Hello, party timers! It’s the last full week of September, and politicians prepping for their midterms with – you guessed it! – fundraisers galore.
But any faithful readers of this blog know it’s never just about the election right in front of us. Sure, Republican Scott Brown (former Massachusetts senator, current New Hampshire Senate candidate) is throwing a reception on Thursday in Manhattan for his November race. But two other prominent GOPers with their eyes on the White House are lending some strategic support this week at parties in the swing state of Virginia.
On Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will indulge in some sweet fundraising at a dessert reception for Barbara Comstock, who is running in the closely watched race for Virginia’s 10th District House seat. The next day, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., continues his frenzied fundraising schedule with a stop in Falls Church for a dinner benefiting the Republican Party of Virginia. If you miss either of those get-togethers, not to worry: Rubio and Paul – along with a batch of other presidential potentials – will gather for a Family Research Council confab in D.C. on Friday.
There’s a lot going on this week, but what have we missed? If you’ve got the goods, you know what to do! Upload official invites right here, or email us whatever you’ve got. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to mention that the Party Time database hit 20,000 invites at the end of last week! So, a big thank you to PT’s friends who made that possible. Huzzah!
Party for Pat
It’s been a tough few months for Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. First, he had to hustle during a closer-than-anticipated Republican primary, ultimately elbowing past tea party challenger Milton Wolf by seven points. Then, the Democrat on the general election ballot opted to bow out, blowing open the race and giving independent candidate Greg Orman a real shot. Just last week, a poll showed that, in a head-to-head matchup, Orman leads the 78-year-old Roberts by 10 points.
Kansas may be deep red, but Rothenberg Political Report just called out Roberts as the most vulnerable Republican senator in the country. The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent two of its scrappiest operatives to the Sunflower State, and bigwigs in the party are chipping in, too, throwing a fundraiser for Roberts in D.C. on Tuesday. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., are all slated to headline the event.
Clinton in Colorado
Former President Bill Clinton hasn’t run for office since the mid ’90s, but you’d never know it based on his travel schedule the last few years. In 2012, he bounced all over the country, stumping for President Obama’s reelection campaign, and since then, he’s lent his support to a fistful of candidates at fundraiser appearances.
Initially, Clinton headlined events for fellow Arkansans, or political buddies like Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, or family friends like Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. But Clinton has become the go-to fundraiser for many other struggling Democrats. He has helped out with fundraisers in New Hampshire for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and in Louisiana for Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Come Saturday, Clinton will try to work some of his magic on Colorado voters. He touches down in Denver for a luncheon with Sen. Mark Udall, who is in a neck-and-neck race with Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner. It’s one of the more marquee Senate contests in the country. According to Sunlight’s Real-Time tool, outside groups, including Crossroads GPS and NextGen Climate Action, have spent a combined $17.4 million on the seat so far.
Boehner hits the road
When Party Time read about House Speaker John Boehner’s August recess road trip of campaigning and fundraising, we couldn’t help but wonder if his team made a playlist for the 14-state tour. We imagine a pre-stop ritual similar to that of Dwight Schrute.
Aides better dust off the mixed tape this week, because the Ohio congressman is at it again with three on-the-road fundraisers. On Tuesday, Boehner heads to Glens Falls, N.Y., for a fundraiser for Elise Stefanik, who is running for the Empire State’s 21st District House seat and, to her credit, has had no shortage of parties with bold-named attendees.
Then, Boehner is off to downtown Manchester on Wednesday for a reception for former Rep. Frank Guinta, who is facing off – for the third time – against Rep. Carol Shea-Porter for the 1st District House seat in New Hampshire. Boehner keeps going north on Thursday for a fundraising stop in Maine for Bruce Poliquin. Poliquin, a former state treasurer, is running against Emily Cain for the 2nd District House seat.
Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., makes no secret of thinking about a White House bid. Last month, he added fuel to the fire when he dispatched campaign staff into Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, all important presidential primary states. And his busy partying schedule is yet another indicator of his 2016 hopes and dreams.
This weekend, O’Malley has makes three tactical partying stops. First up: New Hampshire, where O’Malley has visited four times in 10 months. He headlines a party on Friday for State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark and then does a dinner for the Portsmouth City Democrats. On Sunday, O’Malley gets some Hollywood help at a fundraiser in California for his (cleverly named) PAC, O’Say Can You See. Film producer Moctesuma Esparza and Sony exec Eric Paquette will be on hand to gin up support among guests paying $1,000 per person to party.
And that’s a wrap! What are we missing, and what have you heard about? Send us whatever you’ve got.
Photo courtesy WikipediaTweet
What better way to celebrate a member of Congress than with a lil’ pigskin? The District’s chilly days and fast-changing leaves signal the coming of pumpkin spice lattes, football and of course congressional funders.
We must have ESP(N). Just this past Monday we here at Sunlight were discussing professional football’s popularity among our members of Congress, when lo and behold, what’s made its way over our transom: another NFL fundraising invite!
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., aims to catch some campaign cash this Sunday, as the Washington Redskins take on the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. As the ‘Skins try to steal their first win of the season, Brad Cheney and Bill Killmer (Note: this is not the similarly-named former Washington QB) of the Mortgage Bankers Association will be on hand. This may or may not have something to do with Warner’s place on the Senate Committee on Banking.
While Warner, a George Washington University grad, may have rooted for the boys in burgundy and gold for years, a survey of FedEx Field fundraisers show that local NFL games are a fundraising fixture for lawmakers from across the nation.
But the cash-chasing opportunities of the most lucrative professional sport in the world aren’t just limited to live games. In the past, prospective members have charged donors thousands just for the pleasure of watching a televised NFL game at the local wing joint and young Democrats enjoyed a lovely afternoon of financial football at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
When it comes to the political fundraising scene, the NFL is no benchwarmer. It’s not just the formidable campaign and K Street clout of the NFL; PT archives show that members of Congress aren’t immune from football frenzy.
In June, the gridiron gang played host to two fundraisers for Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who serves on the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety. The NFL is has huge workplace issues, as illustrated by the class-action suit it recently lost from former players affected by head injuries.
Been to a football funder we don’t know about? Got an invitation. As always, make sure to send ‘em this way
Photo credit: Wikimedia CommonsTweet
Famed Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert died yesterday, taking with him the vast majority of mankind’s opinion on film. Whether he was critiquing bombs like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (“Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.”), or praising an all-time great like Citizen Kane (“It is one of the miracles of cinema that in 1941 a first-time director; a cynical, hard-drinking writer; an innovative cinematographer, and a group of New York stage and radio actors were given the keys to a studio and total control, and made a masterpiece.”), Ebert will always be remembered for telling it like it is.
Party Time honors him today with a special edition round up: “I’ll See You At the Parties.”
In Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s latest fundraiser, the viewer sees the continuation of a months-long identity crisis — a man struggling to transition from the small-screen to the big-screen. Now Booker stars in a new production titled “NYC Cocktail Reception,” which will be released on Tuesday. With a $1,000 price tag, it’s hosted and directed by Barry Coller, whom you may know in his current recurring role as Physician-in-Chief at Rockefeller University Hospital. This fundraiser is part of a larger story about expectations, and one man’s journey to achieve them — or boldly renounce them. Much like Ben Braddock choosing between “plastics” and Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, Booker faces his own dilemma: Will he continue on his path to the Senate as everyone believes, or will he reject this and spend his days in Newark? This exclusive funder film may help viewers find out.
Republican Double Features Are Must-See Entertainment
Three GOP senators will be starring in double fundraising features this week, so save up some money, viewers. One doubleheader comes to us from Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. His first feature, “Transportation Lunch,” premiers at the American Trucking Association townhouse on Thursday and is hosted by the PACs of the American Trucking Association and the Road & Transport Builders Association — both of which donated to Inhofe in the last election. It’s an outright masterpiece; a complicated love story full of entangled, embattled characters competing over the Oklahoman’s affection — and his lawmaking power. A touching study of the dynamic human-PAC relationship, this funder comes with an entry price of up to $2,500 for committees, $1,000 for individuals. Inhofe displays his acting chops by switching to a campy project called “The 2nd Annual Striper Fishing Tournament” that starts on Friday and ends the next day. Full of action, excitement, laughs and (literally) boatloads of money, it’s a G-rated event that’s fun for the whole family … if you can afford to bring your whole family to something that costs $1,500 per person and $3,000 per PAC.
A veteran of the party circuit, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will also be unveiling two funders this week. The first is his highly anticipated “Breakfast with Special Guest Sen. Ron Johnson,” out on Tuesday, where two mega-stars team up to generate some serious moolah for Hatch’s leadership PAC. Expect a strong acting performance from Hatch, who has a multitude of experience in fundraising performances over the years. This funder exposes Hatch as a character with a profound void that exists within — one that can only be filled with cash. To help him achieve self-actualization, guests may pay a maximum of $5,000. And PT could not forget the spellbinding epic “Breakfast,” a magnum opus that allows viewers to feel the invigorating touch of life itself. Directed and hosted by major drug distributor AmeriSourceBergen, this Thursday funder promises to be one of the major events of the year. For a maximum contribution of $5,000, viewers can bask in the glory that is “Breakfast.”
Continuing the funder film festival is a Tuesday “Reception” starring Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., with an ensemble cast of famous lobbyists: John Milne, Roy Coffee, Allen Shofe and more. The sequel arrives the very next day, as Alexander will reprise his role as “Senator from Tennessee” with “Breakfast“ at Mastercard worldwide. Mastercard also picks up a director credit, as they are hosting the event. Both of these flicks are on the expensive side, costing up to $2,500 per PAC and $1,000 per person. Alexander is quickly becoming an A-lister by starring in no fewer than 10 funders this year alone.
Fleetwood Mac Concert a Triumph for Guthrie, Shimkus
Legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac rolls into D.C. on Tuesday for a thought-provoking Verizon Center concert that a couple lawmakers are using to raise some cash. The first event stars Rep. Brett Guthrie as a rigid Republican from Kentucky, who nevertheless reveals himself to be unequivocally, undeniably human throughout the evening. This event forces the viewer to realize that no one can escape the power of music, not even uptight Washington suits — and it makes for a great party. PACs can get a ticket to this special evening for just $1,000.
Guthrie’s co-star is Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., his own party a tour-de-force that is not to be missed. The deep, symbiotic relationship between Shimkus and Fleetwood Mac fills the viewer with audacious hope: Hope for boatloads of cash, hope for re-election in 2014. Shimkus has added an element of neo-noir mystery to the fundraiser, as PT has no idea how much it costs. If anyone can snag a pair of tickets to this concert funder, share with us here!
All these fundraisers scored a rock-solid two thumbs up. Remember, folks: There’s no good party too long, and no bad party short enough. See you at the parties!
(Photo courtesy of Rebert via Wikimedia Commons)Tweet
After Mitt Romney took a nosedive and his campaign collapsed on Election Day, many pointed to the GOP’s widening fracture for its downfall. This rift between the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement and “establishment” Republicans has led to bitter friendly fire: The party couldn’t agree on how to deal with the sequester, tea partiers have alienated rising stars like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and now Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has viciously set his sights on fellow GOPer and potential 2016 presidential nominee Marco Rubio. More specifically, the Florida senator’s fundraising habits. Rubio first voted against the federal Hurricane Sandy relief package (which already made King furious, and you can see why by getting a load of some of the damage in his district, pictured above), and then the Floridian proceeded to court Wall Street for campaign cash. This prompted an eruption of Vesuvian proportions from King:
“It’s bad enough that these guys voted against it, that’s inexcusable enough. But to have the balls to come in and say, ‘We screwed you now make us president?’… Rubio and these other Republican candidates are coming to New York to raise money… I don’t think any senator or congressman who voted against aid for Sandy should get one nickel from New York.”
Yikes — it looks like the GOP chasm just got a little deeper. But it certainly won’t stop Republicans from fundraising, and next week PT’s got some lucrative parties from both sides of the aisle. Check them out below.
Terry McAuliffe ran in the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial race, but came up just a tiny bit short; all right, he lost by 23 points in the Democratic primary. But now he’s back with a vengeance — and with fundraising MVP Bill Clinton! McAuliffe is enlisting Bubba’s support for a March 5 reception at the Palm Beach area home of liberal fundraiser John Morgan. The event will costs guests up to $10,000, or as little as $500. McAuliffe is a long-time friend of (and fundraiser for) the Clintons; he co-chaired Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and chaired Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 bid for the presidency. This might be just Bubba’s way of saying “Thanks.”
Colbert Busch Comes to D.C.
In what’s becoming a regular segment here at Party Time, candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the older sister of fake-conservative Stephen Colbert, is hosting another fundraiser — but this time she’s left the Palmetto State for the District. In a tip from our friends over at the Center for Public Integrity, Colbert Busch’s first Washington party is a March 4 reception with S.C. Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn. Tickets stretch to $5,000 per PAC and $2,600 per person, and little bro Stephen isn’t scheduled to be on-hand. Fun fact (from Politico): Unlike Stephen, “Lulu” pronounces her last name with a hard “t.” With the primary just 18 days away, look for more ColberT Busch funders coming up!
Markey Forges Onward
As soon as Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., announced he was running for the newly opened Senate seat, his fundraising calendar heated up. This week is no exception, as he continues to generate some serious campaign cash at a March 7 reception in Boston. Taking place at the law offices of Kearney, Donovan and McGee, the “Clean Tech Community” event will cost attendees a maximum of $2,600.
Hatching a Plan
In the fiscal cliff deal, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, defended a provision that saved the biopharmaceutical corporation Amgen millions. Now it seems he’s cozying up to a larger swath of the medical world as AdvaMed, WellPAC and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement PAC host a breakfast for him on March 7. The $5,000/$1,000 price tag will benefit Hatch’s leadership PAC, ORRIN PAC, and seems to be one of the first steps in a larger fundraising push — he’s got at least six funders coming up. Unusual for a senator who just ended a successful campaign with no debt. Could Orrin already be planning a bid for an eighth term? He’ll be 84 on his next Election Day.
Cornyn Getting Nervous?
The Lone Star State’s senior Republican senator, John Cornyn, recently was declared the second-most conservative member of the Senate, but that still might not be good enough for Texas voters. Up for re-election in 2014, Cornyn may be targeted by the Tea Party in the primary — and opposition candidates are popping up already. To prepare for this attack, Cornyn is doing two things — undergoing an extreme makeover to appeal to ultra-conservatives, and raising boatloads of cash! He’s got two events planned next week: The first is a PAC-only Financial Services Dinner on Monday, costing a flat $5,000. The second is a lunch at Capitol Tax Partners right on the Hill, with a maximum price of $1,500/PAC and $1,000/personal.
New DCCC Finance Chair Himes Shows Off His Skills
As the 2014 midterm elections draw nearer, the Democrats’ fundraising machine, the DCCC, has chosen Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., as its new national finance chairman. Himes has connections and knows how to work them — he was employed on Wall Street for 12 years at Goldman Sachs, and took home over $3.2 million for his own 2012 campaign. He’s getting started for the next election already, hosting a small dinner at Fiola on March 6. Prices run up to $2,500 for PACs and $1,000 for individuals. The DCCC came off a great month in January, out-raising the NRCC by $1.7 million — we’ll see if Himes can keep up the torrid pace, and also pay off the substantial debts still remaining.
Capito Ready to Run
It seems as though the Republicans have already chosen their candidate to fill the Senate seat in West Virginia that retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller is vacating. The seemingly chosen one: Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., daughter of the state’s former Gov. (and ex-con) Arch Moore. With Rockefeller gone, no significant Democrat yet in the race and Republican challengers backing down, it seems like an ideal climate for the GOP to steal a seat in 2014. Because of this, the NRSC has promoted several Capito fundraisers in the coming weeks to further their advantage. On March 5, Capito will be holding a $1,000/PAC, $500/individual dinner at the offices of Navigators LLC. And there will be a second fundraiser the very next day, a Pharmaceutical Industry Meet and Greet on Wednesday with industry giants Pfizer and Eisai. Welcome to Washington, Shelley.
Until next time, Partiers!
Photo credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency via Flickr
“Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the Hill
Nothing was moving, especially Boehner’s bill…”
Excuse the terse verse, Partiers, we promise we’ll leave the poetry to Clement Clarke Moore from now on…
But the holidays are finally here, and judging from our database the pols are not — there isn’t a single invite appearing from Dec. 20 through Jan. 2. However, there are still myriad holiday parties occurring under Party Time’s radar (if YOU know of any, please drop off your gifts here!) Not to mention all those Capitol Hill receptions to celebrate the swearing in of the 113th Congress on Jan. 3 (let’s hope the 112th clears out in time to fumigate the place). While many of these aren’t likely to be fundraisers, they still provide that key opportunity for lobbyists to rub elbows with lawmakers – especially the freshly elected members of the incoming 113th Congress.
Whether or not those congressional grinches ever get their work done, PT is outta here. See you in 2013!
But to make up for the week that we’ll be taking our holiday nap, we’re covering the first week of January right here — so you can get your RSVPs in early:
Shredding the Mountain of Utah
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has been a dedicated lawmaker since 1977; he graduated from Brigham Young University in the 1950s; this year, his Democratic challenger, Scott Howell, even told people not too vote for him because he might die, writing “I’m going to be frank… Orrin Hatch is not a bad guy. But he is an old guy.” Yet even at a sprightly 78 years old, Hatch can still (allegedly) tear up the slopes at Utah’s famous Deer Valley ski resort. The Utah senator will be hosting his 3rd Annual Winter Ski Retreat on Jan. 4-5, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $1,500. Whether or not Hatch leaves the bunny hill remains to be seen.
Bonus: In this week’s “Amazingly Relevant Yet Totally Obscure” fact of the week, rock pioneer Frank Zappa wrote an instrumental entitled “Orrin Hatch On Skis” for his Grammy-winning 1988 album, Guitar. The song, which you can listen to here, features rollicking, off-the-walls shredding by Zappa, perhaps evoking the image of Hatch skiing wildly down a mountain (after all, Zappa loved to get in some subtle jabs at the GOP). Listen for yourself!
Not to be outdone, fellow Beehive State (yes, that is the nickname) Sen. Mike Lee is hosting his own Utah ski trip the day before Hatch’s. And it even takes place at the same mountain, Deer Valley! How about some originality guys? A lift ticket to attend the junior Utah Republican senator’s 2nd Annual Ski Day will run PACs $2,500 and individual guests $1,000. At least Lee, the Senate’s youngest member at only 41 years old, might have a better shot at tackling some double blacks.
Meet the D’s at the DSCC in D.C.
If you donate at least $5,000 annually to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, then you’re automatically invited to their monthly Senate Roundtable Breakfast Briefing. This month’s breakfast includes blue stalwarts Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., as well as Sens.-elect Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii. They’ll be offering a dynamic picture of the American political system (or what’s left of it after the fiscal cliff) on Jan. 3 at the Washington Court Hotel.
Bacon and Eggs with a Side of… Debt Retirement
Yes, many politicians who led ferocious campaigns throughout 2012 still have built-up debts to pay off. This time it’s Rep.-elect Bill Enyart, D-Ill., who is asking his supporters to help him out. In his post-general-election filings, Enyart reported $70,600 worth of debts, the exact amount of money Enyart loaned to his own campaign throughout the 2012 election cycle. To help his campaign pay himself back, the congressman-to-be is having a breakfast on Jan. 4 at the Hotel George. Supporters are asked to contribute as much as $5,000 or as little as $1,000. If there’s bacon, it’s probably worth it.
Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! Just try to ignore that pesky fiscal cliff, the inevitable Mayan apocalypse, seeing your lovely in-laws and all the other things that threaten our very existence.
Until next YEAR, Partiers!
(Photo credit: Liliboas via iStockphoto.com)Tweet
Almost 40 events are scheduled for this week Party Timers! The highlights:
Just Another Obama Spree: As has become its weekly norm, the Obama Victory Fund will be hosting an onslaught of events this week.
On Tuesday, the campaign will be throwing a dinner with Vice President Joe Biden in Boston. Tickets range from $5,000 to $20,000.
The next day, the President Obama is scheduled to attend a pricier reception in Colorado hosted by The Futuro Fund. Attendees for this event can contribute $7,000 to sponsor and gain access for two to the photo reception and premium seating. Couples interested in co-hosting can contribute $40,000 for the same privileges plus access to the greet.
Also on Wednesday, back in Washington, Richard Danzig, chairman of the Board of Directors at the Center for a New American Security will be hosting a reception to benefit the president’s campaign. This more wallet-friendly event will cost $100 for Gen44 Guests and only $1,000 to host.
Around the same time as Danzig’s reception, the president will have flown into Atherton, Calif. to attend a dinner at the home of two of his top inaugural donors. The event costs $35,800 a head. The president is then expected to hop over to neighboring Redwood City for yet another reception in his honor. Tickets range from $1,000 to $12,500.
The next morning, the president holds another Silicon Valley event, a campaign roundtable in support of the Asian-American Pacific Islander community on Thursday in Palo Alto, according to the invite. This event will also cost $35,800 per head.
The Obama Victory Fund will then be rapping on the foreign doors of expats for donations, holding a film screening and reception in Dublin, Ireland, also on Thursday. Remember folks, only American citizens can contribute to the campaign so American-Dubliners should have ID at the ready. Tickets for this event range between a mere $100 to 500.
The last Obama event of the week will be a Friday reception in Massachusetts with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan. Tickets start at $100 for young professionals and go up to $1,000 for those who wish to co-host.
Republican Senatorial Partying Times Two: Three Republican senators will be hosting double events this week, either under their names or in the name of their leadership political action committees.
Citizens for Prosperity in America Today PAC, also known as CPAT in honor of Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., hosts supporters for Tuesday dinner at Washington’s trendy restaurant Central Michel Richard. Suggested contributions for this event start at $500 and go up to $2,000. Toomey, who appears to be focusing on filling his senatorial campaign coffers after suggesting the unlikelihood of him becoming Mitt Romney’s running mate, will be at an equally priced breakfast fundraiser for his PAC on Thursday.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, facing a well funded primary challenger, will hold back-to-back breakfasts this week. The first breakfast is scheduled for Wednesday at the Fluor Townhouse and will cost $1,000 to attend and $2,500 to co-host. The second breakfast is on Thursday at the Monocle Restaurant and asks for similar donations.
Also on Thursday, Rely on Your Beliefs Fund, the leadership PAC of Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., will be hosting a breakfast and a dinner. The 8:30 am breakfast costs between $1,000 and $2,500. The dinner costs between $1,000 and $5,000.
With the long Memorial Day weekend looming, the politicians don’t have any fundraising outings or trips scheduled, but be sure to check out our upcoming events to see what other breakfasts, lunches, dinners and other events will take place this week.Tweet
Romney and Blunt: The big Washington invitation this week is the Mitt Romney campaign’s Thursday breakfast with the 80 members of Congress that have endorsed him. It could bring in at least $800,000, a welcome infusion of cash for a campaign that is burning it at a fast rate in a primary season that has gone on longer than expected. For the event, Romney’s point man on Capitol Hill, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, wrote a letter to the lawmakers asking them to raise $10,000 in exchange for a table of 10. That’s an interesting Washington twist—typically it’s the lobbyists and insiders bundling money for a campaign-fundraising dinner with a member of Congress but now it’s the lawmaker bundling the special interest money. Conveniently for the lawmakers and lobbyists, the event is right by the Capitol, at the Hyatt Regency.
Blunt warms up: On Tuesday, Blunt himself will be holding a $1,000-per-plate breakfast for his own campaign, and if he hasn’t secured his ten $1,000 donors for Romney’s big event already, it’s a good bet that he’ll make the pitch over eggs. Blunt is no stranger to these exclusive fundraisers—in fact, Sunlight and National Public Radio tried to enter one last year but were turned away. This one is at a favorite senatorial saloon, The Monocle.
Hatch reloads: In the middle of a fiercely competitive nominating process with a Tea Party challenger, Sen. Orrin Hatch will return to Washington to re-stock his campaign coffers with insider money. Wednesday’s breakfast is being put on by one of D.C.’s biggest lobbyists, former Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott, at his firm, the highest-grossing lobby shop in town. Hatch has already gotten the support from one of Washington’s richest nonprofit groups: The American Action Network, which is led by former Sen. Norm Coleman, has aired some advertisements in Utah on the veteran lawmaker’s behalf. Hatch has had to contend with a Tea Party group spending over $600,000 to oust him.
McCarthy loves green: New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy holds her annual St. Patrick’s Day reception Tuesday night. The ask is $1,000.
Thousand-dollar omelets: Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., is offering “home-cooked-to-order” omelets on Tuesday morning in exchange for donations ranging from $500 to $5,000. Party Time wonders: Do higher-dollar donors get more toppings?
Montana challenger taps lobbyists: Software executive Steve Daines, seeking to fill the seat that Montana’s Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg is vacating to run for Senate, is coming to Washington for two fundraisers this week, one with influential lobbyists and another with House Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The lobbyists include John Green, who represents AT&T and Google; Todd Weiss, one of Washington’s top “hired guns” in 2011; health care lobbyist Jeffrey Kimbell, and Todd Walker, the VP for Government Relations & Public Policy for tobacco giant Altria. After the events, Daines will have held at least five Washington fundraisers since March 2011.Tweet
Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Chris Dodd set off a firestorm of criticism last week when he suggested that Hollywood would withhold campaign money from President Obama and lawmakers who don’t toe the Hollywood line on online piracy.
Losing support of the entertainment industry would not be insignificant for the president: In 2011, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg gave $2 million to Priorities USA, the super PAC backing Obama. Another major bankroller is Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax Films, who along with Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour last August co-hosted a $71,600-a-couple fundraiser for Obama at his New York home.
But so far at least, Party Time hasn’t detected any slowdown in the entertainment industry’s enthusiasm for the president, despite the White House’s decision to put the brakes on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Just a few days before the White House raised concerns about the legislation, which is being enthusiastically backed by the entertainment industry, Obama was raising funds at the New York City home of director Spike Lee.
In addition, Party Time records show a Feb. 7 Runway to Win fundraiser scheduled for the Obama Victory Fund 2012. Hosts for the event include: Wintour, actress Scarlet Johansson, hip-hop moguls Sean Combs and Russell Simmons, singer Beyonce, and fashion designers Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs and Vera Wang. Party Time records also show a Jan. 9 reception fundraiser in DC featuring featuring singer-songwriter Sarah Bareilles. Both the fashion and music industries support SOPA.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, the SOPA debate has set off a $100 million lobbying war. Both the entertainment companies who back SOPA and the tech giants who oppose it have lined up blue-chip lobbyists who are regulars on the Party Time circuit.
Former Rep. Victor Fazio, D-Calif., now a lobbyist at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, represents AT& T, a proponent of SOPA. He was one of the hosts at a dinner fundraiser benefiting Democrats Win Seats, the leadership PAC of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., a SOPA supporter and the Democratic Party’s national chair. Reps. Karen Bass, D-Calif and Ted Deutch D-Fla., both SOPA supporters, and Reps. Adam Smith, D-Wash., and Bruce Braley, SOPA opponents, were listed among those scheduled to attend. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Senate Judiciary Committee member and one of the four co-sponsors of PIPA, has had several fundraisers featuring lobbyists from tApple (has not formally stated a position on SOPA), the Motion Picture Association of America, Time Warner and Time Warner Cable.
And as we’ve previously told you in this space, companies backing SOPA have held several fundraisers benefitting Reps. Howard Berman, Adam Schiff, Joe Baca and Mary Bono Mack of California .
Not to be outdone, the tech industry, which sent a powerful message Jan. 18 about its distaste for SOPA on popular websites such as Google, Wikipedia and Craigslist, has been well represented on the Party Time circuit.
Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., a member of the Judiciary Committee is one of the 27 co-sponsors of SOPA; on the day of the online protest, he issued a press release withdrawing his support, saying his constituents have “made clear” their opposition to legislation. Alex Vogel of Mehlman, Vogel and Castagnetti, who once worked for then-Republican Senate Leader Bill Frist, was one of the four hosts for Griffin’s reception in early December of last year. Vogel clients include CC Media Holdings, eBay Inc., Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and Yahoo! Inc. Yahoo! and eBay are opponents of SOPA. Also hosting the fundraiser were other lobbyists representing a range of communications interests, including some on both sides of the SOPA debate: Marc Lampkin, who represents AT&T, Microsoft Corporation, Sony Corporation and Visa Inc. Kathryn Lehman, who represents Google Inc. and Verizon Communications, and Susan Hirschmann, who represents Comcast Corporation, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Recording Industry Association of America; US Chamber of Commerce and Visa Inc.
Sen. John Cornyn R-Texas, the chairman National Republican Senatorial Committee and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee member, is another former backer of anti-piracy legislation who shifted his position. Cornyn’s Alamo PAC had two fundraisers featuring a lobbyist from Clear Channel, Verizon Communications and AT&T, all supporters of SOPA. But after the online protest, the Texan took to Facebook to share misgivings about the legislation those companies are backing.“Better to get this done right rather than fast and wrong. Stealing content is theft, plain and simple, but concerns about unintended damage to the internet and innovation in the tech sector require a more thoughtful balance, which will take more time,” Cornyn wrote.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., also once supported the anti-piracy bill but now opposes it. According to Party Time records, he had a fundraiser hosted by lobbyists Doyle Barlett and Becky Relic. Barlett represents clients such as Comcast Corporation, eBay, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Relic represents eBay. Another supporter-turned-opponent, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., had a fundraiser in which three of the hosts are lobbyists who represent Comcast, National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Time Warner Cable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
There are a few lawmakers who have not formally expressed a stand on SOPA. One example is House Oversight Committee member Rep. Ed Towns, D-N.Y. At his 25th Annual Taste of New York fundraising event, Towns had lobbyists representing both sides of the SOPA debate as hosts. Paul Braitwaite, a lobbyist for the Podesta Group represents Google, Time Warner Cable and the National Association of Broadcasters is listed as one of the hosts. The list of hosts for Towns event also included Roger Mott with Verizon Communications, Lyndon Boozer of AT&T, Matt Gelman of Microsoft and Jesse McCollum, a lobbyist with the Eris Group representing the Comcast Corporation.Tweet
Orange Julius – Today, Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., is scheduled to attend the National Orange Show Annual Awards Dinner in San Bernardino, Calif. To join Baca at this event, tickets range from $5,000 for PACs to $99 for individual contributions. Baca’s fundraiser invitations appear frequently in the Party Time database.
Tuesday Moneymakers – Tuesday is a popular day to fundraise this week for several members of Congress. Legendary R&B singer Chaka Khan is the featured entertainment at an evening concert at the Birchmere, where Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga. plans to raise cash. Cost is $85 for a ticket from Ticketmaster; Johnson is asking donors for $1,500 for one ticket, $2,500 for two.Meanwhile, Reps. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., are planning fundraisers at the Washington Capitals vs. St. Louis Blues hockey game. Stearns’ event is hosted by former Texas Rep. Jack Fields, now a lobbyist for the Twenty-First Century Group, along with an AT&T lobbyist, a Verizon lobbyist, and another with the Glover Park Group. Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., will be hosting a seasonal New York Apple Harvest Reception at the National Democratic Club Townhouse. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. plans to appear at a dinner fundraiser benefiting Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Tuesday night.
Race for Massachusetts - As the Massachusetts Senate race continues to heat up, Sen. Scott Brown continues his fundraising efforts on Wednesday as he hosts a breakfast fundraiser. To join Brown for breakfast, tickets start at $2,500 for PACs and $1,000 for individuals.
Big Easy in DC – Bringing Louisiana flavor to the nation’s capitol, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D. La., will be hosting an evening filled with sweets and treats from the Bayou at her Capitol Hill home on Wednesday.
Tired of Turkey, Try Chinese Takeout – If people are tired of Thanksgiving leftovers, they can join Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., on Wednesday for Chinese Takeout. Hosts are lobbyists Dan Mattoon and Mike Zarrelli.
Texas Sized Breakfast – Originally scheduled for October 25, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, R-Texas, breakfast fundraiser has been rescheduled for this Thursday. Former Super Committee Member Rep. Xavier Becerra, R-Calif., is scheduled to attend as a special guest.
Tis’ the Season – As 2011 comes to a close, politicians are scrambling to raise money with holiday cheer. This Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will be hosting a holiday party featuring Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. This fundraiser is to benefit a long list of “Frontline Members,” including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., Melvin Watt, D-N.C., and Heath Schuler, D-N.C. will also be hosting holiday themed fundraisers on Thursday. Sewell will be having a holiday cupcakes and cocktails reception; Watt will be hosting a “holiday sip” in the evening; and Shuler will kick-off winter with a Southern reception.
Rep. Gwen Moore, D- Wis., is hosting a holiday concert fundraiser featuring American Idol finalist and Wisconsin native Naima Adedapo this Saturday. Attendees can pay $75 for two tickets or $50 for one ticket.
California Dreamin’ – Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., will be at Honorable Tom Reynold’s 19th Annual Pebble Beach Golf Weekend starting Dec.2-4. The cost is $5,000 per PAC and $2,500 per individual.
For the complete list of fundraisers this week, check out Party Time.Tweet
While all eyes are on the supercommittee this week as their deadline for identifying budget cuts fast approaches, a few of the lawmakers on the panel still have some time on their hands for fundraising.
This week, there are eight fundraisers planned either benefiting a supercommittee member or where they are playing host. Rep. David Camp, R-Mich., was scheduled to host a fundraiser for Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas Monday night at Charlie Palmer Steak while Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., will be hosting an event for Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas on Tuesday. The nine-term congressman may be facing a primary challenge in March against State Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio if the Texas Legislature passes its redistricting map. So far Castro has raised more than $500,000 since announcing his candidacy for Congress.
Rep. Jim Clyburn’s, D-S.C. will be hosting a breakfast event on Wednesday to raise money for his Leadership PAC and another fundraiser at the restaurant Art and Soul, the Politico reports. Rep Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., is scheduled to attend a breakfast Tuesday morning at the Democratic Club.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., has a breakfast fundraiser planned on Wednesday, Nov. 16, according to the National Journal and later that evening, he will be having a 50th birthday celebration at Sonoma. GOP Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wy., Dan Coats, R-Ind., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Jim DeMint, R-S.C., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, are scheduled to attend. Lastly, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., will be hosting an event for Sen. Orrin Hatch on Thursday.
Since the creation of the panel at least seven members have accepted money from lobbyists, including Camp, according to the Washington Post, Camp took in the most contributions — “$707,000 for his campaign and $180,000 for his leadership PAC.”
Although, only Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., announced that he would stop raising money, other members have said they would not schedule any new fundraising events. For a list of all supercommittee fundraisers see here.
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.