Putting lipstick on a fundraiser

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Yesterday, we reported on the news that newly-elected Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick missed the official swearing in ceremony on Tuesday to go to what appeared to be a fundraiser. Of course, Fitzpatrick started a push back almost immediately. According to Roll Call (subscription required), "Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) was attending a celebration in the Capitol Visitor Center with supporters that his campaign bused in from Pennsylvania. A spokesman for Fitzpatrick said the event, titled 'Fitzpatrick’s Swearing-in Celebration,' was not a fundraiser and that no contributions were collected."

Ok, sure, maybe. There are a few problems with this, though.

  • He accepted money for his campaign account, "Fitzpatrick for Congress."
  • Though the original donation form has been removed, one part mentioned "if you would prefer to donate by check." Sounds like a donation. Another part of the form, now removed, said that contributions would be listed as "Campaign Financial Svcs"'
  • In addition, you could donate any amount of money you want on the form. $100, $1,000, or $2,400!
  • A fundraiser is a fundraiser whether it makes money or not--that people paid $30 and that only covered the cost of the bus really doesn't matter.
  • Was there food? Was it paid for by the campaign committee? Smells political to me.

Spin aside, when it comes down to it, Fitzpatrick missed his swearing in ceremony because he was at a fundraiser. Whether those donations were $30 or $300, on his first day in office, he put money first.