From the Going Out Gurus Happy Hour guide:
Since this is Washington, prime seats [at Charlie Palmer’s Steakhouse] are reserved for big donors: The Politico newspaper sponsors VIP-esque arrangements of tables and couches. A name tag is required if you want to take a seat. A 20-something man in a suit approached a woman sitting behind the Politico’s sign-in table and asked, jokingly, “How do I get one of those [name tags] so I look important?” She thought for a moment and replied, “I think you have to spend $30,000 to $50,000 on ads.”
On Capitol Hill, some things never change.