Party Politics: One Week, 70 Fundraisers

An invitation to a fundraiser for Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday, Sept. 27th in Washington. The Sunlight Foundation

An invitation to a fundraiser for Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday, Sept. 27th in Washington.
The Sunlight Foundation
There are at least 70 fundraisers taking place in Washington D.C. for Congressional candidates and affiliated organizations this week, according to the Sunlight Foundation - which has helpfully posted the invitations of the events on its "Party Time" website.

Among the events: a wine pairing and risotto cooking lesson for Rep. John Larson (D-CT); a Phillies vs. Nationals game with Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA); a fundraiser for Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) with author John Grisham; and birthday-themed fundraisers for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID).

The fundraising blitz is taking place with just six weeks to go before the midterm elections, and it's worth remembering that the estimation of at least 70 events only includes fundraisers in Washington DC, not a candidate's home district or elsewhere.

Political Party Time is aware of 364 fundraisers in the month of September overall across the country, and there are likely more events that the group did not discover.

Liz Bartolomeo, the Communications Manager for the Sunlight Foundation, told Hotsheet the group gathers the fundraising information because transparency means "a more informed electorate."

Politicians don't just attend fundraisers to generate donations - they also spend a good chunk of their days on the phone hitting up donors. In May, Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner suggested on "Real Time with Bill Maher" that members of Congress spend five hours per day fundraising. And Eric Massa, while discussing his resignation from the House amid charges that he behaved inappropriately with staffers, said lawmakers have no choice but to continually raise money for their reelection, deeming the system "out of control."

Since lawmakers cannot legally make fundraising calls from their congressional offices, they often go to their party committee's offices, where there are phone banks set up for fundraising purposes.


Brian Montopoli is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of his posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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