Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lobbyist Payoffs: How They Work Now

Some of us understand that it's not the money--it's the Congressman's ethics. In other words, "character counts." Elect a slimeball, and you'll get slimy results.

So how's McPain/Feinie working out for you?

It works very well for some.

In just the last two months, lawmakers invited lobbyists to help pay for a catalog of outings: lavish birthday parties in a lawmaker’s honor ($1,000 a lobbyist), martinis and margaritas at Washington restaurants (at least $1,000), a California wine-tasting tour (all donors welcome), hunting and fishing trips (typically $5,000), weekend golf tournaments ($2,500 and up), a Presidents’ Day weekend at Disney World ($5,000), parties in South Beach in Miami ($5,000), concerts by the Who or Bob Seger ($2,500 for two seats), and even Broadway shows like “Mary Poppins” and “The Drowsy Chaperone” (also $2,500 for two).

The lobbyists and their employers typically end up paying for the events, but within the new rules.

Instead of picking up the tab directly, lobbyists pay a political fund-raising committee and, in turn, the committee pays the lawmaker’s way. The prices listed are for lobbyists with political action committees. And the lobbyists usually pay for their own travel and hotel rooms, too.

Still and all, it's not on a USAF 757, right?

HT: Captain's Quarters

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