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When "political" and "party" mean something entirely different

A couple of stories on how to party with the pols.

Under new campaign-finance rules, big donors can no longer spend lavish sums to entertain politicians at the parties' national conventions. But that won't stop the partying this year.

House majority leader Tom DeLay has set up a tax-exempt charity called Celebrations for Children, which will raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from top donors at the Republican Convention in New York City by offering them yacht cruises, tickets to Broadway shows and the chance to mingle with Republican lawmakers at parties. -- Support a worthy cause and meet a senator (Time via CNN.com)

Public watchdog groups have criticized Republicans for using a charitable group to help host lavish parties at this summer's presidential nominating convention, but Democrats are now employing the same strategy.

Democrats are inviting corporations to contribute up to $100,000 to attend the "Rockin' on the Dock of the Bay" party in Boston on July 28, the night before Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) is to be nominated to challenge President Bush. The event's official beneficiary is the National Childhood Cancer Foundation's "CureSearch" program, but the trappings are overtly political. -- Charity-Hosted Revelry Not Just for Republicans (washingtonpost.com)