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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 - 01.26.15 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Rep. Barbara Comstock has an open house, Wisconsin judges party hard, Ready for Hillary throws D.C. fundraiser, and Rep. Steny Hoyer hits the slopes

Hiya, party animals! As we wrap up this first month of the 114th Congress, politicians continue to keep their noses to the grindstone, filling their days with votes, meetings and press conferences. From what Party Time can tell, all that actual working is keeping members of Congress away from the real halls of power – the fundraising funhouses that bring together wealthy donors and the politicians who love them.

Over here at PT, we do our very best to keep track of all of the political partying, whether it’s happening on K Street or Main Street. But we need your help, friends! What’s brewing in your hometowns? What D.C. happenings have you heard about? Please send us whatever you’ve got. You can email us, or upload official invites right here.

And with that, let’s get to your week in political parties!

Comstock’s open house
Rep. Barbara Comstock still may be settling into her Cannon Building office, but she seems to be settled in how to navigate the halls of Congress. The first-term Republican from Virginia’s 10th District snagged seats on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Science, Space and Technology Committee, and the House Administration Committee.

At first blush, those may not sound like the sexiest committee assignments. But according to a recent poll, 50 percent of Americans think “funding infrastructure projects” is an “absolute priority this year,” which means plenty of attention around the goings-on in the Transportation Committee. And the Administration Committee has a hand in member and committee expenditures and salaries, plus the all-important decision of which House member gets what office and parking space. You better believe that’s a quick way to make friends (and enemies, for that matter) on the Hill.

On Monday morning, Comstock invites her constituents to her office (which we can only assume is in a prime location) for an open house. Of course, the event is not a fundraiser–it’s illegal to solicit donations from a Capitol Hill office–but it is a chance for the kind of folks who wander the halls of House office buildings to drop in, get acquainted–and perhaps mention a bridge or two that need fixing.

Bucks for the bench
The one branch of the government that’s technically cloistered from some of the nastier elements of partisanship and politicking nevertheless gets lured into the fundraising game. That’s right, folks, judges are asking for your vote – and your cash.

This week in Wisconsin, two judicial candidates are passing around the collection plate for their campaigns. On Wednesday evening, Paul Bugenhagen Jr., who is running for the Waukesha County Circuit Court judge, will have a meet and greet at the Wern Valley Sportsmens Club. And James Daley – a judge in Rock County who is running for a spot on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court – will have back-to-back cocktail receptions on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

If you needed another indication that money in judicial elections is the latest issue du jour, look no further than the Supreme Court itself. Later this month, the supremes will hear a case that asks whether or not prohibiting a judicial candidate from asking directly for campaign contributions is a “constraint” on free speech.

For the record, the parties for Daley benefit his campaign committee, which is legal under Wisconsin law (the campaign committee can ask for money, but the person running cannot). Then there’s this gem from the Wisconsin State Legislature:

“The committee is not prohibited from soliciting and accepting lawful campaign contributions from lawyers, other individuals, or entities even though the contributor may be involved in a proceeding in which the judge, candidate for judicial office, or judge-elect is likely to participate.”

And that may or may not lead to anecdotes like the one in this National Journal story, where a judicial candidate is quoted saying “I look forward to seeing you in court” after asking a roomful of people for their support.

Ready for Hillary? Then ready those checkbooks!
Turns out just about everyone is waiting to hear what Hillary Clinton has decided about running for president in 2016. In an interview last week, Chelsea Clinton told People magazine that she didn’t know about her mom’s potential presidential plans, saying, “No, I’m waiting, too” on a decision.

Either way, Ready for Hillary is going to be, well, ready. The super PAC that has been raising cash and building a long list of supporters – politicians and regular Joes alike – is throwing yet another party, this one a downtown D.C. bash. Geared toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, Tuesday night’s party has a long list of prominent signers-on, including Neera Tanden, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and is listed as the event’s special guest.

Ticket prices play on the group’s consistent nod to 2016, with attendees asked to throw down $20.16 and hosts asked to give $201.60. Want to be an event chair? That will cost you the off-theme amount of $500.

Winter wonderland
Party Time loves it when politicians get creative in their quest for campaign cash, and this weekend’s pricey party for Rep. Steny Hoyer doesn’t disappoint. The Maryland Democrat will gather his supporters in Park City, Utah, for a weekend of skiing, snowball throwing and Sundance film watching, where attendees are asked to give a cool $5,000.

For those willing and able to write a check for such a hefty sum, they’ll get a chance for some face time with Hoyer and a newly minted Patton Boggs employee. Former Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, joined the mega lobbying firm on Jan. 20 – just two weeks after his term ended in the House – as a principal in the company’s public policy practice. He’s listed as the event’s organizer.

But don’t worry, friends, Matheson is in the clear under the requirements about when former members of Congress can officially lobby their old colleagues. You see, throwing a fundraiser for someone isn’t considered official lobbying, making this party totally legit. Whew, what a close one!

And with that, party people, we call a wrap on your week in political fundraising. What have we missed and what have you heard about? Send whatever you’ve got right here.

Photo courtesy Flickr

Uncategorized • POSTED - 02.17.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Biden parties in Minneapolis, Paul Ryan heads to New Hampshire, Chris Christie continues collecting cash

Happy long weekend, partiers! We hope you are all snuggled up against the snow and cold, and enjoying the annual national tip of the hat to our famous presidents.

Our current politicians are piggybacking on the winter break theme with a handful of seasonally appropriate parties: the National Republican Senatorial Committee has its Winter Retreat this week; Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, hits the slopes, and Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., trades in the cold for a weekend of golfing in California. Plus, Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday goes to Minneapolis and First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday hits New York City, both raising money for the Democratic National Committee.

We got a stack of party invites with some big-ticket names this week, but we just know there’s more going on. Party people, what have you heard about out there? Email us your tips and news clippings, or upload invites here.

And now, for some parties!

Christie on the calendar

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can’t seem to get enough of the party circuit. It’s been a busy 2014 already, with multiple stops in Florida and Texas, plus last week’s threefer in Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that during his Windy City tour, Christie brought in $1 million for the Republican Governors Association, of which he is the chairman.

The George Washington Bridge scandal and questions about Hurricane Sandy fund allocation may still be brewing back home – and talking heads can’t get enough of the “Christie as Kryptonite” storyline – but no matter: The guy can deliver the goods. Multiple news outlets reported last week that the RGA brought in a record $6 million in January.

The traveling/speaking/fundraising continues this week, with a stop on Tuesday at the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Winter Retreat in New York. GOP senators will be strategizing about how to take advantage of the continued drama around the Affordable Care Act’s roll out and cheerleading for Senate seat pickups that could give them the majority come November. Christie then hops down to D.C. for a weekend meeting with the bipartisan National Governors Association. Rumor has it that RGA events are in the works around the weekend event; let us know what you’ve heard about!

New Hampshire heats up

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is stopping in at downtown Manchester’s Radisson on Tuesday for a fundraiser for Frank Guinta, who is running to reclaim his 1 st District House seat. Ryan was supposed to do the event in October, but canceled because of the government shutdown. In a big get for Guinta, the pair will be joined by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. (who is, apparently, eschewing that day’s NRSC Winter Retreat).

Guinta and the incumbent, Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, have been swapping the seat in the past few elections. Shea-Porter served two terms after being elected in 2006, but then lost in 2010 to Guinta, the former mayor of Manchester. Shea-Porter won back the seat in 2012; last September, Guinta announced he would run again in 2014.

But before he can go head-to-head with Shea-Porter, Guinta faces a primary fight against Dan Innis, a gay Republican and business professor. Although his business community connections may help him out on the fundraising front, our Real-Time tracker shows that, so far, Guinta is leading the money game.

Golfing in San Diego

Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., will be warming up in sunny SoCal with Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., during a weekend getaway full of golfing and fundraising. According to PT data, this may be Vargas’ first foray into the congressional pastime of combining recreational weekend fun with raising campaign cash. But if you know of getaways featuring the freshman that we missed, let us know!

Hitting the links may also provide him a break from some of the negative news swirling around him. In January, U-T San Diego reported that Ravnett Singh, the CEO of D.C.-based firm ElectionMall, was arrested and charged with conspiring to channel money from a Mexican businessman into several San Diego races. The federal complaint didn’t name names, but said one of the four politicians involved ran for a federal post in 2012. When the Voice of San Diego asked him about it, Vargas played the cannot-confirm-or-deny card, telling the news outlet, “I am shocked at these claims and, if true, am offended by the actions of these individuals.”

Yep, definitely time for some golf.

… and skiing in Utah

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is peacing out and heading home. After a rough week for Republicans – see: the recent debt ceiling vote, and, perhaps more dramatic, the cloture vote preceding it – the first-term senator is heading to Snowbird’s Cliff Lodge on Wednesday for some quality time on the slopes (and in the lounge with donors). Get ready to throw down at least $1,500 for the midweek excursion.

Dinner with Joe

Vice President Joe Biden will take a break from creating gif-tastic moments this week with a fundraising stop in Minneapolis. He’ll be raising campaign cash for the DNC Wednesday evening during dinner at the Bachelor Farmer, owned by Gov. Mark Dayton’s sons, Eric and Andrew. President Obama visited the restaurant in 2012; if you know what’s on the menu for the VP’s get-together, we want to know all about it. Send any details (pictures perhaps?) here.

By the way, Biden’s got a few pretty enviable weeks – first the Minneapolis feast, and then he gets to hang with Seth Meyers during the comedian’s first “Late Night” episode. It’s hard work, but someone’s got to do it.

That’s the week, party people! Keep us posted about any parties that are brewing out there.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

2014 elections Uncategorized • POSTED - 02.10.14 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Christie parties morning, noon and night in Obama town, Pelosi raises money for Keystone Stater; Boehner heads to the Tanning State, and a $1,000 hot dog

Happy Monday, you party animals! It’s a new week filled with new parties … but a lot of the same faces. To wit: Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., continues to lend her support to some not-quite-national-spotlight races, while Gov. Chris Christie keeps up his busy fundraising schedule for the Republican Governors Association. Hey, if you’ve got bold-name party appeal, why not use it (and use it, and use it, and use it some more)?

We bet there are lots more shindigs happening out there, so if you hear of anything, let us know – send us an email, or upload those fundraising invites here.

And now, for this week’s highlights…

Chris Christie, you travelin’ man

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues his Republican Governors Association road show this week with a batch of fundraisers on Tuesday. He’ll be partying with donors during morning, afternoon and dinner fundraisers in Chicago – all events that surround his lunchtime Q&A at the Economic Club of Chicago.

Illinois is a hot place for the RGA to plant some fundraising roots. The gubernatorial race, not happening until November, already promises to be a close one, with the Washington Post calling it out as one of the top 15 gov races to watch in 2014. Republicans will face off in a March 18 primary, but no matter who comes out on top, recent polls show it’s going to be a tight race against the incumbent, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. That means lots more fundraisers and lots more state-level face time with one Chris Christie. (To our Midwest readers who are close to the ground game: Let us know about what parties you hear about! Send those invites here.)

The one-stop/multiple fundraisers move in Chicago is a familiar tactic for Christie, and most other prolific fundraisers (see: Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, etc.). In mid January, Christie spent a long weekend in Florida to fundraise for the RGA and, by extension, Gov. Rick Scott. And last week, Christie did a one-two punch in Texas, with fundraisers in Dallas and Fort Worth.

After his Chicago trip, Christie will deliver speeches at the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Winter Retreat and, after getting the cold-shoulder last year, at the Conservative Political Action Conference. As Christie continues on this whirlwind of fundraising and speaking engagements, all eyes will be on the degree to which the George Washington Bridge scandal continues to follow him. In Florida, Scott didn’t appear publicly with the New Jersey governor, and during the Texas trip, neither Gov. Rick Perry nor presumed GOP candidate Greg Abbott attended the RGA events.

Pelosi parties on

Rep. Nancy Pelosi is rallying the Democratic leadership troops for a Monday evening cocktail party for Mark Critz, who is running for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania. The former congressman is benefiting from his D.C. connections with an event at the 116 Club, which PT data show is a popular fundraising spot.

Critz represented the 12th District after his one-time boss, Rep. John Murtha, died in 2010, but hardly got the seat warm before redistricting and a massively well-funded Republican opponent led to his defeat. Now, Critz looks to jump back into politics. First, however, he faces a crowded field of competitors for Pennsylvania’s number-two position. Party invites with names like Pelosi, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Penn., should help bring in the dough for a race that, as Keystone Politics puts it, “rarely generates excitement.”

LoBiondo does lunch, breakfast

Gov. Chris Christie isn’t the what-exit state’s only party animal. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., will be doing his own set of back-to-back fundraisers in D.C. this week, with a lunch on Tuesday and a breakfast on Wednesday.

LoBiondo has been reelected handily, garnering at least 59 percent of the vote, since he first got sent to Capitol Hill as part of the 1994 Republican wave. This year, Democrat Bill Hughes Jr. – son of former Rep. William Hughes, who LoBiondo defeated back in ’94 – will take aim at the 2nd District seat.

In January, the National Republican Congressional Committee set up a web page,, to direct Internet searches about Hughes to the NRCC-run site (complete with a donate button that sends contributions to the GOP committee). It’s part of a larger strategy by the group to use Web addresses with Democratic candidates’ names as a means to collect donations for the Republican campaign committee.

Cashing in for Comstock

Although currently serving in the Virginia House of Delegates, Barbara Comstock has been in the political game for most of her career. She cut her political teeth on a variety of Republican projects, perhaps most notably as the director of research at the RNC, where she made a name for herself with her top-notch investigations of Democratic opponents. She was also part of Mitt Romney’s “Virginia leadership team” in the run-up to the 2012 election and was a head organizer of the RNC convention that year.

It’s no surprise, then, that Republican heavy-hitters are throwing their support behind her bid for Virginia’s 10th District House seat, which opened up when Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., announced he was retiring. In addition to Romney tweeting his support and conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin announcing his endorsement, VIEW PAC – a fundraising group for women GOP candidates – is hosting a fundraiser on Wednesday at the Capitol Hill Club. Just about every GOP congresswoman is slated to attend.

Tanning break for Boehner?

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, will be partying for his joint fundraising committee, Boehner for Speaker, this weekend. He hits up donors in Florida on Saturday with Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Vernon Buchanan, R-Fla. Hosts Jesse and Katie Biter are well known within Florida’s Republican circles, as Jesse Biter was the state chairman of Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign and lent a hand in Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign and Gov. Rick Scott’s election.

There’s only the one event on the books for the Speaker’s trip to the Sunshine State, which can only mean one thing: He’s making plenty of time to catch some rays.

This week in pricey food

We love a good lunchtime meal, and if it comes from a food truck, all the better. But over here at Party Time, we couldn’t help but scratch our heads at a hot dog that goes for at least $1,000.

Turns out, that’s the going rate for normally cheap street fare when you’re eating it with a member of congress. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., is having his Semi-Annual Chicago Hot Dog Reception on Tuesday evening and is asking for $1,000 per person, or $2,500 to sponsor the event. Our suggestion? Load up on mustard and relish.

What a week, party people. Check out the rest of our social calendar, and as always, let us know what you’ve heard about!

Photo credit:

Uncategorized • POSTED - 12.02.13 BY Palmer Gibbs

PT Round-up: Republicans and Chris Christie party hard, Grimes fundraises in Kentucky

Good morning, partiers! Still feeling sleepy from all of that turkey and Black Friday shopping? Well, pour yourself another cup of coffee and get ready for some fundraising festivities because it’s going to be a busy December – we’ve counted 44 parties on the books so far, and most are during the first two weeks. We are certain more shindigs are brewing out there, so, as always, let us know what we’re missing.

If you are in the mood for some holiday-themed gatherings, you’re in luck. On Wednesday, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., will have an Italian-Style Holiday Reception while Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., is throwing a Holiday Wine Tasting at Sonoma Wine Bar. ’Tis the season.

This upcoming weekend, Republicans will be busy raising some cash in the Big Apple and Virginia. Florida’s Alex Sink will be in D.C. Wednesday for an event headlined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Alison Lundergan Grimes will hit up her home state for contributions today.

Grimes goes for some (more) green

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes hasn’t wanted for national attention since announcing in July that she was running to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Grimes, Kentucky’s current Secretary of State, benefits from family connections her father cultivated as the chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, including the deep-pocketed network of the ever-present Clintons.

To wit: Grimes has been gallivanting across the U.S. collecting campaign cash. And lots of it. According to the most recent filings on our Real-Time Tracker, Grimes brought in more than $2.5 million during the third quarter, out-raising McConnell, who collected just shy of $2.3 million. Democratic fundraiser extraordinaire Jeffrey Katzenberg raised money for her in Los Angeles in September, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., headlined a Las Vegas luncheon in October, and Hillary Clinton’s bestie, Susie Tompkins Buell, hosted Grimes in San Francisco a few days before Halloween.

Grimes also got a shout-out from First Lady Michelle Obama during a New York City fundraiser for Senate Democrats a few weeks ago. But perhaps in a nod to the president’s sinking approval ratings, Grimes took a step back from any perceived chumminess with the White House. “Listen, I did not have any conversations or interactions with the First Lady,” Grimes told a Louisville news station. “I was there as part of a women’s policy conference.”

Come Monday, it’s all about her home state. Grimes heads to the northern Kentucky community of Hebron for a fundraiser at a private home. According to PT’s data, it’s the third time she’s tapped Kentucky-based donors so far. Anybody know of more? Stuff those invites, newspaper clippings, swell party mementoes right here.

Collecting cash with Christie

Gov. Chris Christie, the newly minted head of the Republican Governors Association, has lined up two parties at the end of this week in deep red territory. Christie is lending his fundraising clout to events benefiting Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

Fallin made headlines last month when she weighed in on the military’s compliance with the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision. She joined four other states when she ordered state-owned National Guard bases to stop handling applications for all military spouse benefits in order to keep gay couples from getting any. Instead, all related paperwork must go through one of the state’s four federally owned outlets (which Stephen Colbert had a field day with). Fallin cited Oklahoma’s 2004 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in her announcement, stating that the new policy “protects the integrity of our state constitution and sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply ignore our laws or the will of the people.”

So, basically, Fallin could use some fundraising fun. She’ll be celebrating her birthday (No. 59) with Christie at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City on Thursday evening. We suggest a second piece of cake (just not wedding cake).

On Friday, Christie heads to the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho to a fundraiser for Otter. As Republicans continue to debate Christie’s conservative bona fides, he’ll stumble into a governor’s race that’s starting to look a lot like other GOP contests. The two-term governor just got wind of a Republican challenger in the form of State Sen. Russ Fulcher. According to the Idaho Statesman, Fulcher was hobnobbing with his state’s tea partiers in the week leading up to his announcement.

Big names, big bucks

Florida’s Alex Sink, will be getting lots of love from all sorts of bold-named Democrats at her Wednesday night fundraiser in D.C. Expected to attend: Pelosi, and other members of the House Democratic leadership team — Reps. Steny Hoyer of Maryland,  James Clyburn of South Carolina, Steve Israel of New York —  along with the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida,  and the rest of Florida’s Democratic congressional delegation. They’ll be putting  their collective weight behind Sink’s effort to win a March 11 special election for the Tampa Bay House seat that the late Rep. Bill Young, a Republican, occupied for more than four decades. Of course, all those Democrats will be  asking you for some money.

Sink is viewed as a potential Democratic star: After working in the banking industry, Sink pinged around Florida’s state government halls, first as the treasurer of the State Board of Administration and then as the state’s chief financial officer. In 2010, she ran for governor against Rick Scott and lost by one percentage point.

The race to replace Young, who died in October,  promises to be tight, and already has both sides talking – Democrats were quick to praise Sink’s decision, and Republicans pounced as soon as she made her announcement.

Republican ragers

No weekend plans? Want to part-ay with the Republican Party? You’ve got options: Both Virginia and New York City are hosting GOP fundraisers this weekend.

At the Omni Resort in Hot Springs, Virginian Republicans will meet up to debrief about the 2013 election and to start strategizing for next year. The invite promises workshops, receptions, luncheons – and Gov. Rick Perry. The Texan is slated to speak at the Saturday night black-tie gala. We’d suggest wearing cowboy boots with your tux, but you might be the only one; Perry has been leaving his on the shelf as he two-steps back into national politics, including during a recent stop in all-important Iowa.

But if you prefer to party in the big city, the National Republican Congressional Committee get-together may be more your style. The National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual Bright Lights and Broadway Regional Meeting for members of its “steering committee” is in Manhattan this weekend. For an annual membership of a mere $10,000, committee members get things like email updates, issue briefings with Republican leaders and invites to other regional events. What a deal.

Those are the highlights of this busy week, partiers. What have we missed? Let us know!

Photo credit: Flickr, via Holly Occhipinti


This Week’s Fundraisers: Romney in Michigan; old and new candidates party for dollars

Updated, 3:50 p.m., 6/18/2012: It’s going to be an incredibly busy week Party Timers! The nation’s lawmakers seem to have returned to fundraising with a vengeance as they vie to gain or maintain their positions. This week, Party Time has almost 50 events on record while the presidential candidates seem to be taking a breather this week. Both President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney have a few events lined up for this week, but most of the action is for House and Senate candidates. The highlights:

Obama campaign in Chicago and California: Obama’s right hand, Vice President Joe Biden is supposed to be in the president’s hometown Monday for a lunch at the Chicago Cut Steakhouse. The time of this event was not yet distributed when Party Time acquired the invite but tickets are $5,000 a head, $10,000 if attendees wish to play host.

On Thursday, Obama supporters in the Golden State are invited to attend a Gen44 House Party at a private home. At $100, these tickets are a bit more affordable than the Chicago lunch. The event will give many Obama 2012ers a chance to rub shoulders with California state lawmakers such as state Senator of the 3rd district Mark Leno (D-Calif.) and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, to name a few.

Romney hits the homies: GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has two fundraisers set for Wednesday in Michigan, the state where he was born and raised. Have an invite? Send it our way.

Hatch hearts the Monocle: One week before he faces primary opponent Dan Liljenquist, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is holding not one but two fundraisers at the Monocle, a restaurant that, as Salt Lake Tribune reporter Matt Canham notes, is one of the veteran lawmaker’s favorite hangouts. Breakfast Tuesday or Thursday will cost between $1,000 and $5,000. Rick Santorum, the former GOP presidential candidate — and Hatch’s former Senate colleague – endorsed Liljenquist last week.

Newcomer candidates making a splash on the campaign board: This week, five candidates relatively new to the Party Time scene will be showing up some of the old school members of Congress.

Republican Senate  candidate Josh Mandel, who is running in Ohio, will be having three back-to-back fundraisers Monday. The first will be a lunch at Johnny’s Half Shell. Prices for this event range from $500 to $2,000 for individuals and $1,000 to $5,000 for PACs. A few hours after his lunch, Mandel will be hosting a similarly-priced reception at which Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., will be a special guest.  A half-hour later, the candidate is slated to hold yet another reception at the National Republican Senatorial Committee Headquarters for the same price.

Democratic Congressional candidate Jamie Wall, running for the 8th district of Wisconsin, will hold a reception Monday as well with tickets ranging from $250 to $5,000. Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Gwen Moore, D-Wis., Ron Kind, D-Wis. and former Rep. Thomas McMillen, D-Md. are scheduled to be at the event.

Another Democratic congressional candidate, Hayden Rogers —  pursuing the seat for North Carolina’s 11th district — will be the beneficiary of  a Tuesday lunch featuring Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., costing between $250 to $2,500.

New Jersey state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, a Republican who is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Robert Menendez, will be holding a reception at the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s headquarters Wednesday. Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. are expected to attend to the event. Individuals can attend for $250 or sponsor for $5,000 per ticket.

Last but certainly not least, Linda Lingle, Hawaii’s former Republican governor who is now running for Senate, will hold back-to-back events In DC. On Wednesday, Lingle will hosts a roundtable discussion and luncheon at Bistro Bis, featuring Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va. Tickets range from $500 to $5,000 for this event.

The next day, Lingle will be feted at a Johnny’s Half Shell reception with Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Olympia Snowe, R-Maine and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. This event is a bit cheaper: Tickets run from $500 for individuals to $2,500 to host.

Out of the Normal: As usual, some congressmen and congresswomen just are not satisfied with the usual receptions, breakfasts and other such events so we have a handful of more quirky events lined up for you this week.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, will be having a Track & Skeet Shoot and Lunch on Monday at the Prince George’s County Trap & Skeet Center on Monday. Tickets range from $500 to $2,000.

Iowans who live in the capital have a chance for a taste of home on Monday. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, will be hosting his 5th Annual Taste of Iowa featuring taste dishes and treats from all over the state including Stone Cliff wines, Maytag cheese and the 2007 Best of Iowa Pork Tenderloin winner.  Young Professional Iowans (and those who just long for a taste of a different state) can get in for $25, while PAC hosts have to pay as much as $2,500.

Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa., will be hosting a Cheesesteak & Yuengling reception on Tuesday. If you like either cheesesteak or the Pennsylvania brew, or both, be prepared to dig up between $500 and $2,000 to enjoy.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., will be having a Summer Barbecue reception, also on Tuesday. The suggested contribution for this event is a straight $1,000.

And, as cheesesteak seems to be the flavor of the month, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., will be having a Philadelphia Cheesesteak Bash. The lovers of this classic Philly treat should be prepared to cough up between $500 and $2,500, however.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will be enticing summer-loving donors with a Wednesday Summer Kick-Off Reception. Tickets cost $1,000 for guests.

Joining Schiff in his welcoming of the much warmer weather is Rep. Lois Capps, also a Democrat from California. Her Summer Fiesta reception will also be on Wednesday  and will also cost $1,000 for attendees.

Finally, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., holds his Third Annual Burgers & Beer on the the same day and cost the same price as the summer celebrations. You can trade ceremony but you still have to pay the price.

The Getaways: We have a handful of different outdoorsy events happening this week.

Golfers can get clubs and cart ready as Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is planning a golf trip at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia on Monday. Tickets cost $1,000 for individuals.

For those who enjoy being on the water, Rep. Andrew Harris, R-Md. is planning an afternoon cruise on the Finished Business at the Capital Yacht Charters in D.C. for a mere $250 per person. This event is also on Monday.

Music lovers will also get a chance to visit the Music City of Nashville, Tenn. for a fundraising benefitting the leadership PAC of Sen. Alexander, R-Tenn. Tenn PAC is raising money at a 2nd annual Music City weekend. The event runs from Friday to Sunday. Party Time doesn’t have much more information as it pertains to the ask for this event or the location, but if you do let us know!

Finally, Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., will be wooing supporters in his home state for his leadership PAC (Grimm PAC) on a Staten Island, N.Y. trip from Friday to Saturday. Tickets cost $2,500 for individuals. The big bucks get supporters into a Staten Island Yankees Baseball Game, a VIP tour of Staten Island and Brooklyn and a Staten Island Dancing with the Stars event with Rep. Grimm himself.

2012 Elections 2012 Presidential Race Partytime special interest • POSTED - 06.01.12 BY Breanna Edwards

This Week’s Fundraisers: Shows with Obama, Romney’s big business lunches, and a few unusual events

About 35 events are happening this week, folks. Here are the highlights:

Obama and a show…or two: Like any other week the Obama campaign is out to entice donors to open their wallets with numerous events and, this time around, a  little bit of razzle dazzle, and perhaps a bit of tension. Obama appears at two events with former President Bill Clinton, who made news this week by telling CNN that Obama’s GOP opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, had a “sterling business career” at Bain Capital.

On Sunday the campaign opens the week with a reception in Maryland. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who doubles as the chair for the Democratic National Committee, will be hosting the reception in the president’s honor. Tickets to the event start at $250.

The next day, former President Bill Clinton will join President Obama in New York for a gala dinner featuring special musical guest Jon Bon Jovi, lead singer of the rock band Bon Jovi. Event tickets range from $2,500 to $35,800. A mere hour later, the dynamic presidential duo will head down to the New Amsterdam Theater for “Barack on Broadway.” This more modestly priced event costs between $250 and $1,000. 

Update, 5 p.m. ET 6/4/2012: Turns out that Obama and Clinton will be enjoying yet another bite of the Big Apple today. Before the gala dinner and “Barack on Broadway” there will be a 4:30 p.m. reception at the home of billionaire  Marc Lasry, an enthusiastic Democratic supporter and the chairman, CEO and co-founder of the investment firm Avenue Capital Group. Tickets for this private reception cost $40,000 per person.

On Wednesday the president will be in Los Angeles for a reception hosted by the LGBT Leadership Council. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Obama fans (along with allies of course), can attend this event for $1,250 to $25,000.

Update, 5:40 p.m. ET 6/4/2012: In addition to the LGBT reception, Obama will be venturing to Beverly Hills for a dinner at the home of Ryan Murphy, creator of the much-loved musical comedy-drama “Glee“. The dinner alone costs $25,000, but those who wish to be a part of the photo reception have to pay double that.

While  Obama is in California, the first lady will be in New York doing some fundraising of her own. Political activist Patricia Duff, along with Caroline Kennedy, Planned Parenthood Chief Cecile Richards and economist Laura Tyson will be hosting a morning conference and lunch for Obama. Tickets start at $250.

Romney traveling from West to South As Party Time reported yesterday, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will be spending sometime in Oregon and Texas this week after a long weekend in California.

On Monday, Romney will be at a luncheon reception in Portland, Ore. partying with Telecom pioneer Craig McCaw and a host of other hosts and guests. Tickets to the luncheon cost either $2,500 or $5,000 for VIP.

Two days later, Romney will be venturing south to Texas for another luncheon in his honor. Party Time doesn’t know the ask for this event.

Update, 6 p.m. ET 6/4/2012: We now have more information on (and the actual invite for!) the Texas luncheon thanks to Jay Root of the Texas Tribune and the San Antonio Express News. Root reports that the fundraiser behind the lunch is Leslie Sullivan, a Texas consultant who earlier this year was in a politically divided household: She was raising money for Romney while her husband, Ray Sullivan, helped presidential rival Rick Perry. Now that Perry, the Texas governor, is out of the race, breakfast time at the Sullivan household must be more peaceful. Root also directed us to this Express News story. It reports that tickets for the San Antonio luncheon start at at $2,500. However, those who raise $200,000 for the Romney campaign or contribute $50,000 themselves will get, in addition to lunch, a chance to join the roundtable discussion and have a photo taken with Romney.

Party Time also learned that before traveling to San Antonio, Romney will be in Dallas on Tuesday for an “Evening in Downtown Dallas” at the historic Belo Mansion. Following his Wednesday lunch in San Antonio, the GOP nominee will then travel to Houston for a reception and dinner at the Central Houston. The asks for both these events are the same as the lunch, we hear. But we don’t have the invites. If you do, please toss them over Party Time’s transom.

The Unusual: For the Party Timers that are quite tired of the usual breakfasts, lunches, dinners etc, we have a few more intriguing events lined up for you this week.

If you enjoy a good cigar every now and again, Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich.  is hosting a Cigar Smoke on Tuesday. Hosts have to cough up as much as $2,000, but individuals can get in for a mere $500.

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., will be hosting a Chicago style hotdog reception on Wednesday for those who prefer a more down-to-earth setting. However chill a reception it may be though, these hotdogs don’t come cheap. Tickets cost up to $2,500 a pop.

There is also something lined up for the liquor connoisseurs. Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., will be having an Irish Whiskey Tasting at the Diageo Townhouse on Thursday. Remember to have a driver designated and $500 to $2,000 if you intend to enjoy this event to the fullest.

Also on Thursday, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., will kick off her 11th Annual Crawfish Fest. Seafood lovers are asked to contribute between $50 and $1,000 for this event.

The lovers of heartier meat (like beef) are also in luck. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., will be celebrating his birthday with his Annual Bull Roast, which will include a full out country barbeque and ice cream sundaes, according to the invite. Students can get in for a mere $15, while hosts have to dole out $1,000.

Congressional leadership leadership PACs • POSTED - 06.17.11 BY Patrick Simmons

Fundraising frenzy: Jeopardy, golf and more

With the end of the second quarter on the horizon, lawmakers are scheduling more than the usual number of fundraisers to get in as much campaign cash as they can before June 30. Party Time has received 162 invitations to congressional fundraisers scheduled for the last ten days of June.

These events run the gamut from the usual dinners and receptions to Rep. Rush Holt’s, D-N.J., 7th Annual Jeopardy Event. Attendees of the event will have to pay at least $250 for the honor of being bested by 5-time Jeopardy Champion Holt, a man who has even beaten IBM supercomputer Watson.

For those more interested in outdoor competition, two senators and their leadership PACs will be hosting golf events. On June 20, Sen. Richard Bur, R-N.C., and his Next Century PAC will be hitting the links at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainsville VA. The price to tee off will range from $1,000 to $2,5000. From June 24 to June 26, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., will be on the greens at the Harbourtown Golf Course in St. Michaels, Maryland. Contributions will run $5,000 and be made to Cardin’s leadership PAC, LEGPAC.

Less than a month after her victory in the special election for New York’s 26th district, Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., will be the beneficiary of a fundraiser for her 2012 re-election campaign. The fundraiser will be held on June 21 at the home of fellow New York Democratic representative Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. Also present at the event to welcome Hochul into the fold will be freshmen Democratic representatives Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Terri Sewell, D-Ala. Listed contributions start at $250 and top out at $5,000.

Democrats will also be fundraising for another candidate in a special congressional election. A reception benefitting Janice Hahn, the Democrat in the special election to replace Jane Harman of California, is scheduled at the Democratic National Headquarters on June 22. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is headlining the event along with the Democratic house leadership including Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. The invitation lists nineteen Democratic members of the California congressional delegation who will be there in support of the candidate as well.

Partytime ethics • POSTED - 06.16.11 BY Patrick Simmons

Democratic Committees to host hefty fundraisers in June

Looking to end the second quarter of 2011 on a high note, the Democratic Party has three high-dollar fundraisers scheduled for the end of June. Events will be held to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Women’s Senate Network of the DSCC.

The first scheduled event is the “Friends on the Hill Dinner” tonight. The dinner at the St. Regis Hotel will benefit the DSCC with suggested individual donations of $10,000. The main draw for this fundraiser will undoubtedly be the listed hosts: chiefs of staff to leading Democratic senators, including Harry Reid, D-Nev., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., among others.

Congressional staffers have been featured guests at other political fundraisers–earlier this year, for example, Party Time reported on two separate events hosted by chiefs of staff to Democratic House members. And last year, Party Time highlighted a fundraiser featuring a new chief of staff to a Republican senator as the main draw.

According to the Senate Ethics Manual from the 108th Congress (seemingly the last to have been published online), Senate Rule 41.1 prohibits employees of the Senate from soliciting, receiving, or having custody of campaign funds unless they hold one of three designations. The Senate offices of Sens. Murray and Durbin confirmed that their chiefs of staff are in fact designated to handle campaign funds but calls made to the offices of the other senators were not returned by the time of this post.

On June 21, the Women’s Senate Network of the DSCC will hold a reception and dinner to benefit those members of their network up for re-election in 2012. Listed contributions range from $1,000 to attend only the reception to $30,800 for the host committee. Those contributions will be made to the DSCC, with some funds directed to Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., all of whom will be up for re-election in the next campaign cycle.

The next night the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will have its turn when it holds a fundraiser honoring Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and John Lewis, D-Ga. Rep. Hoyer is celebrating his 30th year in Congress this year while Rep. Lewis is celebrating his 25th. While both representatives have individual fundraisers scheduled this month celebrating their feats of legislative longevity, this event will celebrate benefit the DCCC as a whole. Contributions start at $1,000 for an individual ticket while the honor of being a PAC host for the event will require a contribution of $15,000.

ethics • POSTED - 04.14.11 BY Keenan Steiner

Once again, DCCC taps top aides for donor circuit

Four top aides to House Democratic leaders have been tapped to host a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee tonight, at least the second time in less than one month that the campaign arm tapped aides for its cause.

Unlike the $100-per head fundraiser last month, this event may be out of reach for young donors, asking for $500 to spend an hour-and-a-half with the aides at Ping Pong Dim Sum in downtown Washington.

One of the staffers, Jason Cole, the chief of staff to DCCC leader Jim Himes, D-Conn., is a repeat host from the March event. The others are Stacey Bernards and Brian Romick, top aides to Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, R-Md., and Hayden Rogers, the chief of staff to Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., a leader of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition.

There is nothing improper about aides participating in fundraising when not working in their official roles but the line between aides fundraising and official duties has come into question before, including during a recent investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

The House Democrats out-raised their Republican counterparts in the first quarter by bringing in $19.6 million compared to the NRCC’s $18 million, the DCCC reported today.

leadership PACs lobbying • POSTED - 06.15.10 BY Lindsay Young

Top Democrats fundraise for DCCC, and colleagues

You might have read in yesterday’s Politico that the nine democrats have raised $50 million for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to internal fundraising numbers obtained by the newspaper. Raising that amount of cash would be daunting to anyone, but for Washington insiders, it’s part of their daily grind.

The Party Time database also reveals that beyond the cash these lawmakers raise for the DCCC, they are also fixtures and draws at fundraisers for other lawmakers. This fact would not show up on DCCC reports.

* Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. – Pelosi has raised $23.5 million for the DCCC, according to Politico. Party Time invites show that she’s served as a draw for at least eight fundraisers this year for other lawmakers and at least two for the DCCC — the latest DCCC event was a March 19th breakfast at Democratic National Headquarters, along with several other Democratic lawmakers. The cost to attend ranged from $5,000-$20,000.

* Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. – The second highest fundraiser according to Politico, Van Hollen is also the chair of the DCCC and has raised $7.1 million for the committee. According to Party Time invites, Van Hollen has been present for at least for nine fundraisers for other lawmakers and one for the DCCC.

* Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y. – Crowley raised an $6.5 million for the DCCC, according to Politico. He’s also incredibly active in fundraising for his colleagues. According to Party Time invites, he’s attended at least 10 fundraisers for colleagues and at least 15 for either the DCCC or the New Democrat Coalition PAC. His most recent headliner was for the Coalition’s fifth annual retreat at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina.

* Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. – According to Politico, Wasserman Shultz has raised $3.5 million for the DCCC. She’s also been busy raising money for fellow lawmakers, Party Time invites list her at at least 7 fundraisers this year for her colleagues, and she’s attended at least six for the DCCC or her own leadership political action committee, the Democrats Win Seats PAC.

* Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. – Clyburn has raised $3 million for the DCCC, according to Politico and he’s attended at least 13 fundraisers for colleagues and at least two for the DCCC and held at least two for his own Bridge PAC. Later this week he will host a fundraiser for Baron Hill, his Democratic colleague in Indiana, where guests can attend after paying $1,000-$5,000.

* Rep. Steny Hoyer, D- Md. – Hoyer has added $2.3 million to DCCC coffers, according to Politico. He’s also attended at least 17 fundraisers for his colleagues this year, and at least three for the DCCC and Wasserman Schultz’s Democrats Win Seats PAC.

* Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. – Israel has collected $1.5 million for the DCCC, according to Politico, it’s possible he raised part of that while attending a January 13th DCCC Business Council Kickoff Reception where guests paid anywhere from $5,000-$15,000.

* Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. – Frank has raised $1.5 million for the DCCC, according to Politico. He’s also helped fundraise for at least 12 of his colleagues and at least two times for the DCCC, according to Party Time invites. His latest effort was a June 7th lunch fundraiser for Democratic colleague Rep. Ron Klein of Florida.  Guests could attend for anywhere from $500-$2,500.

* Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. – Barney Frank’s Massachusetts colleague has raised $1.1 million for the DCCC, according to Politico. It’s possible that part of that total was raised that money while serving as the special guest of the DCCC Business Council Breakfast on March 4th. The invitation lists Markey as the headliner and asks for donations ranging from $5,000-$15,000 for the DCCC.

And let’s not forget how the DCCC raises money for itself, such as the Committee’s upcoming June 23rd, “DCCC Summer Solstice Reception” at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers offices in Capital Hill. The event says “friends” can attend for $5,000, while “hosts” can buy 4 tickets for $15,000.


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.