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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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2014 elections Uncategorized • POSTED - 11.03.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Pre-election pasta; Sen. Roy Blunt has Election Day fundraiser and Sen. David Vitter cashes in on Disney magic

Hello, party people! It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for: The midterm elections are finally here!

Politicians took advantage of the Halloween theme last week, trick or treating for cash in last-minute attempts to fill up their campaign coffers before Election Day. But with the balloting upon us, this week’s social calendar so far looks sparse compared to what we’ve seen in recent months. Even so, a few enterprising pols are getting started on the NEXT campaign. And, as the results come in on Tuesday night, Party Time expects to hear about plenty of shindigs that aim to fill remaining holes in the aforesaid campaign coffers – or, in Beltway speak, a “debt retirement party.” First one to send us an invite for one of those parties gets a prize!

As you well know, faithful partiers, we will take any and all fundraiser invites you’ve got. Upload the goods right here via our handy (and confidential) site, or email us whatever you’ve got.

And now, here’s a quick roundup of your week in political partying!

Pre-Election Day carbo-loading
No matter how you vote, we can all agree that pasta is a great thing, right? Right. But from the looks of PT’s calendar this week, pasta mixes particularly well with GOPers.

On Sunday afternoon, Republican Marc Molinaro – running for his second term as the county executive in Dutchess County, New York – threw a Pasta and Politics dinner. For $10, Molinaro supporters chowed down at the all-you-can-eat spaghetti extravaganza. After all, if the Olive Garden can have a never-ending pasta bowl promotion, why can’t a political campaign?

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., is following suit on Monday evening, with a pasta party of his own. It’s $20 per plate at Michael’s Restaurant in Highland, but no word on whether or not it’s a gut-busting, all-you-can-eat situation. But we do know that Shimkus, who has held the seat since 1997, is winning the money game in a big way for what the Rothenberg Political Report calls a safe Republican district. According to Sunlight’s Real Time tracker tool, Shimkus is sitting on almost $1.1 million, while his challenger, Democrat Eric Thorsland, has $1,553 on hand.

And on election night, Republican Ray Scott, a Colorado state representative who is running for his state’s 7th District Senate seat, will have a pasta party to celebrate a wrap on the 2014 cycle. Scott’s campaign hosts a free pasta bar meal for his supporters from 5 to 7 p.m. at Ristorante Pantuso in Grand Junction.

Election night fundraiser? You know it!
Sen. Roy Blunt is getting started early. The Missouri Republican – who is up for reelection in 2016 and already has collected almost $2 million for that upcoming campaign, according to Real Time – hopes to cash in on some Election Day excitement with a fundraiser on Tuesday in St. Louis. Party Time isn’t sure when things get started, but we do know that the reception will wrap up at 7 p.m., right when the polls close. The Associated Press reported that tickets start at $1,000 and cap out at $10,400 per couple.

Missouri’s mega moneybag couple, Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield, is hosting the reception. After making his money in the financial industry, Rex Sinquefield founded the Show Me Institute, an influential, free-market focused think tank. Earlier this year, the Progressive magazine reported that Sinquefield gave almost $4 million in political contributions in 2013 alone.

Disney dollars
Planning to hang up your Senate hat for a shot at the governor’s mansion, but can’t quite kick your love of a good party? We understand.

In fact, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is in that exact situation. The two-term senator announced earlier this year that he would run for governor in 2015, but this upcoming weekend will find him partying hard with Mickey and the gang during his 4th Annual Vitter Disney Weekend.

On Friday, Vitter heads to Orlando for a long weekend of fun, frivolity and fundraising at the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World. It’s $3,000 for the three-day affair, and the cash collected will go straight to Vitter’s leadership PAC, Louisiana Reform PAC. Although Vitter set up the PAC while in the Senate, the funds can be used during the governor’s race.

Zany parties, midterms edition
One of the best things about Party Time is seeing how creative politicians can be about collecting cash. As campaign 2014 winds down, let’s take a quick look back at some of best themes and memes of the year – so far.

  • What is it about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and birthdays? He celebrated his own b-day with Mitt Romney in September, and then partied in Iowa a few weeks ago for Gov. Terry Branstad’s 68th birthday.
  • Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., cashed in on the “Game of Thrones” craze and raffled off spots at a VIP reception with series writer George R. R. Martin.
  • These folks know their R&R: Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., relaxed during a spa weekend trip in Vegas, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., enjoyed a spa and cooking weekend in Mississippi, and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., caught some rays in Puerto Rico during a two-day retreat.
  • Counter-culture cool: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., held his annual ice cream social in July, featuring Grateful Dead tunes and pints from Magic Hat Brewing, along with the scoops from Ben & Jerry’s. That’s a winning mix, if you ask us.
  • Swoon-a-thon: No one seemed to know how to act when President Barack Obama partied at Gwyneth Paltrow’s house in L.A., including Paltrow herself. In her intro of the president, Paltrow said, “You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.” Jeez, Gwyneth, get it together!

And with that little nostalgia detour, party people, we wrap up your week in political parties. What are we missing and what have you heard about? Upload those invites right here, or email us whatever you’ve got!

Photo courtesy Flickr

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Uncategorized • POSTED - 07.28.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Gov. Chris Christie knocks a home run in New Hampshire, Rep. Gary Peters parties on Capitol Hill, and a four-for-one deal in New Mexico

Hello, party people! Here we are, wrapping up July and looking toward August. We can’t believe it’s almost time for Congress’ loooooooong break until Labor Day, but come to think of it, summer political partying has kept us pretty busy. Turns out, time really does fly when you’re having FUN(draising)!

While politicians will soon be heading home for recess, we just know some of them will fit in a fundraiser or two. So, send us what you hear in your home states! You can use our confidential upload feature to share official invites, or feel free to email us news clippings, guest lists, or photos from the event.

As D.C. – and D.C. partying – slows to a crawl, Party Time preps for an abbreviated schedule, too. But before we take a summer break of our own, we’ve got a handful of parties to check out. Here’s your week in parties!

Take me out to the ballgame
New Hampshire comings and goings always capture political watchers’ attention, what with the state’s status as host of the first-in-the-nation presidential primaries. Politicians hoping to ink a lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue often test the waters in the Granite State long before they become official candidates.

And this Thursday evening is no exception. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – consistently on a list of possible GOP 2016ers, and a frequent party animal – hits the road for a shindig for the Republican Party of New Hampshire. The Fisher Cats, a Manchester-based minor league baseball team, will be having a home game and the state’s GOP is throwing a Home Run to Victory in 2014 party to celebrate.

Things get started at 6 p.m. with a BBQ buffet and reception, and first pitch is at 7:05. But don’t scoot out early; the invite also promises fireworks! Tickets start at $45, but go up to $2,500 for a seat in the VIP Suite to watch the game with Christie.

As Christie gins up support (and gets some face time with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who will also attend the game), a former presidential candidate will stump for one of the Granite State’s GOP gubernatorial hopefuls in Virginia. Arizona Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is slated to headline a fundraiser for Walt Havenstein at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington on July 30.

Havenstein, one of four candidates for the GOP nomination in New Hampshire’s Sept. 9 primary, is hoping for a chance to unseat Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan come November. A former Marine turned defense industry bigwig — heading up mega defense firm (and political heavy-hitter) BAE Systems) — Havenstein has been a fan of McCain for years. He introduced the one-time presidential candidate during a primary stop in New Hampshire in 2008 and gave money to his campaign.

Party for Peters
Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., is running for Senate in his home state and has been pumping up his fundraising schedule, in the past few weeks. First, he brandished his progressive bona fides, partying side-by-side with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during the yearly liberal confab at Netroots Nation. This week, Peters will throw a luncheon at popular party post Johnny’s Half Shell. Tickets to Wednesday’s fundraiser start at $500 and go up to $5,000.

The get-together comes on the heels of a batch of recent polls that have Peters leading his Republican challenger, Terri Lynn Land. GOP heavyweights have lined up behind Land, Michigan’s former Secretary of State, at D.C. fundraisers for her campaign. In June, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., along with Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., John Thune, R-S.D., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, headlined a luncheon at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill.

Sunlight’s Real-Time Influence Explorer tool shows that Land is winning the money race, besting Peters when it comes to cash raised and money in the bank. But candidates’ coffers aren’t the only source of money in the campaign – outside groups have spent more than $5 million so far. The lion’s share of that, $4.2 million, has been spent on anti-Land media buys by Senate Majority PAC, NextGen Climate Action Committee, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and labor organizations.

Party Time’s buy two, get two
Bargain hunters rejoice: For a cool $1,000, you can break bread with three Democratic senators — two of whom just happen to be running for reelection this year — and one former Democratic senator. On Saturday, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken (“Saturday Night Live” royalty) and New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall (political dynasty royalty) will lunch with former New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman and his successor, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., in Albuquerque. It’s a four-for-one deal, folks!

And that’s a wrap! What have we missed, and what have you heard about? Email us the goods, or upload invites right here.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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This Week’s Fundraisers: From Maine to New York with the Obama campaign, Romney in Georgia and more

Almost 30 events are lined up for this week. The highlights:

Romney in Atlanta: Update, 11:30 a.m., ET 6/11/2012: GOP favorite Mitt Romney is expected to be in Georgia on Monday for a fundraising event at the Cobb Galleria Center. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is expected to introduce Romney at the event, which will cost $1,000 per person for the general reception. Those who wish to attend the private dinner with Romney before the reception will have to hand out $50,000. Party Time offers a tip of the hat to Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Constitution Journal for leading us to the actual invite with more details.

Party Time has also learned that while Romney is in Atlanta, his wife Ann Romney will be wooing supporters in Maryland on Tuesday. The evening reception will be held at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum. Tickets for this event range from $15,000 to $1,000.

Obama Campaign, from Maine to New York: The Obama Victory Fund starts of a busy week in Maine with a yet another LGBT event, this time in the form of a house party. Tickets for the Monday event cost between $44 for Gen44 Young Professionals, a volunteer-driven group,  and $1,000 for event chairs.

The president himself will then be in Maryland for a Tuesday lunch at the home of some supporters. Attendees can pay $10,000 which will include a photo with the president as well as lunch, or dole out $50,000 for the lunch, photo, as well as the opportunity to be part of the “clutch.” While in Maryland, the president is also expected to attend a reception costing between $250 and $10,000 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore.

Pres. Obama is then supposed to fly into Philadelphia, Pa., to attend another reception in his honor. Event tickets cost $250 for guests but goes up to $10,000 for a chance to be a co-chair.

As Obama is courting supporters in Pennsylvania, the campaign will be Chicago for a “Runway to Win Chicago” at Harpo Studios. The event will feature celebrities and fashion icons such as Iman and Chanel Iman. Co-Hosts must pay $10,000, while guests can get in for a mere $150.

Finally, on Thursday, the campaign will be hosting a gala dinner with Pres. Obama and the first lady in the Empire State. Tickets cost $10,000 for guests and $15,000 for couples.

Out of the Usual: A few more interesting events (outside the normal breakfasts, lunches etc.) will be happening this week as well.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., will be having a golf outing in Virginia to benefit his leadership PAC, ROYB Fund on Monday. Golf fans should contribute $1,000 ($2,000 for PACs) in order to participate.

For those who need a way to battle the week’s heatwave (and aren’t counting their calories) Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) will be having a Monday ice cream social to benefit his own leadership PAC. This wont’ be cheap ice cream however, Young Professionals have to pay $100 while potential hosts must hand out $500. Perhaps they’ll be serving some gelato?

This week is another good week for our liquor connoisseurs as well. Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will have a Bourbon and Wine Tasting at the Altria Townhouse, also on Monday. Tickets start at $500.

Calling all baseball fans! Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., will be taking this one out to the Yankees National Game at Nationals Park on Saturday. Tickets are $1,000 per individual ($2,500 for PACs). So get your caps and gloves ready and prepare to cheer for your favorite team.

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This Week’s Fundraisers: Obama hits the road; GOP senators hit the chow line

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.

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2012 Presidential Race • POSTED - 03.18.12 BY Keenan Steiner

This Week’s Fundraisers: Blunt greases the wheels for Romney, Hatch reloads, and belated St. Paddy’s Day Gold

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.

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PartyTimeData Partytime special interests • POSTED - 01.27.12 BY La Toya Gratten

SOPA Fundraisers

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.

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Congressional Getaways • POSTED - 11.14.11 BY La Toya Gratten

This Week’s Fundraisers: Pre-Turkey Day Hunts, Birthday Bashes, Tequila Tuesday

Free as a Bird – Just in time for Thanksgiving, several lawmakers will be out hunting this week. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., got an early start shooting fowl this morning at a farm in King George, Va. for his leadership PAC. From Thursday through Sunday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, with special guests Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., is putting on a cabin retreat weekend in Georgia chock full of rugged activities: that includes “one-on-one” boar and deer hunting, quail hunting, sporting clays, “unlimited” golf, access to a fishing boat, and tennis—all in exchange for a $5,000 contribution plus hunting and lodging fees. Not to be outdone, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., is putting on a quail hunt weekend of his own, also in Georgia, this weekend.

More target practice – Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., will be at the National Rifle Association’s Capitol Hill offices tonight for a “latest in laser shooting technology” fundraiser.

Libations for Larson –The Capitol Hill townhouse of U.K.-based beverage Giant Diageo is the site of a “Tequila and Oyster Tasting” tomorrow night for John Larson, D-Conn., the chair of the House Democratic Caucus. The event may be a reminder that Diageo, the maker of Captain Morgan rum and Johnnie Walker whiskey, also distributes Jose Cuervo tequila (and has been in talks this year to purchase the brand). This attractive event commands donations between $1,000 and $5,000.

Birthday Bashes – Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., will be busy with two birthday celebration fundraisers this week. The first is a birthday reception tomorrow at the lobby shop Twenty First Century Group. The second will be at Park 52 Restaurant in Chicago this Saturday.  That party will cost $5,000 to chair and $2,500 to co-host, but individuals can get in for as little as $150.

Tomorrow night, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and a host of other GOP senators will be throwing Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., a “Joe’s Stone Crab Reception” birthday party at an office suite near the Capitol. The cost to attend is $1,000 for PACs and $500 for individuals.

The Big 4-0! Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., has landed about two dozen colleagues (including Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.) to entice supporters to celebrate his landmark birthday at the American Trucking Associations‘ digs Wednesday evening, according to the invitation. It’s free for the lawmakers but not for everyone else—PACs are paying $1,000 or $2,500 and individuals are paying $140 or $240 (a relatively low ask for these kinds of events).

Jersey Boys with Jersey Senator – Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., will be using the musical Jersey Boys, playing at the National Theatre, to fundraise tomorrow evening. After the performance, he has invited donors to a private reception at the Helen Hayes Lounge. Tickets cost $2,500.

Cyber lunch – Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., is putting on a lunch fundraiser tomorrow targeted at “High Tech, Cyber and Homeland Security” industry donors at Art & Soul. The contribution levels are $2,500 for co-hosts, $1,000 for PACs and $250 for individuals.

For a comprehensive list of this week’s fundraisers, check out our upcoming events page.

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2010 Elections competitive races • POSTED - 09.20.10 BY Nancy Watzman

Sixty-plus parties in three weeks for close races

The D.C. fundraising blitz continues, with nearly 250 parties planned since the beginning of this month, according to the Party Time database. Of these more than 60 are scheduled over the next three weeks alone for candidates in tough races. (See spreadsheet below for full list of fundraisers for candidates in close races. To view all upcoming ones, click here.)

We will update this spreadsheet weekly in the run up to the election as a tool to track fundraising events for these races. To identify close races we’ve used analysis by the Cook Political Report.

Highlights include:

Click here to download a spreadsheet of upcoming fundraisers for candidates in competitive races.

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competitive races • POSTED - 07.14.10 BY Keenan Steiner

For a fundraising bump, Rep. Blunt invests in Sen. Bond

Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), in a close race for Missouri’s open Senate seat, is calling on retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) to help raise money at an evening reception on July 21 at the offices of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Blunt listening to Bond

Blunt if facing tough competition from Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (sister of Russ Carnahan). Carnahan is no fundraising slouch herself, tapping President Obama for a Missouri fundraiser last week, which reportedly brought in over $500,000.

Bond, who is listed as a “special guest” at the reception, has already given Bond $10,000 through his leadership PAC, KitPAC.

PACS and individuals are being asked to give $5,000 and $2,400, respectively, to be named hosts at the fundraiser, at National Republican Senatorial Committee offices. On the low end, guests are invited to give $1,000.

Second quarter fundraising numbers are not out yet but after the first quarter Blunt had raised about $6 million to Carnahan’s $5.5 million.

Carnahan has two invitations in Party Time’s database this year, including a January reception where two senators, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Jeanne Shaheen, D. N.H., were billed as special guests.

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competitive races • POSTED - 02.02.10 BY Nancy Watzman

Romney seeks bowling party hosts

This just came in from a trusted source: not an invitation, per se, but an invitation to be listed on an invitation from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney–widely seen as a frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, which provides a window on to how these events are organized.

Romney was trolling (deadline was yesterday) for hosts and co-hosts for an event benefiting his Political Action Committee,  Free & Strong America PAC, on Feb. 11, for bowling at Lucky Strike Lanes. His ask: raise or contribute $1,000 to be a host, $500 to be a co-host.

Romney has used the PAC to contribute to such candidates as the new senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, (Romney takes credit for Brown’s win here) as well as GOP leaders such as House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

I want you to be among the first to know about an upcoming event for the Free and Strong America PAC, featuring Gov. Romney.  On Wednesday, February 17th, Mitt will be in DC and is doing an event for his PAC at 7:00 pm.

I hope you will consider being a Host or Co-Host for this fun event – Bowling with Mitt.  The money raised will go toward the important efforts of Mitt’s Free and Strong America PAC to promote conservative causes and help Republican candidates in 2010.

Are you able to serve as a Host or Co-Host (and have your name listed on the invitation) for the “Bowling with Mitt” event on February 17th? The price to attend will be $150/person, and we are asking Hosts to raise or contribute $1,000 and Co-Hosts to raise or contribute $500.  If you are interested, please e-mail Gretchen Moss at gretchen@gretchenmoss.com, and let us know how you would like your name listed on the invitation. The deadline for getting names on the initial invitation is Monday, February 1st at 5:00 PM.  Please also forward this e-mail to any others that you think may be interested in Hosting or Co-Hosting.  Complete Event details are below:

Bowling with Mitt

and Celebrity Bowlers

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

7:00 pm

Lucky Strike Lanes

Gallery Place

701 7th Street NW
Second Floor

Washington, DC, 20001

Host: Give or raise $1,000

Co-Host: Give or raise $500

Attend: $150

Contributions are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Federal law requires us to obtain and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 per calendar year. By law, the maximum amount an individual may contribute is $5,000 ($10,000 per couple) per calendar year. PACs may also contribute $5,000 per calendar year. Contributions by corporations, foreign nationals (non-green card holders), labor unions, federal government contractors, and minors under the age of 16 are prohibited.

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PARTYFINDER™ Hints

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.