invites with some big-ticket names this week, but we just know there’s more going on. Party people, what have you heard about out there? Email us your tips and news clippings, or upload invites here.

And now, for some parties!

Christie on the calendar

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can’t seem to get enough of the party circuit. It’s been a busy 2014 already, with multiple stops in Florida and Texas, plus last week’s threefer in Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that during his Windy City tour, Christie brought in $1 million for the Republican Governors Association, of which he is the chairman.

The George Washington Bridge scandal and questions about Hurricane Sandy fund allocation may still be brewing back home – and talking heads can’t get enough of the “Christie as Kryptonite” storyline – but no matter: The guy can deliver the goods. Multiple news outlets reported last week that the RGA brought in a record $6 million in January.

The traveling/speaking/fundraising continues this week, with a stop on Tuesday at the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Winter Retreat in New York. GOP senators will be strategizing about how to take advantage of the continued drama around the Affordable Care Act’s roll out and cheerleading for Senate seat pickups that could give them the majority come November. Christie then hops down to D.C. for a weekend meeting with the bipartisan National Governors Association. Rumor has it that RGA events are in the works around the weekend event; let us know what you’ve heard about!

New Hampshire heats up

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is stopping in at downtown Manchester’s Radisson on Tuesday for a fundraiser for Frank Guinta, who is running to reclaim his 1 st District House seat. Ryan was supposed to do the event in October, but canceled because of the government shutdown. In a big get for Guinta, the pair will be joined by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. (who is, apparently, eschewing that day’s NRSC Winter Retreat).

Guinta and the incumbent, Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, have been swapping the seat in the past few elections. Shea-Porter served two terms after being elected in 2006, but then lost in 2010 to Guinta, the former mayor of Manchester. Shea-Porter won back the seat in 2012; last September, Guinta announced he would run again in 2014.

But before he can go head-to-head with Shea-Porter, Guinta faces a primary fight against Dan Innis, a gay Republican and business professor. Although his business community connections may help him out on the fundraising front, our Real-Time tracker shows that, so far, Guinta is leading the money game.

Golfing in San Diego

Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., will be warming up in sunny SoCal with Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., during a weekend getaway full of golfing and fundraising. According to PT data, this may be Vargas’ first foray into the congressional pastime of combining recreational weekend fun with raising campaign cash. But if you know of getaways featuring the freshman that we missed, let us know!

Hitting the links may also provide him a break from some of the negative news swirling around him. In January, U-T San Diego reported that Ravnett Singh, the CEO of D.C.-based firm ElectionMall, was arrested and charged with conspiring to channel money from a Mexican businessman into several San Diego races. The federal complaint didn’t name names, but said one of the four politicians involved ran for a federal post in 2012. When the Voice of San Diego asked him about it, Vargas played the cannot-confirm-or-deny card, telling the news outlet, “I am shocked at these claims and, if true, am offended by the actions of these individuals.”

Yep, definitely time for some golf.

… and skiing in Utah

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is peacing out and heading home. After a rough week for Republicans – see: the recent debt ceiling vote, and, perhaps more dramatic, the cloture vote preceding it – the first-term senator is heading to Snowbird’s Cliff Lodge on Wednesday for some quality time on the slopes (and in the lounge with donors). Get ready to throw down at least $1,500 for the midweek excursion.

Dinner with Joe

Vice President Joe Biden will take a break from creating gif-tastic moments this week with a fundraising stop in Minneapolis. He’ll be raising campaign cash for the DNC Wednesday evening during dinner at the Bachelor Farmer, owned by Gov. Mark Dayton’s sons, Eric and Andrew. President Obama visited the restaurant in 2012; if you know what’s on the menu for the VP’s get-together, we want to know all about it. Send any details (pictures perhaps?) here.

By the way, Biden’s got a few pretty enviable weeks – first the Minneapolis feast, and then he gets to hang with Seth Meyers during the comedian’s first “Late Night” episode. It’s hard work, but someone’s got to do it.

That’s the week, party people! Keep us posted about any parties that are brewing out there.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons


A Texas trifecta, flailing fingers and soaking up the last of summer

(Updated 09/10: Tip o’ the hat to the partier who sent us the Christie-in-Texas invites. See them here.)

Sometimes even the biggest party animals need to have a little pause in the action.

With mounting tension over a proposed U.S. strike on Syria, Southern California Public Radio reports that our nation’s Partier-in-Chief has cancelled a fundraising reception for the DNC in Los Angeles.

While this may be something of a downer for those Democratic boosters who shelled out $32,400 for the chance to participate in an hour long discussion with the ‘leader of the free world,’ our representatives in Congress have been more than willing to pick up the partyin’ slack.

As members settle back into their Washington routines after the long summer recess, the fundraising scene is already beginning to ramp up to its accustomed breakneck pace. This week’s docket features fundraisers from a Democratic whip, possible 2016 contenders for the White House and weekend getaways for those donors wanting to squeeze every last bit of congressional face time out of their generous contributions.

As always, if you catch wind of any other fascinating funding fiestas, send ‘em this way.

Everything’s bigger in Texas

A Cowboys fan from Jersey?

At least that’s what New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Party Time veteran would have us believe. The ‘Boss’ claims his longtime loyalty to “America’s Team,” began in his boyhood during a disappointing stretch for the New York Giants. He plans to cheer on Texas’ boys in blue during their Sept. 8 home opener against the Giants — a team which has its home field in Christie’s state.

Though Christie’s affection for the Cowboys is not new, he may have an ulterior motive for reminding folks of it this weekend: The Giants-Cowboys game will be in Texas, where Christie will be on a fundraising trifecta on behalf of the GOP. Maybe wearing a little silver and blue will produce more green? According to the Associated Press, the governor will be attending three separate fundraisers in one day for the Republican National Committee: A breakfast in Dallas, luncheon in Houston and a reception in San Antonio. (It would be just lovely if a fellow partier would share some invites.)

The Jersey Gopper is no stranger to raising big bucks. Thanks to his aggressive fundraising, the incumbent governor, one of only two in the country who will be facing voters this year, is already finished raising money for his reelection effort. As reported by, Christie has already ‘maxed out’ the amount of private contributions he can raise to obtain state matching funds: He’s got more than $4 million in his war chest. According to Bill Palatucci, the chairman of Christie’s reelection campaign, “[t]hat gives the Governor the luxury in September and October of focusing on his day job.” And, it seems, fundraising.

Besides lagging in the ‘cash primary,’ Christie’s Democratic opponent,  state Sen. Barbara Buono, faces an even larger deficit in the polls. Election Day is Nov. 5.

Common interests

While Christie may be able to spend the months of September and October basking in his fundraising success, other pols have no such luxury.

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation PAC will host a trio of Democratic reps at a Sept. 10 breakfast at Bobby Van’s Grill in Washington. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. and Jim Hines, D-Conn. will be in attendance and contributions will benefit Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill.

Party Time records show the DTCC supports an array of Democratic members, though the more likely reason for the financial group’s hospitality has little to do with whether a member has a “D” or “R” following their name — all three representatives attending Tuesday’s fundraiser serve on the House Financial Services Committee.

Pointing fingers

A savvy politician knows what excites her base. Sometimes that’s a picture of a finger-pointing confrontation with the president on an airport tarmac. Like the memorable one cameras captured of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, and President Obama.

The finger-wagging standoff gained media notoriety when it occurred in Tucson last year, giving viewers visual confirmation of the the governor’s disappointment in the president’s immigration policies. And now she’s using it to broaden her constituency — at least her cash constituency.

The invitation for a Sept. 14 fundraiser in Raleigh, N. C. prominently features the photo, as the Grand Canyon State governor attempts to drum up Tar Heel cash at an event hosted by the Wake County Republicans.

This is not the first time in PT’s records that a Republican lawmaker has raised dough off controversy. Recently Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. used photos of environmental protesters — angered by the senator’s climate change denial – at his Google-sponsored funder to highlight his commitment to bringing jobs to Oklahoma.

Suggested contributions for the Brewer fundraiser range from $75 to $5,000.

Soaking up summer

While vacation is over for most of us, two Republican senators are grasping at the last straws of summer this weekend with retreats in Nashville and New Hampshire.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will be taking some generous friends on a weekend excursion to “Music City,” while fans of Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., can shell out $1,500 or more to spend a weekend with the Senator in Mount Washington, N.H.

The weekend R&R should give the two Republicans plenty of time to consider the president’s plan of action in Syria — both members have cited a need for more information in advance of the proposed strikes.

Until next time partiers. But it doesn’t have to be long! For those of you in need of a mid-week Party Time fix, stay tuned for the launch of our new PT Tumblr this week. It’ll be a great way to feature those invites. So keep ‘em coming, and keep on rockin’ in the free world.

2014 elections PartyTimeData Partytime Special Elections Uncategorized • POSTED - 07.29.13 BY Peter Olsen-Phillips

This week’s fundraisers: Beyonce, presidential hopefuls, and the ‘Bookman’

Contrary to popular belief, America is no longer a democracy. It is, in fact, a constitutional monarchy presided over by none other than the Queen Bee herself, Beyonce Knowles.

The R&B songstress and her hip-hop hubby, Jay-Z, earned more than $1 billion last year, and Knowles’ Mrs. Carter world tour continues to sell out arenas in every locale it visits. However her Monday show at Washington’s Verizon Center will be unique, as the BeyHive will be bolstered by three members of Congress and their generous pals.

That’s right, Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., have all scheduled fundraising events for the evening show, though we at Party Time must tip our hats to Kaine for having the most glamorous invitation.

PT records indicate that Shimkus, who recently returned to work after a heart procedure, takes a particular interest in supporting the arts — three of his last four fundraisers in our database have been held at concerts, and the fourth was an off-broadway performance of the Book of Mormon. And his taste in music is quite eclectic. Before the Beyonce concert, there were trips to see New Kids on the Block (with fellow boy bands Boys II Men and 98 Degrees) and Fleetwood Mac. Too bad The Hill newspaper reports that he doesn’t actually attend these concerts. What a rip-off!

It’s unclear what the asking price is (if you know, drop us a line) but Kaine is asking donors for $5,000.

If this “sexy and fierce” musical experience is not enough to sate your appetite for political partying fear not! Here’s a snapshot of some other noteworthy fundraisers taking place this week.

Paul pays his dues

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is certainly making the rounds — for himself and his GOP friends.

The 2016 presidential contender held a “Beer, Bourbon and BBQ” bash July 24 in the Washington offices of AltriaPAC. While this week he makes three cross-country stops on the wine and cheese circuit.

Sunday he appeared at a fundraiser for in Tennessee for state Sen. Jack Johnson before rushing back to the District for a fundraiser benefiting Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. Monday evening. The event will be attended by three other potential presidential hopefuls, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., John Thune, R-S.D., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

Soul power

Not to be outdone, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.,– who has also raised speculation a possible White House bid – is partying it up this Wednesday at Washington restaurant Art & Soul.

As Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post tells it, her recent trip to Ground Zero of any presidential campaign (Iowa) indicates a clear desire to be considered for the Democratic nomination should Hillary Clinton pass on it.

Summer Soirée

Nothing gets us more excited at Party Time than some seriously groovy clip art on fundraiser invitations.

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., went with a ‘beachy’ theme for her invitations to her summer soirée fundraising party on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Perhaps a dip in the beautiful Potomac River is on the docket?

The 15-year incumbent (and mother-in-law of Bill Burton, the former Obama aide who co-founded a pro-Obama super PAC) will be facing newcomer Paul H Coyne Jr. in her 2014 battle for reelection. The suggested contributions of $1,000-$2,500 will no doubt be greatly appreciated.

The Book tour

The Cory Booker-for-Senate machine keeps churning, and the Newark mayor keeps attracting A-list talent to his fundraising affairs. Seemingly everyone is interested in hooking their wagon on to the Booker train.

On Wednesday, the founder of the major law and lobbying firm Cozen O’Connor will be hosting Booker for a fundraiser in the Philadelphia suburbs at the home of the firm’s founder, Stephen A. Cozen. The Cozen firm is both a heavy-hitter on K Street and a major contributor to Democratic campaigns.

Just a half hour later the Booker camp is supposed to be at an event for young professionals in Philadelphia. It seems there’s just not enough hours in the day to collect campaign cash when you’re Cory Booker. As to how he manage to attend both events, PT’s best guess is gyrocopter.

But there’s more! The following night, he will enjoy dinner and pleasant conversation with none other than Oprah Winfrey at a swank reception at Jersey City’s Liberty House Restaurant.

We’ll just be here. Waiting on those invites… Until next week partiers!

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons)

2014 elections • POSTED - 05.17.13 BY Jake Harper

Break from the scandals with a bargain basement deal, a ladies’ night, and a VIP guest

Hey, Partiers. It’s been sort of a tough week in the nation’s capital, what with the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service, the outrage at the Justice Department and the drumbeat of GOP criticism over Benghazi. I could go on for pages about how bad it’s been for the White House — but others have beaten me to it. Besides, things must not be as bad as they look — President Obama still managed to squeeze in three fundraisers on Monday, after some of these problems surfaced.

And in the Party arena, we had our our own controversy to deal with: Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who’s running to take over the Senate seat that opened when John Kerry was appointed secretary of state, disinvited former Congressman Ben Jones — known for playing “Cooter” on “Dukes of Hazzard” — from a fundraising event over Jones’ support of the Confederate flag. Apparently, Jones is not pleased. Markey is no stranger to controversial guests, having appeared earlier this year with disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer — a.k.a. Client 9 —   so maybe this time he thought he could avoid some flack in advance. I guess not.

If only there were some way to fix all of this

But, to borrow a sentiment often expressed by our nation’s politicians, let’s not look to the past, but to the future…to next week’s parties!

Laaaadies’ Night!

Monday is busy for Sen Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who is hosting two funders in one day! (Luckily, she scheduled them for different times so she doesn’t have to face the classic sitcom conundrum of juggling two dates at once).

First, Ayotte has a Health Care Lunch at Art & Soul, where guests can munch on smoked pork ribs and, if they chose, snicker at how disastrous the Affordable Care Act is. (The meal’s $500+ tag may or may not be served with a sphygmomanometer). Then at 6 p.m., it’s time to hit the town for Ladies’ Night! Six seems a little early for such an event, but it is on a Monday, after all. Drinks with the girls will set you back $500, or $1,000 if you want to co-host.

But if you can’t do Monday, fear not. The former New Hampshire attorney general likes to get her schmoozing done with before Hump Day — she’s got another event Tuesday.

We all scream for …

Illinois Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley will host his “Summer is Near” Ice Cream Social Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. You might think that $1,000 is a bit too much for ice cream, but just look at that flyer. It has cows. And puns. You can’t put a price tag on that stuff, especially when you compare it to some of the other exciting invitations Party Time is blessed with.

Just be sure not to spoil your dinner — there are plenty of other options Tuesday night if you’ve got a wad of hundreds tucked in your pants somewhere and you feel like giving it to a politician.


Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., will be collecting funds Tuesday evening at Charlie Palmer Steak House, along with a secret “VIP guest.” I couldn’t find out who the guest is, but I have a hunch, or at least a strong preference. Clint Eastwood, anybody?

UPDATE 5/20/2013: It turns out I don’t have ESP, as Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., will be the guests of honor.

Do I look like I need to diet?

Freshman New York Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is behind the district’s bargain fundraiser for the week! You can get in Wednesday at Cava Mezze for just $200! But this is Washington after all, so there has to be a catch in the fine print. Yes, you are stuck with a “small dinner.” It’s okay though, fearless lobbyists and PAC managers, because there are plenty of other fundraisers going on that night — just check the calendar. Or, if you’re the kind of weary lobbyist that is simply sick and tired of being treated by politicians like an ATM machine — you don’t have to tell me, brother! — just have a “me” night up the street at DC-3, where you’ll find comfort in this ridiculous bacon-wrapped hot dog. But first — stick those unwanted invites right here.

Two Govs, One County

Speaking of bargains, everything’s cheaper in the Midwest. If you find yourself in Des Moines, Iowa this Thursday you can see two governors in one night! Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will travel to Iowa to appear at the Polk County GOP’s Annual Spring Dinner Thursday evening, along with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. (Walker is no stranger to out-of-state fundraising, and he has at least a couple more events outside the Badger State coming up.)

You can go stag to the event for just $75. But for $1,000, you get a photo op with Walker, a table for 10, tickets to a “host” reception and of course the biggest prize of all: The ever-so-prestigious ‘Host’ label itself. What a steal!

Well, that about does it. Don’t forget to send any invitations you may have our way, and, as always, check a mirror before you pose for any pictures with your favorite candidate. It’d be a shame to pay all that money just to have broccoli in your teeth. Until next time, partiers!

(Photo credit: CJ Sorg via


Obama parties for DNC, Colberts Unite, Booker’s Back Again, and Rubio courts young donors

After this past week, America really needs a party to cheer up. Answering the call, several members of Congress are planning fundraising events as the 2014 races heat up — and maybe some early rumblings of 2016. In fact, the PT calendar shows almost 30 parties happening next week! From Republicans to Democrats, incumbents to candidates, everyone is looking to stuff their coffers for the upcoming elections. Boy, the cycle seems to start earlier and earlier…

Without further ado, next week’s funders coming up!

Obama Partying in Dallas for the DNC
President Obama will be in Texas next week for the opening of George W. Bush’s library grand opening, but that might not be the highlight of his trip. On Wednesday, the day before Bush’s ceremony, the president and first lady will head to the Dallas home of Naomi Aberly for a $10,000 dinner benefiting the Democratic National Committee. Aberly is an Obama bundler and huge democratic donor, contributing over $600,000 to various blue causes, including $138,000 to the DNC, and is one of the early funders of Organizing for Action, the new nonprofit group supporting Obama’s second term agenda. The invite is MIA – so send it in to PT if you’ve got it!

Colbert Squared
Things ain’t looking good for Mark “Mr. Appalachian” Sanford. The NRCC has now distanced itself from the race, depriving Sanford of its dollars, after he allegedly trespassed at his ex-wife’s home, where he watched the Super Bowl with his son; fellow GOPers refuse to talk about him; and the Colbert Busch fundraising machine churns onward. Big brother funny man Stephen Colbert returns for a Tuesday morning breakfast at the NYC home of Sallie Krawcheck, a former prominent Wall Street executive who boasts a Twitter feed with over 14,000 followers. Also in attendance will be Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as well as DCCC chair Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. Tickets cost up to $10,000, but guests can catch a sneak peek of Stephen out of character for as little as $500!

Booker’s “Special Evenings” for Senate
Newark Mayor Cory Booker will make a couple of withdrawals in the ATM state of California with two events this week. On Thursday, he’ll benefit from a LA Special Evening at the home of movie producer Jerry Weintraub, who already contributed $5,000 to Booker’s own CoryPAC in 2011. But he’s not the only Hollywood megastar/megadonor to be listed on the invite. many of whom helped kickstart President Obama’s historically well-stocked campaign. The host committee boasts director Steven Spielberg, actor Bruce Willis, producer JJ Abrams, director Rob Reiner and more. Tickets are a mere $5,000 to be in the presence of cinema greatness! The next night, Booker will head up to NorCal for a San Francisco Special Evening at the Law Offices of Keker and Van Nest; both namesake partners, John Keker and Robert Van Nest, have given tens of thousands to Democratic causes. This evening is not as special, as prices to get in range from $5,000 to a relatively cheap $250.

Funders for swing-vote senators
After Manchin-Toomey deal to expand background checks fell apart on Wednesday, it left many questioning what will happen to the future of gun control legislation in the U.S. Several key senators will be hosting parties next week where they may have to deal with these questions and more:

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.:  One of the namesake sponsors of the amendment, Toomey may be feeling especially down, but cheer up — money’s on the way! The former head of the Club for Growth is holding a Wednesday dinner at Capitol Hill hotspot Acqua al 2. You can comfort Toomey with as much as $2,000 in campaign cash.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.: Landrieu is a vulnerable Democrat up for re-election in a red-state, which is why her “yes” vote (even when the amendment looked doomed) surprised many. She may faces questions about her vote during the Annual Big Easy Weekend in New Orleans, which might not be so easy after all. For $5,000, guests can enjoy some slick jazz, dinner on Bourbon Street and more.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine: Collins was one of only four Republicans who voted in favor of the Machin-Toomey deal and she too will be mingling with donors at a Wednesday luncheon. It’s located at the American Trucking Association, and is sponsored by several construction groups — not so coincidentally, Collins sits on a subcommittee for military construction. PACs can pay up to $2,500 to get in, and individuals up to $1,000.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.: Democrats hoped Ayotte would be a crucial swing vote on Manchin-Toomey; however, she ended up going against the measure. She’s headed to D.C. fundraising paradise Johnny’s Half Shell for a breakfast on Wednesday, where prices for PACs escalate to $2,000 and individuals $1,000.

Rubio for 2016?
Senator and GOP Golden Boy Marco Rubio of Florida has been mentioned as a potential presidential contender about a billion times now. Whether or not those rumors hold any truth, he has certainly been fundraising like he’s running for president — bringing in $2.3 million in the first quarter — and his pace continues this week with a Young Professionals Reception at the Oracle Townhouse in DC. PT isn’t sure what kind of “young professionals” can pony up the maximum asking price of $2,500, but guests can also get in for a more reasonable $250.

Until next week, Partiers.


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.