Congressional campaign fundraising season is in full swing across the country, but particularly in Florida, where weather and scenery draw donors in a way that, say, Ohio doesn't this time of year. CBS News went undercover at a Republican fundraiser at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, home to one of dozens of similar fundraisers both parties are holding.
To get in, donors had to pay at least $10,000, CBS said. The event was hosted by Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama and Pete Sessions of Texas, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee charged with electing Republicans to the House of Representatices. Twelve House freshmen benefited from the event.
"It's perfectly legal for members of Congress to have a getaway at a Florida resort," the CBS report notes. "The question is: Why do lobbyists pay thousands of dollars to be here with them? What are the lobbyists getting in return?" A spokesman for the NRCC told CBS News that Democrats also hold similar such events, including President President Barack Obama, who "has had many high-level fundraisers throughout the country in cities like New York and Los Angeles."
None of the freshmen agreed to an interview with CBS. Just two were from Florida -- Sandy Adams and Daniel Webster. Others at the fundraiser included Quico Canseco of Texas, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Bob Dold of Illinois, Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Mike Grimm and Nan Hayworth of New York, Jim Renacci of Ohio, and Cory Gardner of Colorado.