Politico: 14 days, 400 fundraisers

Written by admin on October 1st, 2010

Politico reporets on the rush to raise campaign cash during the past two weeks prior to Congress’ recess for the elections.

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“These last two weeks have just been unbelievable. My contention is the only reason they came back in September was the fundraisers,” said a Republican lobbyist, who has been inundated with fundraising requests.

GOP lobbyist Ed Kutler called the money rush “very intense” but understandable, because most lawmakers stuck in Washington “can raise more money in D.C.” than in their home districts.

“As a Republican, I’m happy to see it, because it means nobody’s measuring the drapes. Everyone seems to be working hard,” he said.

Of course, at this point in the election cycle, there’s always a rush to raise money, but the sheer number of lobbyist-driven fundraising events — in a year driven by an anti-Washington, anti-establishment electorate — shows how Washington cash still looms large on the campaign finance landscape.

Even so-called outsiders, such as GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller of Alaska, are getting in on the money grab. Miller has five fundraisers scheduled over a 48-hour period in Washington this week. Democratic House candidates have roughly 130 events this week, and Republican Senate candidates have about 80 total events scheduled during the two-week period ending Friday.

Lawmakers aren’t shy about reminding lobbyists that the teller window is open for deposits for only a few more days while Congress is in session.

An invitation to a recent fundraiser at Charlie Palmer Steak for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reminded energy lobbyists that “this will be one of our last events in Washington, D.C., before the election in November. I encourage all of you to attend and to pass this invite along to your clients and colleagues.”

A sampling of scheduled events:

• For $500 to $5,000, a lobbyist can enjoy cocktails at Democratic House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter’s Capitol Hill home.

• For $500 to $2,500, oenophiles had the chance to enjoy a tasting of home-state wines with Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.).

• For those looking for a more Southern twist to their alcohol consumption, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is holding a bourbon tasting with Maker’s Mark Chief Executive Bill Samuels for $1,000 to $2,500.

And it’s not just incumbents who are riding the money carousel. Candidates, even those running as Washington outsiders, are planning to come to town and pick up checks.


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