This Week's Fundraisers: Blunt greases the wheels for Romney, Hatch reloads, and belated St. Paddy's Day Gold
Romney and Blunt: The big Washington invitation this week is the Mitt Romney campaign's Thursday breakfast with the 80 members of Congress that have endorsed him. It could bring in at least $800,000, a welcome infusion of cash for a campaign that is burning it at a fast rate in a primary season that has gone on longer than expected. For the event, Romney's point man on Capitol Hill, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, wrote a letter to the lawmakers asking them to raise $10,000 in exchange for a table of 10. That's an interesting Washington twist—typically it's the lobbyists and insiders bundling money for a campaign-fundraising dinner with a member of Congress but now it's the lawmaker bundling the special interest money. Conveniently for the lawmakers and lobbyists, the event is right by the Capitol, at the Hyatt Regency.
Blunt warms up: On Tuesday, Blunt himself will be holding a $1,000-per-plate breakfast for his own campaign, and if he hasn't secured his ten $1,000 donors for Romney's big event already, it's a good bet that he'll make the pitch over eggs. Blunt is no stranger to these exclusive fundraisers—in fact, Sunlight and National Public Radio tried to enter one last year but were turned away. This one is at a favorite senatorial saloon, The Monocle.
Hatch reloads: In the middle of a fiercely competitive nominating process with a Tea Party challenger, Sen. Orrin Hatch will return to Washington to re-stock his campaign coffers with insider money. Wednesday's breakfast is being put on by one of D.C.'s biggest lobbyists, former Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott, at his firm, the highest-grossing lobby shop in town. Hatch has already gotten the support from one of Washington's richest nonprofit groups: The American Action Network, which is led by former Sen. Norm Coleman, has aired some advertisements in Utah on the veteran lawmaker's behalf. Hatch has had to contend with a Tea Party group spending over $600,000 to oust him.
McCarthy loves green: New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy holds her annual St. Patrick's Day reception Tuesday night. The ask is $1,000.
Thousand-dollar omelets: Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., is offering "home-cooked-to-order" omelets on Tuesday morning in exchange for donations ranging from $500 to $5,000. Party Time wonders: Do higher-dollar donors get more toppings?
Montana challenger taps lobbyists: Software executive Steve Daines, seeking to fill the seat that Montana's Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg is vacating to run for Senate, is coming to Washington for two fundraisers this week, one with influential lobbyists and another with House Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The lobbyists include John Green, who represents AT&T and Google; Todd Weiss, one of Washington's top "hired guns" in 2011; health care lobbyist Jeffrey Kimbell, and Todd Walker, the VP for Government Relations & Public Policy for tobacco giant Altria. After the events, Daines will have held at least five Washington fundraisers since March 2011.