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September 1, 2015

Female Chiefs of Staff to Fundraise for Senate Democrats

Eleven female chiefs of staff to Democratic senators are scheduled to hold a fundraiser Monday night for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to an invitation for the event obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The fundraiser, billed as the “Women on The Hill Dinner,” is yet another sign that it’s not just the number of female senators that is rising, but also key staffers who are building a power base within the party.

As we reported last year, female lawmakers emerged in the 2012 election cycle as some of the Democratic party’s top moneymakers. In 2012, the Senate caucus’ campaign arm built an entire West Coast fundraising swing around its growing class of women.

The suggested contribution level for Monday’s staffer dinner is $1,000. Invitation after the jump.

Women on the Hill Dinner Invite

The co-hosts are as follows, with member names in parenthesis: Casey Aden-Wansbury (Al Franken); Kerry Ates (Jay Rockefeller); Rose Baumann (Amy Klobuchar); Julie Dwyer (Claire McCaskill); Julia Frifield (Barbara A. Mikulski); Tessa Gould (Heidi Heitkamp); Betsy Lin (Mazie K. Hirono); Maura Keefe (Jeanne Shaheen); Mindy Myers (Elizabeth Warren); Laurie Rubiner (Richard Blumenthal) and Laura Schiller (Barbara Boxer).

According to a Democratic source, Rubiner, a former top aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, was a key to coordinating the event.

UPDATE: We talked to Rubiner, who tells us that the fundraiser is now sold-out — and has an exclusively female guest list. She says that the female chiefs of staff, both on a party-line and bipartisan basis, regularly meet and get drinks together, and that the Democratic fundraiser was an extension of the conversations and efforts they’ve already been making as a group. The women chiefs believe there are “untapped resources” among women staffers and lobbyists, given that most fundraising events happen early in the morning or later in the evening, making them inconvenient for DC’s female power players who also happen to be moms.

“We hope it will be the first of an annual fundraiser that the women chiefs will put on,” Rubiner said, adding that the female staffers approached the DSCC with the idea. “It’s totally sold out and so we’re really psyched about it.

“We pretty routinely get together, we support one another, we like to get together for drinks,” Rubiner said of the women. “Maura Keefe and I about a year ago decided that we also wanted to start including the women lobbyists around town who also do their own sort of bonding as well … in anticipation of knowing that we wanted to have this fundraiser.”

Rubiner, whose background is more in policy than fundraising, says that the group talks often about the managerial challenges facing top women staffers. In the process, it appears they’re helping to prove that Washington doesn’t always have to be a boys club.

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