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


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Uncategorized • POSTED - 06.08.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Hillary Clinton does 5 more fundraisers, Sen. Rand Paul parties in Baltimore and California, Sen. Marco Rubio collects cash with Oracle founder Larry Ellison, and Sen. Lindsey Graham raises money for his leadership PAC

Politicians continue to crisscross the country for campaign cash this week, and Party Time is the only place with all of the details. We’ve got our finger on the pulse of the who, what, where and when of political fundraising from sea to shining sea.

As you look at what’s cracking on the party circuit this week, what are we missing, dear friends? If you’ve got a fundraiser invite or know of an event in the works, you know what to do: Share with Party Time! Upload invites right here, or you can email us whatever you’ve got.

Quick housekeeping note: Although political partying is the only kind of partying that never truly stops, PT is going to take a bit of a summer break. We will continue to collect invitations – so keep them coming! – but our blog won’t be updated as regularly.

With that out of the way, let’s take a quick look at your week in fundraising!

Hillary Clinton continues her breakneck pace of fundraising this week with five events in three days. The Democratic presidential candidate starts on Monday in the D.C. suburb of Bethesda with a fundraiser at the home of Susan Ness, the former head of the Federal Communications Commission. On Tuesday, Clinton parties at a $2,700-per-person D.C. funder, and then heads north on Wednesday for a trio of events in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She glad-hands donors in Boston and in its swanky suburb of Chestnut Hill before traveling to East Greenwich for a fundraiser hosted by long-time Clinton buddies Mark Weiner and Joe Paolino.

– On the heels of Sen. Rand Paul’s almost-filibuster of the PATRIOT Act and news that his presidential committee hasn’t yet snagged a deep-pocketed benefactor, the Kentucky Republican hits the road for a string of fundraiser appearances. On Tuesday evening, Paul delivers the keynote at the Baltimore County Republican Party’s Lincoln/Reagan Dinner, where tickets start at $100. And on Friday, he makes his way west to California, where he will headline the Republican Party of Orange County’s 16th Annual Flag Day Salute. But Paul isn’t just partying for others: On June 7, he had a fundraiser up in Massachusetts for his own campaign coffers.

– Speaking of Sen. Rand Paul and well-heeled donors, many eagle-eyed politicos thought he had the support of tech industry giant Larry Ellison, since the senator headlined a GOP fundraiser last October at the billionaire’s Bay Area home. But this week, Ellison shows he’s got his eye – and checkbook – trained on a different candidate. On Tuesday, Ellison hosts a four-figure fundraiser for presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

– Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced he is running for president and then quickly threw a fundraiser for that race. Come Wednesday, Graham will have another party, but his one is for his Senate leadership PAC, the Fund for America’s Future. Clearly this guy just loves a good party (and the campaign cash it brings)!

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

Uncategorized • POSTED - 05.25.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Gov. Chris Christie does fundraisers in New York and New Jersey, GOP hopefuls come out for Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, Hillary Clinton is a fundraising fiend and Martin O’Malley parties pre-announcement

Party people, this long weekend of BBQs and sunshine marks the unofficial start to summer, and politicians are celebrating the seasonal shift with some good, old-fashioned political partying. While us regular Janes and Joes are thrilled to enjoy a Monday holiday, Congress heads home for a full week, which can only mean one thing: lots of non-D.C. shindigs fill up Party Time’s social calendar this week.

As we do our best to keep track of the who, what, when and where of fundraising, if you, dear friends, hear of anything in the works, let us know! Upload official invites right here, or you can email us whatever you’ve got.

Now let’s take a quick spin around your week in fundraisers!

– Gov. Chris Christie thumbs his nose at the ever-increasing field of potential presidential candidates with a pair of fundraisers this week. The New Jersey Republican, who hasn’t yet committed to a White House run, will lunch at the ritzy Metropolitan Club in Manhattan with GOP mega donor Paul Singer on Tuesday afternoon. Come Thursday, the people behind America Leads PAC, the super PAC supporting Christie, will throw a high-dollar fundraiser in the Garden State.

– It’s good to be a Hawkeye State politico! Sen. Chuck Grassley continues to cash in on his status as an Iowa Republican with fundraisers with two presidential hopefuls this week. He parties for his reelection bid on Tuesday with Sen. Marco Rubio in Rubio’s home state of Florida. On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., headlines a fundraiser for Grassley in Davenport. A few weeks ago, Grassley partied in Iowa with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and on June 15, Grassley will make his way to New Jersey for a fundraiser that Gov. Chris Christie is slated to headline. And yes, that makes for four potential presidential candidates in four weeks. Whew!

– When it comes to fundraising, Hillary Clinton’s motto seems to be “can’t stop, won’t stop.” Since her mid-April announcement that she’s running for president in 2016, Clinton is on the books for throwing more than 30 fundraisers for her presidential committee, according to PT’s count. This week, she does a two-states-in-two-days swing that takes her through Atlanta and then to Miami on Thursday. She stays in the Sunshine State on Friday with a fundraiser in Parkland and another one at the home of big-time Dem donor John Morgan. Incidentally (or not), Morgan hosted two fundraisers in 2013 for now Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., a longtime friend and fundraiser for the Clintons.

– The Democratic field of presidential candidates isn’t as crowded as the Republican side, but this weekend, another left-leaning White House hopeful is prepping to throw his hat into the ring. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley looks likely to announce his candidacy Saturday morning in Baltimore, but the day before, he’ll be partying for his presidential committee. It’s all about the money, honey!

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

Photo courtesy

Uncategorized • POSTED - 05.11.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Gov. Chris Christie parties for his PAC, Jeb Bush fundraises in Nevada and Iowa, Hillary Clinton looks for Manhattan money, and Sen. Harry Reid throws a fundraiser for his hoped-for successor

Another day, another fundraiser or five! This week’s social calendar is bursting with parties for presidential hopefuls, Senate candidates and groups in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

Before we dive into this week’s highlights, what are we missing, party people? If you have an invite or know of an event that’s in the works, share with your friends at Party Time! You can upload the goods right here, or email us the details.

Now here’s a quick roundup of your week in political partying!

– PT noted last week that Gov. Chris Christie hit the road for some fundraising fun almost immediately after former Port Authority senior official David Wildstein pleaded guilty in the latest development in the Bridgegate scandal. This week, the New Jersey Republican parties hard for his leadership PAC, Leadership Matters for America. Christie gets started on Wednesday with a reception in his home state. He then heads to Virginia to party with GOP heavyweights (and big-time backers of Mitt Romney in 2012) Bobbie and Bill Kilberg. On Thursday, Christie heads to the Peach State for a fundraiser for his PAC in Atlanta, and on Friday, he headlines a breakfast that’s part of the Georgia Republican Party State Convention in Athens, GA.

– Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush keeps up his hectic social schedule this week, headlining events in Nevada and Iowa. Unlike most of his other fundraising stops, these events won’t pump money into his Right to Rise PACs; instead, they’ll be an opportunity to glad-hand donors in early-voting states. On May 13, Bush headlines the Lincoln Day Dinner in Las Vegas for the Clark County Republican Party. Come Saturday, he’ll party with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, before heading over to the state party’s Lincoln Dinner. It’s $100 for general admission and $150 for premium seats at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. (Bush won’t be the only presidential wannabe in attendance; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump will all be on hand on Saturday.)

Hillary Clinton keeps her fundraiser train moving after a very busy schedule in sunny California last week. On Wednesday, she headlines three fundraisers in Manhattan for her Hillary for America presidential committee. Clinton will party at the home of Erica and L.A. Reid, the head of Epic Records; the home of Cathy and Marc Lasry, a hedge fund manager and the CEO of Avenue Capital Group; and the home of economic analyst Steven Rattner and his wife, Maureen White. White has long ties with the Clintons: She worked in President Bill Clinton’s administration, was the national finance co-chair for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid and worked in the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure there.

– Despite what newspaper headlines (and, for that matter, PT’s blog posts) may tell you, the presidential contest isn’t the only thing on the ballot in 2016. With longtime Democratic Sen. Harry Reid retiring at the end of this term, his Nevada seat is up for grabs, making for a must-watch race next fall. Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada’s Attorney General from 2007 to 2015, announced in April that she would run for the open seat, and got an immediate thumbs-up from Reid. On Thursday morning, the support continues when Reid headlines a four-figure breakfast for Masto just a few blocks from Capitol Hill.

And that’s a wrap on the week’s highlights! What have we missed and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Photo courtesy Flickr user Michael Vadon

Uncategorized • POSTED - 04.13.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

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

They’re baaaaaaack!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

2016 elections 2016 presidential • POSTED - 04.08.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

Rand Paul Is Running: Where has the newest official candidate for president been fundraising all these years?

Sen. Rand Paul’s announcement on Tuesday that he is running for president – officially – surprised few political watchers who have been tracking his every move and muttering since he first burst onto the national scene during the Tea Party wave of 2010. Just two weeks after the 2012 election, the Kentucky Republican told ABC News he was “interested” in running for higher office.

Since that interview, Paul has checked just about all of the requisite boxes for someone looking at a White House run. New book set to publish in summer 2015? Check. Call out another first-term senator (and likely presidential contender) on Twitter? Check. Pop in at parties in key early voting states? Check and check.

There are many paths to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but for Paul, that path cuts straight through Ames and Nashua – and is littered with the crumpled up cocktail napkins from political fundraisers.

Data from Party Time’s collection of fundraiser invitations show that Paul has headlined 75 fundraisers for other politicians and candidates since September 2011. Of that number, nine have been in Iowa and another nine have been in New Hampshire.

As a point of reference, in the same amount of time, President Barack Obama has headlined 107 fundraisers for other candidates and the Democratic Party committees, according to PT data. But disclosure about fundraiser events isn’t mandated, meaning that all of those numbers are lowball counts of how much partying is actually going on. (If you have a fundraiser invite to share, please do! You can send whatever you’ve got right here.)

Last summer, Paul took two multistop tours of the Hawkeye State: one in June and another in August, when he glad-handed donors for Iowa Rep. Steve King, the Cerro Gordo County Republicans and Iowa’s 2nd District House candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks. And Paul was back in October for a BBQ fundraiser for Iowa State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, whose father, Jeff, was a state representative before becoming the head of the Republican Party of Iowa.

This February, Paul headlined a meet and greet for Iowa Rep. Rod Blum, a first-year member of Congress who has also benefited from fundraiser appearances by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, two other likely presidential candidates.

While in New Hampshire, Paul partied primarily for the state GOP, and headlined one event for Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, a conservative nonprofit group that ran ads before last year’s midterms connecting Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to the Affordable Care Act.

As for parties for himself, Party Time data show that Paul has thrown 26 get-togethers to benefit his own campaign coffers. Of that tally, more than half have taken place in Washington, D.C., including places like PT hotspot Johnny’s Half Shell, at the offices of lobbying shop BGR Group and at the downtown offices of law firm Covington & Burling.

In July 2013, Paul had a beer, bourbon and BBQ fundraiser at the Capitol Hill offices of Altria, the parent company of three major tobacco companies, including Philip Morris. Campaign finance lawyer Dan Backer, healthcare lobbyist Doyce Boesch and longtime Hill staffer to Kentucky Republicans (and now lobbyist) Jon Deuser were among the event hosts.

A few months earlier, Paul had a fundraiser at Google’s D.C. offices, where the tech giant’s PAC as well as Akin Gump’s PAC hosted a four-figure dinner.

Campaign fundraisers in the nation’s capital are commonplace to be sure, but Paul’s seeming preference for the D.C. party circuit runs counter to his message of running as a Washington outsider. Indeed, his new Rand Paul for President website has the slogan “Stand with Rand / Defeat the Washington Machine” – above a running ticker counting how much money he has raised since declaring his candidacy.

Tuesday morning’s announcement is the latest in a long line of similar steps taken by Paul and his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who served in the House off and on for 22 years and ran for president three times (as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and 2012). Both were born in Pittsburgh, but went on to represent southern states in Congress. Both attended Duke University School of Medicine, and left their private practices for government service. And both have studied Austrian economists, hinging their political prospects on fiscal conservatism.

But the similarities stop right about there. The younger Paul – an ophthalmologist with his own practice for years in Bowling Green, Ky. – is cut from the same libertarian cloth as his father, but has distanced himself from some of Ron Paul’s more extreme viewpoints. Rand Paul’s highly produced announcement and slick presidential website (complete with an online store brimming with gems like a Rand Paul autographed Constitution going for $1,000 and a $20 “Don’t Drone Me, Bro!” shirt) contrasts sharply with Ron Paul’s announcement for the 2012 race on “Good Morning America.” And questions are already popping up about how much Ron will be involved in Rand’s campaign this cycle.

The first Republican presidential caucus, taking place this January in Iowa, is still nine months off, but intra-party competition already is fierce. On the day of Paul’s announcement, online ads for the presidential campaign of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz – the only other Republican officially running for president – came up during Google searches for Paul.

But it hasn’t always been contentious between the two: The first fundraiser that Paul headlined, according to Party Time data, was a reception and dinner in downtown D.C. for Cruz’s first Senate campaign, all the way back in September 2011.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Gage Skidmore

Uncategorized • POSTED - 04.06.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Sen. Rand Paul fundraises in South Carolina, Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Rick Perry party in Iowa, and a couple of weekend getaways keep spring break going

It’s week two of the congressional spring break, and PT’s schedule of fundraiser events continues to lean on outside-of-D.C. hotspots like South Carolina, Boston, Iowa and Manhattan. It’s hard work, traveling for campaign cash, but somebody’s got to do it!

We’ve got a decent batch of goodies on this week’s social calendar, but we are confident there are plenty more shindigs happening out there. What have you heard about, party people? Let us know! Share official invites using our simple (and confidential) upload feature, or you can email us.

Now let’s dive into your week in political partying!

– Sen. Rand Paul continues to take advantage of the break away from Capitol Hill by hitting up some non-D.C. donors. Last week, he hobnobbed in Florida, and come Wednesday, the Kentucky Republican will have a dinner in South Carolina (early primary state alert!). The meal, at the Country Club of Charleston, will be hosted by Fox News contributor and conservative author Mallory Factor and his wife, Elizabeth, and Dr. Marcelo Hochman, a plastic surgery doctor, and his wife, Shelley.

– As the host of the first caucuses on the presidential primary calendar, Iowa is always a hot spot of political activity for people with their eyes on the White House. With a wide-open field of Republican contenders this year, the state is particularly flush with GOPers – and this week is no different. On Wednesday, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will speak in West Des Moines to Dallas County Republicans. A few hours’ drive away, in Council Bluffs, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will chat up donors at a fundraiser for Iowa Rep. David Young, who has been, as we’ve noted, cashing in on his Hawkeye home state connection.

– Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s 10th District snakes along the western side of Manhattan, from the Upper West Side to Greenwich Village to the Financial District. With neighborhoods like that, we can only imagine some of the parties! On Monday, the New York Democrat hunkers down for a reception at the Trump Towers home of financial industry gurus (and big-time Dem donors) Mitch Draizin and Philippe Brugere-Trelat.

– A handful of politicians aim to keep the spring break party train going with weekend getaways. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., throws his Taste of Chicago Weekend, while Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., will have a three-day get-together in New Orleans to benefit her leadership PAC, Democrats Win Seats.

And that’s your roundup of fundraisers this week! What have we missed, and what have you heard about? Let us know!

Uncategorized • POSTED - 03.30.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo courtesy Flickr user Gage Skidmore

2016 presidential • POSTED - 03.18.15 BY Peter Olsen-Phillips

With 2016 elections in sight, it’s not a bad time to be a pol in Iowa

Fresh off the 2014 campaign trail, first-term Iowa Rep. David Young, R, has already dived headfirst into the money chase. And his seat in a state with the earliest of early presidential nomination contests guarantees visits from plenty of party leaders.

On April 8, Republican presidential prospect and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will trek to Council Bluffs, Iowa, population 61,000, to join Young at a pizza parlor funder benefitting the freshman congressman.

Tickets for the general public start at just $25, but admission to a special “Private Sponsor Event” runs from $250 to $1,000.

Four-figure fundraising dinners are generally confined to eateries within walking distance of Capitol Hill, or a handful of other posh restaurants scattered around Washington, but the pull of a potential presidential nominee can be a powerful incentive for opening wallets.

It’s not the first such occasion for Young.

The announcement of the Council Bluffs get-together comes just days after a local fête with another former governor and 2016 hopeful. On March 6, Jeb Bush attended a $1,000-and-up party in Urbandale benefitting Young’s campaign.

Though we are more than 300 days out from the Iowa caucuses, GOP frontrunners are already busy jet-setting from one early voting state to the next, glad handing congressmen and helping out local politicians.

A glance through Perry’s twitter feed shows the Texan recently made pitstops in both New Hampshire and Florida in recent weeks.

The fundraising in those early states has already begun to pick up. Party Time’s records show 18 Iowa fundraisers already on the books in 2015, including visits from other potential 2016 contenders like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., and dark horse candidate Donald Trump.

Uncategorized • POSTED - 02.25.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

Will Jeb Bush, Chris Christie win over conservatives at CPAC 2015?

The Conservative Political Action Conference kicked off its four-day lovefest on Wednesday afternoon, with a fistful of Republican personalities and White House hopefuls aiming to solidify their conservative bona fides and connect with the party’s activists.

The yearly confab, hosted by the lobbying organization the American Conservative Union, always promises plenty of red-meat speeches and presidential positioning. But with 2016 shaping up to be one of the more wide-open presidential contests in recent memory, this year’s agenda features a particularly long list of speakers. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are all slated to deliver remarks.

And at the end of last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got added into the mix. Although Christie scored a standing ovation (even before he started speaking) at last year’s event, CPAC organizers snubbed the governor in 2013, just months after Christie memorably embraced President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The down-to-the-wire addition of Christie is noteworthy, since the brassy governor has seen his stock fall slightly among Republicans within the past few weeks. The New York Times reported that New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, a big-time Republican donor who has hobnobbed with Christie at Republican fundraisers, has opted to back Bush and his all-but-certain presidential run. Johnson reportedly attended two recent fundraisers in the Chicago area for Bush’s political committees.

Bush’s recent trip to Illinois wasn’t all about the parties, though, since the former governor dipped his toe into foreign policy territory with a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The appearance got mixed reviews, and Bush’s uncertain delivery resulted in a Politico article that wondered how his introverted personality would fare on the campaign trail.

On Friday afternoon, Bush will look to quell that narrative with a Q&A session with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. A knock-it-out-of-the-park showing at CPAC could endear Bush to the Republican base, long wary of his more moderate stances on education and immigration. In December, for example, radio talk show host Mark Levin – who will speak at CPAC on Saturday morning – said Bush is “a very good moderate Democrat” and “very boring.”

Throughout his fundraisers and public appearances, Bush has carefully avoided saying the words “Common Core” – the federal education benchmarks that have become synonymous with big government among conservatives – even though he supports the standards. Even if the topic doesn’t come up during the Friday Q&A, the subject still gets the CPAC treatment on Thursday with a breakout session titled “Common Core: Rotten to the Core?”

Wednesday afternoon’s activism training gets the ball rolling, but CPAC begins in earnest on Thursday morning with an 8:40 a.m. talk by Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon and conservative darling flirting with a presidential run. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst speaks during a noontime tribute to veterans, and Walker, Jindal and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin close out the day with back-to-back-to-back speeches.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham get things started on Friday, and RNC head Reince Priebus, Donald Trump and NRA chief Wayne LaPierre follow with remarks throughout the day. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will keynote Friday night’s Ronald Reagan Dinner. Saturday features a full day of breakout sessions about religious freedom, government spending, abortion and gun rights, as well as the results of the conference’s all-important straw poll, which provides a snapshot of how conservatives feel about potential presidential candidates. (Paul won the poll last year.)

One-day passes go for $125, but premium tickets – which get attendees priority seating at breakout sessions and admission to the Ronald Reagan Dinner and meet and greets – are $1,700 at the door.

Photo credit: CPAC

Uncategorized • POSTED - 02.23.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Sen. Amy Klobuchar throws a women’s breakfast, Kamala Harris fundraises in D.C., conservatives rally at CPAC and Jeb Bush- and Hillary Clinton-aligned super PACs party in Tampa

Congress is back from its “district work week” that found most members in their home states, and that can only mean one thing, party people: Our social calendar is packed with D.C. fundraisers.

Yes, in between meetings and votes and floor speeches and media interviews, politicians will venture off Capitol Hill to glad-hand donors, aiming to fill up their campaign coffers for 2016.

We’ve got a good amount of parties on the books this week, but what else have you heard about? Share whatever you’ve got with your friends at Party Time! You can email us or upload the goods right here. And remember – we keep our sources 100 percent confidential, so you can feel comfortable sharing.

Here are some highlights to get your week started …

– Last Friday, we told you about how Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was working the ladies, throwing a high-dollar “winning women luncheon” with a rising GOP star, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, as the headliner. Come Tuesday morning, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is following suit with a “winning women breakfast” at law firm McGuire Woods’ K Street office. Notable hosts for Klobuchar’s fundraiser? Mega lobbyist and wife of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., Linda Daschle; lobbyist Kelly Bingel; the Podesta Group’s Claudia James; and longtime Hillary Clinton friend Donna McLarty.

Kamala Harris heads to the nation’s capital this week in search of some sweet D.C. cash for her Senate bid in 2016. The current California attorney general announced last month that she’s running for the seat long held by Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, and Wednesday evening’s fundraiser is Harris’s first D.C. event of the campaign.

CPAC, the yearly love fest that brings together conservative activists and politicians, descends on the National Harbor Wednesday for its four-day confab. More and more names get added to the speaker list by the day, but so far, it includes former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Tickets are $125 per day, and a premium pass (which includes priority seating and admission to receptions and “meet and greet opportunities”) goes for $1,500.

– Tampa is the place to be on Tuesday for presidential prognosticators on the right and the left! Right to Rise super PAC, Jeb Bush’s 2016 support group for his campaign-in-waiting, is having an evening reception at the Grand Hyatt where donors are asked to fork over between $1,000 and $25,000 to attend. The former governor of Florida is the event’s special guest. Meanwhile, fewer than 10 miles away, Hillary Clinton supporters will rally at a fundraiser for the Ready for Hillary super PAC.

Those are your highlights, party people! If you’ve got a fundraiser invite to share, send it right 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

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