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Congress stays close to home when begging for money

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Congress doesn’t wander far when it wants to raise money, according to a new Sunlight Foundation report that says most of the action happens within three blocks of the Capitol.

The group’s review of nearly 14,000 party invitations found that 76 percent of the fundraisers happened within three blocks of the seat of government, suggesting just how closely tied money and power are.

Wednesdays after 5 p.m. are the most lucrative time slot, though any middle-of-the-week happy hour or evening dinner appears to be a popular choice, the watchdog group said.

The Capitol Hill Club, associated with the GOP, was home to nearly 2,000 fundraisers during the past five years, far outstripping any other location.

Johnny’s Half Shell, a seafood restaurant a four-minute walk from the Senate side of the Capitol, is also a major hot spot, drawing both parties. The Sunlight Foundation said that of the 861 events held there, 64 percent were listed as Democratic gatherings and 33 were GOP functions.

Town houses owned by major associations are also hot locations.

Outside the city borders, one surprisingly popular location was the Prince George’s County Trap and Skeet Center in Glenn Dale, Md., which hosted 40 events during the past five years. FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and a golf course in Chantilly, Va., were also popular.

And traveling outside of the Washington region altogether, Sunlight said the locations of the quadrennial political conventions were hot spots. But those aside, Fenway Park in Boston was the biggest nonlocal event space, hosting 12 fundraisers.

Sunlight put together the list based on its database of political fundraiser invitations.

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