Rep. Todd Akin and others have returned to Washington, D.C., during the Congressional recess to hit up lobbyists and political action committees for contributions.
But it affords the influencer set a level of access that ordinary voters typically can't fit into their budgets, Kiely added. "People in Washington who can afford to write big checks get more attention of politicians than people back home who can't afford to write big checks," she said. "It's a stark statement of the distorting effect that money has on politics."
Even though many D.C. fundraising events have gone on as planned despite Congress' early exit, some have been scrapped. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), who is not up for re-election, canceled an aviation industry breakfast set for today, according to an event organizer.
Some lawmakers have opted for what might be the best of both worlds: pre-election fundraisers in their districts, such as one coming up for Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) in a Denver suburb and the mid-month golf outing for Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) in his home state, according to listings from the campaign committees.
And even if Members aren't doing events in D.C. or on their home turf, the dash for dollars goes on.
"The phones are still ringing," Democratic fundraiser Mike Fraioli said.
The appeals for support will not end on Election Day. Lobbyists say they expect an influx of invites for debt retirements and meet and greets when Members and Members-elect arrive in the capital in mid-November.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.