Hey, party people, hey! It has been a busy few weeks on the party circuit, and we love hearing about all of the fundraiser details: What was on the menu for Vice President Joe Biden’s visit? How were Rep. Tom Price’s dance moves at the Justin Timberlake concert? (Know more details, or have some invites to share? Send it all here.)
This week is shaping up to be a bit more traditional, with your run-of-the-mill luncheons and receptions. But even those can get interesting once you throw in a boldfaced politician or two, such as the fundraiser-in-chief himself: President Barack Obama will be out shaking the money tree for his party. And on Friday, the Republican Governors Association will be lunching and fundraising in Atlanta with Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Nathan Deal. The two GOP leaders continue to get heat for recent traffic issues in their respective states, with Christie not able to shake the George Washington Bridge scandal at home and Deal still recovering from the snow-induced commuter nightmare at the end of January.
And, as he’s fond of doing once every few months, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., is having one of his Bagels with Ben fundraisers on Wednesday morning. We’ve always had a soft spot for this event, seeing as it combines two of our absolute favorite things – alliteration and carbohydrates.
Let’s keep this train going, folks. Here’s the rest of your week in parties!
No, not that “Magic Mike.” We’re talking about Mike McFadden, the investment-banker-turned-Senate-candidate hoping for a magical run for Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s seat.
Franken squeaked into the Senate in 2008, besting his Republican opponent by just 312 votes (out of the approximately 2.4 million cast). But after six years of legislating, fundraising and shedding a bit of his “SNL”/Hollywood boisterousness, Franken doesn’t look as vulnerable as he once did. Rothenberg even put the seat into the “Safe Democrat” column for the 2014 cycle.
No matter – the GOP is throwing some of its biggest names behind McFadden this Wednesday at Party Time’s first recorded fundraiser for the Republican candidate. Last May, McFadden stepped down from his post as co-CEO of Lazard Middle Market to focus on his campaign; just a few months later, and he’s partying with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 13 other senators, plus former Minnesota Sens. Rudy Boschwitz and Norm Coleman.
Our Real-Time tracker shows McFadden will need to keep the parties coming in order to elbow out Franken, who has been known to get creative on the social circuit. The Republican has just shy of $1.7 million in the bank compared to Franken’s $4.8 million.
Mike Making Money
Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Mass., wants to stay in the House and is having a luncheon this week to prove it. The Massachusetts native will fundraise over cheeseboards and meatball appetizers at Sonoma Restaurant on Wednesday afternoon.
This funder comes a few months after Capuano opted out of a run for governor in his home state. The Democratic primary would’ve pit him against Attorney General Martha Coakley, who bested Capuano once before. Back in 2010, the two duked it out for a chance to face Republican Scott Brown in that year’s special election for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat. Capuano lost that primary by almost 20 points, and then Brown won the general, becoming the first Republican senator elected from the Bay State since 1972.
Party Time’s data show the luncheon fundraiser is a go-to move for Capuano, but we’ve got high hopes that the congressman will spice it up a little during this campaign. After all, his nephew is “Fantastic Four” actor Chris Evans, who went out on the trail in the run-up to the 2010 special election. If you hear about a Capuano party in the works, you know what to do – send the details here.
Rally that base
This weekend (in a fairly accurate visualization of our country’s political polarization, by the way), the right and the left will be partying with some of their staunchest supporters on opposite coasts.
In Los Angeles, California Dems are having their State Convention, and inviting a fistful of big names to draw all sorts of blue state voters and operatives. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will all be on hand on Saturday, as will Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (a potential 2016 White House contender) and Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
Across the country, on the Maryland Harbor, the Conservative Political Action Conference will get going on Thursday. This is going to be the place to be for conservative activists and politicians this weekend, and boy oh boy, it looks to be a jam-packed weekend.
Be sure to come caffeinated: Things get started at 9 a.m. with speeches from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and Donald Trump. And the hits just keep on coming Friday and Saturday – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Heritage President Jim DeMint, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin are all slated to speak. And if all that speechifying gets you down, check out the Ann Coulter-Mickey Kaus debate Saturday afternoon.
Democrats hit the road
We know the president is scheduled to headline an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in DC on Tuesday and, the following day, two fundraisers in Boston for the Democratic National Committee. But if you’ve got more deets, please share!
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has a busy weekend planned. He’ll pop down to Florida on Friday and then head north on Sunday for two days in New York. He’s had the trips on the books for a few weeks now, and the timing couldn’t be better for the freshman senator. Last Wednesday, Udall and political watchers everywhere learned that Republican Rep. Cory Gardner would challenge Udall rather than running for reelection to the House seat he has held since 2010. Expect the GOP to pour lots of money and resources into this race, as Gardner is considered an up-and-comer and the National Republican Senatorial Committee made him a top recruiting target. Gardner has close — very close — ties to the energy industry, Sunlight has found.
With his southern California district encompassing some of the best-known movie and TV studios, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., knows the powerful draw of a big-screen star. This weekend, he is having his Second Annual Weekend with the Stars fundraiser in L.A. Specifics are TBA, although there is a nifty film role on the invitation, undeniable proof that donors will be rubbing elbows with celebs all weekend long.
Photo courtesy WikipediaTweet
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!
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That’s certainly on Congress’s mind this week, even if it’s just a distraction from yet another looming budget battle. In fact, the Republican leader of the budget negotiations, Rep. Paul Ryan, will start out the week shaking the (palm) trees for cash in the Sunshine State. According to St. Petersblog, Ryan will breakfast Monday in the Orlando area with Republican supporters and members of Congress at the home of Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. The same day, Ryan is also slated to headline a $500-per-person fundraiser for Rep. Steve Southerland in Panama City, Fla.
Fundraising swing with Carl
The week of Thanksgiving, we pointed out how the partier-in-chief, a.k.a. President Barack Obama, was going on a fundraising tear along the West Coast, headlining seven parties in three days in Seattle and California. Party Time is similarly impressed with Carl DeMaio’s upcoming cross-country fundraising spree. (Hey, it’s hard work and somebody’s got to do it.)
DeMaio, a gay fiscal conservative whose campaign materials tout him as a “new generation Republican,” served on the San Diego City Council for one term before losing to former Rep. Bob Filner in the 2012 mayor’s race (and we all know how that turned out). But DeMaio isn’t interested in jumping into the special election to replace the scandal-plagued Filner; instead, DeMaio is looking to oust Democratic Rep. Scott Peters in 2014.
The San Diego race will be one to watch, and DeMaio is viewed as a potential star within the GOP. But last week, Politico reported a dustup within the party about whether or not the National Republican Congressional Committee should throw its support – and dollars – behind gay candidates.
But that’s not stopping DeMaio from hitting up the fundraising circuit: PT counts 25 scheduled fundraisers for DeMaio from June 2013 to next February, including this week’s tour. After hosting a champagne brunch at his San Diego home over the weekend, DeMaio hops over to Dallas for an evening reception on Monday. Then it’s off to New York City on Tuesday for a Log Cabin Republican event with fellow gay GOP candidate Richard Tisei, who is running to unseat Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass. And on Wednesday, DeMaio hits up D.C. donors with an evening reception.
Busy morning at Hotel George
The Hotel George is a popular fundraising spot – it’s swanky, it’s within spitting distance of the Capitol, and it’s getting a makeover. Come Wednesday morning, it’s the site of two separate breakfast fundraisers for Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Ill., and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.
Enyart recently made it official that he’d be running for reelection in 2014, but our Party Time data and Real-Time filings indicate he never really stopped raising campaign cash since arriving on the Hill earlier this year. On Wednesday, he’ll benefit from the fundraising pull of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, who is the “special guest” at the $1,000-plus breakfast.
That’s also the price tag for Speier’s funder, happening at the same time and at the same place. We suggest checking out what the Northern California native orders at her Winter Wonderland Breakfast Reception – in September, she brought a cooked steak, a bottle of vodka and a can of caviar to the House floor during a speech about food stamps and congressional food and travel expenses. Know what’s on the menu Wednesday, or any other good details? Share here.
Meeting up with Mitch
On Monday night, Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell is slated to attend an evening reception at the Bethesda home of Bruce and Leslie Lane. The event is billed as a “Washington Area Pro-Israel Reception” and lists 15 new-to-PT hosts.
The Kentucky Republican is fending off tea party challenger Matt Bevin in the primary as well as looking ahead to the general election, most likely against the well-funded Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Bluegrass and big bucks
Tickets start at $50 for the fundraiser benefiting the Virginia Democrat’s 2014 reelection campaign. Although Warner remains popular and isn’t facing numerous challengers, he’s still shoring up support. Ken Cuccinelli, who recently lost the Virginia governor’s race to Terry McAuliffe, told the Washington Post it would be “tempting” to run against Warner next year. Expect plenty more barbecue if that comes to fruition.
Holiday happenings with Allen West
Florida’s fiery conservative Allen West may not be running for office, but he’s not far from the fundraising game. On Friday night at St. Jude Catholic Church in Boca Raton, the former GOP congressman headlines a holiday party, complete with a buffet dinner and holiday music. Proceeds from the $75-per-person event (or $1,000 to sit at West’s table) go to his namesake foundation. (And if this video is any indication, you are in for a rollicking good time.)
West’s leadership PAC, which works to elect more conservatives “in the same vein as Allen West,” also continues to rake in the dough, bringing in more than $1.3 million during the first half of this year. The PAC recently backed four candidates for the 2014 races, and 10 more endorsements are expected.
Florida football fun
Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., is betting a sports fan or two will plunk down some serious cash for a weekend-long retreat to watch the Dolphins-Patriots game with him. This isn’t the first time Deutch has spiced up a fundraising event; although he’s had his fair share of receptions and luncheons, he also hit up a Heat-Wizards game a few years ago and a Pink concert at the Verizon Center last spring.
What else is happening out there, partiers? Keep us posted.
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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
Too many evening fundraisers filled with hors d’oeuvres and quiet conversation can get a little tiresome for a young, hip political donor. Thankfully, members are always coming up with innovative new events to help rake in the cash for their campaign war chests.
With the launch of Party Time’s excellent new Tumblr, we have been vigorously searching for zany new fundraising events — and our party-hearty politicians have happily obliged.
While this week’s social calendar features a plethora of picturesque funding fiestas — from a cigars and spirits reception, to an evening with pop star Will.i.am or a funder on the shooting range — one unhappy Florida lawmaker has provided us with a crash course in how not to party.
Scott sings the blues
Gov. Rick Scott’s fundraising woes began with news that the Florida governor had postponed the execution of an inmate on the Sunshine State’s death row. The reason? The timing conflicted with a fundraiser in honor of Attorney General Pam Bondi. Remember folks, sometimes even the biggest party animals need to take some off.
On top of Scott’s sticky death row situation, the governor recently found himself the center of another fundraising controversy over the procurement of hunting licenses for potential donors.
Perhaps copying a page out of the playbook of Sen. David Vitter,R-La., Scott’s reelection campaign had planned a $25, 000-a-head ‘gator hunt.’ Unfortunately, alligator hunting permits are a hot commodity for hunters in the Florida swamps. The state awards its scarce number of licenses each year through a lottery system — prompting questions of how the adequate number of gator licenses were acquired for the funder.
Though Scott has since cancelled the hunt, if Sen. Vitter’s facebook is any indication, there’s nothing like a good day in the swamps for scaring up some campaign cash.
Rubio back on the hunt
The end of summer means the reappearance of familiar faces on the Washington money trail, and few are more aggressive in stocking the ole war chest than prospective 2016-ers.
As reported by Politico, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. expects to raise hundreds of thousands at his Wednesday shindig in downtown Washington. The reception will take place at Hill Country BBQ and features a bevy of high profile Republican lobbyists on its host committee.
Suggested contributions range from $1,000 to $10,000 and will benefit Rubio’s Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee benefiting both the Marco Rubio for Senate committee and Reclaim America PAC — Rubio’s leadership committee.
Strong fundraising numbers can serve a number of purposes for savvy politicians: If Rubio should pass on a 2016 White House bid, an overflowing campaign war chest could discourage presumptive challengers from entering a battle over his Senate seat. Additionally, as House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has shown, aiding other party members with a little cash can go a long way towards preserving one’s good standing among caucus compatriots.
Stogies and Spirits
While everyone knows that nothing kills the mood of a good par-tay like running out of booze, rest assured that Garcia’s reception will be well-stocked, as it is hosted by none other than the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers’ Association and the Distilled Spirits Council. While this is the Cigar & Pipe retailers’ first appearance in PT’s archives, the Distilled Spirits Council clearly prefers to share a cold one with Dems.
If you can’t make it, or just can’t get enough of the Florida congressman, fear not: Garcia will be holding another bash this Friday at the Erickson & Co. Townhouse.
Lundergan Grimes, ready for prime time?
While the next election for Kentucky’s Senate seat is not until November of next year, the three way race to fill the seat of Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is already in high gear with astronomical spending and bizarre attack ads.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recently gained two new feathers in her campaign cap with the news of two upcoming fundraisers featuring A-list invitees.
This Friday the Bluegrass state will receive a visit from pop star Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, appearing on Lundergan Grimes’ behalf at a private residence. Contributions run the gamut from $100 to $2,600.
That’s right, a political fundraiser where you get to blast away with a variety of different firearms — all while supporting New Jersey’s Republican candidate for Senate.
Sponsored by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, the event offers different firing experiences for different levels of support. $40 will buy a contributor the chance to shoot 20 rounds from a “Savage 10.P 308,” while a $125 contribution will give you the chance to fire five rounds from the Barret M107 .50BMG.
Of course, no firearms fundraiser would be complete without a chance to try one of the event’s two “mystery rifles.”
As always, if you catch wind of other fundraisers, share them here. Party Time out.
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Unless you live under a rock and/or are dead, you know the 47th Super Bowl takes place this weekend! Whether you’re “Kaepernicking” in support of the 49ers (hint: You’re not) or swear by the Ravens’ so-intense-he-can’t-even-keep-the-drool-in-his-mouth Ray Lewis, the “Harbowl” is shaping up to be a classic. Party Time is usually pumped up for the big game because it can be a hotbed for political fundraisers, yet this year we’ve had no such luck — not a single Super Bowl event! If you’ve got the scoop on one please let us know by uploading it here!
So, what’s the PT pick for the next NFL champion? We’re going with the 49ers, because QB Colin Kaepernick isn’t just playing for NFL prestige, the Vince Lombardi trophy or even a trip to Disney World — he’ll get free Red Robin FOR LIFE if he wins. With all the gourmet burgers and bottomless steak fries he can eat as motivation, Joe Flacco and the birds have got no chance.*
Stockman Shakes Things Up
Boy, Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, sure is shaking things up in his return to Congress. The ultra-conservative first voted against John Boehnor, R-Ohio, for House Speaker, then threatened to impeach President Obama over potential gun regulations, comparing him to Saddam Hussein. After making enemies on both sides of the aisle, he thinks now is a good time to start fundraising. Stockman’s holding a reception on Feb. 4 at The Monocle near Capitol Hill that will run PACs $2,000/$1,000 and guests $1,000/$500.
Cornyn’s Birthday BBQ
The new senior Senator of Texas, Republican John Cornyn, has also been making waves in Washington recently. He’s holding firm against immigration reform, was one of only three to vote against new secretary of state John Kerry, and is leading the charge against former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary. Democrats claim Cornyn is on “Cruz-control,” being heavily influenced by freshman Tea Party sweetheart Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the hopes of avoiding a primary challenge in 2014. Will supporters buy into this new even more conservative version of Cornyn? Will inside-the-beltway donors care either way? We’ll see at his Birthday BBQ Kick-Off Reception, where PACs are expected to shell out as much as $5,000 and individuals as much as $2,500.
Cornyn will be busy the next day fundraising, but not for himself. Along with fellow Republican Sens. John Barrasso, Wyo., John Thune, S.D., Roy Blunt, Mo., and Jerry Moran, Kan., Cornyn will be out in support of their boss, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The so-called “Bluegrass Committee” is holding a $1,000 reception benefitting McConnell’s leadership PAC on friendly grounds, the offices of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Mitch must be awfully worried about 2014 — this is his seventh fundraiser since the election just a couple months ago.
1st High-Dollar Event of 2013 Is Here
While the NRSC rents out its building to McConnell, it will be generating some green of its own with a dinner at the Caucus Room. Newly-minted NRSC Chairman Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., will be attending, as will finance chair Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and up-and-comer Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. The event is hosted by lobbying powerhouse Akin Gump, which contributed almost $900,000 to political candidates this past election, and they’re expecting big bucks in return: A suggested maximum of $15,000 per PAC, and a minimum of $2,500 for individuals.
Dems Get 2014 Campaigns Underway
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., could face a tough battle for re-election in 2014 as a blue politician in an increasingly red state. But she isn’t going into the fight unprepared, as recent financial filings indicate that Landrieu has over $2.5 million in her coffers. Yet she isn’t content with that, throwing a fundraising luncheon on Feb. 6 at the offices of law/lobbying firm Baker Donelson in D.C. The food better be delicious, as the event is $2,500 to host, $1,000 to attend.
Another Democrat running in 2014 is Colorado Sen. Mark Udall. But his event isn’t exactly your typical political fundraiser (e.g. reception at a restaurant on Capitol Hill) — it’s an annual weekend skiing retreat at Vail, one of the nation’s premier (and most extreme) mountain resorts. It’s a nice trip away from the city, you could say. But it’s not so uncommon for Udall, who has climbed all 54 mountains in Colorado with peaks above 14,000 feet. Yikes. If you want to take on those double blacks (or stick to the bunny hills…) it’ll cost $5,000/PAC and $2,500/individual.
Kirk’s Triumphant Return
It was a little over one year ago that Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., suffered a stroke that put not only his job but his life in jeopardy. But last month, Kirk valiantly climbed the steps of the Capitol, signifying his return to Washington. Now PT has obtained an invite to a reception that signifies his swift return to fundraising as well. The event will cost $2,500/$1,000 for PACs and $1,000/$500 for individuals. Welcome back, Senator.
So there it is, your weekly fundraising roundup. Enjoy the big game on Sunday – but don’t get too invested in the festivities, because this one might already be decided by — if opinion polls reflect reality – God. Maybe he could spend a little less time on sports, and a little more time in Washington.
Until next time, Partiers!
*UPDATE: We were wrong.Tweet
Inauguration 2013 was packed with parties, concerts and formal balls celebrating Barack Obama’s second presidential term, but now it’s back to business as usual for America. “Beyonce-gate,” the most important story to come out of inauguration (hey, it had more legs than the speech), seems to have been resolved, and even the Senate finally did something about filibuster reform.
If you couldn’t make it to Washington for the president’s address, take a look at this hyper-quality panoramic view of the Capitol and you’re practically there (can you spot Boston Celtics legend (ahem!) Morgan Freeman?). Maybe you were in D.C., but couldn’t infiltrate a fancy-pants inaugural ball — check out WaPo’s nightlife superlatives, including their best overheard award: “’Believe it or not, the gay party ran out of champagne.’ — Overheard at the HRC Ball.” And if that’s still not good enough, catch this all-access pass to how Obama spent the weekend with a special edition of West Wing Week, including a special appearance by the First Dog, Bo!
But enough nostalgia for the weeks extravagant events. Now it’s Congress’ turn! The 2014 fundraising season is underway. PartyTime has the highlights below.
McConnell Back in Action
Although Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has spent 30 years in the Senate and has almost $7 million in his campaign coffers, he’s taking nothing for granted in next year’s reelection bid. PT already has him on the books for seven fundraisers since Election Day — four since Jan. 1. On Sunday, billionaire John Catsimatidis will be hosting a reception at his posh 5th Avenue apartment for McConnell, costing up to $5,000. It is co-hosted by NY GOP chairman (and son-in-law of the late President Richard Nixon) Ed Cox. Cox’s son (who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010) happens to be married to Catsimatidis’ daughter (they’re so close they even sent out a wholesome family Christmas card this year…). While McConnell will receive the donations, Catsimatidis is hoping to build up his political reputation for an upcoming bid for NYC mayor, even though McConnell voted against the Hurricane Sandy aid package — which New Yorkers just might care about.
The very next night, the turtle-esque senator will be traveling back to Washington for a Senate Committee dinner. McConnell may be in fundraising overdrive because he’s worried about getting “primaried” by the Tea Party; right-wing groups, like For America, are already questioning whether or not McConnell is a true conservative. The details of the event are hazy, including who will be there and where exactly it will be taking place, so send PT that invite if you got it! What we do know is that it’ll cost guests anywhere from $2,500 to $500 to attend.
The Return of Rubio
It’s been almost 6 months since PT recorded a fundraiser for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., but the rising GOP star is back. His newly formed joint fundraising committee, Rubio Victory Committee, will be the beneficiary of a fundraiser at a “Capitol Hill townhouse” on Jan. 30. PT would love to get it’s hands on the invite, so shoot us an email if you’ve stumbled upon it. Price levels go from $5,000 Host to $2,500 Sponsor to $500 personal, while PACs cost $1,000. It’s just another sign that Rubio could be preparing for a 2016 White House run.
Pryor PACs His Lunch
Even though Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., is planning his official 2014 kickoff in March (including a fundraiser with fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton), he’s getting an early start with a luncheon at congressional favorite Johnny’s Half-Shell. He’ll have lots of help though, as the following groups are listed as hosts: Experian PAC, Direct Voice PAC, VenPAC, Interactive Advertising Bureau and Magazine Publishers of America PAC, as well as lobbyists Greg Gill and Stu Ingis. Several of these organizations lobby on the communications and electronics industry, and it just so happens that Pryor sits on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee which oversees that area. Coincidence? To get into the lunch, guests will have to fork over $5,000 to host, $2,500 to sponsor and $1,000 to attend.
Though the inauguration is over, PT keeps the party going all year long — check back often for the latest political fundraisers. Until next time, Partiers!
(Photo: Pete Souza/Wikimedia Commons)Tweet
If there’s one thing we here at Party Time love more than anything (besides partying of course), it’s money. We can’t get enough of those high dollar fundraisers; we ceaselessly track rich donors and lobbyists; and we’re always searching for where that mysterious money trail leads. We even love the way our beautiful wampum looks (that Washington sure is a handsome gent, ain’t he?). So when President Obama nominated White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew for Treasury secretary, PT nearly had a heart attack. Why? Check out Lew’s incomprehensible spring-like travesty of a signature – the signature that could end up on all U.S. currency! But don’t fret — the president has some good news, saying, “Jack assures me that he will work to make at least one letter legible in order not to debase our currency should he be confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury.” Phew. We’re just relieved that the signature on American moolah won’t start looking like a Hostess cupcake.
And now, on to our normally scheduled Partying – check the highlights below!
Inaugural Balls Have Arrived
The very first 2013 Inaugural events are finally here, Partiers! The Party Time calendar contains five pre-inaugural parties that act as a prelude to the veritable storm of invites we’ve collected for the 57th Inauguration. Kicking things off (a full five days before the actual Inauguration) is the Alaska State Society. This group of “more than 300 D.C.-based Alaskans” is hosting an Inaugural Reception right on Capitol Hill at Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, a popular PT locale. Tickets to this event cost $50, $65 if you’d like an Alaska State Society membership.
Following this on Jan. 17 will be the first ever Sister Cities International Inaugural Ball, appropriately hosted at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hall of Flags. SSI is a “global citizen diplomacy network” that promotes global peace through individual and community partnerships. In fact, Washington, D.C. has 12 official sister city agreements, including Beijing, Rome and Paris. Tickets to the ball cost $250 per guest, but it’s a small price to pay in the quest for world peace.
McConnell and the Podesta Group Team Up
It seems that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is taking his 2014 election seriously – he’s hosted multiple fundraisers since the day after the election and formed a joint fundraising committee, McConnell Victory Kentucky. This time he’s getting a little help to throw another funder from the Republican caucus at the Podesta Group — more than a dozen lobbyists from the firm will host, including Mike Quaranta, Jim Dyer, David Morgenstern, Stephen Rademaker, David Marin and Kimberley Fritts. The cost to attend this lobbyist-studded event are $2,500 for PACs and $1,000 for individuals. We know it’s going down on Jan. 17, but don’t have the details on where – if you’re in the know tell us by emailing PT!
Saxby Sojourns South to the Sunshine State
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., has been targeted by members of the Tea Party, including Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer, to be “primaried.” This means he could be the latest conservative who isn’t conservative enough and will be challenged by a Tea Party candidate in the 2014 Senate primaries (Ask former Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., about the dangers of being “primaried.”) Perhaps sensing this threat, Chambliss will be throwing a Weekend in Florida to raise funds for the upcoming battle. Benefitting his Republican Majority Fund, Chambliss will charge $3,000 for PACs and $1,500 for individuals to join his vacation south on Jan. 18-20.
As always, upload any invites you may have here! And stay tuned to PT — early next week we’ll be covering the Inauguration, complete with the finished map of ALL the 2013 Inaugural balls!
Until next time, Partiers!
(Photo credit: iStockphoto.com)Tweet
While most people are distraught over the fiscal cliff, worrying about the end of the world, or stressing out on buying that perfect present, Party Time is happy to see that some are thinking ahead to a more jocular time — inaugural ball season!
The PT homepage is sporting a spiffy new button that will guide you directly to all the 2013 inauguration parties we’ve logged so far. As it stands now, more than 50 parties will be thrown from Jan. 17 through Jan. 21 to celebrate the 57th presidential inauguration — and there are many more to come! To help you process all this information, we’ve assembled a handy map of each celebration above.
It’s simple – each marker represents an Inaugural ball thrown in the D.C. area; just click on each arrow to get the low-down on what’s happening there. We’ll continue to update the map as more invites flow in, so check back regularly!
While there are many parties represented here, PT knows that we haven’t quite captured them all — and this is where you come in, dear Partiers. If you’ve got the inside scoop on an inaugural ball, or if you want to get your own bash put on the map, please send the invite our way by uploading it here!
While the official inaugural balls list hasn’t been released yet (they’re usually announced in early January), several unofficial events have been scheduled by various businesses, organizations and state societies. These parties may not have explicit political beneficiaries, but, like the ones thrown at the during convention season, they still provide ample opportunities for lobbyists and politicians to schmooze – something we’re always on the lookout for here at Party Time.
One party that will be out of this world would be the Starry Night Inaugural Ball hosted by Washingtonian Magazine. Instead of a ritzy hotel, this party will be bumping at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum right on the National Mall. Tickets are regularly $350, but if you scoop yours up early it’s only $199.
Because California is California and its denizens have to be different from everyone else, they aren’t hosting a ball at all. Instead, they’re putting on a Fashion Show and Luncheon to try and prove that their state is better-looking than every other state. Unlike Washingtonian’s Starry Night Ball, this event will be taking place at a ritzy hotel – the Ritz Carlton D.C., to be exact. Tickets will run all you aspiring designers and models $250.
One of the more interesting events is the Inaugural Millennial Ball on Jan. 19. It takes place in M Central, a “brand new pop-up gallery space along D.C.’s historic H street corridor.” The space is so new that it doesn’t even show up on Google Maps yet. However, organizer Patrick Dowd — who has an interesting background — emailed PT over the Christmas/New Year’s break (and you thought we were napping off the sugar plums!) to say that tickets are $75 and available here. Throughout the weekend, M Central will be holding events for today’s youth to “come in from the cold, exchange ideas, and celebrate.” Sounds good to us!
Bonus: PT already covered some of the highlights, such as the Black Tie and Boots Ball, the 12th American Indian Inaugural Ball and the Illinois State Society’s Inaugural Gala, in an earlier blog post here. Check it out!
Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Partying
It’s easy to get carried away thinking of black-tie balls and extravagant celebrations, but there are still a couple of (relatively) blue-collar parties of note happening soon.
Scheduled this week are the first events for McConnell Victory Kentucky, a new joint fundraising committee to support Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in his 2014 reelection bid. The committee will be the beneficiary of back-to-back identical dinners on Monday and Tuesday at 220 E Street, NE – also known as the townhouse of lobbyist (and McConnell contributor) Rick Murphy. Hosting McConnell’s party the very next night include Koch Industries, owned by conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch. Seems like the Turtle is keeping some interesting company. To join them at both fundraisers, it’ll cost PACs $2,500 and individuals $1,000.
In this week’s “Party Time Dishonorable Mention,” Rep. Steve Fincher, R-Tenn., is hosting a $2,500 “Eastern Shore Duck Hunt” in his home state. But, we ask, who would want to shoot something as cute as this, or as majestic as this? Now that’s a party fowl!
We hope you’re as excited about the Inaugural ball season as we are (this is Party Time, after all) — let’s just hope the Mayans are wrong so we can enjoy it!
Until next time, Partiers!
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons, courtesy of Suzanne Day)Tweet
Almost 30 events are lined up for this week. The highlights:
Romney in Atlanta: Update, 11:30 a.m., ET 6/11/2012: GOP favorite Mitt Romney is expected to be in Georgia on Monday for a fundraising event at the Cobb Galleria Center. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is expected to introduce Romney at the event, which will cost $1,000 per person for the general reception. Those who wish to attend the private dinner with Romney before the reception will have to hand out $50,000. Party Time offers a tip of the hat to Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Constitution Journal for leading us to the actual invite with more details.
Party Time has also learned that while Romney is in Atlanta, his wife Ann Romney will be wooing supporters in Maryland on Tuesday. The evening reception will be held at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum. Tickets for this event range from $15,000 to $1,000.
Obama Campaign, from Maine to New York: The Obama Victory Fund starts of a busy week in Maine with a yet another LGBT event, this time in the form of a house party. Tickets for the Monday event cost between $44 for Gen44 Young Professionals, a volunteer-driven group, and $1,000 for event chairs.
The president himself will then be in Maryland for a Tuesday lunch at the home of some supporters. Attendees can pay $10,000 which will include a photo with the president as well as lunch, or dole out $50,000 for the lunch, photo, as well as the opportunity to be part of the “clutch.” While in Maryland, the president is also expected to attend a reception costing between $250 and $10,000 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore.
Pres. Obama is then supposed to fly into Philadelphia, Pa., to attend another reception in his honor. Event tickets cost $250 for guests but goes up to $10,000 for a chance to be a co-chair.
As Obama is courting supporters in Pennsylvania, the campaign will be Chicago for a “Runway to Win Chicago” at Harpo Studios. The event will feature celebrities and fashion icons such as Iman and Chanel Iman. Co-Hosts must pay $10,000, while guests can get in for a mere $150.
Finally, on Thursday, the campaign will be hosting a gala dinner with Pres. Obama and the first lady in the Empire State. Tickets cost $10,000 for guests and $15,000 for couples.
Out of the Usual: A few more interesting events (outside the normal breakfasts, lunches etc.) will be happening this week as well.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., will be having a golf outing in Virginia to benefit his leadership PAC, ROYB Fund on Monday. Golf fans should contribute $1,000 ($2,000 for PACs) in order to participate.
For those who need a way to battle the week’s heatwave (and aren’t counting their calories) Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) will be having a Monday ice cream social to benefit his own leadership PAC. This wont’ be cheap ice cream however, Young Professionals have to pay $100 while potential hosts must hand out $500. Perhaps they’ll be serving some gelato?
This week is another good week for our liquor connoisseurs as well. Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will have a Bourbon and Wine Tasting at the Altria Townhouse, also on Monday. Tickets start at $500.
Calling all baseball fans! Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., will be taking this one out to the Yankees National Game at Nationals Park on Saturday. Tickets are $1,000 per individual ($2,500 for PACs). So get your caps and gloves ready and prepare to cheer for your favorite team.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.