Hello, party people! Fall is in the air: The leaves are changing, just about everything is pumpkin-flavored and politicians are doubling up on their fundraising efforts. But with members of Congress back in their home districts until after the midterms, much of this week’s partying takes place far away from the usual hotspots around Capitol Hill.
As politicians begin the last full month of campaigning and cash collecting before the election, Party Time preps for a full-on fundraising frenzy. Our social calendar may be packed, but we know there’s more going on out there. What’s brewing in your home state? If you have a fundraiser invite or know of something in the works, you know what to do! Upload the goods right here, or you can email us whatever you’ve got.
And with that, let’s get right into your week in political parties!
Hillary Clinton’s very busy week
Hillary Clinton is many things – one-time first lady, former New York senator, recent Secretary of State, 2008 presidential candidate and oft-mentioned presidential prospect. And now: Grandma!
But those babysitting/diaper changing shifts may have to wait: Clinton also is doing her bit this election season for fellow Democrats, too, headlining parties and lending her name to an email missive for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
She’s set to bounce from Manhattan to Maryland to Miami this week as she headlines a whopping five fundraisers.
First up is some Big Apple partying on Monday. Clinton will hunker down at the Le Parker Meridien hotel for back-to-back events, the first one a luncheon for the DCCC with its chairman, New York Rep. Steve Israel, as well as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca. Then, Clinton, Israel and Pelosi stick around for a reception for a batch of Democratic House candidates from the region: Vulnerable New York Reps. Tim Bishop, Sean Patrick Maloney and Dan Maffei; New York candidates Sean Eldridge, Domenic Recchia, Kathleen Rice, Martha Robertson and Aaron Woolf; and New Jersey candidates Aimee Belgard and Bonnie Watson Coleman.
On Tuesday, Clinton heads to D.C., by way of a party for New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro. D’Allesandro endorsed Clinton back in ’08 when she won the presidential primary there, and when discussing his upcoming fundraiser, D’Allesandro described her as a “good friend for a long, long time.” The Manchester politician’s prominent role in such a prominent primary state has everyone, of course, a-buzz that this appearance is the latest sign that Clinton plans to run in 2016.
A few hours later, Clinton heads to a Maryland suburb for a reception with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate. This is the latest installment of big-name headliners for Brown’s campaign: In August, Vice President Joe Biden showed up at a fundraiser for Brown, and back in May, Bill Clinton threw him a party. (FYI, don’t expect a Bubba cameo on Tuesday. The former president will be in Chapel Hill that day at a luncheon for Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.)
After a one-day break, H. Clinton is back on the money trail, this time hitting up donors in Florida for Charlie Crist’s campaign. According to PT’s records, Thursday’s special dinner reception marks Clinton’s first time in the Sunshine State for fundraising fun.
Mitt the moneymaker
We’d forgive you for feeling a bit of déjà vu this week. Not only are the Clintons on the trail, but Mitt Romney is slated to attend three parties, too.
The former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential contender starts off on Tuesday at a fundraiser for Barbara Comstock, who is running for Virginia’s 10th District House seat. The race is getting national attention, as indicated by the well-known GOPers who have been stopping by to help Comstock raise cash, including a recent event with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Romney’s running mate in 2012. (And, in keeping with the “remember when …” theme, Comstock forever endeared herself to Republicans back in the ’90s when she was an opposition researcher against the Clintons.)
On Thursday, Romney goes to Kentucky to help out Sen. Mitch McConnell, who is starting to pull ahead in his headline-grabbing race against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. Power couple Joe Craft and Kelly Knight – he a coal magnate, she a Republican fundraiser – will play host at the McConnell party in Lexington along with Don and Mira Ball, who own a custom home building company and give big bucks to their alma mater, the University of Kentucky.
Romney rounds out the week by dipping his toe into yet another marquee Senate race, this one in the Bayou State. His Friday lunch in New Orleans benefits Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is hoping to unseat three-term incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu. Polls have Cassidy ahead, but Democratic outside groups are going big in the contest. According to Sunlight’s Real-Time tool, Senate Majority PAC has spent just shy of $2.4 million against Cassidy, while Patriot Majority USA has spent a little more than $2 million opposing him.
First family funders
If it’s a full week of fundraisers, and the partier-in-chief himself can’t be out of the mix. The Chicago Tribune reports that President Obama will be back in his hometown on Wednesday to raise money for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, in a tight reelection fight with Republican millionaire Bruce Rauner. Obama, known for his tireless fundraising schedule (an average of one party every five days, according to a recent Washington Post story), also has a D.C. event set earlier in the week for the Democratic National Committee. But we need the details! If you have them, send us the goods!)
But the first lady is also in the party mix, headlining a batch of events for Democratic gubernatorial candidates on Friday. Michelle Obama will attend a fundraiser in Boston for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Coakley is running against Republican Charlie Baker and three independent candidates, and the Boston Globe recently reported that Baker’s campaign account has an $800,000 advantage over Coakley’s.
Obama is also the main draw at a mid afternoon rally and reception for Maine Rep. Mike Michaud, who has his eye on his state’s governor’s mansion. Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, will also be on hand to fire up the crowd at the University of Maine. And although that portion of the afternoon is free, never fear: A $3,000-per-person photo line and backstage reception got tacked onto the rally.
And speaking of Maine, did you know that PT partnered up with the fine folks at the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting to create the very first state-specific Party Time? It’s true! You can check it out right here (and send invites right here). Why can’t D.C. come up with more fundraisers like this one?
Christie brings in the cash
Gov. Chris Christie loves a good party. According to PT’s records, the New Jersey Republican has attended 18 fundraisers in September alone, and although most of those appearances fall under his responsibilities as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, some are outside of those boundaries. Cynics (not us, of course!) might say it looks as though Christie is trying to make inroads with voters and donors in key presidential states.
So, what’s Party Time to think when we heard Christie would be the guest speaker at a Republican finance dinner in Ohio? Does he just love Akron, or could this trip have something to do with Ohio’s perma-swing-state status and Christie’s presidential hopes and dreams for 2016? Party people, you decide!
Sunflower State partying
Last week, we looked into the increasingly interesting Senate race down in Kansas. Republican Sen. Pat Roberts suddenly is in the fight of his life after the Democrat dropped out of the race, paving the way for a serious challenge from independent candidate Greg Orman.
Since that shakeup, Roberts – who faced criticism as a “creature of Washington” during his Republican primary – has appeared in his home state with GOP crowd-pleasers like Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Last week, Roberts did a campaign stop with former Sen. Bob Dole, who hasn’t held office since 1996 but is still a bit of a rock star with Kansas voters.
Come Monday, Roberts will be in Wichita for a luncheon with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. While the Roberts campaign will benefit from the money raked in at the $100- to $2,600-per-plate event, Bush gets publicity points as he flirts with a run for the While House in 2016. He kicked his fundraiser appearances into high gear this year, traveling to Ohio, Illinois and Massachusetts, as well as partying in Florida with Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C., and Gov. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa, both early presidential primary states.
Whew, party people, what a full week! What have we missed, and what have you heard about? Let us know!
Photo courtesy FlickrTweet
Party animals, welcome to another jam-packed week of political fundraising! Know how we know midterms are approaching? This week’s social calendar is overflowing with politicos bellying up to the (campaign cash) bar.
Aside from the usual juicy tidbits from the party circuit, the last few weeks have been rather exciting. First, there was news of that men-only fundraiser for Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., which (a) lit up social media, and (b) proved that you can’t make this stuff up. Then, our friends at the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting launched the first state-level collaboration with Party Time, complete with an ab-fab roundup of how political partying goes down in the Pine Tree State. (Want your state to be next? Let us know and we can set it up!)
And now, for this week’s highlights!
Palmetto State Partying
Trips to New Hampshire and Iowa by politicians pondering a presidential run always grab headlines. But as the host of the “First in the South” primary, South Carolina is an equally important stepping-stone to the White House.
So, for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, this week’s touchdown in Columbia, S.C., is just the latest nod to political watchers that he’s seriously considering a run in 2016 (for the record, he’s been partying plenty in New Hampshire and Iowa, too). He also recently shook up his political staff and added some fresh blood to his campaign posse.
And come Monday, Cruz is the special guest at a victory lunch benefiting the South Carolina Republican Party. PT’s records show this is the second time Cruz has headlined a shindig for the state party: Back in May 2013, he was the featured guest at the 46th Annual Silver Elephant Celebration, which, incidentally, also served as a tribute to former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who retired last year in favor of running the Heritage Foundation.
Then, on Tuesday, as part of his duties as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make the trek down to South Carolina for an RGA funder. It’s another stop on Christie’s marathon partying schedule, and he’ll be joined at the get-together by another fundraising powerhouse, Gov. Nikki Haley. The dynamic duo of Christie (always in the mix as a potential presidential candidate in 2016) and Haley (a rising star in the party who is up for reelection this fall) will only add to the RGA’s stuffed-to-the-gills bank account, which is thanks to Christie’s record-breaking cash-grab as head of the organization.
Two-day par-tay with Obamas, H. Clinton
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama join fundraising forces at the end of the week for the Democratic Party’s yearly confab for the Women’s Leadership Forum. The annual national issues conference is always a prime place to spot bold-named Dems, and this year, in addition to the president and first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., are slated to speak. It’s all set to go down on Thursday and Friday at the brand-new (and super swanky) Marriott Marquis in downtown D.C.
Of course we can’t be sure, but the smart money is on Clinton and Gillibrand pulling heavily from their respective new books when prepping their remarks for the women-focused event. Gillibrand, who holds the Senate seat Clinton vacated to become Secretary of State in 2008, made some waves when her book, “Off the Sidelines,” revealed a batch of sexist remarks made by her male colleagues. (She also got into a bit of trouble with Northern Virginia residents when she referred to Arlington as a “soulless suburb.”) No matter: Gillibrand still made Time’s 100 Most Influential People list this year, and her book has everyone atwitter about whether or not the memoir is a nod to a future presidential run.
As for Clinton, well, just about everything she does and says is dissected and analyzed to the nth degree. Her tome, “Hard Choices,” might not have divulged anything new, but the book tour got the media buzzing about what another Clinton candidacy would look like. And for PT watchers, in September alone, Clinton headlines a fistful of fundraisers, including a recent stop in Iowa for Sen. Tom Harkin’s Steak Fry.
Boehner makes it rain
Speaker of the House John Boehner is a fundraising fanatic. A master moneymaker. A crusader for campaign cash. During the recent recess, the Ohio Republican went on a multi-state money-grab, hitting up donors for specific candidates and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
On Thursday evening, Boehner has a party of his own, an alliterative gem called the Boehner backyard BBQ. It’s slated to take place at the Half Street Fairgrounds, right near Nats Park in Southeast D.C., but don’t let that, or the invite’s cute mason jar or quaint red-and-white-checkered theme, fool you: This is one pricey party. Tickets start at $500, and climb to $10,000 for what better be some pretty awesome BBQ.
Come Saturday, Boehner is back on the road, heading to the Empire State for a fundraiser for State Sen. Lee Zeldin. This is the latest in a string of high-profile help for Zeldin, who is running against Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop for New York’s 1st District House seat. Party Time’s records show that so far this year, Zeldin has partied with the likes of Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor (that fundraiser appearance was just a few days after Cantor’s surprise primary defeat, FYI), Oregon Rep. and NRCC Chair Greg Walden, and former Florida Rep. Allen West.
Party Time has a soft spot for Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., because we can just about always count on her to throw some sort of themed get-together, complete with a gem of an invite (June’s Crawfish Fest is the latest winner). On Thursday evening, Landrieu is at it again with the sixth installment of her celebrity chef event, this one featuring Chef Rusty Holman of Pennsylvania Avenue’s Bayou. Expect to throw down anywhere from $1,000 to $5,200 to attend.
Landrieu’s creative ploys for cash collection are all sorts of necessary in her neck-and-neck race. The Rothenberg Political Report calls Landrieu’s matchup against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy a pure toss-up, and Sunlight’s Real-Time Influence Explorer tool shows that the candidates – and outside groups – are spending buku bucks on the seat.
But here’s a quandary, party people: We’ve got a pretty good record of Landrieu’s partying plans, but not a whole lot on the books for her challenger. Got a Cassidy invite to share, or know of a fundraiser in the works? Send whatever you’ve got right here.
Cash for Cotton
A similar scenario is playing out in Arkansas, another southern state where the Democratic incumbent is hanging on by a thread and gobs of money are flowing into the race. According to Real-Time, outside groups alone have spent more than $13 million on the Senate matchup between Sen. Mark Pryor and his Republican challenger, Rep. Tom Cotton. And recent polls give Cotton the advantage.
On Friday, lobbyists from mega firm Podesta Group are throwing a lunch fundraiser for Cotton at the company’s downtown D.C. headquarters. PACs are asked to chip in $1,000 to $2,500, but individuals can get in for a mere $500. Next week, Cotton will benefit from another high-profile party, when he goes to Tampa for a fundraiser headlined by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia CommonsTweet
Party people, for months now we’ve been anticipating a fall season bursting at the seams with political fundraisers. And here we are, in the second full week of September, with a jam-packed social calendar.
This week, D.C.-based partying is back in full swing after the traditional emptying out of Capitol Hill during August, which saw plenty of on-the-road fundraising. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., is one politician taking advantage of D.C.’s summertime-in-September weather, throwing a fundraiser at Nationals Park during Tuesday night’s Nats-Braves matchup. It’s a popular party spot, but usually it’s to watch your home team take on the Nats (since Schneider represents Chicago’s northern ‘burbs, we’re assuming he’s a Cubs fan). But, hey, a politician’s got to do what a politician’s got to do, and if that means having a fundraiser during a baseball game when your team’s not playing, then so be it.
Although Party Time’s schedule is super full, we are sure there’s more going on out there. What have you heard about, and what invites have come across your desk? You know what to do! Upload official invites right here, or email us any news tips.
And with that, get ready for a busy week in political partying!
Dems are partying hard. Like, really, really hard.
Democrats and Republicans are in the midst of a fight to the death for control of the Senate. Seriously. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently called his race against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes a “slugfest” and a “knife fight” during a fundraiser in southeastern Kentucky.
While candidates are using “control of the Senate” to rally support around their individual campaigns (at that same fundraiser, McConnell told those gathered: “This is the biggest race in the country. And the consequences are enormous.”), national-level party committees also employ the refrain to ply mega donors for mega bucks. To wit: This week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – in charge of keeping the Senate blue – is throwing six pricey parties.
Dems have been rather adept this year at deploying unpopular-yet-moneymaking politicos (ahem, President Obama) to collect cash, and this week’s swath of fundraisers continues the trend. Tuesday evening’s annual fall reception at the National Museum of Women in the Arts features DSCC Chair Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., always a popular target for Republicans. Tickets start at $1,000 and climb to $32,400. And on Friday, expect a similarly priced event in Baltimore, where the partier-in-chief himself headlines a fundraiser. (Details on President Obama’s party are scarce, so let us know if you’ve heard about what’s doing in Charm City.)
Hillary Clinton makes her fall fundraising debut this week, hosting a DSCC reception and dinner – tickets go for $10,000 per person, or $32,400 per couple – at her Northwest D.C. home. Between her summertime book tour and various speaking gigs, not to mention the continual will-she-won’t-she-in-2016 storyline, Clinton keeps grabbing headlines. But Party Time counts this as her first step into purely political territory since May, when she headlined a fundraiser for Marjorie Margolies (mother-in-law to one Chelsea Clinton, not-so-incidentally), who ultimately lost her bid to return to Congress. State Rep. Brendan Boyle defeated Margolies in the Democratic primary for an open seat in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District.
Tuesday’s event is the first of two fundraisers this week for Clinton. On Sunday, she and hubby Bill will touch down in Iowa to co-headline Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual Steak Fry. As the site of the first-in-the-nation caucuses, the Hawkeye State visit has political prognosticators buzzing more than usual about her possible White House run. Ready for Hillary, the super PAC that’s collecting cash and solidifying support for a possible H. Clinton presidential candidacy, even cooked up a fundraiser raffle for supporters to win a trip to the Steak Fry.
And two more fundraisers fill out the week for the DSCC’s fundraising frenzy: On Wednesday, Delaware Sen. Tom Carper will host a lunch in D.C., and come Friday, party faithful will gather in swanky Kiawah, S.C., for a weekend-long fall retreat.
Famous faces come out for Michelle Nunn
In Georgia’s tight Senate race, Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn benefits greatly from name recognition. Her father, former Sen. Sam Nunn, continues to be a popular political figure in her home state after serving in the Senate for more than 30 years.
But a recent article questioned whether or not the Nunn name provides much of a boost among African Americans or younger voters, key constituencies for Democratic candidates. Fortunately for the Nunn camp, some very well-known people with names that just about everyone can recognize are throwing fundraisers this week for the campaign.
First up is first lady Michelle Obama, who is headlining a roundtable fundraiser Monday afternoon in Atlanta. The event benefits Nunn and the DSCC, and marks Obama’s first foray into fundraising since the end of July. Then, on Saturday, former President Bill Clinton throws a funder at the Atlanta home of Usher. Is everyone else counting on a Clinton-on-the-saxophone version of “Yeah!”? Thought so.
Cash for Comstock
Before she became a member of Virginia’s House of Delegates, Barbara Comstock was a go-to researcher and political consultant within Republican circles for years, working on former President George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000 and on Mitt Romney’s run in 2012. Now, as she competes for Virginia’s 10th District House seat, Comstock is getting help from some long-ago cultivated friendships.
On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., headlines a reunion event in D.C., which will feature other top aides from the 2012 campaign. Comstock’s team is also raffling off two tickets and a photo with Ryan, asking supporters to throw down anywhere from $25 to $2,600 for a chance to meet the former VP candidate and current chair of the House Budget Committee.
The next day, Comstock throws another fundraiser, this one at the Middleburg, Va., home of Kristi and Vito Germinario. Former Virginia Sen. John Warner and Rep. Frank Wolf, whose upcoming retirement opened up the 10th District seat, are slated to attend Wednesday’s event.
Happy birthday, Mr. Governor
Politicians will use anything for a fundraiser gimmick. And why not? If you are planning to celebrate a wedding anniversary or the coming of summer anyway, why not tack on a little fundraising for good measure?
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a one-man fundraising machine for the Republican Governors Association, is joining in on the tradition and marking his birthday (which actually fell on Sept. 6) with a fundraiser for the New Jersey Republican State Committee. Christie will celebrate the big 5-2 with his right-hand man, Bill Palatucci, and Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, turned presidential candidate, turned big-time GOP surrogate in 2014.
While $150 will get you into the general reception, it’ll cost you $5,000 to attend the private reception or $25,000 to attend the roundtable. And if that doesn’t entice you to bust out the checkbook, the birthday balloons on the invite should do the trick.
Photo courtesy FlickrTweet
Hello party people! We’ve got another busy week of political parties on the books over here at Party Time. But, as has been the case during the past few weeks, our social calendar skews heavily blue, with Democrats from all over getting in on the fundraising game.
Since we know the GOP does just as much fundraising as its counterpart, our only question is: What are the details?! Send us anything and everything – news clippings, hot gossip, attendee lists, luncheon menus, etc. – right here, or share those invites with our confidential upload feature. Don’t be shy!
Now let’s get to the week in political parties.
Obamas continue to go big on party circuit
Cue the ’80s dance party mix because President Barack Obama just can’t seem to get enough of … fundraising!
That’s right, folks, the partier-in-chief is back at it again, with another three-day swing packed with parties. He’s hitting up donors on the Left Coast this week, stopping briefly in Washington state before cruising through California. According to PT’s running tally, these latest get-togethers make for 41 Obama-headlined parties in 2014.
First up is a quick stop in Seattle, where Obama is slated to appear Tuesday at a reception for the Democratic National Committee. He’ll spend the afternoon at a private home with about 250 guests, according to the Seattle Times. He’ll then fly down to San Francisco, where he’ll spend the night and prep for a full day of partying in the Golden State.
Wednesday’s fundraising fun gets started with an afternoon event at the Los Altos Hills home of Judy and George Marcus. The couple runs a family foundation, and George Marcus is an ex-UC Regent who counts former President Bill Clinton and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as buddies.
Pelosi – as well as Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., and Anna Eshoo, D-Calif. – will be on hand with Obama to gin up support among the wealthy donors able to shell out $10,000 for lunch and a photo. But if you are more in the mood for a “VIP photo,” get ready to cut a check for $32,400 per couple. (And get ready to explain the difference between a photo and a VIP photo, too – inquiring Party Time minds want to know!)
After that event for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Obama cruises over to a party in San Francisco for the House Majority PAC. That’s the super PAC working to get Democrats elected to the House, and the group responsible for some mega ad buys for the midterm elections.
The prez then hits the tarmac for the short flight down to Los Angeles, where he headlines a reception and dinner for the DNC. Hollywood heavyweights (and “Scandal” chums) Kerry Washington and Shonda Rhimes serve as hosts at the fundraiser, which will be held at Rhimes’ L.A. home. (Incidentally, Rhimes recently told a press gaggle that her sister, a party planner by trade, is handling all of the nitty-gritties because “those are not things that ever interest me.”)
A bit of extra hubbub recently popped up around this party when CharityBuzz.com set up an auction for a chance to meet Obama at the fundraiser. But the DNC asked the website to call off the bidding war – and then decided to raffle off a ticket to the fundraiser.
Thursday morning, Obama sticks around in L.A. to squeeze in one more fundraiser, a $32,400-per-person roundtable discussion. The party, held at the home of Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and his model/actress wife Jolene, benefits the DNC and is limited to 30 guests.
Not to be outdone, the first lady will chip in with some fundraising of her own on Thursday. Michelle Obama travels to her native Chicago for a DNC fundraiser at downtown’s spiffy Waldorf Astoria. Thursday also happens to be the Windy City stop on Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On the Run Tour, which means that, as the Chicago Sun-Times pointed out, concertgoers should definitely keep their eyes peeled for M. Obama. She’s an outspoken fan and friend of the music power couple, and took the first daughters to a Queen Bey concert last year.
Sin City shenanigans
Nevada’s 3rd District House race is heating up, and Party Time’s got a pair of back-to-back fundraisers to prove it.
Rep. Joe Heck, a Republican who has represented the Las Vegas suburbs since 2010, will face off against Democrat Erin Bilbray come November. Bilbray runs a health care nonprofit with her husband, got a nod from abortion rights group Emily’s List, and is part of the Democrats’ Jumpstart Program, which targets especially promising candidates in winnable districts.
Despite these Dem bona fides in her swing district, a May poll showed that Bilbray lacked name recognition among Vegas voters, even though they preferred her platform. But you know what can get your name out there? Partying with one Joe “BFD” Biden.
On Wednesday afternoon, the VP headlines a campaign rally for Bilbray at Kona Ice, known for its shaved ice and do-goodery. If this event doesn’t produce multiple gif-worthy moments – Biden with sugary desserts in Las Vegas, people! – we don’t know what will.
And that’s the second big-name fundraiser in two days for Bilbray. On Tuesday, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is also the head of the DNC, throws a Women for Bilbray event at a Las Vegas law firm.
Dems in D.C.
For the few Democratic donors not already tied up with political parties during this busy week, don’t fret: You can hit up Eric Lesser’s fundraiser in downtown D.C.
Lesser – a member of Team Obama since the early days of 2007 and who started the tradition of marking the seder at the White House – is running for a state Senate seat in his old stomping grounds of western Massachusetts. The Harvard Law grad, who is also a consultant on HBO’s “Veep,” has friends in high places and he’s not afraid to use them. The invite to Wednesday evening’s party name checks a fistful of Obama whisperers: David Axelrod, Andrew Bleeker, Stephanie Cutter, Shomik Dutta, Jon Favreau, Robert Gibbs, Ben LaBolt, Reggie Love, Alyssa Mastromonaco, Jim Messina, Jennifer O’Maley Dillon, Patrick Dillon, David Plouffe, Pete Rouse, Erik Smith, Julianna Smoot, Jake Levine, Buffy Wicks and Abby Witt. Whew!
A few of our favorite things: BBQ, beer, bourbon … and ice cream!
With a week full of luncheons, receptions and roundtable discussions, two parties stand out for their creative calls for campaign cash.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., throws his Smoked ’n’ Oaked: A Celebration of Virginia’s Best Barbecue, Bourbon, and Beer party on Tuesday evening, with tickets starting at $100 and capping out at $1,000. The shindig goes down at law firm Jones Day on New Jersey Avenue, since nothing says authentic BBQ like a rooftop garden in the heart of Capitol Hill.
A few blocks away on Wednesday evening, a different rooftop will play host to an ice cream social for Sen. Patrick Leahy. This is a regular event for the Vermont Democrat, who is stockpiling cash for his 2016 reelection race. The invite, which features those famous Grateful Dead bears, claims that “Senator Leahy is looking forward to an evening surrounded by friends, Grateful Dead tunes, Magic Hat Beer, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.” These are good ingredients for an eventful evening, folks.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia CommonsTweet
Hey, party people, hey! Over here at Party Time, we know that political fundraising is a bipartisan mistress, her siren song calling to Democrats and Republicans alike. But it seems like the last few weeks have been extra busy for Dem donors.
Last week, the partier-in-chief hit up deep-pocketed supporters in a 24-hour cash-collecting bonanza, cruising through Denver, Dallas, and doing two stops in Austin. (In fact, the trip was so notable that we went on MSNBC to talk about it.) But President Obama wasn’t the only White House denizen getting in on the action. First lady Michelle Obama headlined a party of her own for the Democratic National Committee in New York City last Thursday. And Vice President Joe Biden attended an event last Friday down in Nashville for the Democratic Governors Association.
Combine those shindigs with news that Dems are raking in cash off former Gov. Sarah Palin’s calls for impeachment and House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, and you’ve got yourself a Democratic fundraising frenzy.
This week’s social calendar sees more big-name Dems on the party circuit, but GOPers are getting in on the fun, too. And although we’ve got a good amount of fundraisers on the books, we are confident that there’s a lot more going on out there. So, send us what you’ve got! Hand over invites with our nifty confidential upload feature right here, or email us any news tips and hot gossip.
And now, for your week in political parties!
Mr. and Mrs. Obama, fundraising dynamic duo
They did it last week, so why not do it again? The president and first lady will divide and conquer this week with a set of bicoastal fundraisers benefiting Democratic organizations.
Michelle Obama gets things started on Tuesday afternoon with a party for the Democratic National Committee in sunny SoCal. Entry to the roundtable discussion at the Los Angeles home of Michael Lombardo (HBO executive and Kennedy Center board member) and Sonny Ward (founder of West Hollywood’s June Street Architecture) goes for $5,000 a pop. And this isn’t the first hosting gig for the power couple: Party Time data show Lombardo and Ward have served on host committees for Dem fundraisers benefiting Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
On Thursday, President Obama hits up donors in the Big Apple at a party for the House Majority PAC. This is the president’s second appearance at a string of fundraisers for super PACs working to get Democrats elected (and, yes, it marks an attitude switch-up when it comes to raising money for PACs).
Back in June, Obama spoke at a Senate Majority PAC roundtable, and next week, he’s slated to attend another party for its House counterpart in San Francisco. (The Bay Area get-together is part of another jam-packed week of on-the-road fundraising for the prez, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.) Unfortunately, specifics on all of these events are scarce, so if you know any details, send them our way!
Kansas governor parties in D.C.
Come Tuesday evening, it’ll be like old-home week for Gov. Sam Brownback. The Kansas Republican returns to D.C. for a fundraiser at the Capitol Hill Club, familiar stomping grounds for the congressman-turned-senator-turned-governor.
The full Sunflower State delegation will be on hand to fete Brownback, a first-term governor running for reelection. And it looks like the incumbent could use some help from his friends. Despite Kansas’s deep-red-state status, a recent poll shows Brownback down by 6 points against Democratic challenger Paul Davis.
Last fall, Davis – a state representative since 2003 and House Minority Leader since ’08 – announced he would make a run for the governor’s mansion. Davis immediately focused his campaign on schools, making it all the more notable that, in response to the recent poll results, Brownback’s camp touted the governor’s record on education.
2016 watch alert: Christie in Iowa
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a fundraising fiend during his tenure as the head of the Republican Governors Association, is working his magic again this week with three parties on Thursday in Iowa. Political prognosticators, take note: this is the first time Christie has traveled to the Hawkeye State in two years, according to the Des Moines Register.
Christie starts his long day with a party for the RGA at the home of Kyle Krause, CEO of the convenience store chain Kum & Go. This is one of the more expensive RGA fundraisers Party Time has come across, with tickets starting at $25,000. Then, Christie heads to Cedar Rapids for an afternoon event benefiting Iowa’s Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen. Christie will then make his way over to the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport to headline a party for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. Although tickets cap out at $10,000, general admission starts at $25.
It’s a strategic mix of partying (all in one day!) that gives Christie plenty of one-on-one time with well-heeled donors and gets him in front of average Iowans at a fair. And it’s only the latest installment in a busy year of fundraiser appearances. Party Time data show Christie has appeared at 41 events so far in 2014.
Paging Marty McFly
Rarely do fundraiser invites make us think of our childhood, but this week, we’ve got Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to thank for a walk down memory lane. This has nothing to do with partisanship, folks; Pelosi’s leadership PAC, PAC to the Future, is having a party – and making us reminisce about watching the ’80s classic and then rewinding the VHS to watch it again (thanks, by the way, to the generous parents who let this happen on a regular basis).
On Tuesday evening, Pelosi and a fistful of lobbyists from powerhouse firms like Ogilvy Government Relations, Podesta, Wal-Mart and United Technologies will hoverboard over to Penn Quarter’s Rosa Mexicano for a cocktail reception for PAC to the Future. Tickets start at $500 and go up to $5,000 to host. Great Scott!
Photo courtesy Wikimedia CommonsTweet
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 CommonsTweet
Party people, we are just about recovered from the State of the Union – we’ve sifted through our fair share of Joe Biden memes and watched that video of Rep. Michael Grimm lose it. We’ve even made our own version of the speech with Sunlight’s State of the Union Machine.
Politicians of every stripe took advantage of the all-eyes-on-Washington week and fundraised their tails off (Sen. Mitch McConnell had morning and evening events last Wednesday; First Lady Michelle Obama told donors to “write a big fat check” at one of her four California events). The trend looks to continue into this week, with a busy social calendar for heavy-hitters in D.C., Florida and Pennsylvania, plus a swanky weekend getaway to Vail, Colo.
The schedule is busy, but we are confident there are other parties happening out there that we haven’t heard about. Know of anything good going on? Email us those invites and newspaper clippings, or use our handy-dandy (and confidential) upload feature.
And now, for some parties!
Fundraising for Florida
Florida never fails to entertain. A perpetual swing state full of close local races – not to mention the competing (and entertaining) fundraising forces of Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist – Florida will yet again compel all of politics to pay hyper-close attention.
This go-around, it’s a special election to fill the seat of the late Rep. Bill Young, who died last October. Although the Republican kept his 13 th District in the GOP column for 42 years, the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report ranks the seat as one of six “pure toss-up” races of 2014. Translation: Fasten your seatbelts.
Republicans already duked it out during a contentious primary in January. State Rep. Kathleen Peters ultimately lost to David Jolly, but not before she routinely referred to him as a lobbyist (yep) and charged that he worked in favor of President Obama’s health care law (nope). Jolly was no saint, either; according to the Tampa Bay Times, a Jolly mailer said Peters wouldn’t “take a stand” on the health care law even though she consistently said she was against it.
Things didn’t get much better after the primary. The Times reported that Peters, name-checking Jolly’s lobbying career again, wasn’t ready to endorse her party’s candidate quite yet. “Is there going to be trust there? That’s been my concern all along, and that’s where I think we’re going to be weakened,” Peters told the Times.
But just a few weeks later, and Peters is ready to belt out “Kumbaya” with the best of them. She will be partying Wednesday morning (at, yawn, 7:30 a.m.) with Jolly and virtually every other elected state-level Republican in Florida. Gov. Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, state GOP Chairman Lenny Curry and a fistful of state senators and representative are throwing their support behind Jolly at the Tallahassee reception.
That kind of across-the-board support is exactly what Alex Sink has been enjoying for months now. Democrats lined up behind their 13th District contender from the get-go, labeling her a “jumpstart” candidate, which translates into extra hands on deck for her campaign. In December, Dem leaders threw her a fundraiser in D.C., and on Wednesday evening, a similar cast of characters will party with her at the DNC’s headquarters. Tickets start at $250 for individuals and cap out at $5,000 for PACs.
Sink, Florida’s former CFO, has a significant cash advantage over Jolly. She raised more than $1 million in the last months of 2013 (including a noteworthy $1,000 contribution from Charlie Crist), and recorded a one-day haul of $31,500 earlier this month. Jolly raised $388,450 at the end of 2013, and has since brought in an additional $35,700.
Pelosi in Pennsylvania
Democratic leadership will kick in support for some of its other “jumpstart” candidates on Thursday. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., fresh off a “who-moi?” performance on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, heads to Philadelphia for a party at the Racquet Club. Three new-to-the-national-stage candidates, all hoping to turn their districts from red to blue in 2014, will benefit from the draw of Pelosi’s name at the top of the invite.
Party leadership recruited Kevin Strouse, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, to run against Republican Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania’s 8th District. Another veteran, Michael Parrish, announced he was throwing his hat in the ring for Pennsylvania’s 6th District seat, which opened up when GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach said he was retiring. And in a race that has the potential to get real interesting real fast, Aimee Belgard will go head-to-head with conservative Steve Lonegan – who lost to now-Sen. Cory Booker in a special election last fall – in a race for New Jersey’s 3 rd District seat. After two terms in the House, Rep. Jon Runyan, a Republican, won’t run for reelection.
According to PT’s data, this is the first fundraiser for all three candidates. (Know of more? Send us those invites!)
Red, White and Blue – and Rand Paul
Last year, there were two official retorts to the State of the Union address – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delivered the tea party response and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., became infamously thirsty during the Republican Party’s reaction. But for 2014, a few more people got in on the action: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., represented Republicans, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, weighed in for the tea party … and Sen. Paul spoke on behalf of, well, himself.
As the Washington Post noted, this mirrors the intense power plays going on in the GOP. But it also sheds some light on Paul’s political aspirations – and potential strategies – as he blends his libertarian bona fides with a growing appeal among conservatives. He may have started out as a long-shot candidate, but he’s gaining steam as a viable 2016 contender. Other things that keep up that kind of chatter: last year’s fundraising stops in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina (hey, key primary states, hey).
On Wednesday, Paul will deliver the keynote at the American Principles Project’s Red, White & Blue Gala at D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel. The benefit for the conservative nonprofit – board members include National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher and leading Catholic scholar Robert P. George – will allow Paul to beef up his social conservative street cred. He may even weigh in on the hot topic of immigration, especially seeing as American Principles recently launched an initiative to gin up support for immigration reform among conservatives.
Udall hits the slopes
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., had a tough week. After the State of the Union, he fumbled with questions about campaigning with President Obama during Udall’s upcoming reelection fight. And a few days later, he learned his son was arrested and charged with heroin possession and trespassing. Sounds like he could use a breather.
It’s perfect(ish) timing, then, that Udall cruises over to Vail on Friday for a weekend retreat benefiting his leadership PAC, Peak PAC. We first heard of the funder in December, when Peak was having a breakfast event in D.C. Do you have more details to share? Email us what you’ve heard about.
Whew, party people, what a week. There’s a lot going on, but we bet there’s more happening that we haven’t heard about. Keep us in the loop – send those invites and save the dates our way!
Photo credit: Tumblr.comTweet
Good morning, partiers! We are coming off a quiet week here in Washington, save for a star-studded dance party for the First Lady’s 50th birthday (Magic Johnson! Michael Kors! Mary J. Blige! Beyonce!). But things gear up, starting today, as Congress returns to Capitol Hill and the president preps for his State of the Union speech on Tuesday. Let’s get down to business, folks.
Democrats are a force to be reckoned with this week, with Michelle Obama headlining fundraisers in California, Hillary Clinton backers coming out in Florida and Pennsylvania, and Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., celebrating the Asian Lunar New Year in D.C. Not to be outdone, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will have a D.C. fundraiser of his own as he readies his 2016 campaign.
But we can’t help but think that there’s a big gap on our social calendar – we haven’t heard of a single Super Bowl-related political party! As fans of the Broncos and Seahawks dig into chicken wing platters and bowls of chips and dip on Sunday, we find it hard to believe that the Colorado and Washington state delegations won’t be taking advantage and hosting a fundraiser or two. Heck, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., are the two most recent chairs of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which means they definitely know how to throw a good party. Know of any Super Bowl funders going on? Let us know here. (And to our Colorado- and Washington-based readers: Any local or state politicians partying for football and funds? Upload any invites or newspaper clippings here.)
Happy New Year! Now fork over the cash.
Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., gets the party started this week with a Monday evening fundraiser to celebrate the Asian Lunar New Year. Want to ring it in at the Democratic National Committee HQ on South Capitol Street? Tickets start at $500 per person, or range from $1,000 to $5,000 for PACs.
She’ll need to start stockpiling (PT only has record of one Meng fundraiser) for her reelection campaign, and quickly. Rumors continue to swirl that John Liu – former N.Y.C. comptroller and recent mayoral candidate – may put up a primary challenge for Meng’s seat.
Incidentally, earlier this month, the freshman congresswoman introduced a bill to make the Lunar New Year a school holiday. It’s similar to legislation Meng attempted to get through New York’s State Assembly in 2009 and 2011, when she represented Flushing, Queens.
Hillary’s ready-and-waiting money machine
Ready for Hillary continues its stampede across the U.S. to raise money for H. Clinton as she continues to hem and haw about running for president. (And we are just on the edge of our seats – she said she’d decide sometime this year.) Like everyone else, PT is keeping an eye on Clinton’s continuously hectic travel schedule, not to mention Priorities USA Action’s recent announcement that it officially backs a Clinton candidacy and will start collecting cash for her.
While Priorities focuses on bringing in mega-donations from mega-donors, Ready for Hillary has capped individual contributions at $25,000, a lot of money in the real world, but chump change in the super PAC fundraising world. And this week, Ready for Hillary hosts two of the smaller-dollar fundraising events the group is known for.
On Monday night, it’s $25 per person to hit up a fundraiser at the St. Petersburg Marriott. Former Clinton White House adviser Craig T. Smith will pop by, making this his third Ready for Hillary event. And on Thursday, it’s $20.16 to attend a funder at Philadelphia’s G Lounge, with former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
John McCain is keeping us on our toes. Turns out, the Arizona Republican is going for Senate term number six in 2016.
Since then, McCain has weighed in on Florida’s 13th District congressional race, endorsing Republican David Jolly over Democratic candidate Alex Sink, and said President Obama is worse than Jimmy Carter. And last week, McCain delivered his signature dose of sarcasm during a Senate nomination hearing for an ambassador to Norway (which is gaining a lot of traction since the nominee, George Tsunis, is a big-time bundler for Obama, and the prez has a habit of tossing cushy ambassador posts to his major donors).
On Tuesday evening, right before the State of the Union, McCain will be hobnobbing at Johnny’s Half Shell, asking donors for at least $1,000 each to help get him reelected. According to the invite, he’d be “delighted” to see you there.
Dems go big in California
Michelle Obama may be calling herself “50 and fabulous,” but Democrats are thinking more along the lines of “50 and fabulous and fundraising.” They are dispatching her to California this week to headline four events.
On Wednesday, the First Lady makes good on a fundraising stop canceled in October due to the government shutdown. Obama will head to the L.A. home of “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Philip Rosenthal and his actress wife, Monica Horan, for a $1,000 to $32,400 per person fundraiser. On Thursday, she doubles up in San Francisco with two DNC fundraisers. And on Friday, Obama will be at a Women’s Lunch with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at downtown S.F.’s Fairmont Hotel. Ready those checkbooks!
Photo courtesy WikipediaTweet
Good morning, partiers! Still feeling sleepy from all of that turkey and Black Friday shopping? Well, pour yourself another cup of coffee and get ready for some fundraising festivities because it’s going to be a busy December – we’ve counted 44 parties on the books so far, and most are during the first two weeks. We are certain more shindigs are brewing out there, so, as always, let us know what we’re missing.
If you are in the mood for some holiday-themed gatherings, you’re in luck. On Wednesday, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., will have an Italian-Style Holiday Reception while Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., is throwing a Holiday Wine Tasting at Sonoma Wine Bar. ’Tis the season.
This upcoming weekend, Republicans will be busy raising some cash in the Big Apple and Virginia. Florida’s Alex Sink will be in D.C. Wednesday for an event headlined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Alison Lundergan Grimes will hit up her home state for contributions today.
Grimes goes for some (more) green
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes hasn’t wanted for national attention since announcing in July that she was running to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Grimes, Kentucky’s current Secretary of State, benefits from family connections her father cultivated as the chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, including the deep-pocketed network of the ever-present Clintons.
To wit: Grimes has been gallivanting across the U.S. collecting campaign cash. And lots of it. According to the most recent filings on our Real-Time Tracker, Grimes brought in more than $2.5 million during the third quarter, out-raising McConnell, who collected just shy of $2.3 million. Democratic fundraiser extraordinaire Jeffrey Katzenberg raised money for her in Los Angeles in September, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., headlined a Las Vegas luncheon in October, and Hillary Clinton’s bestie, Susie Tompkins Buell, hosted Grimes in San Francisco a few days before Halloween.
Grimes also got a shout-out from First Lady Michelle Obama during a New York City fundraiser for Senate Democrats a few weeks ago. But perhaps in a nod to the president’s sinking approval ratings, Grimes took a step back from any perceived chumminess with the White House. “Listen, I did not have any conversations or interactions with the First Lady,” Grimes told a Louisville news station. “I was there as part of a women’s policy conference.”
Come Monday, it’s all about her home state. Grimes heads to the northern Kentucky community of Hebron for a fundraiser at a private home. According to PT’s data, it’s the third time she’s tapped Kentucky-based donors so far. Anybody know of more? Stuff those invites, newspaper clippings, swell party mementoes right here.
Collecting cash with Christie
Gov. Chris Christie, the newly minted head of the Republican Governors Association, has lined up two parties at the end of this week in deep red territory. Christie is lending his fundraising clout to events benefiting Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.
Fallin made headlines last month when she weighed in on the military’s compliance with the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision. She joined four other states when she ordered state-owned National Guard bases to stop handling applications for all military spouse benefits in order to keep gay couples from getting any. Instead, all related paperwork must go through one of the state’s four federally owned outlets (which Stephen Colbert had a field day with). Fallin cited Oklahoma’s 2004 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in her announcement, stating that the new policy “protects the integrity of our state constitution and sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply ignore our laws or the will of the people.”
So, basically, Fallin could use some fundraising fun. She’ll be celebrating her birthday (No. 59) with Christie at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City on Thursday evening. We suggest a second piece of cake (just not wedding cake).
On Friday, Christie heads to the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho to a fundraiser for Otter. As Republicans continue to debate Christie’s conservative bona fides, he’ll stumble into a governor’s race that’s starting to look a lot like other GOP contests. The two-term governor just got wind of a Republican challenger in the form of State Sen. Russ Fulcher. According to the Idaho Statesman, Fulcher was hobnobbing with his state’s tea partiers in the week leading up to his announcement.
Big names, big bucks
Florida’s Alex Sink, will be getting lots of love from all sorts of bold-named Democrats at her Wednesday night fundraiser in D.C. Expected to attend: Pelosi, and other members of the House Democratic leadership team — Reps. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, James Clyburn of South Carolina, Steve Israel of New York — along with the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and the rest of Florida’s Democratic congressional delegation. They’ll be putting their collective weight behind Sink’s effort to win a March 11 special election for the Tampa Bay House seat that the late Rep. Bill Young, a Republican, occupied for more than four decades. Of course, all those Democrats will be asking you for some money.
Sink is viewed as a potential Democratic star: After working in the banking industry, Sink pinged around Florida’s state government halls, first as the treasurer of the State Board of Administration and then as the state’s chief financial officer. In 2010, she ran for governor against Rick Scott and lost by one percentage point.
The race to replace Young, who died in October, promises to be tight, and already has both sides talking – Democrats were quick to praise Sink’s decision, and Republicans pounced as soon as she made her announcement.
No weekend plans? Want to part-ay with the Republican Party? You’ve got options: Both Virginia and New York City are hosting GOP fundraisers this weekend.
At the Omni Resort in Hot Springs, Virginian Republicans will meet up to debrief about the 2013 election and to start strategizing for next year. The invite promises workshops, receptions, luncheons – and Gov. Rick Perry. The Texan is slated to speak at the Saturday night black-tie gala. We’d suggest wearing cowboy boots with your tux, but you might be the only one; Perry has been leaving his on the shelf as he two-steps back into national politics, including during a recent stop in all-important Iowa.
But if you prefer to party in the big city, the National Republican Congressional Committee get-together may be more your style. The National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual Bright Lights and Broadway Regional Meeting for members of its “steering committee” is in Manhattan this weekend. For an annual membership of a mere $10,000, committee members get things like email updates, issue briefings with Republican leaders and invites to other regional events. What a deal.
Those are the highlights of this busy week, partiers. What have we missed? Let us know!
Photo credit: Flickr, via Holly OcchipintiTweet
Greetings, partiers! This week has a shorter list of fundraisers (if you know of any we’re missing, you know what to do), but the cast of characters is chockablock with A-listers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Obamas, Hillary Clinton, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, ex-GOP vice presidential contender Sarah Palin, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah … the stars are coming out to start off November.
On Tuesday, Virginia’s slugfest of a governor’s race comes to an end, after buckets of outside money poured into the contest. Terry McAuliffe has gotten lots of help from his longtime pals, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Ken Cuccinelli spoke alongside Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul last week at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. The two are seen above along with two of the companions that former President Harry Truman advised politicians to get. Paul will be back to campaign with the Republican nominee this week while President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden pitch in for McAuliffe.
But this week fundraising eyes appear to be on 2016 with a number of potential presidential contenders on the circuit.
Perry in Polk County
Ever since Gov. Rick Perry announced that he wouldn’t seek another term in the Texas Governor’s Mansion, the smart money has been on him making another run at the White House. Back in May, GOP sources told the National Review that Perry is “strongly considering” a presidential run in 2016. Plus, Perry’s been making ads and speaking about his new nonprofit, Americans for Economic Freedom. The organization, which advocates for low taxes and limited regulation, has an advisory board full of bold-faced names including Perry’s 2012 presidential primary opponent Newt Gingrich and Anheuser-Busch royalty August Busch III.
If you need another indicator of Perry’s likely presidential aspirations, look no further than Iowa, where he will be attending a fundraiser on Thursday. Tickets to the Rob Kelley Fall Dinner run from $25 to $1,000, and benefit the Republican Party of Polk County (whose website actually has a running countdown to the next caucus).
The good news: According to this guy, the 2012 fall dinner was “classy” and the cash bar was “very popular.”
Ready or not, here comes Ready for Hillary. The super PAC that’s been encouraging H. Clinton to run for president in 2016 is gearing up for two California fundraisers this week.
The group, which has been working with Clinton allies in down-ballot races to shore up Democrats at any and all levels of state and national offices, recently got the backing (and the bucks) of billionaire George Soros. The super PAC announced Soros joined its National Finance Council as a co-chair, a position that requires raising or contributing $25,000.
That just happens to be the ticket price of Monday’s funder at Sandy Robertson’s San Francisco home. Robertson, a tech investor and founder of Francisco Partners, has been digging deep into his pockets for donations to Democrats for years, and was a fundraiser for Bill Clinton during his ’92 campaign. Susie Tompkins Buell, the co-founder of Esprit and longtime Hillary buddy (and another member of the PAC’s National Finance Council), will co-host the event.
On Wednesday, the PAC will ask for smaller donations at a fundraiser in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets start at $20.16. (See what they did there? Real subtle.)
By the weekend, Clinton will be in California for some fundraising gigs of her own. On Friday, she’ll pick up an award from the International Medical Corps and hobnob with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, faithful Democratic fundraisers, at a pricey event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Then it’s up to San Fran on Saturday, where Clinton will meet up with Chelsea for a benefit for the Clinton Foundation.
Cashing in at breakfast
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but Sen. Harry Reid is hoping it can also be a good time to collect campaign contributions. His 7:45 a.m. event on Thursday at Charlie Palmer Steak may bring in up to $5,000 per person.
This comes a few weeks after Reid attended a high-roller fundraiser in Florida the day after the shutdown ended. He was also in Las Vegas recently, raising money at a luncheon for Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Obamas dig for dough
President Obama’s fundraising sprint continues this week, as he cruises to parties for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Dallas and Miami. As has been widely reported, Obama’s gone on a fundraising tear since the shutdown ended, hitting up donors in D.C., Manhattan, and a Boston ’burb.
Not to be outdone, Michelle Obama will travel to Pittsburgh on Wednesday for an afternoon par-tay to benefit the DNC. The first lady also had to cancel a handful of funders due to the shutdown, but has been revving back up, starting with a speech at the DNC’s National Issues Conference Oct. 25.
It’s all about Iowa
Iowa, just about every politician’s favorite hangout when testing the waters for a national campaign, continues its hot streak of swinging parties. Soon after a pheasant hunt with Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Steven King, plus Perry’s Polk County speech on Thursday, GOP conservative stalwarts Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will make their way to the Hawkeye State.
The Tea Party darlings will headline the annual Friends of the Family Banquet on Saturday, with proceeds benefiting the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition. Tickets start at $55, but $1,000 can get attendees into a VIP reception plus a picture with Palin. Phyllis Schlafly, who famously and consistently opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, will be honored at the dinner held at the State Fairgrounds.
Toward the end of the week, Rep. Joe Garcia heads back to his native Florida for a weekend-long fishing trip in Key West. The freshman Democrat, who also plans to have his shutdown-delayed birthday celebration and fundraiser Nov. 19, has been in the news recently since his former chief of staff started a 90-day sentence for falsifying absentee ballots online. Sounds like that fishing trip couldn’t have come at a better time.
Whew, partiers, what a week! What else is happening out there? Let us know!
(Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons and the Ken Cuccinelli campaign)Tweet
Beneficiary: congressional candidate, lawmaker, or entity which collects funds raised at party
Host: person who is hosting party-often, but not always, a registered federal lobbyist
Venue Name: where the party is
Entertainment Type: type of gathering, such as "breakfast," "ski trip," "bowling"
Other Lawmakers Mentioned: lawmakers mentioned on invitation who are used as a draw for the event
Sunlight's Party Time is a project to track parties for members of Congress or congressional candidates that happen all year round in Washington, D.C. and beyond. (read more)
We also post information we receive about parties where members of Congress are expected to participate—such as convention or inaugural parties.
Since we don't hear about all the parties, you can also tell us if you know where the party is and we don't.