At past conventions, corporate lobbyists would receive hotel rooms and credentials in exchange for a contribution, but Democrats aren't offering those perks this year, leaving companies to find space in their budgets for hotel rooms.
"It's a huge problem," said Petersen, who lobbied on behalf of Volvo Group North America from 2003 to 2007. "Thank God that the Republicans didn't change their formula this time around. We know if folks spend money with Republicans, they will try to find a way to give it to us."
Fees range from $5,000 for more modest services such as recruiting attendees for parties to $30,000 for full-fledged itinerary development.
Today, Conventions 2012 employs a dozen people and retains a former Federal Election Commission staffer and former House Ethics Committee counsel as legal advisers. Come the long offseason, the firm strips down to a bare-bones staff of four.
So, why start a business that only sees game day once every four years? Easy. "It is the Super Bowl of politics," Henry said.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.