Sunlight Foundation's Party Time
About the Sunlight Foundation's Party Time Dataset
Virtually every day Congress is in session, lawmakers are fundraising, whether at breakfasts or barbecues, happy hours or concerts. Because of Sunlight Foundation’s Party Time, which collects and categorizes invitations to these events, you can find out where the fundraisers are and (in some cases) who is expected to attend, often before they happen. Here you can view the array of invitations that are emailed and faxed by the dozen to lobbyists, Political Action Committee (PAC) representatives and others around Washington, D.C. and the country.
Though these fundraisers vary from small receptions to lavish getaways, none are cheap. Attendees, who are often well-connected lobbyists, are asked to shell out thousands of dollars for a ticket. Sometimes, a lobbyist will play the role of fundraiser himself—by hosting an event and asking his network of friends and colleagues to attend.
These invitations provide a treasure trove of information for citizen journalists, activists and others who are interested in following how money flows to candidates and lawmakers. You can use these as starting points to connect the dots between lobbyists, legislators, issues being lobbied and campaign money received. You can also add to our wealth of data by sending along any invitations you have come across, or commenting on a particular fundraising event.
A note about the invitations: The Sunlight Foundation posts invitations we receive from reputable anonymous sources. These documents are posted as a public service in the interest of creating more transparency about the relationships between lobbyists and lawmakers. Sunlight is not responsible for the content of the invitations themselves (including erroneous information) or for verifying whether the events advertised in the invitations actually occurred.
Access the Data
Contents of Data
Each record fills in the following fields for each event as much data as possible:
|ID||unique ID (primary key)|
|Beneficiary||candidate name, party, district, office, or committee name|
|Host||full names of hosts|
|Other Members Of Congress||name of lawmakers featured on invitation who are not beneficiaries of event|
|Start Time||start time|
|End Time||end time|
|Start Date||start date|
|End Date||end date|
|Venue Name||Name of the venue where the event is being held|
|Entertainment Type||type of entertainment listed, i.e. beer tasting, pheasant hunt, reception|
|Venue Address1||Venue street address|
|Venue Address2||Apt/suite/room number for the event|
|Venue City||venue city|
|Venue State||venue state|
|Venue Zipcode||venue zip code|
|Venue Website||venue website|
|Contributions Info||information on invitation for suggested contributions for event|
|Latlong||latitude/longitude of venue location|
|Rsvp Info||RSVP information|
|Distribution Paid For By||who is paying for distribution of invitation|
|Make Checks Payable To||information on to whom invitee should send invitations|
|Checks Payable To Address||address where payments should be sent|
|Committee Id||committee ID for beneficiary, if listed on invitation|