Political Party Time

Move over inaugural fetes: Congress prepares to party and dial for dollars

Life for a lawmaker is hard. You need to sit through hours-long committee meetings, write up tedious new legalese-style legislation and worry about someone else taking your job every few years. But one thing, by far, stands out as the absolute worst aspect of being in  Congress -- fundraising. The Huffington Post obtained a suggested daily schedule from the DCCC, and it looks mighty painful. It turns out generating cash isn't all glitz and glam parties; in fact, most often it involves "Call Time," a truly agonizing segment of the day where a legislator essentially dials up random strangers and asks them for money. And they're expected to do it for four hours. Every day. And that's in addition to another hour of strategic outreach, including the lovely fundraisers we collect here at Party Time.

From the article, what members themselves think of it: "You might as well be putting bamboo shoots under my fingernails," said Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., a high-ranking Democrat. "It’s the most painful thing." And Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., agrees, saying, "An hour and a half is about as much as I can tolerate. There's no way to make it enjoyable." Excuse us as PT plays a sad song for them. But, you may be wondering, what about doing their actual job of representing the American people? Don't fret, Partiers -- the DCCC schedule leaves an ample two to three hours per day for that!

But it's not all doom and gloom for Congress - it's finally time to celebrate at the inaugural balls! While this weekend will be dominated by those festivities, a few determined fundraisers forge onward next week to collect some green -- PT is sure they're getting in all their call times. Check below for the details.

DSCC Dinner
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is wasting no time in fulfilling his duties as the new DSCC chairman, leading a Jan. 23 DSCC Reception and Dinner at congressional favorite Bistro Bis. After turning down the position in 2010, he'll be expected to raise at least $100 million to help re-elect Democrats around the country, including conservative bastions such as Alaska and Arkansas. Joining Bennet will be Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. Several lobbyists from Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schrek are hosting this high-profile event, including Manny OrtizElizabeth GoreAlfred MotturMichael Levy and Carmencita Whonder. Tickets cost $15,000/Host, $5,000/Supporter and $2,500/Friend.

Breakfast for Bill
Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., a staunch defender of businesses, is hosting a "Breakfast" on Jan. 24 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's townhouse right on the Hill. It's a venue he's quite familiar with, hosting at least six events here before. However, one major difference appears: Huizenga used to throw fun events, like his "Flipping Flapjacks Breakfast," and now it's merely "a breakfast." The invites even had cute pictures on them. PT's question: What happened to the fun, Bill? And, more importantly, will there be flapjacks to flip?! We need answers before we shell out up to $1,000 to attend this event!

Vitter for Governor?
Even though he's not up for re-election until 2016, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., has already started fundraising in 2013. His campaign committee is hosting a luncheon on Jan. 24 at the swanky members-only Republican haven that is the Capitol Hill Club. So why such a big head start? Word is that Vitter will be a likely candidate for Louisiana governor in 2015, so he may be padding his accounts for that instead. The price to attend is a flat $1,000. Will the tactics pay off? We'll have to wait and see.

Enjoy yourself at one of the 100+ inaugural balls this weekend, Partiers!