August 25, 2010 •
Pennsylvania Lawmakers Receive Gifts from Lobbyists
State officials must report tangible gifts of more than $250 per year from any source and transportation, lodging, and hospitality worth more than $650. Lobbyists were the most generous with legislators who have power to direct and control funding. For instance, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Jake Corman received a $4,000 Super Bowl trip from a Pittsburgh law firm whose lobbyists represent a variety of clients, including utility companies, hospitals, wine and beer distributors, and banks.
Those who provide the gifts and travel are not necessarily trying to buy support for particular legislation, but they are buying lawmakers’ time according to one Harrisburg lobbyist, who asked not to be named. He said he frequently takes lawmakers to dinner but does not give tangible gifts. He said most often, gifts come from lobbyists whose interests already are in sync with the lawmaker’s policy positions.
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