Camelot Can Be Yours For $100G

Democratic donors can get a weekend glimpse of the fabled Kennedy compound on Cape Cod by plunking down $100,000.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, is opening the famous Kennedy retreat in Hyannis Port to raise money for the Democratic effort to recapture the House of Representatives in 2000.

Kennedy was appointed head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee after throwing a clambake at the Hyannis Port compound. The event was believed to have raised at least $250,000.

For $100,000, Democratic high rollers will get a taste of Camelot, spending a weekend in September amid the memories and memorabilia of the glamorous Kennedy clan.

"It's sort of irresistible, if you can afford it, to get a peek into how the royal family lives and plays," said Dan Payne, a Boston political consultant. "For some people, an affiliation with the Kennedys is sort of a life goal."

Fund raising is nothing new for the Kennedys. The family has been described as an entire wing of the Democratic party because of its ability to attract coast-to-coast donations from folks who range from truck drivers to tycoons.

Donors have still not forgotten the slain brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who are viewed as symbols of Democratic Party ideals.

For decades, people have happily forked over money to visit the Kennedy family homes - and to help out the latest Kennedy running for office.

But the fund-raising ambitions of Patrick Kennedy, who is only 31, bring to a new level the revenue-generating possibilities of the historic Cape Cod compound.

The $100,000-a-head weekend marks the first time the Hyannis Port retreat will be used for a major, national campaign contribution drive.

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