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It never stops

From day one, members of Congress must spend time raising enough money to prepare for their next election, be it two years away or six. And the fundraising doesn't stop--even if you're in a safe seat or facing no opposition. The Washington Times reported yesterday on those members with "safe seats," or no opposition and the fundraisers they continue to have.

$5 Billion?

Our friends over at the indispensable Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) have made their prediction for the cost of the 2008 elections: $5.3 billion. Yes, that's a b. And that's a huge increase from the $4 billion raised in 2004.


According to CRP, "At $5.3 billion, the 2008 contests will add up to the most expensive U.S. election in history (and, thus, probably the most expensive election the world has ever seen)."


"Consulting" Covers a Multitude of Sins

It would seem that getting his home remodeled by an oil services company then wildly underreporting the value of that remodel is not the only questionable thing Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) has been up to lately. Shocker, right? It appears that 'round about the time Stevens held his powerful post on the Senate Appropriations Committee a lobbying firm looking to win millions for their clients from the Committee went to work as fundraising consultants for Stevens.

Ralphie Run Out

We asked last week why Sen. John McCain, a guy who prides himself on a reputation as a "reformer" would attend a fundraiser that Ralph Reed -- buddy of Abramoff who profitted handsomely off the corrupt lobbyist's tribal casino scam -- helped pull together.

Conventional Practices

The Democratic and Republican National Conventions are nearly upon us, and in and amidst the rampant VP speculation and who-invited-who gossip it bears repeating that conventions are a major vehicle for corporations and lobbyists to pour cash into lavish parties for political VIPs. Campaign contributions may have a few limits on them, but when it comes to these schmooze-fests, the sky's the limit. Champagne waterfalls all around.

How Much for Dessert?

Heralded as he is for drawing a huge number of small donors to his presidential campaign, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is still collecting plenty of $1,000+ plus checks, as this story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune explains. Obama was in the Minneapolis area for a big fundraising event, at which attendees ponied up $1,000 for dinner and $5,000 for a picture with the candidate.

Take the Money and Run

Quarterly fundraising reports for federal races were due Tuesday, so the next round of fundraising/fund-racing stories is coming out. Of particular interest, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) continues to raise big bucks from the usual corporate interests, and Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) hits up the members of his family who haven't been indicted for campaign cash.

Half a Billion and Counting

More than six months away from election day already the three remaining presidential candidates have already raised double what was raised in the entirety of the 2004 presidential contest. Nearly half a billion dollars has flowed to the coffers of Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barack Obama, and more than half of that has come in donations of $1,000 or more.

Signed, Sealed

Seems Republican lobbyists are closing ranks around Sen. John McCain, hosting an exclusive, high-dollar fundraiser (full article only available to Roll Call subscribers) for him in Washington, DC tomorrow night -- the venue is the Willard Hotel which is a block from the White House and which, rumor has it, was the birthplace of the term "lobbyist." Got your $2,300 ready?

Filling the Hours, Coffers

President Bush found time to meet with some run-of-the-mill constituents in between fundraising events this week according to the Los Angeles Times and this article marveling at the President's enduring fundraising prowess.

Despite persistently low approval ratings that prevent him from advancing any significant policy initiatives, Bush has managed to fill his remaining hours in office with bunches of campaign contribution collections nights for other Republicans: