Political Party Time

Out with the Old, In with the New - the First 2013 Parties!

Photo of party hats"Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the Hill
Nothing was moving, especially Boehner's bill..."

Excuse the terse verse, Partiers, we promise we'll leave the poetry to Clement Clarke Moore from now on...

But the holidays are finally here, and judging from our database the pols are not -- there isn't a single invite appearing from Dec. 20 through Jan. 2. However, there are still myriad holiday parties occurring under Party Time's radar (if YOU know of any, please drop off your gifts here!) Not to mention all those Capitol Hill receptions to celebrate the swearing in of the 113th Congress on Jan. 3 (let's hope the 112th clears out in time to fumigate the place). While many of these aren't likely to be fundraisers, they still provide that key opportunity for lobbyists to rub elbows with lawmakers - especially the freshly elected members of the incoming 113th Congress.

Whether or not those congressional grinches ever get their work done, PT is outta here. See you in 2013!

But to make up for the week that we'll be taking our holiday nap, we're covering the first week of January right here -- so you can get your RSVPs in early:

Shredding the Mountain of Utah
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has been a dedicated lawmaker since 1977; he graduated from Brigham Young University in the 1950s; this year, his Democratic challenger, Scott Howell, even told people not too vote for him because he might die, writing "I’m going to be frank... Orrin Hatch is not a bad guy. But he is an old guy." Yet even at a sprightly 78 years old, Hatch can still (allegedly) tear up the slopes at Utah's famous Deer Valley ski resort. The Utah senator will be hosting his 3rd Annual Winter Ski Retreat on Jan. 4-5, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $1,500. Whether or not Hatch leaves the bunny hill remains to be seen.

Bonus: In this week's "Amazingly Relevant Yet Totally Obscure" fact of the week, rock pioneer Frank Zappa wrote an instrumental entitled "Orrin Hatch On Skis" for his Grammy-winning 1988 album, Guitar. The song, which you can listen to here, features rollicking, off-the-walls shredding by Zappa, perhaps evoking the image of Hatch skiing wildly down a mountain (after all, Zappa loved to get in some subtle jabs at the GOP). Listen for yourself!

Not to be outdone, fellow Beehive State (yes, that is the nickname) Sen. Mike Lee is hosting his own Utah ski trip the day before Hatch's. And it even takes place at the same mountain, Deer Valley! How about some originality guys? A lift ticket to attend the junior Utah Republican senator's 2nd Annual Ski Day will run PACs $2,500 and individual guests $1,000. At least Lee, the Senate's youngest member at only 41 years old, might have a better shot at tackling some double blacks.

Meet the D's at the DSCC in D.C.
If you donate at least $5,000 annually to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, then you're automatically invited to their monthly Senate Roundtable Breakfast Briefing. This month's breakfast includes blue stalwarts Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., as well as Sens.-elect Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii. They'll be offering a dynamic picture of the American political system (or what's left of it after the fiscal cliff) on Jan. 3 at the Washington Court Hotel.

Bacon and Eggs with a Side of... Debt Retirement
Yes, many politicians who led ferocious campaigns throughout 2012 still have built-up debts to pay off. This time it's Rep.-elect Bill Enyart, D-Ill.,  who is asking his supporters to help him out. In his post-general-election filings, Enyart reported $70,600 worth of debts, the exact amount of money Enyart loaned to his own campaign throughout the 2012 election cycle. To help his campaign pay himself back, the congressman-to-be is having a breakfast on Jan. 4 at the Hotel George. Supporters are asked to contribute as much as $5,000 or as little as $1,000. If there's bacon, it's probably worth it.

Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! Just try to ignore that pesky fiscal cliff, the inevitable Mayan apocalypse, seeing your lovely in-laws and all the other things that threaten our very existence.

Until next YEAR, Partiers!

(Photo credit: Liliboas via iStockphoto.com)