Members of Congress are fighting the holiday blues with a vengeance, at least judging from the flamboyant fundraising events scheduled for this week.
Jammin' with John On Tuesday, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) is scheduled to be the beneficiary of a fundraiser hosted by Del Bryant, the President and CEO of music licensing corporation BMI, at the New York Friars Club. According to an invitation received by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, cost of attendance is a campaign contribution ranging from $500 to $2,000. Guests will be treated to a performance by jazz bassist Ron Carter. Conyers, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has accepted over $66,000 from the music, television, and movie industries for his current reelection campaign -- more than all but a dozen other members of the House and Senate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Tequila! Later Tuesday evening, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is scheduled to have a tequila tasting fundraiser, where donors will be charged up to $5,000 to have a shot with the congressman. The event is hosted by a lobbyist representing a number of biotechnology firms, among others who might be attracted to Rep. Ryan, who serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services; Energy and Water Development; and the Legislative Branch. Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.) is scheduled to attend as a "Special Guest."
Bring your mom! New York congressman Mike McMahon (D) is scheduled to have a fundraiser Tuesday at a performance of Jersey Boys in downtown Washington. A pair of tickets will cost up to $1,500, but donors also get to party with the cast of the show afterward. McMahon might miss Obama's speech on the war in Afghanistan, which is scheduled to begin half an hour before the show starts. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, though, he is scheduled to discuss the U.S. military strategy there the next day. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) is scheduled to attend as a "Special Guest."
Happy Birthday! On Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is planning to host a fundraiser in honor of his 68th birthday. The party will be hosted in a credit industry-owned townhouse on Capitol Hill, and cost of attendance ranges from $250 to $500.