Beer: it's also for political fundraising
Beer: it's not just for diffusing racial tensions. It's also for political fundraising. As are wine, bourbon, cocktails, margaritas, and mojitos--all used as attractions for recent fundraisers by members of Congress, according to our Party Time database. It's as if lawmakers and lobbyists are living out the famous lines of the George Thorogood song: "One bourbon, one scotch, one beer."
Tomorrow President Barack Obama is welcoming Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley to the White House, where they're planning to quaff some suds. It's an an attempt to put to rest the controversy over Gates' recent arrest by Crowley and Obama's comments soon thereafter.
Meanwhile, lawmakers routinely count on the relaxing properties of alcohol to get donors to open their wallets. But the drinks don't come cheap.
Tonight alone Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is charging $5,000 for those who want to sponsor his "Beers, Brats, Wines, and Squeaky Cheese" fundraiser at the UPS Townhouse. There's no mention on the invite of whether he'll be doling out alka seltzer. Showing that beer has bipartisan appeal, Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) tonight hosts a "Beer Tasting and Dinner" at Brasserie Beck, proceeds going to his leadership PAC, the Great American Fund. The event costs $1,500 for a PAC, $500 for an individual.
Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) apparently has an annual Kentucky bourbon tasting--this year marked his third. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) likes to combine cocktails and cigars. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) goes for margaritas and mojitos (and those events were just one day apart). Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) represents the Pittsburgh, a beer sort of place, but nevertheless planned a wine tasting at Sonoma.
Check out our map for recent fundraisers featuring alcohol. If you click on the pins, you'll find links to the invitations.