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Party Time '08: Who Can and Cannot Dance in Denver

UPDATED, 8:44 p.m. ET: House members and their staff better have plenty of cash with them here at the convention. The Sleuth has just learned they'll have to pay beaucoup bucks if they still want to see hip-hop king Kanye West's live concert on Wednesday at a late-night bash co-sponsored by the ONE Campaign and the Recording Industry Association of America.

Just as they had to pay to attend last night's party in honor of the Blue Dog Coalition featuring KT Tunstall, House members and aides will have to pull out their wallets or checkbooks on Wednesday at the RIAA hot-ticket bash. And while they only had to pay $22 to see Tunstall, they'll have to pony up $90 to party with Kanye.

While the Senate ethics panel has given approval for senators and Senate staff to attend the event, the House ethics committee took a stricter approach. The party apparently doesn't meet the House ethics rules' "widely attended event" exception.

Members are allowed to attend "widely attended events" that are relevant to their official capacity. But the House ethics committee apparently views the RIAA's Kanye West show -- despite serious efforts by the poverty-fighting ONE Campaign to insert policy into the event -- as just a concert.

RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy confirmed the $90 price of admission and said the RIAA has alerted House and Senate members and staff of their respective ethics committees decisions.


Free love is one thing. But free fun at the convention here in Denver is harder to come by -- for House members and their staffs that is.

Due to strict new gift rules, members of the Blue Dog Coalition of conservative House Democrats had to pay to attend their own party Sunday night. While everyone else walked in for free to the Blue Night in Denver bash to enjoy loads of free booze and a live show by pop rocker KT Tunstall, House members -- and House aides -- had to pay what sources described as fair market value: $22. (Which, by our estimation, is a cheap KT Tunstall show.)

Most of the members, who included Rep. Allen Boyd of Florida, Melissa Bean of Illinois, and John Tanner of Tennessee, wrote checks so they had proof of payment.

For everyone else who attended the Blue Night in Denver bash, including Senators (though we saw none there) and Senate staff, the price of admission was just having a good time.

The Senate ethics committee is taking a looser approach to convention parties. But the House ethics rules prohibit members from attending big-name entertainment events for free. "Name act entertainment is not being allowed by the House ethics committee unless House members and staff pay for it," says Rob Walker, a private attorney who until recently served as chief counsel to both the House and Senate ethics panels.

Besides worrying about big-name entertainment exceeding the gift limits, the House ethics committee is also apparently concerned about -- no joke -- dancing.

Lawyers involved in vetting ethics rules for parties being thrown in Denver and St. Paul say the House ethics committee has expressed reservations about whether dancing at a party would be allowed. There were plenty of people dancing at the Blue Dog party after Tunstall's live performance ended but come to think of it -- we didn't see any members of Congress cutting a rug. Maybe they had been warned.

Bill McGinley, a lawyer with Patton Boggs, which is hosting receptions at both political conventions, says the nebulous nature of the ethics rules is becoming comical. "This is almost like 'Footloose.' Under the new ethics rules, do you have permission to dance?"

Partygoers are now wondering: will House members and aides have to pay to attend Wednesday night's Kanye West performance at an event co-sponsored by the Recording Industry Association of America and the ONE Campaign? (Something tells us those tickets might be higher than $22.)

By Mary Ann Akers  |  August 25, 2008; 2:46 PM ET
Categories:  Party Time '08  
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Next: Party Time '08: From Jimmy Hoffa to Mickey Hart


Will Gore steal Dem nomination Thursday night as he may be holding about 100 super delegates' support to deter others and conveniently take advantage of political discontent, chaos and confusion of primaries? As multi-millionaire, will he privatize US governments' programs, infrastructure and jobs for big profit$$$ versus take care of the 80% of the forgotten people?

Will Obama be rid of with his own generated sex and financial scandals? There is a term called "down low" in the black community for professionals who have gay sex on the side despite being married with children and have respectable daytime jobs. Larry Sinclair has come forward with gay sex and drug use claims with Obama in November 1999. He is scared of death threats from the Obama camp since 2006. Google "barack obama is a closet homosexual," or "Video: Pastor Manning Says Obama is Homosexual...," or "Digg - Is Larry Sinclair Obama's dark secret," etc.

President FDR won the 4th ballot in the roll call process in 1932. The rest is history. It should be allowed on Wednesday night. Otherwise the DNC leaves an undeniable impression that the process is stolen especially since Pelosi and Dean orchestrated MI and FLA votes in favor of Obama since summer of 2007.
Is Ted Kennedy's malignant brain tumor a fraud to distract from his real legacy of his 1968/69 Chappaquidic sex/murder scandal because he doesn't seem to have chemo and radiation side effects such as weight loss due to loss of appetite, jauntice, etc. like a typical cancer patient?
Wonder if Obama’s plane failure a couple of weeks ago was a cover up of his involvement in the general tampering of opponents’ planes during this election season? Does he have another "tampering" attempt scheduled for this Sunday when opponent’s plane is scheduled to fly from NY/NJ area to Madison, Wisconsin??? hmmmm....

Posted by: Anonymous | August 25, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous... The Larry Sinclair story is hogwash. Why do you chose to believe a story that's never been proven? Oh I know why, because you don't really care whether it's true or untrue. Your real aim is not to have people vote on Obama -so you want this story to be believed. I bet you your guy is George W. Bush. Here's the bummer -there's been gay stories floating the internet about George W. Bush being gay since he hit office... but I bet you won't or flat out refuse to believe that one. Go ahead and do a search on the internet (pick your choice) and put effeminate or gay beside the name George W. Bush and run a search. You'll be surprise with what you might come up with. This is not exclusive to just George W. Bush though, you can enter and do a search on just about any famous person's name and bring up all sorts of heinous and derogatory stuff.

People make up stories all the time about famous people. Why? To make a name for themselves, build up publicity or quite frankly just because they can. So unless you got verifiable proof -you need to stop passing the cool aid and get a life already... Quite frankly I don't think you really believe the unsubstantiated story -you just want to make hay out of nothing.

Posted by: LLL | August 25, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

It's so tough to follow ethics rules. We see Charlie 4 Primary Residences Rangel, Nancy Moneybags Pelosi, Ted Chappaquiddick Kennedy, Michelle Bounce the Poor Outta My ER Obama, and Joe Hedge Fund Daddy Biden struggling to find the definition of is. And Barack is going to lecture us all come Thursday. On being the "down to earth" $4.2 million one mansion kinda guy he is. Whew. The Audacity of Dopes.

Posted by: Poor Poor Lobbyists | August 25, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Democrats may be partying in Denver but they really are no match for dubya in Beijing.

As Oliver Stone tells us his daddy said, "What are you cut for? Paryting? Chasing Tail? Driving Drunk?"

Mind you he did have a good time with the beach volleyball team!

Posted by: johnb609 | August 27, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

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