WASHINGTON – The GOP is hoping to capitalize on President Bush's swearing-in ceremony next month, offering donors special inaugural packages that include access to lawmakers, a parade and galas.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (search), which raises money for House races, is promising individuals who contribute $10,000 two tickets to a VIP reception with Republican House leaders. The inaugural "Gold Package" also includes access to an NRCC block of hotel rooms and a hospitality suite and two tickets to an inaugural ball, the inaugural parade and an NRCC general reception.
Under the NRCC's "Silver Package," donors who give $5,000 will get the same benefits except for access to the VIP reception. Instead, they get two tickets to the general reception.
Those who donate $2,500 to the NRCC under the "Bronze Package" get one ticket to the committee's general reception, the inaugural parade and an inaugural ball, as well as access to the NRCC room block and hospitality suite.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (search) also is offering inaugural packages for its contributors.
Individual donors who give the maximum $25,000 per year allowed will get two tickets to events throughout inauguration week including a welcome reception; a luncheon honoring new Republican senators and the NRSC's new chairwoman, North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole; Bush's swearing-in ceremony; lunch during the inaugural parade.
The NRSC's $15,000 donors can attend the Dole luncheon and the Republican Senate ball, which will feature senators and "Frazier" star Kelsey Grammer.
The Senate committee's $5,000 contributors can attend the Dole luncheon and a dinner toasting South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of their donor group, the "Presidential Roundtable," among other events. The NRSC's $2,000 donors will get tickets to the Dole lunch and Republican Senate ball.
Those who give $100,000 or more to Bush's inaugural fund-raising committee will have entree to the glitziest events when Bush takes his oath of office Jan. 20 and in the days before Inauguration Day.
They will get tickets to Bush's swearing-in, the inaugural kickoff celebration and fireworks and to candlelight dinners and black-tie balls featuring Bush, first lady Laura Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney, his wife.