The nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation’s “Party Time” website, which tracks fund-raising celebrations by members of Congress and their sponsors, is out with a list of invitations to events held by House Republicans vying for the power chairmanships that will come open next year when the GOP takes over Congress.
Tied for fifth on the list, with seven parties since June, is Darrell Issa, the North County Republican said to be in line to chair the House’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee and expected to use that spot to build a bid for U.S. Senate down the road. The Issa bashes included one on June 15 cosponsored by Michael Bopp, a Washington partner at Gibson Dunn working for Goldman Sachs. Another was the “9th Annual Issa Cream Reception @ Associated General Contractors of America Townhouse” on June 23, hosted by the American Council of Engineering Companies PAC. Both cost $2500 for top admission. Issa himself sent out an invite for his own $1500-a-person fund-raiser. July 13 brought a “Reception with Darrell Issa at Jordan’s 8,” described on the web as being “a very sleek steakhouse and sushi restaurant located on Barracks Row…in the heart of Capitol Hill and only 1 block from the historic Eastern Market. We offer 2 floors, 2 bars, a private lounge area for medium to small gatherings PLUS a rooftop patio!! Eight 50˝ plasma TV’s mounted to pebbled walls, hardwood floors throughout and large custom framed mirrors will give you more reasons to relax and smile.” The party was paid for by the lobbying outfit of Clark, Lytle, & Geduldig.
On September 23, Issa was on to the offices of Venable LLP, an industry law firm, for another fund-raiser. On September 28, the Dutko Group, yet another big-money lobbying firm, which handles the Union Pacific Railroad, threw a $2500-a-head “California Wine Tasting.” And, of course, Issa celebrated his birthday October 20 with his annual fund-raising dinner at Carmine’s Italian restaurant.
Issa placed behind the top GOP fund-raising party sponsors: Texan Lamar Smith of the Judiciary Committee, who held 11 events; Missouri’s Sam Graves of Small Business (10); Washington State’s Doc Hastings of Natural Resources (10); and Oklahoma’s Frank Lucas of Agriculture (9).