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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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Boehner travels to the Gem State, Harris parties with pharma pals, and Sanchez rocks out with the Rolling Stones

Good morning partiers! Who knows what this busy pre-recess week in Washington will bring, given the surprises of the last? The 2013 iteration of the farm bill was defeated Thursday, with many Democrats revoking their support over cuts to food stamps. As reported by Sunlight, this failure comes in spite of strong backing by the agricultural powers that be.

The farm bill has long been one of the few policy matters that consistently garners strong bipartisan support, and the Republican leadership’s difficulties securing the necessary votes (there were 62 Republican defectors) has added some fuel to the fire of growing conservative discontent with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

On the bright side, being House speaker does come with certain advantages, including lots of parties, and trips to places like Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. As reported by the Coeur d’Alene Press, Speaker John Boehner made the trip out to the Gem State Friday on behalf of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and the Republican National Committee. Coeur d’Alene is part of Idaho’s First District that boasts part of Boise, breathtaking views, and Republican Rep. Raul Labrador, who interestingly will not be in attendance. The congressman is known as a bit of a ‘maverick’ in the GOP and was one of the few Republican House Members to not vote for Boehner as speaker. Labrador’s office maintains that he received an invite, but was simply too busy to attend.

Thus far, PT has been unable to track down an invitation, but if you find yourself in possession an invite, send it this way.

Now on to what’s happening this week.

NYC mayoral field grows; partying doesn’t stop

Back East, the  NYC mayoral race is warming up, and the pool of candidates continues to grow. Tech guru and political independent Jack Hidary is the latest to dive in. He hosted an explicitly non-fundraising meet and greet on Thursday in San Francisco (which is practically a suburb of the Big Apple). Given Hidary’s background as a co-founder of Dice he presumably used this event to gauge the interest for his candidacy among his tech industry connects.

In other news regarding the City that Never Sleeps, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., is pressing on in his own quest for the mayor’s office. This Thursday, Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin, the former aide to Hillary Clinton, will attend a “Women for Anthony” cocktail party at the home of Democratic activist and TEDx speaker Jill Iscol. Weiner will have to dig himself out of a hole to win the female demographic, as a Quinnipiac University Poll showed a slim majority of New York women were against a Weiner comeback. The recent hubbub about his response to a voter’s lesbian slur may not help his case.

Ain’t no party like a pharmaceutical industry party

Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., will attend a rooftop terrace reception in his honor this Tuesday. The reception is to be hosted by Chris Frech and Allen Shofe who represent pharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions. Health professionals appear to be big fans of Harris, as Influence Explorer shows that contributors from this industry (which includes pharmaceuticals) has been Harris’ largest contributor of campaign cash since 2007.

If you want to join the festivities, the event is bargain-priced at only $500 for an individual , or $1,500 or $2,500 contributions for a PAC. The party will be held at the law offices of Davis & Harman LLP, which appears to be a beacon of bipartisanship in our increasingly polarized Capitol.

Gimme’ shelter

If you are bored with the endless finger food and clinking glasses of normal political fundraisers, why not join Rep. Linda Sanchez at the Verizon Center this Monday to catch the still-rocking Rolling Stones in all of their bluesy brilliance. A ticket to this once-in-a lifetime experience will cost you a $2,500 donation to the Committee to Re-Elect Linda Sanchez, which is unlikely to be much more than a normal ticket to a Rolling Stones concert.

If you find yourself tied up in a previous engagement fear not, for Sanchez appears to have a penchant for unique fundraisers (and terrible puns), including a spooky Halloween party, a night of bowling, and a “Cuatro de Mayo” party for those who just could not wait for the fifth.

Early Independence Day

Speaking of those who can’t wait for holidays, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, along with its “friends on the hill” is holding its Independence Day BBQ bash this Wednesday, June 26. There is no word yet as to whether the ribs will be of the Texan or Carolinian tradition, but if you are willing to roll the dice it will cost you a cool $1,000 to attend as a “friend” of the Committee. Bringing in $2,000 for the DSCC will earn you the haughty title of “host.”

Marine Manufacturers’ PAC stays busy

As Party Time’s records show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Boat PAC has a full plate this summer. The NMMAB PAC will host at least five different politicians’ fundraisers from June through July, including an afternoon cruise with Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) this Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, the majority of these pols hail from coastal states, though Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) somehow managed to secure a boat trip fundraiser in his honor as well.

The Marine Manufacturers may want to branch out in their event planning however, as their parties seem to always follow a consistent theme.

That’s it for this week in the political party scene. As always, at PT we depend on the kindness of strangers (and friends!) so if you come across any invites to political pahr-TAYs, please send them this way.

Partytime lobbying • POSTED - 04.22.11 BY Patrick Simmons

A Taste of Upcoming Events

While Congress is out of session GOP Senators from Idaho, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are extending a helping hand to Rep. Mike Simpson and freshman Rep. Raul Labrador, their counterparts in the House. They sent a letter to donors asking them to sponsor the “Idaho Congressional Gala,” with the proceeds going towards a joint fundraising committee for Simpson and Labrador. The April 29 event will be held at a hotel in Idaho and suggested contributions range from $500 to$2,500.

Spring is here again and it’s time for Rep. Gary Ackerman’s, D-NY, annual “Real Deli Event.” The congressman has planned this celebration of New York deli foods in April or May every year since at least 2008. This year’s event on May 3 promises to be the “WHOLE SCHMEER”, with a spread of food ranging from matzoh ball soup to hard salami. If you want to be the “Maven” of the event, your PAC will have to contribute  $5,000, while a PAC contribution of $2,500 will make you a respectable “Mensch.”

An invitation to another May 3 event is full of lawmakers with ties to the House Agriculture Committee or House Committee on Natural Resources or  both. The event is in honor of Rep. Gregorio Sablan, D-Northern Mariana Islands, at the Capitol Hill townhouse of the lobby shop Patton Boggs. Invitees to the event include Reps. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., the former chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the ranking member of the Committee on Agriculture.

Another upcoming event that might be attractive to the agriculture industry is the celebration of the 17th anniversary of the special election victory of Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla.

Last week Party Time reported on the lobbying efforts of AT&T in their campaign to gain approval for their proposed merger with T-Mobile. One of the events mentioned is the upcoming May 4 dinner in support of Rep. Dave Camp, R-Calif., the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. The event will be co-hosted by, among others, AT&T’s PAC and lobbyist Gregg Hartley of Cassidy and Associates, who lobbies for both AT&T and T-Mobile.

On the weekend of May 6, Churchill Downs will once again be host to the Kentucky Derby and, this time, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., will also be using it as a fundraiser for his leadership PAC. A contribution of $5,000 will get a pair of donors tickets to the clubhouse level, a dinner with the Senator in downtown Louisville, and two tickets to the winner’s party where donors will be joined by the governor of Kentucky and “other dignified guests.”

Lobbying firm Glover Park Group will be the site of two upcoming fundraisers for Democrats. On May 4, North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield is putting on a “Eastern NC Barbecue Birthday Bash.” A week later the office is honoring Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. at a breakfast in support of his leadership PAC. Hosts for the fundraiser include former Kerry aides Gregg Rothschild of the Glover Park Group, Brian Rice of Verizon and Barry LaSala of Elmendorf Strategies. They also include Bob Crowe of Nelson, Mullins, et al, who co-chairs Kerry’s leadership PAC, according to his bio. Nelson Mullins’ PAC contributed $7,500 to the leadership PAC in the 2009-2010 election cycle. Also hosting is Manny Ortiz of Quinn Gillespie and Associates.

2010 Elections competitive races • POSTED - 05.26.10 BY Keenan Steiner

A Primary Upset in Idaho’s First

Idaho state representative Raul Labrador, running against the better funded Vaughn Ward, handily beat Ward in yesterday’s Republican primary in the state’s First Congressional District.

Labrador got 48 percent of the votes to Ward’s 39 percent. Ward had the support of Sarah Palin and the National Republican Campaign Committee while Labrador was backed by Tea Party Boise.

Ward’s campaign was plagued by miscues, including accusations that he plagiarized other campaigns’ position statements on his Web site and Barack Obama’s 2004 Democratic National Convention speech. He had to answer questions about why he paid some of his property taxes late and failed to timely disclose his wife’s assets on his U.S. House Financial Disclosure Report. He also called the unincorporated U.S. territory of Puerto Rico a country.

Labrador, who only had about $36,000 left in the bank as of May 5, now goes on to face incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick, who had about $936,000 on hand. We blogged about this race yesterday.

The district is conservative, voting for John McCain in 2008, but as a member of Congress, Minnick has voted with the Democrats only 73 percent of the time, including a nay to the Health Care Affordability and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

2010 Elections competitive races • POSTED - 05.25.10 BY Keenan Steiner

A Tough Climb for GOP in Idaho’s First District

Republicans vying for a chance to unseat freshman Democrat Walt Minnick in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District are squaring off in a primary today.

The Cook Political Report calls the November race a toss up though the district leans Republican,  according to Cook’s Partisan Voting Index (PVI). Democrat Walt Minnick, who runs unopposed in his party’s primary today, took the seat in 2008 and has the lead in fundraising with more than $1.5 million raised.

The two top Republican hopefuls are Idaho state representative Raul Labrador and Vaughn L. Ward, a former CIA operative, Marine and official in the 2008 John McCain campaign.

Ward was considered the favorite, with an early May poll giving him an 18 point lead over Labrador.  But last week, a poll had Ward leading 31 percent to 28 percent. A large block of voters — 37 percent — was undecided in that poll.

Ward has had the fundraising advantage, raising about $563,000 so far to Labrador’s nearly $104,000. Ward has almost $126,000 on hand while Labrador only has about $36,000. Meanwhile, Minnick has about $936,000 left in the bank.

Party Time records show that Minnick, has held three fundraisers this year. Most recently, political action committees could host a May 13th breakfast at Hotel George for $5,000 or sponsor it for $2,500. Individuals could play host for $2,400 and PACs and individuals could be guests for $1,000.

On March 23, American Commercial Lines, Inc. PAC and MetLife PAC hosted a breakfast for Minnick, also at Hotel George, where a PAC could host the breakfast for $2,500, while individuals and PACs could be guests for $1,000. The invitation highlights that Minnick is a Financial Services and Agriculture committee member. ACLI PAC is in the sea transport industry and has mostly donated to Democrats in the 2010 cycle. MetLife PAC is in the insurance industry and has spent about $718,000 on the 2010 election.


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.