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This is why it's called "hard money"

The Washington Post reports: How do you collect $23 million, $2,500 at a time?

That is what Republican lawmakers have spent months doing in preparation for tonight's President's Dinner, a fundraiser for the party's House and Senate campaign committees that lures well-off donors from across the country to a blue-carpeted hangar-size hall for the chance to hear President Bush speak and to dine on beef tenderloin en croute with 5,500 others.

Because of the new fundraising limits Bush signed into law in 2002, the parties can no longer rely on mega-donors who once gave by the hundreds of thousands. Now much of the money is raised by selling $2,500-a-plate dinner tickets, a laborious process that is consuming an increasing amount of lawmakers' time and creativity.

Many members loathe working the blue call sheets of potential donors. So the parties have developed an enforcement system that, in the case of the House Republicans, includes specific goals for each lawmaker, a network of 35 team captains to track the collection process just the way whips check on votes, and strategic leaks of the latest tallies to embarrass recalcitrant members to get on the phone. -- Hard Cash Is Main Course for GOP Fundraiser