Want to dine with a top Demo­crat? It will cost you

The News-Times - - OBITUARIES - By Em­i­lie Mun­son emu­n­[email protected]­medi­act.com; Twit­ter: @em­i­liemu­n­son

In the past week, the Con­necti­cut Demo­cratic Party made $40,000 off po­lit­i­cal in­sid­ers who want to dine with Gov. Ned La­mont and Lt. Gov. Su­san Bysiewicz at an up­com­ing fundraiser.

Tick­ets to dine with La­mont at the

2019 John Bai­ley Din­ner on June 21 cost $2,500. The 10 tick­eted spots at his ta­ble have been sold.

The La­mont tick­ets cost more than the $2,000 pay­ment needed to dine with U.S. Sens. Chris Mur­phy and Richard Blu­men­thal. And they’re more ex­pen­sive than the $1,500 needed to for sit­ting with any of Con­necti­cut’s five Demo­cratic mem­bers of the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

La­mont’s ticket price makes the

$1,000 for VIP ac­cess to a re­cep­tion with U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — one of the most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple in na­tional politics and the fundraiser’s keynote speaker — seem al­most a bar­gain.

By the way, $1,000 will also buy a seat with Con­necti­cut’s sec­re­tary of the state, at­tor­ney gen­eral, comp­trol­ler and trea­surer and top leg­isla­tive lead­ers.

All 10 tick­ets to dine with Bysiewicz for $1,500 a head have sold.

Fundrais­ers like these fuel Con­necti­cut Democrats to sup­port po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns, ad­ver­tis­ing and out­reach. Ev­ery year for decades, the party has held a fundraiser like the John Bai­ley din­ner.

“This is a fundraiser that usu­ally has about 700 to 800 peo­ple at­tend­ing and pro­vides fund­ing for party op­er­a­tions,” said Patty McQueen, spokes­woman for the party. “We pro­vide many other op­por­tu­ni­ties for po­lit­i­cal ac­cess that are free, in­clud­ing tele-town halls, cam­paign train­ing, lower dol­lar fundrais­ers as well.”

Gen­eral ad­mis­sion tick­ets for the din­ner cost $200. Over sev­eral years, the price of gen­eral ad­mis­sion has risen from $175.

The Repub­li­can equiv­a­lent of the fundraiser is the Prescott Bush din­ner, which was last held in Septem­ber at the Stam­ford Mar­riott ho­tel and was at­tended by about 360 Repub­li­cans. Some VIP tick­ets for that event cost $10,000. Din­ner with the event’s speaker, Ne­braska Gov. Pete Rick­etts, cost $5,000.

But even those prices pale to the $25,000 min­i­mum do­na­tion needed to ac­cess a se­cre­tive fundrais­ing din­ner held by New York Gov. An­drew Cuomo in March, the New York Times re­ported.

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