Mike Pence is using the Naval Observatory as a hub for big-money Republican donors

While Donny Trump spends his days doing whatever it is he does in the White House, the sitting Vice President has been busy using his own taxpayer-provided residence as as meeting grounds for Republican big-money donors.

The centerpiece of the effort is a string of dinners held every few weeks at the vice president’s official residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory in Washington. Mr. Pence and his wife, Karen, have presided over at least four such soirées, and more are in the works. Each has drawn roughly 30 to 40 guests, including a mix of wealthy donors such as the Chicago hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin and the brokerage firm founder Charles Schwab, as well as Republican fund-raisers and executives from companies like Dow Chemical and the military contractor United Technologies. […]
Mr. Pence’s office declined to release the lists of guests invited to the dinners,

have not appeared on schedules released by the vice president’s office to the news media. Marc Lotter, Mr. Pence’s press secretary, called the dinners “private” and said that the vice president had not held any political fund-raisers at his residence, which would be complicated by a law barring the solicitation of political contributions in government buildings.

The good news is that so long as Pence isn’t collecting checks at the parties themselves, this would appear to be legal; he just happens to find it very, very important that top Republican donors have their voices heard. One chunk of that appears to be rallying support for America First Policies, an ominously-titled political “nonprofit” with a separate superPAC that’s expected to play the usual role in the next elections.

The group was founded soon after Mr. Trump’s inauguration by political operatives outside the administration, including two close advisers to Mr. Pence — Nick Ayers and Marty Obst — who helped arrange the Naval Observatory dinners and attended some of them.

He’s certainly a loyal soldier, that Mike Pence. He’ll be courting Republican megadonors on Trump’s behalf right up until the end, and if that support just happens to pivot neatly to a Mike Pence election effort after Trump’s political goose is cooked then, well, won’t that be a happy coincidence.

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