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Hungry to schmooze: Republicans and Democrats spent $7.7 million to eat out in Washington in 2012

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Well, maybe they had a few choice culinary moments and gained a lobbyist. Or a pound or two.

Republicans and Democrats favor their own eateries in the nation’s capitol and between the two parties, they dropped $7.7 million at assorted spots around town last year - this according to a painstaking study by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Throughout the 2012 election cycle, Democratic candidates and party committees spent about $3.1 million at their 10 most popular restaurants and hotels that included the National Democratic Club, Charlie Palmer Steak and Liaison Capitol Hill.

The Grand Old Party was a tad more grand than their rivals. Republican candidates and committees spent almost $4.6 million, dallying over dinner at the Capitol Hill Club, Bobby Van’s Steakhouse and Grill and the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar.

“As all good fundraisers know, it takes money to make money,” noted Adrian Vallens, a blogger and analyst for the nonpartisan watchdog.

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