Congress Romances Donors on Valentine's Day
On Valentine’s Day, at least two members of Congress are using love to attract some special interest honey. Two other members also planned Cupid-themed events in advance of the holiday this week.
Rep. Connie Mack’s, R-Fla., is putting on a couples-themed, early-evening, wine bar event with his wife, Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif. (Sorry, Party Time only has a blurb, not the full-page invitation).
The congressional pair wanted to put on an event for other couples, said GOP Fundraiser Rob Jennings, who is accepting checks for the affair. “They thought it would be fun to have a one hour reception before votes and try to get people together to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” he added.
The event is also an occasion for PAC representatives and lobbyists to let the congressman know their love equals $1,000. But, Jennings said, the event is just like many others in the nation’s capital.
“In Washington everyone finds an excuse one way or another to have a fundraiser,” he said.
If not romance, Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, is luring lobbyists with the promise of the holiday’s other mainstay: chocolate. The Democrat is asking PACs for between $1,000 and $5,000 to attend his lunch at a classic D.C. establishment. That is, according to the invitation, as Michaud’s office has not confirmed whether the event will happen.
This week, at least two other members tried to romance their donors. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., invited “you and your sweetheart” to an evening reception with candies, asking for donations between $1,000 and $5,000. Speier’s chief of staff would not say whether the fundraiser actually took place, saying that she does not comment to the press on the congresswoman’s fundraising activities despite the fact that the aide is listed as the person to contact to RSVP for the event.
Earlier this week, Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Ill., and his wife invited donors -- and their significant others -- to their annual Valentine’s Day dinner at an Italian restaurant. Manzullo’s fundraising consultant has not responded to an email confirming if this event was held.
But not all of Monday’s gatherings are for lovers.
Joe Pitts, R-Pa., is putting on an intimate, $2,000-per-head, lunch but there is “nothing romantic” about it, said fundraising consultant Meredith Mino.
“It just happened to fall on that day,” she said.