WASHINGTON -- For most Americans, Sunday was a solemn day of remembrance. For the top House Republican campaigner, Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was also the first day of a two-day long golf fundraiser for campaign donors.
Sessions, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, planned and hosted an overnight dining and golfing escape at Maryland's Caves Valley Golf Club, which began with a dinner on Sunday night. The club is situated on 962 acres near Owings Mills, Md., about an hour north of the Pentagon, where House Speaker John Boehner attended a memorial dedication on Sunday afternoon. On Monday morning, Sessions played golf with his campaign donors, who paid between $1,500 and $5,000 to attend.
Caves Valley Golf Club is well-known for having a beautiful course, but for politicians, the club has caused trouble in the past. In 2003, Maryland's then-Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) came under scrutiny for accepting a free membership to the club, which only has 600 members, according to the club's website. All that privacy doesn't come cheap: New members reportedly pay initiation fees in excess of $200,000. Asked about the scheduling, an NRCC spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that, “It’s clear from America’s 9/11 calendar of solemn services and pro football games that Americans can honor the day with both respectful observance and a continuation and celebration of life.”
On the other side of the country from Sessions, retiring California Democrat Lynn Woolsey also hosted a fundraiser Sunday -- albeit in a less exclusive location. Woolsey's donors joined her at a San Francisco Giants baseball game. Woolsey announced her retirement in June of this year, but a spokesman told HuffPost "she continues to raise money to help elect progressive Democratic candidates." Woolsey also attended a tribute to victims of 9/11 held in the stadium before the game.