Looks exactly like lobbying when the Republicans were in control. Which looked the same as lobbying under previous Democratic control. In other words, campers, nothing has changed. Well, the pipelines follow different routes, but its the same old loot. Except there's even more of it.
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 lawmaker’s tab, lobbyists pay a political fund-raising committee set up by the lawmaker. In turn, the committee pays the legislator’s way.Lobbyists and fund-raisers say such trips are becoming increasingly popular, partly as a quirky consequence of the new ethics rules. By barring lobbyists from mingling with a lawmaker or his staff for the cost of a steak dinner, the restrictions have stirred new demand for pricier tickets to social fund-raising events. Lobbyists say that the rules might even increase the volume of contributions flowing from K Street, where many lobbying firms have their offices, to Congress.
Some lawmakers acknowledge that some fund-raising trips resemble the lobbyist-paid junkets that Congress voted overwhelmingly to prohibit. Jennifer Crider, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said its leaders had decided to stop holding fund-raising events for lobbyists with political action committees because of the seeming inconsistency.
On top of the news that the earmarks are exactly the same, where the heck are the huge changes in Washington? In other words, the voters got played just to change who got more of the loot. Stunning.