If you want to spend a couple hours hobnobbing with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, be prepared to pay up -- way up.
Tony and Heather Podesta, two of Washington's most prominent lobbyists, are inviting the Washington elite to a dinner party on Feb. 9 that will feature Pelosi, as well as a host of other Washington Democrats, including Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Chris Van Hollen.
The price of admission? $5,000 for an individual, $15,000 for a representative of a political action committee, and $30,400 -- the maximum allowable donation -- for the privilege of being a co-host.
Read the admission form here.
In a letter obtained by US News & World Report's Paul Bedard, Heather Podesta tells supporters to "raise a glass" at an "evening you will not want to miss."
Tony Podesta, along with his brother John, runs the Podesta Group, considered to be one of the most influential lobby groups in Washington. Among its clients are large defense contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon. In the medical industry, the Podesta Group represents Amgen, Novartis and RehabCare Group. The firm also works for such giants as Google and Walmart.
John Podesta was the last White House Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, serving from 1998 to 2001.
This is not the first time that Pelosi's interactions with lobbyists have attracted attention. Last fall, shortly after Pelosi softened her stance on a public health care option, a lobbyist who represents UnitedHealth, among others, threw Pelosi a fundraiser. Admission to that one was $2,400 for an indiviudual, or $5,000 for someone representing a political action committee.
Last June, Raw Story reported that Democrats skirted around President Obama's ban on collecting lobbyist cash at fundraisers by holding a "morning-after" event where lobbyists would be allowed to donate. That event featured Pelosi as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.