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Senior Staff Fundraising Raises Eyebrows

Our colleague Shane Goldmacher has the scoop on a controversial and increasingly common tactic lawmakers are using to attract donors: connecting donors with top aides, for a price.
 
Goldmacher reports (for subscribers):

Lawmakers have long given their time to lobbyists and contributors in exchange for campaign checks. Increasingly, their aides are offering themselves up for money, as well.

An invitation to a February fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee promises, in bold face, that the chiefs of staff to six lawmakers will attend. The names of the staffers, each of whom is an aide to a member of the business-friendly New Democrat Coalition, appear larger than those of their bosses. Donors are asked to spend up to $15,000 to attend the reception and dinner.

Meanwhile, the political arm of House Republicans, the National Republican Campaign Committee, is promising its biggest donors in 2012--those interest groups that give the legal maximum of $15,000 this year--tickets to two "chiefs of staff receptions." In addition, those top contributors will also be invited to quarterly luncheons that feature "Republican Party leaders and key staff."

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