You’re Not Invited…


…but lobbyists and PACs are. Every week, the fax machines of Washington’s lobbying firms and political action committees spit out dozens of invitations to wine and dine with lawmakers–and chip in a couple of hundred or couple of thousand bucks for the privilege. Members advertise all kinds of things in these listings–their committee asssignments, their seniority, their familiarity with particular issues–all to induce the PAC paymasters and lobbyists to cough up the bucks. This is the source of much of the incumbency advantage in fundraising that my colleague Larry Makinson documented. If you’re heading a PAC or lobbying for some well-heeled client, you have actions before the federal government today, right this minute. Waiting until next January on the off chance that some bumpkin from the sticks knocked off someone on a committee you need to influence isn’t a particularly practical way to operate. As for the members themselves, well, they’re just fundraising among their cash constituents…

Herewith the list (most likely incomplete) of fundraisers in Washington and its environs today, May 11, 2006:

“Please join Andy Quinn for a fundraising breakfast honoring Congressman Jim Matheson Utah-2 Member, Financial Services Committee Member, Science Committee Member, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee [Location] Bistro Bis in the Hotel George [Suggested contribution] $500 per Individual or $1,000 PAC

Please join hosts Ashley Basquin, Annette Guarisco, David Regan for a breakfast honoring Congressman Paul Ryan. [Location] National Automobile Dealers Assn. Suggested contribution ~ $1,000

Hosts Bill Spencer, Lynn Holton, Sue Forrester, Danielle Ringwood & Carin Nersesian cordially invite you to a fundraising luncheon on behalf of Senator John Ensign at Chalrie Palmer Steak. Suggested Contributions: $5,000 Host; $2500 Co-host; $1,000 PAC & Individuals

This one is taking place in Richmond:

8th Annual Hayes Race Event honoring Congressman Robin Hayes, NC-8 Special guests Chief Deputy Majority Whip Eric Cantor

May 11-12, 2006 Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, VA. Dinner in the Pits. Learn to Race a NASCAR or be a PASSENGER! Breakfast with VIP Guests Reserve your Race Spot Today!

Race & Golf Donation Package Options All participants are invited to join us for dinner at the track on May 11th

1. Speed Racer $5,000 donation — May 11-12th Join us for a fun filled reception and dinner with Congressman Hayes and Randy Baker’s race crew in Pit Row on May 11th. Breakfast with Chief Majority Whip Eric Cantor on the 12th at the Richmond Raceway. Your racing class will begin after breakfast then there’s nothing but racing all morning (30 Laps). This advanced course pairs with your own Crew Chief, radio communication and timed laps. Lunch in the media center–then you are off to play the historicy Country Club of Virginia. Your day will finish at 5:00 p.m.

2. Racer $2,500 donation–May 11-12th Join us for dinner at the the Raceway on May 11th. On May 12th, join us for breakfast with Congressman Cantor or sleep in and make your way to the track at 10:30 am for lunch and a half day intensive training course on how to drive a NASCAR stock car. It begins with classroom training; you walk the track and discover the racers line. Then get suited up–your SpeedTech trainer will be in the car with you during the beginning stages until you are ready to tackle the track on your own.

3. Hot Laps & Lunch $1,500 donation — May 12th Join Congressman Hayes and special guests for lunch on the track at the Richmond International Raceway. Prior to lunch an official SpeedTech Driving School trainer will take you out for a ride in an official Nextel Cup Stock Car. Fasten your safety harness and hang on for several breathtaking laps.

4. Golf & Hot Laps $2,000 donation — May 12th Joing us for Hot Laps and Lunch at Richmond Int’l Raceway. Immediately following lunch enjoy a round of golf at the historic Country Club of Virginia.

5. Raceway Dinner Event $500 donation — May 11th

[additional notes: The hotels specified offer a discount to those referencing “Robin Hayes for Congress Group.”

Whew. Either I need to hire a typist or we have to invest in a scanner. On to the next one:

You are invited to a breakfast honoring Senator Max Baucus Thursday, May 11th [Location] The Monocle [Suggested contribution] $500 Individual, $1,000 PAC

Baucus, incidentally, isn’t running for reelection until 2008…

Please Join Ben Ginsberg, Darryl Nirenberg, Ed Newberry, Keven O’Neill for a breakfast in support of Senator Rick Santorum with special guest Senator Mitch McConnell [Location] Patton Boggs (D.C. Office) Contribution: $2,500 PAC/$1,000 Personal

Ms. Claudia Pharis and Fattah for Congress cordially invite you to a lunchtime reception in support of Chaka Fattah (PA-02) Thursday, May 11, 2006 [Location] Hogan & Hartson (D.C. office)

The next one says on the cover sheet:

I hope you can join me on May 11th, 2006 at 6:00 pm for a reception to benefit the New Apollo Energy PAC. Attached is the invitation for the event. …

I would really appreciate it if you can make a contribution to my PAC at this time.

Thank you,

Congressman Jay Inslee

Then, we get the actual invite:

Please join House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, The Honorable Rahm Emanuel for a reception honoring Congressman Jay Inslee May 11th, 2006 [suggested contributions] $5,000 Host; $2,500 Co-Host; $1,000 Attend [Location] Democratic National Headquarters

In addition, there are bare bones lists that tell you the whens and wheres put out by the various party committees. On today’s Democratic House schedule, for example, we find…

Hon. Rose DeLauro, Agriculture Breakfist: Bistro Bis. Contribution: $2500 Host, $1000 PAC, $500 Individual.

Hon. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Labor Luncheon: National Democratic Club Townhouse, Contribution: $2500 Sponsor, $1000 PAC.

I’ll try to post these daily, but there are so many it’s difficult to keep up with them all…