Sunrise (3/17/11)

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BRACKETOLOGY: FUNDRAISING EDITION

Sunlight: “At least five congressmen do not need to fill out a bracket in an office pool to make money off the N.C.A.A. tournament. … A spot in a luxury suite to watch the first two rounds of the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament in the nation’s capital can cost as much as $1,000, and lawmakers’ re-election campaigns are not letting such a hot ticket go to waste. … The lawmakers are using the suites to hold fundraisers at the Verizon Center on Thursday and Saturday, where part of the tournament is taking place. Although the members’ staff have not yet returned phone calls asking how the tickets were purchased, buying a suite for all three sessions would cost either $18,000 or $20,000, according to the Verizon Center ticket office. The more expensive suites fit 24 spectators while the others allow for 18.”

VERY KIND, IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS

Roll Call: “Rep. Mike Thompson often holds fundraising events that are BYOB. … Since 2001, donors attending his parties and other contributors have given the California Democrat more than 800 gifts of wine worth about $340,000, according to a CQ MoneyLine study of campaign finance reports. … Thompson leads all Members of Congress in raising funds through this legal but unconventional type of fundraising called “in-kind contributions.” Instead of writing checks, donors give assets, services and other things of value to political groups.”

REVOLVING DOOR DOESN’T DISQUALIFY FROM FUTURE IN CONGRESS

The Hill: “The head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said working as a lobbyist won’t disqualify former members from running again. … Rep. Steve Israel’s (N.Y.) comments came as former Democratic members continue to take up posts in the lobbying world. Former Reps. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.), Allen Boyd (Fla.), Ron Klein (Fla.), Walt Minnick (Idaho), Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.) have all taken jobs at law and lobbying firms after suffering defeats in the 2010 midterms.”

FUNDRAISING PARTIES TODAY:

Wear green to get green. Lots of fundraising parties on St. Patrick’s Day.

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