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Members of Congress spent the past few months fighting over the nation’s balance sheet, but now that they’ve headed out of town for recess, they are in agreement about one fiscal matter: their own treasuries.
With jaunts to Nantucket, Mass., Lake Tahoe and Sun Valley, Idaho, (among many others), the K Street fundraising scene isn’t closing up shop; it’s going on summer vacation.
And for burned-out lobbyists who want to skip the business-mixed-with-pleasure pursuit of money in August, September promises to be packed with even more fundraising opportunities.
“You won’t have to look at your kitchen — you can just have breakfast, lunch, dinner somewhere,” Democratic fundraiser Mike Fraioli said.
The schedule of events begins right away. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has his annual “Camp Baucus” fundraiser set for this weekend, according to lobbyists who were invited. One noted that the activities would include fishing and horseback riding. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has booked Aug. 12-14 at Lake Tahoe to raise money with Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.).
But Democrats won’t have the Mountain West to themselves.
According to invitations sent to lobbyists, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) is organizing a Park City, Utah, weekend on the same dates as Reid’s. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has invited donors to a late August respite at the Broadmoor, a swanky resort in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) is holding an Aug. 16 Rocky Mountain oyster and steak barbecue in Sun Valley, Idaho. And fellow Idahoan Sen. Mike Crapo (R) has an Aug. 16-17 fly fishing, trap shooting, horseback riding and barbecue event near Sun Valley.
The cost to attend these events for individuals and political action committees usually ranges from $1,000 to $5,000, and that doesn’t include travel expenses.
“A lot of lobbyists will do a whole string of events in one region,” said GOP fundraiser Monica Notzon of the Bellwether Consulting Group. “A lot of these events are family friendly.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) plans to hobnob with K Streeters on Aug. 16 at a private residence in Nantucket.
He’s not the only one in search of New England ocean breezes. Democratic Rep. Bill Keating, whose district includes Nantucket, is planning a weekend trip to the island starting Aug. 19. And Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.) is hoping to lure donors to a golf tournament Aug. 8 at the Shelter Harbor Golf Club in Charlestown, R.I, and an Aug. 17 Red Sox game at Boston’s Fenway Park.
Closer to Washington, D.C., Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) has invited lobbyists to an NFL preseason game between the Ravens and the Redskins on Aug. 25 in Baltimore.