The fresh blood new Republican majority in the House will come to office just like hacks of old — with hands out for cash.
If incoming GOP freshmen were hoping to bring fiscal responsibility and "family values" to Washington, they may have gotten off to an interesting start with a big party in the works.
Country singer LeAnn Rimes, it seems, is scheduled to perform at what has been billed as a "swearing-in event" for newly elected Republicans at the swanky W hotel in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 4.
According to e-mails and invitations I have obtained, tickets are $2,500 a pop (for $50,000 you can become a "Platinum Sponsor" — but that includes eight tickets, a "VIP" and a "VIP suite" at the W hotel).
At least half the sponsoring Republican congresspeople are identified as Tea Partyers. None of the incoming Arkansas Republican freshmen are on the list of sponsors, but it's unclear whether they might yet be among the revelers. Regardless, you may be sure they are already at work on fund-raising for 2012, as are Democrats. Money, not tea, is still the mother's milk of politics.