If you’re willing to pony up $5,000 a year, you’ll be given monthly briefings with Republican House leadership staff, as well as receptions with legislators’ own chiefs of staff.
Leaked documents obtained by The Intercept show that both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee are selling their donors regular access to top congressional staff members in exchange for making regular annual donations.
The Intercept notes that while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee offered something similar in 2013 with its “Women on the Hill Dinner” that asked for $1,000 donations in exchange for access to Senate chiefs of staff, the new GOP effort “is more structured, making the exchange of money for meetings with a variety of congressional staffers an official element of the party’s fundraising apparatus.”
Michael Beckel, the research manager at campaign finance reform organization IssueOne, tells The Intercept that the new GOP program amounts to “blatant buying and selling of access,” while noting that “Congressional staffers, paid by the taxpayers, don’t have carte blanche ability to participate in political fundraising.”
Similarly, Public Citizen ethics expert Craig Holman tells the publication that “this is the first time I have heard of party fundraisers based on pay-for-access to congressional staff.”