The Washington Post

Congress isn’t pounding the pavement for campaign cash

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Members of Congress will typically bend over backwards to feed the never-satisfied maw of their campaign war chests. They’ll shake sweaty hands, pose for awkward pictures and make countless pleading calls. But what they won’t do, apparently, is walk more than three blocks.

According to a new analysis by the Sunlight Foundation of five years of fundraising data, about three-quarters of fundraisers happen within a checkbook’s throw (make that three blocks) of the Capitol. To be fair, Washington weather is often brutal, with its crushing humidity half the year, slushy rain in the winter, etc. So we can hardly blame our well-coiffed and loafer-shod lawmakers for not wanting to pound the pavement too often.

Strap on those pedometers, people, because we’re talking a five-minute stroll: Also interesting in the Sunlight report is the list of most-popular fundraiser venues. Proving the adage that the important draws for a business are location, location, and location, the top locales include near-to-the-Dome restaurants Johnny’s Half Shell, Charlie Palmer Steak and Bistro Bis.

Far and away the most-used joint, though, is the Capitol Hill Club, which essentially functions as the GOP’s clubhouse. It hosted a whopping 1,966 fundraisers of the nearly 14,000 that the foundation cataloged.

We should also note that of the top fundraising sites, the most bipartisan is Charlie Palmer Steak, which hosts a near-even split of Republican and Democratic events. Juicy rib-eyes, it seems are one thing both parties can agree on.

And perhaps Republicans don’t prefer French food: The tony Bistro Bis attracts mostly Dems, with 71 percent of its fundraisers for Democrats and only 21 percent for Republicans.


Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
The feminist appeal may not be working for Clinton
In New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders is beating Clinton among women by eight percentage points, according to a new CNN-WMUR survey. This represents a big shift from the results last week in the Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won women by 11 points.
The Post's Dan Balz says ...
This was supposed to be the strongest Republican presidential field in memory, but cracks are showing. At Saturday night's debate, Marco Rubio withered in the face of unyielding attacks from Chris Christie, drawing attention to the biggest question about his candidacy: Is he ready to be president? How much the debate will affect Rubio's standing Tuesday is anybody's guess. But even if he does well, the question about his readiness to serve as president and to go up against Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, will linger.
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.