Looking Back at the Convention Parties


Our Party Time hostess, Nancy Watzman, looks back fondly over her two weeks of Democratic and Republican convention party crashing and provides some highlights.  The Party Time project documented more than 400 parties during the two conventions, and Watzman, along with Sunlight Foundation communications director Gabriela Schneider, tried to “crash” as many as they could and blog on what they saw. Their reporting shows that despite a new ethics law in effect for the first time this year, members of Congress made merry with lobbyists at the conventions.

Read Watzman’s post to find out which party featured the best slogan—”Vote for real estate!” Find out where she observed partiers eating Caesar salad in a shot-glass, exemplifying the best “toothpick exemption” food. Read about the best no show event—a party sponsored by U.S. Bank and Visa to honor freshmen Democratic lawmakers, a party that got a lot of sunlight and exposure in the media. Learn about the most creative application of ethics law, a Kanye West concert that House members and staffers had to pay for but senators and Senate staff could attend for free. The best party-attendee perk went to the luxury porta-potties outside a Denver event. And for best definition of a “customer”, check out the account of a party thrown by Qwest CEO Ed Mueller.

Party Time doesn’t end now that the convention parties are over. The project now turns to the thousands of invitations to fundraisers and members of Congress that Watzman and staff have been collecting. There is a lot of partying happening this month, as congressional candidates get ready to report their third-quarter fundraising totals (pdf) to the U.S. Federal Election Commission on September 30. As they say over at Party Time, party on.