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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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Partytime • POSTED - 06.03.09 BY Nancy Watzman

Cardoza chose Pimlico over Michele Obama speech

Why didn’t Rep. Dennis Cardoza attend first lady Michelle Obama’s speech to UC Merced’s pioneer graduating class? Over at the Fresno Bee,  Jim Boren made great use of the Party Time website to figure out why:

“Cardoza was hosting a big fundraiser at the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course in Baltmore on May 16 for his Moderate Victory Fund PAC. No wonder he didn’t want to admit why he was skipping the UC Merced commencement. The fundraiser is listed on the Sunlight Foundation’s Web site….

It turns out that in the case of Cardoza, it’s worse than a snub. The Merced congressman didn’t appear for the first graduating class at the UC campus in his hometown because he was holding a fundraiser at a race track across the country. Bad form, congressman.”


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.