D.C. disconnect: 400 fundraisers in 14 days

By CHRIS FRATES, Politico

Inside the Capitol, lawmakers are largely marking time by naming post offices and passing a resolution to keep the government running through the elections.

But outside the Capitol, in the private rooms of Washington’s top steakhouses, political clubs and Capitol Hill townhouse salons, there is an epic money grab under way, with more than 400 fundraisers for House candidates in the two weeks leading up to Friday’s congressional adjournment.

Call it the Great Cash Dash of 2010.

They’re tasting wines at Zola, doing beer and baseball at Nationals Park and playing shuffleboard at a trendy bar in D.C.’s H Street neighborhood, all in the name of raising quick campaign dough. In many cases, lawmakers are raising money from Washington special interests they’ll turn around and bash on the campaign trail.

“These last two weeks have just been unbelievable. My contention is the only reason they came back in September was the fundraisers,” said a Republican lobbyist, who has been inundated with fundraising requests.

GOP lobbyist Ed Kutler called the money rush “very intense” but understandable, because most lawmakers stuck in Washington “can raise more money in D.C.” than in their home districts.

“As a Republican, I’m happy to see it, because it means nobody’s measuring the drapes. Everyone seems to be working hard,” he said.

Of course, at this point in the election cycle, there’s always a rush to raise money, but the sheer number of lobbyist-driven fundraising events — in a year driven by an anti-Washington, anti-establishment electorate — shows how Washington cash still looms large on the campaign finance landscape.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42796.html#ixzz10pGtQBlr

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