B000711_3If it’s still unbelievable how early the 2008 election race has started, how about 2010?

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Sunday attends a $2,300- to $4,600- per-person fund-raiser at the home of Ron Burkle. Fresh off of last week’s event for Hillary Clinton, Burkle is co-hosting with producer Steve Bing.

It’s not so unusual, as senatorial candidates often want to get as much in the bank as early as possible to scare off potential competitors.If they don’t post good figures early, it’s "like sharks in the water," as one political consultant said.  With Arnold Schwarzenegger at least holding open the possibility of running, she would face some forminable competition.

But a few fund-raising types, knee deep in the presidential race, are a bit miffed that the senator is throwing such an event now. The reason? Donors are restricted to giving no more than $42,700 this election cycle to all candidates. Given all the money that has come out of Hollywood in the past three months, it’s conceiveable that some donors will be maxing out by the end of the year. That would prevent them from giving any more to a presidential contender or, better yet, a candidate running for the Senate in 2008.

The event marks Boxer’s 30th year in elected office, and will feature as a special guest Sen. James Webb (D-Va.).

In the meantime, Democrats are ramping up their efforts to retain Congress next year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) will be guests of honor at a Sunday dinner for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at the home of City National CEO Russell Goldsmith. And on April 12, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) attends an event at the home of Barbra Streisand to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Tickets are $25,000 per couple for cocktails and dinner, and $50,000 per couple for premium seating at the cocktails and dinner.

Will Streisand sing? The invite says only, "musical performance with David Foster and special guest."

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