Political Party Time

New Year, New Congress -- New Parties?

Happy New Year, Partiers!

The holidays are over, the 113th Congress has finally arrived and Party Time is up and running. It seems like everything is back to the usual -- but where have the parties gone?

It's true, a measly total of just one fundraiser has been spotted by PT for the upcoming week. We're all dressed up; how come no place to go? For one thing, it's still early in the legislative calendar, and some party goers and party givers are still trying to get over last year. "I think most members are taking a small break before diving into the next cycle. I know from the contributors' standpoint, a break is definitely in order!" said one DC lobbyist who wished to remain anonymous.

And then there's the fact that members of Congress won't even be around Washington next week; the House is in recess until Jan. 14, and the Senate is expected to be in pro forma session (read: not really here) until Jan. 21 while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., stalls and stalls some more on filibuster reform. Also, despite avoiding a financial meltdown, the "fiscal cliff" bill did leave many lawmakers with a hangover that rivaled any New Year's Day morning, so a brief respite is certainly understandable.

But PT has a hunch that there are more soirees going on that we don't know about -- this is where you can help! Send us all your invitations to receptions, dinners, happy hours, weekend getaways and any other fundraisers that you can get your hands on right here!

Stay tuned to PT as the parties pick up later this month for Inaugural Ball season! The calendar later this month is starting to fill up. But you know PT -- there's always room on our dance card for more. So send those invites!

Idaho - More Than Just Potatoes
Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, seems to be the only lawmaker who's still got money on his mind, and his Jan. 11-13 Idaho Hunting Excursion promises quite an adventure. He's gotten the stars of the hunting world out in full force to join him at Hagerman Wings Farm, including:

  • John Shaw - World champion pistol, shotgun and rifle shooter

  • Buck Gardner - Five-time world champion duck caller

  • TK Davis - Former leader of Seal Team 6 (the elite unit made famous by the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound); 37 years as a Navy SEAL

Well... You might be out of your league here, but consider it a learning experience. Tickets for this two-day safari are $2,500 for PACs and $1,250 for individuals. Risch makes big promises on the invite: "Yes - stories will be told and memories will be made."

Tom Harkin Wants to "Just Dance"
Can't imagine Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, rocking out to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" or "Bad Romance?" (Neither can we!) Well, amazingly, now you can see it in person - the 73 year old will be throwing a fundraiser at Gaga's concert at the Verizon Center right here in D.C. (OK, the event doesn't take place until Feb. 25, but we figured you'd want to save the date.) Contributing from $3,500-$3,000 gets you two tickets and a VIP Reception, while $2,000-$1,500 will get you one ticket and the VIP reception. Surprisingly, Harkin's paired Lady Gaga with fundraising before -- in Feb. 2011. But don't judge Harkin for enjoying the musical styles of Gaga -- maybe he was just born that way.

Enjoy your week off, Partiers!

(Photo credit: MediaPhotos via iStockphoto.com)